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Bret Glassett

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since Feb 25, 2015
I am homesteader and permaculture practitioner farming on 30 acres in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with my love and my son. My experience comes from an education in permaculture and what I have ground truthed on the land.
Nevada City, CA
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Recent posts by Bret Glassett

Hey All,

I know that the biggest hurdle for many to starting their permaculture homestead is money - from saving up enough to get land to sustaining it once you have it. I've been there done that and have something that I am really excited about for people interested in making their homestead a reality.

Me? I came from the rat race with no savings, money and piles of debt. The transition was a giant leap, quitting my job on the spot and moving to a off-grid hut in the jungle. But I learned a lot, and it took a few years to build myself back up and start a permaculture homestead from scratch. Anyways, thats 7 years condensed into two sentences but a lot more of the story I'll share soon.

Wanted to share the opportunity to join my free workshop (email signup required) "How To Make A Living Homesteading" that is going on fora limited time:



We'll talk about the 5 best ways to make an income homesteading PLUS the homesteader mindset that creates a successful, sustainable homestead (yes permies, resilience)!

Also, if you want to know more about creating a step-by-step plan to get to your homestead dream, stick around until the end :)
1 year ago

Craig Dobbson wrote:Nice work Bret.  It's amazing what you can accomplish when you're motivated properly.  A new family and new land will certainly get you up and running to provide the best you can.  Congratulations.  I look forward to seeing how you progress in the year to come.  



Thanks Craig. That is the truth!
1 year ago

Jocelyn Campbell wrote:Welcome to permies, Bret!

What awesome photos and a lovely website.  I added this thread to a few other forums.

I'm looking forward to seeing and hearing more about your projects.



Thanks and I appreciate you adding it to other forums!
1 year ago
Hey All!

How many here have roadblocks to starting their homestead? What are they?

In talking with people this winter I have heard a range of reasons why they haven't been able to start their homestead. Anything from not being able to afford land, lack of confidence,  to existing commitments and more.

I put together a quick eBook addressing some of the topics around being able to afford land:

  • Start homesteading BEFORE owning land
  • Creative ways to purchase land without traditional financing
  • Ways to create positive cashflow for a land purchase




  • Download it for free (just enter your email address)

    BUT I know there are sooo many more reason that just cold hard cash.

    Talk to me folks - I would love to hear all of the reasons that are keeping your from starting your permaculture homestead....
    1 year ago

    - Is our soil bad for growing (or do we not know enough)?



    The Soil Surveys are only somewhat accurate - they were done a long time ago and both time and development can change soil. That isn't prime ag soil. When you walk around what do you see? Just rocks? Some topsoil? How much?

    - We probably need to do a good deal of tree thinning/clearing--any advice for going about this?



    Don't clear but definitely start opening up the understory to start being able to see the land. You would be surprised how plans can change once you see a new area of your land...

    - Obviously we need to do a lot of observation before making any big decisions, but is there anything we should consider doing now?



    See above. Where reasonable get the landscape open enough to see whats there. Setup taddle tales (light strips of material hanging from trees) to start studying wind direction. Start a journal and takes notes of plants, animals, weather, observations etc by date.

    - How to deal with the lower half of the property which we likely won't have much time to tend to immediately. Just let it grow? Periodically chop and drop? Broadcast some beneficial seeds?



    Tough call hehe 'cause I know the feeling of wanting to tend everywhere but not being able too. Start with Zone 0, 1, 2 first and work out from there unless there is a good reason otherwise. For example, if zone 4 and 5 present fire danger to your home get to some forest mgmt.
    1 year ago
    I do swales in clay slopes up to about 12% grade and haven't had any issues.

    That said, the more I play with swales the less I am sold on them. They are kinda large disturbances and they create access issues. They certainly have benefits but are not appropriate for every place.

    I might recommend looking into Keyline for water distribution and soil building though planting (esp grasses) for water retention.
    1 year ago
    I think consulting / teaching would be a valuable service with harvesting animals - at least in my area. Sounds like a good idea worth trying. What is nice about your situation is there is little investment needed as you already have the skills and tools. You just need to get the clients.
    1 year ago

    bernetta putnam wrote:thanks for the ebook, I got some useful info out if it, as a newbie.



    Glad you found some useful information in it! Was there anything you were looking to know that was not in there?
    2 years ago
    Maybe this article would be of help in locating a garden on a specific site:

    Choosing the Best Location for your Farm or Garden

    This eBook will help you pick between the properties:

    Finding Land for a Permaculture Homestead or Farm
    Howdy everyone!

    Thought I would take a minute to introduce myself.

    A little over a year ago, my partner and I bought 30 acres of raw land in the mountains of Northern CA, with the dream of a developing a regenerative homestead. We had a little trailer to put on the land and that was going to be our home.

    Two weeks later we found out we were going to have a baby! We joke that he was waiting for us to get the land before arriving. We knew we wanted him to be born on the land, it seemed fitting since the land was bought with the intention of being a subsistence life for us. We also knoew it wasn't going to work having a newborn in a small trailer in the winter in the mountains!

    So, we dove in, with a 9-month deadline... by ourselves.



    This past year has been crazy - grading water harvesting roads, power systems, gravity-fed water systems, building an alternative small home, woodshed, shop and more. While always in a rush to get our home built for the arrival of our little boy, we have applied permie principles as much as possible.

    Somehow we also started an orchard, started a flock of free-range chickens, and developed a 1/4 acre veggie garden. Right, while figuring out how in the heck to be new parents!!

    Today, I sit inside, our first winter storm of the season and work on getting caught up on rest.

    Slowly but surely, I am compiling and producing our story in the form of blogs, eBooks and more. I hope others can benefit from our experience and want to share that with you all.

    Last week, Permacultureapprentice.com featured a blog post of mine, How to Survive your First Year Developing Land into a Homestead or Farm

    Check it out.

    You can follow along with us on our Instagram Page too.



    I have started to write everything you need to know to build your permaculture homestead or farm, starting with this free eBook you can download (check out the thread I started here).

    Who else lives this kind of life?? I'd love to hear from you.
    2 years ago