Mari Henry

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since Mar 02, 2021
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Northern Midwest, USA
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Recent posts by Mari Henry

I am wondering the same and struggle with finding clothing that fits and wears well. I am going down the rabbit hole of making things myself because I just can't find anything I like. Working on drafting a pattern for just a basic t-shirt now.
8 months ago
Hi there. I know this is an old thread, but wanted to check in. Im in Wisconsin in a small town and my little yard is covered with garden lol. Anyone else on this site from our fine state?
8 months ago
I am not sure what your situation is, but I can relate to your dream. My hubby and I have been searching for a long time. At this point, our needs have changed and we won't start with raw land anymore etc. I have a few ideas for you though; find a smaller town somewhere where there are a few distressed homes for sale or foreclosure.By smaller town, I am talking 15-20k people in it, or smaller. If you are handy, you can live in one while fixing it up. Make sure there is a larger type property that goes with it. Some small towns have larger yards for gardens and chickens. If you are in a smaller town, you may find employment to make ends meet. When you fix the place up and improve the property, you could rent it out, or sell it, purchase your dream property nearby and put a mobile home on it to start with. This you could live in while building your home and improving the land. I suggest a mobile home, because most rural type places will allow this as a home. Good luck to you.

Robert Tiller wrote:I don't know if this is the best place to put this but I just need ideas to help me escape this bind before it is too late. I need a few acres of land that could be built on legally in the future as my finances develop.

I'm 23 and live on my own, I moved out of a bad family situation at the age of 18, was homeless but for now rent a room. I've saved around 10,000 dollars, I have no debt but don't really have credit either. I occasionally see chunks of land float around within the price range but there's always something critically wrong with it such as it being wetlands, landlocked, illegal to build on, contaminated or various other nightmarish things I could never fix in my financial situation. I understand that anything I could afford is guaranteed to be very low quality, almost completely non arable desert, that would bring very limited payout in terms of homesteading (For something like that at least a greenhouse is an option) but I will take whatever I can realistically get. I have watched all those land websites (landwatch zillow etc) and it has been very fruitless. I tried calling logging and mining companies to see if they ever sell off land after they strip it and all told me no or give per acre prices (and minimum quantities to buy) so high it is impossible.

I don't know how long I'll be able to maintain my current rent situation, I rent a room and part of a greenhouse on a farm but the relationship with me and the home owners are extremely strained. And I'm starting to suffer serious burnout and fatigue from the stress and working too many hours, I really don't know how long I can take it.

1 year ago
Thanks. No room for either in this place lol. Just curious about the freezing part. Putting a tank in this basement is a good idea though. But like you said, it would be hard to get it in there.

R Scott wrote:I thought you wanted it in your basement. If you want a new cistern in your yard, yeah that is easy and it shouldn’t freeze if it’s deep enough. Concrete or plastic.

1 year ago
Thanks for the encouragement :) I do have skills and know how to use power tools etc. I have done some small projects around the house but we don't have any room for things like a greenhouse or tool shed, which would be amazing lol. I wish I lived in a community, or knew people that would band together to help each other like you mentioned. Due to forces beyond my control, that just isn't happening here.  I think finding a property that has a house on it would be best for us, if we can find one that fits our needs. Small projects like shelves, etc I could handle.

John C Daley wrote:Dont put yourself down, you may be able to achieve a lot with encouragement.
I am 72 and still build, but I have a lifetime of experience and that is very helpful.
Renovation and building is time consuming and needs constant money inflows.

I am still building my small house after 38 years, so expect not to finish.
Do you have any skills that would help?
bartering and swapping for labour is hard, but in the 1950's in Australia there were home building clubs.
Where people helped each other build, they often were in the same street and it worked well.

1 year ago
I love your ideas!!!

Toko Aakster wrote:"Nothing is too outlandish"  (hehehehehehe)

1. Rent a bulldozer. Form giant earthwork mound snake that might be visible from space. On your earthworks snake, seed wildflowers of specific colors in stripes, so when they bloom, your snake will become a corn snake. Make its mouth open and dug a pond there, so it's swallowing the water. If you build the snake cutting across a slope, it will double as a swale to capture rain run-off for the local water table =)

2. Seed the whole plot with hundreds of fruit and nut trees, perennial edibles, etc. Neglect the whole plot for a couple years. What will survive, will survive. Once the sapling trees wouldn't get mulched by grazing animals, let local farmers rent it to graze on to trim the grasses/plants down in cycles.

3.  Fence off the whole area and farm an unusual animal that needs a lot of space, like deer or emu.

4. Contact your local permaculture/native plant enthusiast clubs and let them know that, if they give you a plan of action and can check in regularly to show that they're abiding by it, they can turn

5. Sell the plot to the federal government to turn into a conservation area or public hiking trail.

6. Build an enormous half-underground greenhouse & grow tropical fruits. Sell fresh oranges & lemons.  

7. Dig an enormous pond. Like, fantastically and ridiculously huge. Basically a small lake. Put an earthwork path leading to a lone, elevated mound right in the middle of the big pond.

7.a.Plant 1 big tree there. Congrats, in 10 years photographers will FLOCK to take pictures of your tree in the lake.

7.b. Build a small castle right in the middle of that lake. Tell your local LARPers that they're free to try to lay seige to, or defend the castle from invaders.

7.c. Build some sort of network of docks around the central earth platform, plant a shitload of reeds & water plants, and let people kayak around, either just to enjoy nature or for combative water sports.

8. Build a vast network of raised bat apartments on stilts. Become the singular host to millions of bats. Plant huge numbers of night-blooming flowers. With a cleared area and a safe platform to have a bonfire, you can promote the area to pagans/witches as a place to do full moon ceremonies.

9. Connect the trees with a series of tree-houses. Arboreal camping.

10. A barn structure with electricity, and some gardens, a gazebo and small pond, flowering hedges - Barn-themed weddings are extremely popular.

11. Make some hills and ramps and a trail that winds around the property and promote it to dirt bikers. There's not many areas for people who like dirt bike sports, which doesn't interfere with hiking.

12. Rent the area to some local beekeepers.

13. Reach out to the local universities to let them know your property is available for any ecological studies or experiments they want to do.

14. Pick an endangered species that lives in areas /similar/ to yours. Optimize the land into supporting THAT species. Get a small population going and get your property recognized as a habitat for (x species) & protected.  - Bonus: it means big factories & junk will have a harder time moving in, because they'd have to prove their operations would not interfere with x endangered species.  

15. Make an enormous hedge maze. Like, an acres-wide hedge maze. Put Versailles to shame. Bonus points for minotaur statues & an enormous fountain/pond, gazebo & flower garden in the middle.

16. Plant trees in a pattern that will make a picture, or spell a word that's visible to people flying overhead in planes.

17. Set up an archery range.

18. Start building the walls & outbuildings for something like a renaissance faire.

19. Reach out to nearby fiber people - look for 'wool and fiber festivals' - let them know that they can rent a parcel of land to grow plants for making natural dyes. (A big problem encountered by many natural dye enthusiasts is that you need a LOT of a single plant, and many don't live on huge parcels of land)

20. Pick a couple plants that are 'endangered' or 'threatened' in states near you. Dedicate the area to growing as much of those as possible, so you can harvest the seeds, travel to their 'threatened' area, and aggressively re-seed.

1 year ago
I have always admired those also. How does one build them? Are they just rows of plantings or stuff planed on top of a mound of dirt and stone??
1 year ago
Hi. I wasn't planning on putting a cistern next to my house. I wanted to show the pics to show that people in the past did collect rain water this way. I am wondering if it is possible to dig a pit for rain catchment in my climate without it being frozen. Not sure how those totes you mentioned would work underground. thanks.
1 year ago
Hi there. I wanted to ask a question/have a discussion about water storage in a cold climate. I am located in the northern midwest USA. It freezes here. I can collect and store rainwater in plastic tanks in warmer months, but not in fall winter when it cools off. However, I live in a home built in the 1930s that had a cistern built in the basement. So this tells me that people in the past had stored rainwater. My question is, is it possible to dig down and build a cistern here to store rainwater year round?? I have enclosed photos of the cistern. Someone in the past had opened up the area to build a store room/workroom in that space. We use it as a small workshop. The walls are about 2 feet thick. The other picture is of the other side where the spout is.
1 year ago