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58 yo SWF in NC foothills  RSS feed

 
Sharon Reece
Posts: 24
Location: North Carolina
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Looking to meet others in permaculture lifestyle for friendship and sharing of ideas. Feeling pretty alone in my neck of the woods these days. Most of my family & friends think i have finally lost it completely. Would love to meet some people in the area. I live about 40 minutes west of Winston-Salem and an hour from Charlotte. Lets talk woodchips, compost & weird greens. Really!
 
Annie Lochte
Posts: 68
Location: The Ocala National Forest. Florida, USA
4
chicken forest garden goat
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Hi Sharon... I'm Annie, 55yo and in similar position... Currently rather busy doing post Irma cleanup and internet time sporadic. But I can say 'your on the right track...' Most of the folks that really understood me have past on... And making new friends I find challenging... Sooo... I'm not in your area... but here for long distance friendship!!! I burned 70% of the debris from the storm just to get around my yard but now I'm piling up the rest and letting it turn into soil... the goats did a fine job of defoliating the branches that fell in their reach... And I'm putting small debris in my compost rings and will put some chicky poo from the girls in there an see how fast it breaks down.... Although the mornings are cooling a bit it's still sweltering in the afternoons... I haven't planted much fall stuff yet but really need to get with it....
 
Sharon Reece
Posts: 24
Location: North Carolina
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Hi Annie

I know what you mean by losing those who know you best. Im sorry to hear you have a mess from Irma, but sounds like you are making the best of it. If i were close, i would be glad to lend a hand. How big is your place? I am only an acre in a one stoplight town. It will be paid for soon. I thought about selling and moving back to the mountains, but i just couldn't find a way to do it without going back into debt. So, i am bringing the "forest" here, lol.  Possibly have a market garden in place by the time i retire. If that doesn't work out, at least i know i can eat. I think it will work tho. There is no local on site vegetable/fruit market in this area. Only one very small grocery where produce is limited and expensive. Being in town has a whole set of different problems. I am surrounded by businesses which is to my advantage. I really want animals! Priority right now is getting in fruit trees and garden beds.

You sound like you have been on your place a while. I would really love to hear about it and you. You can contact me at classique6912@gmail if you like and we can continue our conversation.

Glad to meet you!
Sharon
 
Annie Lochte
Posts: 68
Location: The Ocala National Forest. Florida, USA
4
chicken forest garden goat
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I have 3 acres. My dad bought it when it became apparent he couldn't live alone anymore and I wouldn't move to his area... That was in '00. In the first couple years I planted some edibles... Peach, persimmon, fig, guava, pear... The property is way out of town and the commute is long for work... I made that drive for a long time but when my father had to move to a nursing home I moved to town to a place my boss had bought. Dad passed in 09 and I stayed away from here for 5 years. But... In late 2013 I had a parting of ways with that job and living arrangement and moved back 'home'...  It is paid for...  . I do work 3 nights a week in town and here and there for neighbors. I have goats, chickens, pigs, dogs and a horse... I have a jersey cow and her calf but they live at my friends ranch close by. Im experimenting with growing things... I'm trying 3 or 4 things per season and seeing what works. I do milk the goats and slaughter a couple every year. I really need to get to trying to keep the animals more sustainably...  The hay is very expensive down here... But the original trees I planted have produced quite well... And ive added more perineal stuff... also working at growing things for animal feed... I'm learning about dealing with the 20-40" of rain we get from June thru sept and then long dry spells inbetween rains the rest of the year.... I'm so ready for fall... Just not the 4-8 weeks of dry spell that comes with it...
 
Sharon Reece
Posts: 24
Location: North Carolina
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  My Dad bought this place too. He died this past April. I had talked to him about putting in trees and beds for a market garden. He thought it was a good idea. Unfortunately his will had no mention of me or this place. I had a scary couple of months thinking all was lost, but it all worked out. I requested part-time this spring, which is a hoot considering i will be working the next 2-3 months 5-7 nights a week. Supposedly there is a nursing shortage in home care.  My usual area is southwest VA and western NC. There is not one nurse under 45 in that area. Most are much older than me. I just don't think they are able to find anyone younger willing to drive in those mountains following a cow path, fording creeks or walking in a half mile from the road. It is beautiful tho. Admittedly, the past couple of years i have forgone the cow paths and creeks. Still have to hike in and out, lol. As you can tell, i love my job, but it is past time for me to find a place outside of nursing. I just cant see me doing this at 75.

  So, here i am, planting trees, building beds. Dreaming about chicken coops and a greenhouse. My grandparents had large organic farms. When my kids were growing up we always had a big garden, an orchard etc. I canned, dried & pickled everything i could get my hands on. It just seems like after my divorce, the kids grew up and left, i developed tunnel vision. My grandchildren kept asking me if i could grow this or make that....so this year, my granddaughter helped me plant, grow and harvest the garden. We had so much fun. I had forgotten how much i loved to grow things. It is hard work, but it is just so much more rewarding than other things.

Sophia (she is 7) and i have planted 4 apple trees and 2 pear this week. The raised beds are planted. I need to get more beds started. We usually have drought conditions during the summer, but not the past 2 years. I have red clay and it is soggy. I am worried about the fall rains. The opposite problem you have. What kind of perennials are you trying? I have some tree collards rooting. Seeds for perennial kale, malabar spinach and some other greens i hope to get in ground next spring. I am in zone 7 and i figured you are prob 9 or 10. I have heard goat is good if prepared correctly. Never slaughtered anything although i have been present on many occasions since i was little, ie hog killing or after squirrel, rabbit or deer hunting. I do not know why it seems to bother me now. Would like to have chickens, ducks and meat rabbits. Maybe a guinea hog or two after i get more settled. Hope i dont get squeamish about it. Guess i will start small at first. Had thought about getting a small breed of goat, but like the hogs, that will have to wait. Never worked with goats much, so that is entirely new to me. Plan to get a bee hive in the spring, really excited about that. 

Hay is expensive here too. I do not have the space to grow grains either, at least not any substantial amt. I would like to put a few nut trees in, a couple of pecan and maybe a chestnut. I dont think i have space for anything more than that. Oh, i am sorry, just running on and on. Have a good day, hope to hear from you soon.

Sharon
 
Annie Lochte
Posts: 68
Location: The Ocala National Forest. Florida, USA
4
chicken forest garden goat
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My dad came from Maryland and mom from NC... My dad was the grower and always had a garden. Mom canned and cooked. They moved to florida in 1955. We raised 90% of what we ate when I was young. Dads folks, grandma an grandpa had a house in Bethesda MD and just the typical lot... tiny, but grew everything it seemed like. They composted all food and paper, shrub clippings, everything. They had the most beautiful flowers. They even had a few ducks and a couple hens and guineas until the late '70s. Inside the Capitol beltway. Grandma kept the shelves of the basement filled with home grown canned goods. I have always had something growing as in plant life. I have a 'pony tail palm' that I got at my first real job and it was about 6" tall an had been tossed in a pile to be thrown out... It's about 7' tall now. I planted in the ground when I moved back home hoping its the last move I make. I'm in zone 8b/9a. Have had as low as 16* here but average coldest 25-27*. Who the heck knows now! Last 2 winters did not get lower than 28*... We'll see. I work nights as a horse hospital nurse now... I've worked with horses all my life and been equine vet tech for past 17 years. I've always tried to live a homesteading lifestyle... Always had a horse, dog and a few chickens. And until now been fortunate enough to live in old cracker houses that were built for the florida weather and I never used air conditioning at home. I do now however as this is a mobile home... And I have a couple geriatric dogs... They really suffered thru the Irma power outtage. I heat with wood and as I'm getting older I do wish I had a like minded live in companion... I posted an ad here a while back and actually have had a few guys interested in coming to give it a go but something has not worked out with each one... Nothing bad... Just this is fairly remote and I can't financially support someone else so a few parameters must be in place first... 
Well... My turn rambling this time! Hoping work slows down and I have more Internet time there... We've been busy with post Irma horse ills... I work sat and sun nights...
 
Sharon Reece
Posts: 24
Location: North Carolina
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Hey Annie

I didn't know if you are aware or not, but everytime we reply to each other it goes to the recent topic forum, where everyone can read it, lol. So, lets do email. Mine is classique6912@gmail.com

Sharon
 
Harry Soloman
Posts: 96
Location: Pennsylvania, Dauphin County
2
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When its right, you will find the one.

I look forward to reading of your happiness together with someone.  I enjoyed a 20 years with the greatest person I ever knew and it was a weird twist of fate that made it happen in the first place.

Continue to be true to your soul and lifes energy will flow correct and in that, perhaps you find similar in the currents of life.

All my best!
 
bob day
Posts: 470
Location: Central Virginia USA
22
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Hi all,

I'm doing Permaculture up here in VA, and have several singles ads out and communicated with lots of people, even an older ad here on Permies. This is a great place to have conversations and develop friendships.

What I've found though (so far) is that the women who might enjoy the lifestyle and work I'm doing, are already doing it some place far away and are as "married" to their projects as I am to mine.

I think it may be the way of the universe that people with a true vision (please forgive the judgement) and willingness to commit to it are naturally scattered around as a way of seeding the social/cultural fabric with "new" ideas and a better way of living.   If we were all concentrated in one spot we would influence fewer people.

Of course the other thing I have found is that the ethics and concepts of Permaculture are so compelling that it's fairly easy to wake with a smile and work with joy. And as nice as it might be to have a partner who was on the same page, it is a great feeling to find an enduring meaning and purpose for my life.

Anything more would just be icing on the cake.
 
Sharon Reece
Posts: 24
Location: North Carolina
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Harry,

I think it is wonderful that you found your soulmate and had 20 good years. I on the other hand was married 20 years to an alcoholic drug addicted sociopath. Not so good. Don't feel bad for me. He was very much a part of corporate america. We had fine homes, the best cars, traveled extensively. He still does. He left me for his 20 something secretary. After his lawyers got through with me, i had nothing left. I moved back to my "home". In a weird way, 15 years later, it was a blessing. My kids and grandchildren live near me. I have a roof over my head and i am trying to be more sustainable for myself and them. Would i ever remarry? Absolutely not! I can certainly be a loving and caring friend, if i found you trustworthy. I do believe from dealings on this site that most people here have a great deal more integrity than the general public. That is just plain fact. You hit a nerve for sure and i am not one to pull punches these days, but i promise i won't hold it against you.

Bob,

What part of central VA are you in? I am about an hour west of Winston Salem. I totally agree about permaculture. I go to bed dreaming about what i am gonna do and wake up doing it. Very happily!    
 
bob day
Posts: 470
Location: Central Virginia USA
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I'm  about 70 miles west of Richmond. I actually had planned to look at land down closer to the asheville area about 16 years ago, but found this "bargain" and here I am. Land is paid for, but the ACP (ng pipeline) wants to ruin the front half, twt

Often I'm not sure what I'll be doing the next day, but I go to sleep listening to a lecture by Bill or Geoff--sometimes Will Hooker, absorb whatever I absorb in my sleep and then start wandering around the next morning doing whatever seems to want to be done.

Anyway, sounds like you are moving on into the better half of your life,my experience so far is it just seems to get better and better.

www.permaculturebob.org
 
Sharon Reece
Posts: 24
Location: North Carolina
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Bob,

I was starting to feel guilty about my last post, but i don't do fairy dust well. My moms family was from that area, then moved to Galax, Independence and on to NC mountain counties. (Yes, i do genealogy) It is a pretty there. How big a place do you have? Do you have any animals? I worked for years in Patrick County and surrounding areas. I wish i did nothing but garden, but i am still working. Just getting established, really, with high hopes for retirement. When i was a teenager i wanted nothing more than to move to Alaska and live off grid....but i went to nursing school instead. Funny how things come back around in some way, lol.
 
Sharon Reece
Posts: 24
Location: North Carolina
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Bob,

I went to your website and i have to tell you i am totally impressed. What a great place! Tell me more, more, more! You can contact me at my email classique6912@gmail.com. I am all ears about how this came to be.

Sharon
 
Annie Lochte
Posts: 68
Location: The Ocala National Forest. Florida, USA
4
chicken forest garden goat
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Yes, I know it becomes recent topic... Better than the thread boost feature... I apologize if I wrote something unacceptable...
Annie
 
Sharon Reece
Posts: 24
Location: North Carolina
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Annie

you don't have anything to apologize for at all! After my post last night, somebody prob thinks i should. My children think i need a filter in place at all times...oh well, that's mom. Have a good day.
Sharon
 
Sharon Reece
Posts: 24
Location: North Carolina
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Annie

I have not been home much the past few days and looks like i will be consumed with work the next few months. I am still very interested in you and your farm. I am sorry if my feelings on love and relationships bothered you. I never have been one to put much stock in anything but honesty and hard work. Relationships require a lot of both. Hope you are not being too bogged down by all the post Irma stuff. I would actually like to come down and learn some things from you firsthand. Especially your animals, as i really don't have adult experience with that aspect.

Take Care
Sharon
 
Sharon Reece
Posts: 24
Location: North Carolina
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Bob

Thanks for the article on your dams and ponds. I know i told you i would like to have two mini ponds here, but i didnt go into the problem i have with runoff from two adjoining properties. Since my soil is nothing but clay, i get standing water in the back part of the property almost all summer. I actually had a small, 12x8 natural gold fish pond abt 20 years ago on another property with a similar problem and it worked great. My biggest concern now is all the "sprays" used on those manicured lawns. Even if i divert the water to a pond, will the plants and fish be able to tolerate the toxins? Is there any cheap way to filter the water? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks
Sharon
 
bob day
Posts: 470
Location: Central Virginia USA
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You could do a couple of things re: the poisons that might be there.

build your ponds--sounds like all you have to do is dig a hole- stock it with cheap goldfish and see if they die--or get the water tested to find out what you might be dealing with. 

If there is a significant problem with the water quality you could set up reed beds to filter the water first (this is a good idea anyway to help keep sediment down in the pond) and they will pull out lots of the toxins.

the reed bed would basically be a basin that catches the runoff filled with gravel and bulrushes or cattails. If you ever decide to do a grey water system for your house that could use the same reed bed.

depending on your contours, you may have to do some sculpting to concentrate the flows and define an inlet on the far side of the bed from the pond. 

The reeds will need to be harvested at intervals to unclog the beds, and the beds may be inactive for periods when it gets cold, but likely this won't make much difference to your fish.

If the runoff is super toxic you may need to get politically active --at least in the sense of going to your neighbors, explaining the problem and ask them to substitute non toxic lawn care--

http://whyy.org/cms/youbetyourgarden/  ; is one source for that sort of suburban/city advice on organic lawn care

right here on Permies would be another good source to research

If that fails and they are dedicated to supporting Monsanto, you may need to complain to your Board of Supervisors or Planning commission

If that fails, the next link in the chain of command might be the state DEQ or finally the Feds. Each step gets progressively more complicated and I always like to start informally with voluntary cooperation

This is a real problem in some areas, they say more chemicals are used on lawn care than on agricultural crops, but hopefully not in yours.
 
Sharon Reece
Posts: 24
Location: North Carolina
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Thanks Bob, i had thought about cattails. I suppose i will try just digging the pond, stocking it and see what happens. They have stopped spraying along the fence line (I actually asked them to last year) which helps some. I prefer with starting out simply, hopefully they will take me seriously.
 
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