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Looking for a community I can fall in love with  RSS feed

 
Posts: 7
Location: Lavaca, Arkansas
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I think I am doing this right, i just discovered this website and still trying to figure it out some. I'm 28, my SO is 34 and we have 4 boys (13, 7, 7, and 2.5) I unschool the younger 3 and we have been dreaming of homesteading for quite sometime but just can't seem to get started. We live in Arkansas but aren't completely sold on this location, I've lived and loved in Oregon and Montana but really am open to anywhere, I am super social and as much as I love off grid and and whatnot, I love the idea of a whole little community to do it with, preferably within reasonable distances from entertainment for the kids for breaks from the farm from time to time :).  My SO is a framer/contractor and has done his fair share of farm work, I'm a hard worker and love gardening/farm animals, but definitely have knowledge to be gained as I've never really gotten to follow my dreams in this field. Electricity/internet access would be ideal since I dont want a huge culture shock for my kids, but to gradually get them enjoying the outdoors more.

The main thing holding us back from buying raw land and building from scratch (cob preferably) is my SO is now allergic to the sun from 2 untreated heatstrokes and is quite limited on hot sunny day work, but we do both have income (VA and SSDI) so financing isn't a huge issue.  We also would love to find a community that is more open minded, not religion based, or if it is. At least not pushy on the topic.

I think this is all appropriate to message, overall I guess I'm looking for a community we can join and help build up and make a living with:)
 
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Natasha Slye wrote:I think I am doing this right, i just discovered this website and still trying to figure it out some. I'm 28, my SO is 34 and we have 4 boys (13, 7, 7, and 2.5) I unschool the younger 3 and we have been dreaming of homesteading for quite sometime but just can't seem to get started. We live in Arkansas but aren't completely sold on this location, I've lived and loved in Oregon and Montana but really am open to anywhere, I am super social and as much as I love off grid and and whatnot, I love the idea of a whole little community to do it with, preferably within reasonable distances from entertainment for the kids for breaks from the farm from time to time :).  My SO is a framer/contractor and has done his fair share of farm work, I'm a hard worker and love gardening/farm animals, but definitely have knowledge to be gained as I've never really gotten to follow my dreams in this field. Electricity/internet access would be ideal since I dont want a huge culture shock for my kids, but to gradually get them enjoying the outdoors more.

The main thing holding us back from buying raw land and building from scratch (cob preferably) is my SO is now allergic to the sun from 2 untreated heatstrokes and is quite limited on hot sunny day work, but we do both have income (VA and SSDI) so financing isn't a huge issue.  We also would love to find a community that is more open minded, not religion based, or if it is. At least not pushy on the topic.

I think this is all appropriate to message, overall I guess I'm looking for a community we can join and help build up and make a living with:)



If you want a community per se Dancing Rabbit is one I've heard of but have never been there (and likely will never be, as I don't much agree with what I've heard about them). If you are looking for a community as in a region... check out the Springfield, MO area, Seymour/Mansfield areas have a lot of Amish people if that's your thing. I've been there and people there are real friendly, along with real good building codes if you find the right counties (none).

I had to look up your current location to see where you were at in relation and you are 200-500 miles south of these places.

I live 600 miles north of Branson and that's where we go on vacations.

 
Natasha Slye
Posts: 7
Location: Lavaca, Arkansas
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Thank you for your suggestions, I will have to look into the first you mentioned. I do believe an Amish community may be too much of a culture shock for my kids off the bat (they're used to lots of electronic use)

Is there an area in these forums that is based more around homestead communities that I may just be skipping somehow? My SO truthfully would love to homestead alone, I'm the social one and know I'd go nutty alone in the middle of nowhere haha. Like I mentioned though, we really aren't tied to any area specifically, the northwest states are closest to family other than that we have no ties anyways :)

 
pollinator
Posts: 316
Location: SF Bay Area
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Communities magazine and website are a good place to find existing intentional communities. I would think that you would have plenty of options in the NW.

I love the idea of intentional community but it's just not feasible for me, and ultimately I don't think I could handle it (extreme introvert). But my daughter and I have compromised between rural and isolated, choosing to buy a place outside of Medford Oregon, maximum 30 minutes to town.

Good luck on finding somewhere.
 
J Anders
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Natasha Slye wrote:Thank you for your suggestions, I will have to look into the first you mentioned. I do believe an Amish community may be too much of a culture shock for my kids off the bat (they're used to lots of electronic use)

Is there an area in these forums that is based more around homestead communities that I may just be skipping somehow? My SO truthfully would love to homestead alone, I'm the social one and know I'd go nutty alone in the middle of nowhere haha. Like I mentioned though, we really aren't tied to any area specifically, the northwest states are closest to family other than that we have no ties anyways :)



That is why I suggested the Springfield area. Southwest Missouri and NW AR (Fayetteville) are full of people who do this stuff. I live in NW Iowa and it's very lonely here. Farmers markets don't do well at all. Take a drive through the Ozarks and there's a farmers market around every bend.

The Amish grocery store in Seymour MO is awesome. I have a similar plan... find 5-10 acres or what ever I can find, even if it's land on the back side of town and a run-down house to remodel. "Amish Community" is a misnomer for Seymour IMHO. They are concentrated out in the country, around A highway if I'm not mistaken.

Now I hear that the Smokey Mountains are similar as well. I would rather homestead alone just like you said. If I do find a community one of my requirements is that I am able to purchase and have legal title to at least several acres within the community, with no restrictions on selling. None of this communal bullcrap that some of these intentional communities deal with.  I find them real suspect personally. That is why I don't like what I hear about Dancing Rabbit.
 
Posts: 1752
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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forest garden solar
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Based on what I am hearing you would like.
Electricity via solar panel, possible propane backup.
Internet via  satelite at $50/month unlimited (12-25Mb/s) https://www.reviews.org/internet-service/best-satellite-internet-providers/
The hubby just wants his 1-3 acres (1acres for house, chicken, fish, honey, nut and fruiting trees, mushroom, greenhouse, workshop), (another acre for dwarf milk goat) and (another for firewood, privacy/hunting plot, etc)

And then if hubby feels like he will work at a local farm or lease some land from a local farmer.
You on the other hand would like to be not too far from the city life for a weekly meetup group.
You would also like to volunteer with some very giving and social people or work with some supportive and social people (non-profit).

The above might be the compromise.

Homeschooling 3 kids is alot, and after mentoring them from 9-3. It would be nice to hand them off to some other activities/play group/ymca/etc.
 
J Anders
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Natasha- also wanted to mention that I'm hard of hearing so I get SSDI as well, inheriting some money later this year and hope to do something with it.
 
Natasha Slye
Posts: 7
Location: Lavaca, Arkansas
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J Anders wrote:

Natasha Slye wrote:Thank you for your suggestions, I will have to look into the first you mentioned. I do believe an Amish community may be too much of a culture shock for my kids off the bat (they're used to lots of electronic use)

Is there an area in these forums that is based more around homestead communities that I may just be skipping somehow? My SO truthfully would love to homestead alone, I'm the social one and know I'd go nutty alone in the middle of nowhere haha. Like I mentioned though, we really aren't tied to any area specifically, the northwest states are closest to family other than that we have no ties anyways :)



That is why I suggested the Springfield area. Southwest Missouri and NW AR (Fayetteville) are full of people who do this stuff. I live in NW Iowa and it's very lonely here. Farmers markets don't do well at all. Take a drive through the Ozarks and there's a farmers market around every bend.

The Amish grocery store in Seymour MO is awesome. I have a similar plan... find 5-10 acres or what ever I can find, even if it's land on the back side of town and a run-down house to remodel. "Amish Community" is a misnomer for Seymour IMHO. They are concentrated out in the country, around A highway if I'm not mistaken.

Now I hear that the Smokey Mountains are similar as well. I would rather homestead alone just like you said. If I do find a community one of my requirements is that I am able to purchase and have legal title to at least several acres within the community, with no restrictions on selling. None of this communal bullcrap that some of these intentional communities deal with.  I find them real suspect personally. That is why I don't like what I hear about Dancing Rabbit.




Yes, dancing rabbit sounded amazing till I got further into reading, as much as I love their views and goals, I dont like the idea of feeling owned by other people (best way I can describe how they came across)

I guess intentional community that was mentioned above as well is what I might be looking for, so I definitely have at least some better verbiage and locations to look into, until now it's all just be kind of a "its be cool if these existed" haha but it sounds like some do :).

You have a good point though and I guess that's where I'll probably run into the next snag, I'm all for communal in the manners of shared workloads, food, etc etc, but I'd feel better legitimately owning our parcel.... a little more security in that I guess? 
 
Natasha Slye
Posts: 7
Location: Lavaca, Arkansas
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S Bengi wrote:Based on what I am hearing you would like.
Electricity via solar panel, possible propane backup.
Internet via  satelite at $50/month unlimited (12-25Mb/s) https://www.reviews.org/internet-service/best-satellite-internet-providers/
The hubby just wants his 1-3 acres (1acres for house, chicken, fish, honey, nut and fruiting trees, mushroom, greenhouse, workshop), (another acre for dwarf milk goat) and (another for firewood, privacy/hunting plot, etc)

And then if hubby feels like he will work at a local farm or lease some land from a local farmer.
You on the other hand would like to be not too far from the city life for a weekly meetup group.
You would also like to volunteer with some very giving and social people or work with some supportive and social people (non-profit).

The above might be the compromise.

Homeschooling 3 kids is alot, and after mentoring them from 9-3. It would be nice to hand them off to some other activities/play group/ymca/etc.




Unschooling is quite different from homeschool, but with that having easier access to more to do depending on where their personal interests take them would be ideal.  But you have it fairly right, although the idea is also with our abilities we would bring much to the tables as far as helping a homestead community run (from infrastructure to garden and animal care)

I guess overall I dont REALLY know if there even is something like what we are looking for, but I'm learning a lot here that I'm finding to be very helpful in pinpointing where to go from here :).
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1752
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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You are right homeschool is a generic term for the masses, it covers online public government school, with zero self pace. regular online private school. parent/syllabus paced standard homeschooling, and (multi-subject) project based teaching esp centered around topics that the student likes, and full on unschooling for a 15yr old.

Educating 3 kids will take up alot of your time for a few more years. How many hours do you think you could give to a IC, and how about you husband, as a contractor/framer he can do alot of indoor work.

We are social pack animals, so some sort of group interaction is needed.
 
Natasha Slye
Posts: 7
Location: Lavaca, Arkansas
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S Bengi wrote:You are right homeschool is a generic term for the masses, it covers online public government school, with zero self pace. regular online private school. parent/syllabus paced standard homeschooling, and (multi-subject) project based teaching esp centered around topics that the student likes, and full on unschooling for a 15yr old.

Educating 3 kids will take up alot of your time for a few more years. How many hours do you think you could give to a IC, and how about you husband, as a contractor/framer he can do alot of indoor work.

We are social pack animals, so some sort of group interaction is needed.




Oh I'm sure I could get a few hours or more a day,  he can do all sorts of work and loves do it as long as its within his health limitations.

I think part of what plays a role in looking for intentional communities is my family also loves to travel, and it's hard to travel when you have livestock/pets/gardens to care for, but same with for others, like a community where we all help each other out and ifsomeone wants to take a week long trip we help take care of their end and vice versa, like idk, I just want close knit community that looks out for each other with the same goals in mind. But maybe even what was mentioned about about not necessarily intentional community but just that nice small town scene would work, small towns just worry me because every time I think I found a good one it turns up over run with drugs and crime :(
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1752
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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One acre can feed a family with nuts/fruits/beans/vegetables/fish/eggs/chicken/honey.

But when it comes to raising goat/sheep/cow/dogs/horses/etc. It becomes challenging because you then needs acres of land, lots of hay/food inputs and you also need coverage if you ever leave and go on vacation.
Even in the city with just a dog/cat it can be hard. But money always talk.

Personally, I prefer the idea of doing plant food onsite, and then wild harvest game meat and then volunteer at a horse stable/pound/rehab/etc to get some animal time.  You might be able to get two certified guide/therapy  adog so that you can bring it with you anywhere you go and they cant say anything to you.

I am not sure if people in a IC would be okay with watching your dogs/pets, esp if it is something that is reoccurring. Asking for time off from the IC "sheep farm" to go on vacation, just like with any other workplace might not always be doable. But I am thinking that you dont really want to be responsible for the sheep farm you just want a animal place for the kids to volunteer and learn.

I have an idea if you do rotational grazing, with just a 10minute fence change in the morning and another 10 minute feed supplement in the afternoon. You might be able to pay some teenager $10 per day to watch your animal. You just have to tack that on to your vacation budget. I guess that if you fence off the entire rotational paddock for some dwarf goat/sheep you could automate the gate opening and closing, but I really wouldn't want to automate goat/sheep supervision for more than just the weekend.
 
Natasha Slye
Posts: 7
Location: Lavaca, Arkansas
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I'm more like you, I'd prefer the plant food onsite, maybe some chickens/ducks,  but larger game I dont have as much interest in, I figure 4H or FFA would be a good place for my kiddos to pick up that kind of knowledge,  my SO is the one that's wanting to do a couple cattle (just enough to feed the family for however long I guess idk haha.)

I just know there have got to be more families that have the same love for small farm life but haven't followed through because of the commitment and holding you back from vacations etc as well, we have 7 cats and 2 dogs so we normally pay our neighbor to watch when we leave, which isn't an issue I just feel like it would be nice to be able to do the same for another family to:)
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1752
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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So a cow-calf pair cost about $2000 and weigh 1700lbs
And after 8month you will get another 500lbs in calf meat (2200lbs) and alot of milk throughout.
So after the 9months you could vacation for 3months maybe head south.
And you could stuff the cow-calf pair in a tiny feedlot barn with a self-dispensing feed for short weekend trips.

Now you will have to re-buy a cow-calf pair every year, but if you sell and "re-invest" the mom and only eat the calf, then you have a zero cost system setup.

Also if your husband cannot go out in the sun who is going to watch and take care of the cows?
10 minutes to do paddock rotations in the early morning might not get him "sunburnt" and ditto for the afternoon supplement.
 
Natasha Slye
Posts: 7
Location: Lavaca, Arkansas
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That's all good to know! And definitely helps me see where plausibility of travel time would be!  My SO might know the ins and outs of cow/calf pair and how best to work that but I didnt so thank you!

We keep gardening to early morning and late evening, he also has UV protective clothing now to help with the sun allergy, so the heat exhaustion is the main summer concern.
 
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We are looking for a family who can afford rent at 1,300 per month. In NW Montana. To live on a Permaculture property. We are a family of 4. Our son is almost 12 and our daughter almost 7.  What your looking for sounds like a perfect fit.
Please email me.
Opal
😁Opal.althoff@gmail.com
 
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