Gardner McKay

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since May 21, 2015
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Recent posts by Gardner McKay

yes your quest to find decent people to join you is indeed extremely difficult. I watched poor communities in Peru, Ecuador and Colombia be far more successful that communities here...when I worked for Braniff Airways. Back here helped my farmfriend Sandra start an 84 acre commune in Virginia. Over many years a ton of people came and went. Vision? you never really get that far as so many who come have serious issues like drugs, mental illness, criminality, anger and abuse issues, weird beliefs, alcoholism, video game addiction, spending all their meager cash on drugs, booze, cigarettes. I only touched the surface. Our commune had 28,000 hits on a huge forum, dozens came and went, nobody ever committed. Some bragged about being well versed in off grid but usually knew nothing.  If they said they were bringing a dog, they'd bring 6. Not  intentionally trying to be negative, just reality. Sandras farm commune is still there and she is now alone. Struggling. Not thrilled about trying yet another person but needing help and companions still.

Same now with me, I'm starting to look for companions at my home in a beautiful virginia lake town, tiny garden that can feed an army.  But people often are dangerous. Where are the good decent people wanting to band together in these very trying times???

thoughts?     "mike"

I guess I'll never give up but expectations have diminished. Apolitical Backwoods and Appalachian folklore shamanism animals writing mountain culture no hard drugs very light alcohol frown on cigarettes paranormal non-religious spiritual
1 month ago
Just wondering who might be in my region...from Lynchburg south to Danville east to South Richmond all the way to the North Carolina border above Raleigh.....
We have an 84 acre struggling farm that was once a semi-thriving intentional community...had nearly a dozen people there for a couple years but all drifted away over time
trying to rebuild to help out my female farmer friend who owns the place...It's in Halifax County Virginia and has lots of potential but it's too far from a Starbucks for more people.

I'm thinking the Homesteading...Permie...Survivalist...Foodie angles have just not worked.
Something like 95% of all Intentional Communities fail. Most of the entries in the database website are wishful thinking or defunct.
A few shing examples Do exist tho, like Twin Oaks and Earthaven
Twin Oaks is the epitomy of COMMUNE
whilst Earthaven is quite COSTLY...tho the neatest place I've visited.

Maybe the newest, most IN TREND angle to gain traction in a community is
The Tiny House Movement
I've seen several startups that quickly formed and succeeded
with maybe five or six people gathering together on land and forming a type of co=op if not actual intentional community
Anybody knowing of any good Tiny House Forums to explore this direction, would appreciate the heads up
of course I will do my own Googling too

also maybe a
Boondocking RV camp for retiree drop-outs???
the costs are EXTREMELY LOW...did I say EXTREMELY??
my female farmer friend really needs alittle help with a few animals and SOME help getting the gardens going
she has donkeys and a couple turkeys and rabbits
nice small town is nearly 20 minutes away

would be perfect for either RVers or Tiny House practitioners with alittle of their own income is one such forum site I believe I have that right and posted there in the past
looking for suggestions
looking for local Virginians either trying to do this also or looking for a place to settle
the conditions are NOT comfortable
it's HOT in the summer
COLD in the winter
limited electricity, phone and slow dial-up internet

just wanting to make contact
as things fall apart
making friends becomes more and more important
5 years ago

the link on Craigslist is not working
can you repost??

We've been trying the same thing south of Lynchburg for years
a couple years actually had some success and about 10 people living at our 84 acre farm
but all eventually drifted away
this is really hard
so few people will commit to anything
let alone no air conditioning and woodstove heat and slow dial-up internet!!!
would love to know where you are??
and if you've found any better formula to starting and maintaining community on a farm

My latest opinion, for what it is worth after YEARS of this
is to go for RVers...maybe retired or semi-retired
or the latest craze that has really gained traction
and that is
those 108-280 square foot tiny houses built on 20 foot trailers
circumvents all building codes cuz they are moveable
and I see successful small communities starting up with 5-10 people banding together on a property and making it work
something the intentional community is just not doing with any level of success
harsh assessment but true if you truly look at the database of communities
MOST are wishful thinking
Most are in the idea stage
most have disbanded
its just really hard, like herding cats
have had a few really good people in the past but even they end up drifting off

1/ gold-mining
2/ pregnancy
3/ partner died of alcohol poisoning
and the list goes on

I was involved with another farm that had CLYDESDALES and llamas and maremma dogs and goats
and because of those attractions
we were able to gain more HelpXers and Wwoofers
but this is hard

please tell me any secrets you may have that actually work!!!
and Good luck
we are trying again

5 years ago
Hi Heather-
This is one of the hardest things i ever attempted
For nearly 6 years I have helped my female farmer friend TRY and do just what you are attempting
We actually had it going for about 2 years with an ingenious small cash crop, about 8-10 people living there on the 84 acre broke down farm in Southcentral Virginia
but people come and go
drift away
usually they have personal demons...even the very best of them
we dealt with abuse, wiccan witches, drugs, pregnancies, laziness, video game/cigarette/booze addictions
you name it
have posted all over including intentional community sites, survivalist sites, homesteading, permaculture, forums, Craigslist

please let me know if you find some magic formula that finds people that REALLY can live off-grid
no wifi or no AC or just wood heat
yes it is not for the weak
even in southern rural Virginia
blazing hot in summer
freezing cold in winter
the donkeys and rabbits and poultry always need care
the gardens go unattended
this is difficult
we are starting over YET again

I have recently come to a conclusion that maybe the best way is to try and attract RVers...retirees
or this new TINY HOUSE movement where little groups of 5-10 people in these TINY HOUSES (108-280 say) square feet...on trailers...tho not cheap
well they are banding together it seems successfully in many cases
maybe try and market to this group??
if you're not familiar just look at some YouTube videos and Google TINY HOUSE forums
just my latest thought of SOMETHING that might work
Good Luck
5 years ago

We are a group of wide awake, non-Zombies who are developing a retreat...a the Piedmont of Southcentral Virginia. The property is in place. A fairly large, hidden, secluded farm, heavily wooded...near enough to the nice small town of South Boston VIRGINIA.... A small group is forming. We could use a couple more people who have either serious homesteading skills and/or an income of some kind however small have had too many people arriving on gas fumes and not a penny for any personal or the other please. Beautiful area away from the madding crowd and 3000 feet of elevation. Rustic/Primitive/Off Grid except there is a landline phone and slow dial-up internet and very limited electricity...for Pioneers in the New World Disorder. A Rough and Tumble existence...expect no luxury...not for the weak-willed, weak-minded or weak of body... Family/Couple/Single... Male or Female....Will not tolerate druggies or drama...NO DRAMA MEANS NO DRAMA...this often escapes people's ability to understand...will be vetted so axe-murderers need not apply. Repeat: Must have SOME assets or income and/or some DEMONSTRABLE and USEFUL CRASH STEAD SKILLS like solar power, goat herding, mechanic, carpenter, butcher, welder/blacksmith, gunsmith, earthbag construction,herbalist, cheesemaker, meat rabbitry, poultry experience, hoophouse/greenhouse construction, micro hydropower, GARDENING

This is perfect for a TINY HOUSE Intentional Community or small RVs

...the list goes on. Nice, easy going folks leading this effort but can be tough when needed. Lead family in place. Looking for males/females/couples who Look to the future...we are diligently trying to prepare a Safe Zone...Join Us
5 years ago