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Two Eager Permies Looking for Opportunities in NW Michigan

 
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Hello all!

My girlfriend and I are looking for opportunities in NW Michigan (greater Grand Traverse region) for the better part of the 2019 year.  My background is in ecosystem restoration, outreach coordination, park maintenance/services; and my girlfriend is a graphic designer who also does fine art, so there are a lot of realms we could help out on!  We are looking to relocate to that area so I can look for my own property to establish a permaculture farm with greenhouse operation as primary income, and so that she can pursue selling her art in nearby communities.  I am focusing my search between Traverse City, Muskegon, and Cadillac, so if you're in or around that area and have some work or WWOOF opportunities, please let us know!  We would prefer to both have paying jobs, but I am willing to do a work exchange for food/housing if there isn't enough paid work available.  Mainly we just want to be able to subsist (and she would like to pay off her student loans), help with projects around the property, learn skills related to greenhouses, small-scale farming, wild harvesting, carpentry, and re-purposing material as much as possible.

A little about us; we have three cats and a dog, my hobbies are pc gaming, guitar/piano, reading, exploring natural areas, baking, and physical training.  She likes to paint, read, explore natural areas, do crafty things with scavenged materials, and cook.  We both have our own permaculture pursuits; she is interested in apothecary/herbalism for healing and general well-being, so she is currently learning about foraging for plants to be used in salves, tinctures, oils, teas, etc.  I am more interested in self-sufficiency in food and energy systems, so my focus is more in taking raw materials and refining them, like the process of growing cereals, milling it, and turning it into bread.  I like the idea of being in control of most, if not all, my food needs, but most of my experience is with integrated pest management (mostly for invasive plant species).

If you need any help around your property, or have farm/food production positions opening up in the next few months for this area, please let us know!  We are excited to delve more deeply into all things permaculture, meet awesome people along the way, and build relationships that work for everyone involved.  If you would like a copy of our resume's, send me a personal message with your email.

Thank you for reading and we look forward to hearing from you!

Adam
 
Posts: 3
Location: Bloomington, Indiana
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Hey,
This is a little outside of your requested bioregion, but I just hopped on this message board to prepare a post offering space in Bloomington, IN.  I live in a diffuse permaculture community, and one of our shared resources is a budding ecovillage and neighborhood orchard.  We are considering offering a residency to 1-2 visiting permies featuring free hosting in one of our empty houses and access to community resources.  This would probably include some WWOOFing but we are more interested in thinking with other permaculturists and getting their input over the course of a residency, as well as facilitating their own self-motivated work and experimentation.

I'll likely post a more detailed Bloomington thread covering this offer in the next couple days, but we have a few resources that overlap with what you're looking for, so this seemed worthwhile to respond to.  These include a commercial greenhouse, a community carpentry shop and toolshare that's in development, and a number of people who are herbalists or interested in growing herbs.  So let me know if you'd consider ending up a little farther south!
 
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Hi Adam ~ Though I'm no longer living in Michigan, I'm quite familiar w/the area you're targeting. What a great area for doing what you're seeking. Wish you the best in making a connection.

As the fates would have it, I just happened upon this very interesting website called PerennialMap.org & I think it might be worth your taking a look. My first impression on stumbling into it was "Wow this is great! Just what us visually oriented Seekers have been craving!" At first blush, this map looks like it would be an excellent tool for helping people connect with resources and opportunities via an easy & relateable geo-area visual search. Unfortunately, on closer inspection... it strikes me more as a high-potential concept that's still apparently struggling to fully populate itself to best effect. In any case, the part that may relate to Your posting here...

The map has a search & label feature for "Farms seeking Farmers & Farmers seeking Farms". Hurray -- I thought -- So many Permies could make great use of this. But sadly, there are not many entries on the map in that category. *Except* there is one in Jordan MI (as you probably know= north of TravCity & south of the Mac). So, for You, perhaps worth checking out. Click on the orange dot in the NW area of the mitt to see if thats something that might be up your alley (and if it's not, perhaps that landowner might help network you into the area as an ally or offer a referral). I believe you can directly message the farm owner who is Seeking Farmer (if I read all that correctly)... and I believe you can put yourself on the map as Available & Seeking a farm opportunity in your desired geo & skills area as well> https://www.perennialmap.org/map.pl

Although the site refers to itself pretty narrowly as a resource for "perennial farming" it is clearly loaded with lots of other useful cross elastic resources that Permies could totally benefit from (Fruit, berries, bees, maple syrup, seed banking, etc). I found myself routed there during an ag-forest silvopasturing search and quite unexpectedly I did find some useful resource "dots" pinned in my area of the map in the Research/Education category that were new to me. (Though it seems odd to me that none of the Ag and Forestry colleges/universities, that I know are doing research in my area, show up on this map as info-resources. Still, what is there, while incomplete, did deliver some added value)

Wishing you best of luck with your search &... "Don't quit your daydream!"
 
Posts: 74
Location: Northern michigan
4
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Finally somebody in my area I am in kaleva it's about 25 minutes west of Cadillac and almost directly south of Traverse City by about 40 minutes and it's the eastern most edge of Manistee County I just recently made the leap off grid to a 20-acre property I can tell you there are lots of land opportunities in this area I spent two years looking for land and I can tell you most of it is not online I don't know what your budget looks like but there are several large sections of land around me for sale in the small town of kaleva itself is great does even a community store for local artists not sure what you call it but you could sell your stuff there just about everything you need is in town or within 30 minutes

You can get land out here for about 1000 to 1200 dollars per acre if you go further north you'll be hitting a heavy or snow area but you can get land for the cheeper  side of that scale there's a lot of five Acre Properties in the Gaylord area for about 5,000

I don't know where you are staying now but you're more than welcome come by and get an idea of what starting off off grid can be like in fact I have a thread on here looking for people in northern Michigan just fellow off griders/permies to share ideas and experiences   I might even be willing to let you use the property depending on what you're looking to do no promises on that note though and I would definitely have to consult the girlfriend first
 
Ryan Sleep
Posts: 74
Location: Northern michigan
4
building solar woodworking
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You can find me on my Kik Messenger app My name is Ethereal3600  I rarely look at my email suppose we could also text but not everyone's comfortable giving out phone numbers either way I'd love to hear from you
 
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Hello Adam and others! I just wanted touch base with y'all to say that my partner, two kids and I have just moved to NW Michigan and will be starting our permaculture ventures and soon as we finish our house and can see the ground again! We live in in Copemish on ten acres of mostly wooded land. I wonder if there is potential for any sort of gathering or something? I know there is a permaculture potluck group that I haven't had a chance to attend yet, but other than that we don't know anyone in the area and would love to remedy that. Permaculture is new to me and my gardening experience is limited to a year of working on a csa so I have a lot to learn.

Anyway, good luck and I hope you find something!
 
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Joshua Radish wrote:Hello Adam and others! I just wanted touch base with y'all to say that my partner, two kids and I have just moved to NW Michigan and will be starting our permaculture ventures and soon as we finish our house and can see the ground again! We live in in Copemish on ten acres of mostly wooded land. I wonder if there is potential for any sort of gathering or something? I know there is a permaculture potluck group that I haven't had a chance to attend yet, but other than that we don't know anyone in the area and would love to remedy that. Permaculture is new to me and my gardening experience is limited to a year of working on a csa so I have a lot to learn.

Anyway, good luck and I hope you find something!




Joshua,

Go to the potluck group. There is nothing like meeting people who are doing what you want to do in your area. I'm sure you will get an invitation to see some places that will inspire and encourage you.



 
master steward
Posts: 7112
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
2017
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
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No doubt, I wish I had a potluck group to meet with.  Build community with those folks and take it from there.
 
Posts: 3
Location: Allen Park, United States
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Did you ever find acres in Northern Michigan?  I am looking for 50+ acres in the UP for a permaculture homestead.  I am looking to purchase land before winter.
 
Adam Poch
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Thank you all for the responses!  Sorry it's taken so long to get back to permies, I honestly lost track with all that's gone on this year.  We didn't find any acres yet, and we're shifting our focus a bit more south (probably around Kalamazoo) for a better grow season, "less" winter (my girlfriend is not keen on all the snow around Traverse City haha).  I got my PDC this year under the tutelage of Peter Bane, Keith Johnson, and Rhonda Baird down in White Hall, MI.  It was a great experience, and I have been thinking about starting my own business, so lots of ideas have been mulled over I've met a couple other permies up in the TC area, but it's a pretty loose association from what I can tell.  

@ Ryan - I drove through Kaleva quite a bit working this summer, it'd be cool to come by and check out your place!  I don't have Kik messenger is, but I'll send you a PM in here with my number.

@ Joshua - Awesome!  I'd love to come by and check out what you've got going on.
 
pioneer
Posts: 71
Location: north west Michigan
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I have bought land near bear lake. I stayed out there this entire summer and will do so again next year. I do not have any money to offer for work, but you would be welcome to visit. I would be willing to allow you to stay for an extended period in exchange for a bit of work if we seem like a good fit. I have plenty of open area for gardening. If you could find work in the area it could be a good opportunity to save money. Good luck in your search.

@Ryan and Joshua i would like to meet sometime. You are both in cycling range of me. I am from indiana, so it would be great to meet like minded people.

I would be interested in this potluck gathering as well.
 
If you are using a wood chipper, you are doing it wrong. Even on this tiny ad:
Learn Permaculture through a little hard work
https://wheaton-labs.com/bootcamp
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