Alicia Foxe

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since Apr 23, 2015
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Recent posts by Alicia Foxe

I'll focus on the USA since statistics are more readily available. There were 2,023,400 farms in 2019, a number that's been steadily dropping as I'm sure you know. In 2019 there were 328.2 million people living in the US. Farm owners (if you don't count couples/companies) make up 0.61% of the population. If we were to generously assume that other countries have the same percentage of farms, then for the entire world's population of 7.7 billion there are only 46,970,000 farm owners. If 1 in 7000 of 46 million want to give their land away to a stranger that's 6710 people, most of whom don't speak English or visit this forum. Most geriatric farmers don't even use the internet and would be confused by all of this. The math just doesn't add up. I think your outlook is very optimistic for our capitalistic society and it would be easier to find a regular sugar daddy than a sugar farmer.

Those were just two examples, of course I could take off the labels and redo it. I could also Photoshop a photograph of my soffits without holes in them or I could steal someone else's before/after photos. Obviously I don't think that will be a common occurrence, my only point is that the before photo requirement doesn't do anything to solve cheating, it only deters people from participating due to the inconvenience or inability to redo a task. An example of something that would be impossible to finish again is growing more trees when there's no more room on a tiny plot to do so ("find someone who will let you grow those specific trees" is basically like saying "find Otis", and I don't have the stomach for guerilla gardening when they kill everything). All of my friends are on different continents.

Again, I do think it's good system to help people build skills. I was doing much of it already but because of everything I've said I don't think I'll waste time posting any of it; my progress is for me, not Otis the unicorn. I don't fault anyone with the collection gene who needs the motivation or wants to feel accomplished. I also think it could help pad the resume of someone who wants to volunteer or work on a farm, I just think that's all it should be because the person for whom they work is very unlikely to ever give them the land.
2 months ago
I think SkIP is fascinating and see uses for it outside of finding an Otis, but I have to ask: where are these "millions" of people wishing to will their land to somebody?

My neighbor is a farmer in his late 80s with a lot of extended family. He grows soybeans, corn and hay. This isn't his passion, it's just a job. If I were to approach him about turning his land into a permaculture wildlife sanctuary, he'd probably laugh in my face despite being able to see what I'm doing next door. He doesn't care and probably resents that his crops are suffering with the insects I'm attracting. He'd much rather sell the farm and let his loved ones have the money than to will it to me. Otis has to 1) have no family or 2) care enough about their farm that they want to see it continue even if that means their family doesn't get the money from selling it. They would either be very attached to their business/way of doing things, thus be unwilling to see it change, or they would already be practicing permaculture. Beyond competence and trust, Otis has to like the PEPper (good luck finding a geriatric farmer in America who will give a gay person his farm). They have to be in the right location the PEPper is seeking. The PEPper or estate has to have enough money to pay the inheritance tax or Otis has to have enough money to pay the gift tax (both are 20%-40%; tens of thousands).

I thought I would inherit a farm from one of my relatives. They sold it out of nowhere and after they died the state seized the meager scraps that were left. If that farm had been willed to anyone, much less a non-family member, there would have been a dozen ruthless vultures coming out of the woodwork to fight it and each other--myself included. I'm almost glad I was spared that battle since I want land even more now that I have to earn it.

These are only anecdotes but so are stories about supposed Otises. Finding a proper fit and having nothing go wrong with the deal would be like winning the lottery. What makes you believe there will be more Otises than capable people seeking land? Will there be some sort of outreach to find them beyond this forum? Is there going to be a more accessible and organized way to understand the program outside of digging through threads/reading the book when it's done? (I feel like it needs its own website to present/track/connect.)

What about things that don’t fit the requirements exactly? For example, if I built a greenhouse but it isn't in the style of the badge requirement, is it automatically an oddball? Is it valued less than the greenhouse badge simply because it's not the same type of greenhouse? Why?

Additionally, with how easy it would be to fake the proof of who did a task, not accepting retroactive badges is strange. There are many tasks I've already completed that would be incredibly silly if not impossible to redo, like labeling an electrical panel or installing a security camera system. Even if I had a before photo it doesn’t prove I did the work myself, I could have just snapped the shots and hired an electrician. If it's all on the honor system why would retroactive abilities not be allowed? And if it’s an honor system, why would Otis put any value on it? I have seen members approve each other for the same exact task which seems to invalidate the process more than not having a before photo.

I'm only critical because of how much I like the idea as a skill builder, I just think the goal of finding Otis is unrealistic and going to end in tears.
2 months ago

Greg Martin wrote:OFFER: Pledge or boost your pledge by $10 or more in this last 41/2 hours that we have left and then send me an email if you'd like a dozen Chinese artichoke, Stachys affinis, aka crosne tubers sent to you in the fall!  They have formed about a 200 square foot perennial ground cover under the bright shady area under my Chinese chestnut tree that kicks out pinkie sized tubers of great quality.....they make lovely French fries!  They are spreading out past that planting bed and into my paths so I really need to dig a bunch of them up!  (Very sorry, but I can only do this for mailing addresses within the United States)

Crosnes article from Mother Earth News.

Times are tough but I just upped my pledge from $1 to $11 thanks to this! Let us know where to send an address please! (edit: $11*...I can't count.)
4 months ago
I posted over a year ago about where to find a partner as a mid-20s lesbian. I just wanted to update and say I'm pretty sure I've found her. We met over the internet through one of my hobbies unrelated to permaculture and became fast friends. She lived in a major city her entire life and knew nothing about the country. I didn't think in a million years she'd want to live the way I do, but when I breached the topic she was open to it. I've since brought her to the middle of nowhere. It's a slow process but she's eager to learn and adapt.

So if you're feeling hopelessly single don't discount city folk. Teach them and they may surprise you. They may also mistake the sound of a cicada for a rattlesnake.  
4 years ago
I came across this thread by chance and wonder how those of you who found compatible partners did so.

I'm a single, mid-20s lesbian actively working towards a homestead. I'm learning to garden and am in the process of building a house alone. All the lesbians I meet are extroverted city girls who would never dream of living the hermit life I love. They're too young and inexperienced in life to find permaculture appealing; I feel like all I can do is wait for them to catch up to me in 30 years when they're thinking about retirement. On the flip side, I've met so many straight people who are very interested in what I'm trying to do...if only!

Embarking on this journey alone has made me dream of having someone else to share it with. I don't need company but it sure would be nice. None of the traditional avenues have worked. Where is she?
5 years ago