Patrick Edwards

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since Jul 05, 2020
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forest garden fungi homestead
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Currently located in central OK. Farmstead location is in northern VT.
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Recent posts by Patrick Edwards

Allan Babb wrote:Hello everyone.  I'm recently retired and looking to move out of Southeast Louisiana.  I can pretty much move anywhere, but New England is calling me.  I particularly like Vermont, and have visited several times.  While I've spent most of my life in the New Orleans area, I originally came from the northern part of the UK, so I'm not ignorant of snow.  One of the problems of being able to move anywhere is that I have no reason to move anywhere specific, so I'm having a problem settling on a single location(or 3).  What I'm looking for is a deciduous woodland on at least 10 acres.  I want to set up a woodworking shop for personal use, and I'm leaning towards a managed woodland coppice.  I prefer hand tools, so we're talking green woodworking with some carpentry thrown in.  I'm not all that interested in modern tools, and Vermont's collection of 2nd hand tools is one of the big draws(I suspect most of New England is that way, but hurricane hit gulf coast has slim pickings).  

I'd rather hang out with pagans than christians.  I won't be going to church on sundays, but you might catch me at a fire festival.  I'd rather hang out with liberals than conservatives(though New England conservatives seem to be a better breed than the ones down here...).  I do like a drink every now and again.  I do like a good burger.  A real butcher would be nice(especially one that can make bacon and/or sausages like the UK/Ireland).   A blacksmith that knows how to make tools would be great(I seem to remember a blacksmith by a huge store/mall type thing).  Farmers markets would be nice.  Since I'm up in age, closeness to a hospital from my inevitable first heart attack would be great(or good ambulance service).

I have no problem with owning a home in town for the winter, and relocating to the land once the land has thawed.  But I need to settle on an area first.  So my questions are:

Which areas are permaculture friendly(ie: lax building codes..on the land, I understand building codes in towns are usually for a good reason)?

Which areas to avoid completely?

Thanks in advance!

Hey Allan,

I'm up in the NEK in Orleans County, Vermont. I can't speak to everywhere but I can say that out here, most of your prerequisites are met. There are several local butchers. Probably a blacksmith or two. Lots of farms to trade with. Plenty of permaculture sorta stuff. Some damn fine burgers as well. This is not a particularly liberal part of the state but it's not like down south. I spent many years in Oklahoma and Texas and I grew up in the south mostly. Conservatives up here are usually more libertarian than neoconservative. And even in the more right wing part of the state, it's still a lot more liberal than most of the region you're hailing from. Farmers markets are in most towns/villages on the weekends during the growing season. There are also several farms you can just buy from directly. Or join their CSA. There is a hospital in Newport (I live fairly close to there) but I'm not sure where the next closest one is. I'm uninformed regarding the pagan stuff. I know it exists here though.

Building code restrictions really just have to do with how populated the area is and/or how touristy it is. And how close you are to a main road. Septic stuff is pretty strict but otherwise, in most places near where I am it is very lax.

I will say this - I've spent time in the northern part of the UK and lived in that part of the world for a while. The snow is not really that comparable from what I can tell. More importantly, the cold isn't. I'm not sure how much snow we had in total exactly last winter. I can tell you it was over 15ft. We also hit -28f with a windchill of -53f. It's not like that all winter mind you, but most winters will drop into the -20s at some point. And the days are very short. We are at 45° N and the sun pops up for a minute to say hello in deep winter. Then it's gone again. Winter is dark, long, and very cold. The growing season is quite short as well but it can be prolific.

Be aware that when it is that cold, nothing wants to work. Car doesn't want to start, generators, etc. Have backup systems. And backups for backups. I can tell you from personal experience that losing power in those sort of temps is not a good time.

And this time of year is all winter prep. In fact, much of the year is. Don't just show up in the Fall and expect to be ready for it. Unless you're in an apartment in town or something. And you will definitely need winter tires. Preferably with studs.

Anyway, I hope you find what you're looking for. If you have questions or have already landed up here, feel free to hit me up. Best way to reach me is probably at

Good luck!
6 months ago
Agreed with Mark. That's ruffed grouse poop.
1 year ago
Ayy! What up, Mark? Hope things are well.

Y'all should buy his book. ;)
1 year ago
That is good to know. I have similar Brussel sprout eating habits and a pack of seed. I hadn't figured out a guild for them yet but your plan sounds like a good one.
2 years ago

Patrick Edwards wrote:Okay. I bought the thing but now I can't for the life of me figure out where I download it from. It's probably obvious but I seem to be missing it.

Ignore me. I found it.
3 years ago
Okay. I bought the thing but now I can't for the life of me figure out where I download it from. It's probably obvious but I seem to be missing it.
3 years ago
Good points from everyone. Said database may be better organized by climate/soil type. Like a landrace seed sharing network and one could cross reference, "dry, clay, zone 7" or "silty loam, wet, zone 5", etc. It is correct that going simply by state would not be particularly useful. I am presently in Oklahoma and the quantity of highly varied microclimates here is significant. An hour or two east and I am in the forest and foothills of the Ozarks. An hour or two west and there are sand dunes. Still, I think the folks here could pull it off. Here we have the compulsive seed savers and as was mentioned above, after about three seasons one has the beginning of a serious landrace variety. Maybe I will make a separate thread for this. I think it could be super cool to have a network of folks sharing/selling/trading landrace varieties.
3 years ago
I'll be honest. Definitely didn't read through the whole thread but I just wanted to express my agreement about landrace seeds. Particularly if we want to have plants that can adapt to our changing environment(s). They are hard as hell to find though if you are wanting to get your garden started as such. Obviously, landrace seeds need to be locally cultivated. I was thinking that maybe we could get a database going or something that can show who is cultivating landrace varieties (and selling the seeds) and organize it by region, state, etc. Just a thought.
3 years ago
Our primary goal in creating our forest farm/homestead is to remove money from our lives as much as possible. I do not want to take part in exploitative and amoral economic systems any more than I have to. Additionally, I just don't feel like human beings are meant to live this way. We are animals. We are nature. We should be living in harmony with it. Not in juxtaposition to it. The "rat race" leaves me horribly depressed and empty. I have no interest in it. Granted, the systems that be will not disappear any time soon. So that leaves working within it. Sort of. But food, water, and energy security can go a long way toward freeing a person. Allowing them to be human again. Not just another serf for our modern day feudalism. Let's not be fooled, it is still feudalism. We just changed the names and added steps.

We have some plans to make a bit of money. Enough to pay the tax man and buy some things we can't make ourselves or trade for. Ultimately though, we are trying to put ourselves in a position to grow, raise, or barter/trade for as much as possible. It has been a dream for a long time and we finally have the land to do it. Projects start this year.

So if anyone is interested in some "networking" for this sort of thing, hit me up. I'm in Oklahoma at the moment but our farm is (will be) up in northern VT, near Newport.

Summed up - Who gives a damn about the Joneses?

3 years ago