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Giving up your dreams  RSS feed

 
Posts: 79
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First off - I'm not writing this to complain or anything, or even necessarily asking for advice.  I think it will help me to process and think through things, by saying it out loud (errr, writing it...).  And saying it to people who will understand should help too...

I bought 10 acres a while back.  For years, I've had this dream of owning land, doing something worthwhile with it, maybe eventually building a home and raising my family there; all along more natural / permie / healthier / sustainable / etc. lines.  Great, wonderful.  Then an opportunity came along and I got some cheap land - praise God!  Have been out there exploring, observing, learning, camping, etc. - enjoying it.  Making some half-baked plans while learning a lot of stuff.

Sometimes things don't work out like you'd dreamed, though.

I have some fairly major chronic health issues.  Like, not able to hold down a regular job for several years, money running out, etc.  Not to mention that I see no way I'm physically able to do much real work on my raw land, in any kind of realistic time frame to support myself with.  It doesn't help that the land is 50 minutes away plus a short hike - no direct access (long story).

So, I think it's getting to be time to sell.  Even though I really like it, and am getting attached to it, and some recent changes make it more easily buildable, and I really want to do something useful with it.... reality is setting in.  I could use the cash for treatment and supporting myself while hopefully recovering and spooling up some work I'm able to do.  (Years of education and experience in a totally different field, while all of this stuff is almost new to me.  I'm glad my ability to eat is not directly tied to my ability to grow food!)

Sometimes you really need to go back and ask, Why?  Why am I wanting to do this in the first place?  What exactly do I hope to accomplish?  And then - can those things be accomplished in some other, more practicable, way?

Of course, one thing not working out now, doesn't mean that you'll *never* be able to do anything along those lines.

These are just a few of the things going through my head right now.  I may add more later.  Thank you for listening, do you charge for your time ?
 
Posts: 87
Location: out in the woods of Maine
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I am saddened to read that you are going through this phase.

I hope that it works out in the end.
 
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I'm not sure what your limits are but some farmers grow crops like mushrooms that are neither heavy or blazing sun.  In fact that one is grown indoors to insure spores are controlled.  I went on disability several years ago.  It was demoralizing, I felt like I would only get older and not be able to do anything more the day I left work.   Fast forward 5 years and I am making cap stones for my stone wall.   This grandma may not go all day, but I go.  keep an eye for a positive future.
 
pollinator
Posts: 194
Location: Sask, Canada - Zone 3b
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Even if you didn't get to develop the land very much, it was still a good investment and you'll probably get more than what you bought it for. There will always be land to buy, but you need your health first, so your decision seems reasonable and rational in this scenario.

In all honesty though, as many of the people doing market gardens on Permies may tell you, even with 2 acres you could do a lot of natural/permies/homestead stuff. Maybe you'll be able to find a smaller(or similar) plot of land in a few years a little closer to home that's easier to manage - just a different angle that the situation can be viewed from.

It's tough enough with health challenges, but with having to sell land you are emotional invested in aswell, I can't imagine... - I'm sorry to hear this news.

Linda Valentyne wrote: I'm not sure what your limits are but some farmers grow crops like mushrooms that are neither heavy or blazing sun.  In fact that one is grown indoors to insure spores are controlled.



Yup, though some parts of the world grow them in semi-open buildings, so even a small canopy system in the shade of a tree could be a nice setup - at least as a starting point. Starting a nursery or doing some kind of plant propagation is pretty light work aswell and even if it's not being done for direct income, doing such work is certainly a good skill-set to have for future permaculture endeavours.  

C Jones wrote: do you charge for your time  ? 



Pay it forward :)
 
pollinator
Posts: 223
Location: Western North Carolina - Zone 7B stoney
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Two things that you mention are huge dream killers.  Money and health issues would likely be two of the largest barriers to off grid living.  Sure, one can live off grid with minimal problem with some health issues, but it would be difficult to create your homestead and build a house with those health problems.  The health and money issues stack on top of each other.  it's easier to make money with good health, and it's hard to treat your health problems without money.  This is similar to compounding interest .... except I guess it would be a compounding deficit. 

I wish that you find peace in whatever decision you must make.  Stepping away from what you have seen as your dream is a huge demoralizing step.  Maybe all is not lost.  Is there any possible way to move forward with your dream on your land, but get assistance by a like minded individual or two?  There are quite a few people who would jump at the chance to live off of the grid, and to help create a functional homestead for themselves.  Is there an acre of land that you could section off for someone who is willing to help you?

I wouldn't allow a helper to come onto your land, and do whatever they want to do initially.  They would need to prove their worth by helping you first.  Then, they could start building their own little off grid living on your land.  Of course, I wouldn't jump into something like that hastily.  You'd want the proper person, and you'd want to make sure that expectations were set in stone.  I would likely have a contract, so that it protects you and also their interest.  You wouldn't want to give them free reign to make their one acre into a pigstye, but they also wouldn't want to do a ton of work just to get kicked off of the land for no reason.  I would look into how Paul runs his land, and modify that to your own need. 

Can you imagine if you gave an acre to someone who helped you with your health problems for X amount of hours per week?  This could really offset some of your costs down the road.  Then, you could give an acre to a carpenter who is helping you build your own house on your land.  Sure, you don't want to give them the land flat out.  You want to grant them use of the land for the duration of their stay, or until the situation becomes inamiable.  You would want to make sure that this disagreement isn't something that you drop on them one day, and then kick the person out the day after.  Think of this as an intentional community.  You would be the head of the neighborhood owner's association, and you would want to notify them that they are in breach of something.  Give them time to fix it, while letting them know that you appreciate everything that they've been doing. 

Who knows, maybe this model isn't the best for you.  Maybe there's no way to make this work in your situation.  I just want to give you some alternative ways of thinking, because perhaps your dream is not dead.  Maybe it's just changed into something that you have not foreseen, and maybe that change will morph it into something bigger and better than you could not have imagined prior.  Just remember that we have our dreams for a reason.  It may become more difficult, but also more rewarding. 
 
Posts: 587
Location: Bendigo , Australia
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I ask a few questions, which may solicit some ideas, how young are you?
I owned a 20 acre block for 20 years before I did anything

50 minutes travel is nothing, but I have to admit no direct access, which I take is vehicle access would be a concern.

Is the weather reasonable, maybe a caravan would be a start or a small building built with volunteers a a learner project etc may work.
If you are capable of doing the planning and designing, that could be your input.
Email me if you want a private conversation, I am in Australia and may be able to encourage and support you in someway over the internet.
regards
 
C Jones
Posts: 79
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Thanks everyone for the comments, kind words, and ideas!  Like I figured, this is helping me process what's going on and think through options.  And clarify what's important...
There's lots going on in all of this (like in anything), here are a few more of the things swirling through my head.

I have thought in the past about starting small, getting friends to help, and so on - but thanks for reminding me and giving some more specific ideas.  William, I think there's really something to your idea of trading some of the space for some help....  Not sure if it's something I could pull off at present or not, but worth considering.

And John, yours on sitting on it and/or on getting help, with my input being the planning.  Alas, I don't think I'm really there yet either, have some of the basic ideas down, but not ready to "do" my own project.  I am in my early 30s, so (Lord willing) plenty of time yet.  Real access could possibly be arranged with some effort and probably expense; although I do have an informal agreement with a neighbor that can get a pickup (which I don't have) at least to my border.


Stepping back a bit - When I got this land, I knew it would either be a long-term project, or that I may not be able to keep it, because I was already sick.  In fact, I bought it with some insurance money, so it's even more natural to use it to support me through this time, that's what the money was for originally. 

Plus, I may be getting some help from my community already towards some treatment....makes me feel even more responsible for doing all I can, to honor that, even if it means some sacrifices.  A lot of the counsel I'm getting is to sell it.  As we've said, giving up on something now doesn't have to mean forever.  And boy, the cash is very tempting (I got an unsolicited offer in the mail)...

However, difficulties have a way of clarifying priorities, and I am considering some other ways I may have to help the short term.

Thanks again everyone!  I'm still chewing on stuff here.  Feel free to add anything else that may pop into your heads....
 
C Jones
Posts: 79
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And while I'm still thinking about it....

It occurs to me that I might rather sell to a Permie type than many others, not to mention a "land investor" in Florida.  And/or this community would be a natural place to find someone interested in some kind of land-for-work type of trade.  The (temporary) end of my dreams may be the beginning of someone else's?!

I have seen a few land for sale posts in the regional subforums... 1) Is that something allowed / encouraged?  and 2) Would that be the best permies.com place for selling or advertising some kind of creative trade / looking for help?
 
William Wallace
pollinator
Posts: 223
Location: Western North Carolina - Zone 7B stoney
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Giving up is the easiest thing to do, but often it is unavoidable.  Have you considered being a part of someone else's dream temporarily?  Sure, it wouldn't be your own land, but you could find property that is more accessible to you. 
 
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There are limitations. We all have them. But I have found a tremendous degree of satisfaction in simply being conscious. I stopped drinking alcohol in order to maximize the possible clarity with the time I have.  (And you never honestly know how much time you have.)

You don't actually have to swing a hammer or heft a shovel to be mentally involved--in fact, some places in your mind it is only possible to reach in repose. The work of the shovel and the hammer are not the only work to be done.

There are connections in everything. Consider the material of the chair you are sitting in. What it is composed of, where it came from. How it was made. Try to picture--or still better, research--what it took.  What it cost. Try to understand it deeply.

Before you put a bite of food in your mouth, consider its path in and out of every refrigerator, box, truck, plant, pipe, train, harvester, hand--all the way to the ground. Past the ground, if you can conceive--or research--that far.  What are its molecules made of?  What changes does this produce in the eater, and the byproducts the eater leaves?

Assemble its history and politics and culture, its advantages and its problems. Get its significance all over your hands. Get up to the elbows in it.

Study its people, its land, its struggles and hard times. The dollar that you traded for it, investigate where it goes. Dollars ,  like energy ,  are not created or destroyed: only shift in form. After you pay with it, what does it pay for after that? And after that? In whose circle have you participated?

You flick the light on. What is that? How well do you understand it? Do you understand it, really?  Part of the electricity running through that wire becomes the light that you see, delivered in pulses of 60 hertz-- while another part of that electricity is only responsible for carrying the first. Once it drops its load, it jumps back into the wire headed home to wherever it came from. But where is that? And what is it made of?

Stare intently at one leaf of the bush outside your window. What is the curvature, the precise angle the plant chose to position that leaf? Why does it choose that, and not some other?

Dribble some water on a polyester bed sheet, and watch it bead and roll like marbles. Why does it do that? What in nature resembles this phenomenon? What is the advantage of this characteristic of water? Who benefits?

If a plant is sent to your room, dig your fingers into the potting soil it came in. Separate the pieces out in your palm. Try to identify them. Each one has a story. It is from somewhere: a depth, a time. They are connected somehow.

Great wisdom can be achieved this way.

Someone who cannot even stand up can reach this level of interconnectedness, and share it with other more physically capable people, who can't (or don't).

The hardest part of doing is thinking.
 
Michael Sohocki
Posts: 146
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I have never put naything so well as Jamie Oliver did in this speech.

https://www.ted.com/talks/jamie_oliver/up-next#t-1291046

(So here is something you can change.)
 
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