Artie Scott

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since Jan 01, 2019
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hugelkultur trees woodworking
Piedmont 7a
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Recent posts by Artie Scott

Thanks for sharing that Catie. More than a little scary. It makes the work that Joseph Lofthouse and others here on Permies do to develop landrace seeds all the more critical.
I like the design!
1 day ago
OK, well, as long as you didn’t have a great day with my Mom, then thanks!
1 day ago
One of my favorites this week - brown-eyed Susan, or Rudbeckia Hirta. I believe some call it Black-eyed Susan as well.
4 days ago
She is gorgeous, Liv!
4 days ago
One metaphor that stuck in my mind from readings was (and I am probably not quoting this completely accurately) the concept that the burrows and tunnels and dens and holes are like the lungs of the earth, and when it rains, they fill up, and the earth exhales, and when the water dries up, the earth inhales.  I like that image. Mollison I believe, or was it Lawton?
5 days ago
Hey TJ, an interesting dilemma.  One approach might be to bite the bullet and build something really small and basic and “to code” to get the occupancy permit, and then get to work on the structure you really want.

This has a couple of advantages. First, it can keep child welfare folk off your back. Second, it improves your prospects for resale should you need an exit strategy. An alternative, non-permitted structure will really be viewed as raw land for most people. Always good to have an exit strategy!  Bad neighbors, illness, disability, family issues - all might require a move someday, and no matter how much heart, soul and money you pour into it, if a purchaser can’t get a loan, no sale.

It might be worth undertaking an education campaign of your local building inspector. Might take time, and might require some compromises, but at the end of the day most code requirements originate from safety concerns. Even if you are willing to live with it, they need to “protect” those that come after you. Not sure what county you are in, but some are more “active” than others in enforcement. I do know someone who built a straw bale house, and one who built without a permit. In your shoes, with kids, I would be pretty reluctant to risk a no-permit build too.

1 week ago
Hey Bryan, good points!  I commute one day per week, and work remotely the rest of the week now (for the last year or so). Is about 2.5 hours away, so usually involves a hotel for the nite at my expense.

It has been a fairly deliberate transition - bought the land 5 years ago, paid it off, built a barn with apartment on top, and that is paid for and liveable, and just last month sold the house in suburbia, so that toehold is now gone.

I just thought it would be easier to know it was time and pull the plug, but my brain is surprisingly resistant. There are still plans that need capital - solar set-up, land clearing, water harvesting, ag buildings - but that will always be the case I suppose.

These all sound like first world problems when I type them out - maybe I have grown too accustomed to throwing money at problems.  Anyway, thought it would be interesting to hear if others wrestled with/are wrestling with the same decision.
1 week ago
Any other straddlers out there?  A foot in the conventional job market and a heart on the farm, but afraid (ok, chickenshit) to let go of the income, benefits and “security” of a traditional job?  I admire all of you who have cut the strings and live a homestead style of life, yet can’t quite bring myself to do it. From a financial perspective, am in a good position to do it - no debts, income streams that keep me above the poverty level without working - but am plagued by “what if’s” - what if the income streams dry up, what if I get sick, what if I need a major repair on something, that sort of thing.

Have reached a peak career wise, with great income, after a lifetime of being a good wage slave. Maybe that is what makes it hard, the golden handcuffs. And I can work remotely most of the time, although that actually makes it harder - stuck inside all day on a computer/phone calls all day instead of out doing stuff I want to do. Literally looking out the window at a truly beautiful place with so much to do.

Part of me says quit being a whiny-baby, you have the best of both worlds, ride that income wave while you can. The other part says yeah, but you are really tired of 50 hours per week doing something you don’t want to do. And life is short - just how many good years do I have left as a mid-50 something?  I could be stricken tomorrow with a disabling illness. And energy levels really do begin to decline!  

Has anyone taken the plunge and regretted it?  Wished you had done it sooner?  Am I just too used to having money in my pocket and doing what I want when I want?  My current situation is probably not something I could duplicate if I jump and then reconsider - that door will be closed. But who knows what else I could do, if my time and energy were my own?  
1 week ago
Thanks J, that looks really interesting!
1 week ago