What's up everybody, I saw this website and had to join. I'm a senior Health Science student at Clemson University (South Carolina) and sometime soon after graduation I want to start working and building a permaculture farm. I want to incorporate perennial fruits, nuts, herbs, timber, bamboo, hens, dairy goats and cows, pigs, solar power, compost bathrooms, natural buildings, you name it! I've been surfing the web for years and have many great resources on many topics. I've also been working on Clemson's Student Organic Farm for a couple years and our new farm manager is all about the principles of permaculture so I'm learning a ton from him. I need more experience with natural building, plumbing, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering (or some partners) and most of all I need financial aid. I know there's money out there but it's just a matter of me applying for it, taking advantage of incentives, or just plain ol' making some. So anyway, just wanted to introduce myself, hope to be around more in the future.
Welcome to the forum. Keep involved in the forum and your community and start small if that's what you can do. Those are my recommendations. As far as borrowing or getting investment money, people don't like to give money to people who want to help the earth, at least that's what I've noticed. I could rant on, but I'll leave it at that. Hope you stick around and learn and contribute for years to come!
As far as "obtaining money" goes, I would suggest contacting your local County Extension Agent. There are many Federal and State grant programs which you may be able to take advantage of. Your county agent will know of most of those grants, and the requirements needed to qualify. While none of them are likely to provide much income, if you can combine several, you may be able to cover a substantial portion of your setup expenses. Also check your State/County for "Green Belt" exemptions. These can save you a decent percentage on your property taxes.
good luck with the natural building and composting toilet stuff. being from sc myself, and closing in on your dream myself, ill tell you that sc isnt very friendly toward eco friendly building. there is no county in sc where you wont need a perk test and therefore a septic system to get a building permit or financing. also, according to the dhec dude who does the perk tests in richland county, grey water recycling is still frowned apon here...... atleast for now. for us, when we get around to building in a couple years (doing most the work ourselves, and out of pocket), we plan to have the plumbing system all connected to the septic until its passed code, then redo it for grey water recycling later. also, look in to dry stack concrete block with structural concrete stucco home building....... makes good solar collection, and shouldnt have any trouble passing code or getting financing here. you may not be into financing yourself, but make sure you can sell it if you need to at a later date. check out the link below, it'll give you some ideas.
Chance, I caught one of your threads at a homesteading forum, and I must say that's rather ambitious planning for a farm. However, if you can, find an acre or two and start from there. I think it's better to practice and try things on the small scale before going further.
As for money, there is money available from grants and loans. But the best source of money is your own. That way, only you are responsible for its use or disuse, repayment or not. Loans, interest, and monthly payments, btw, can place a very heavy financial burden that can crush a person or business.
It's easy to think what we want for the land, but not so to think what it wants for us.
That said, you should keep working toward your dreams.
I think I'll just lie down here for a second. And ponder this tiny ad:
Earlybirds for the Garden Master Course Kickstarter