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Help Me Save The Farm!


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#41 TVCasualty

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 03:23 PM

Bump!

 

So... how appealing does this farm look now vs. back in December?

 

 

Or even better, how does joining a collaborative effort to make this farm into a sustainable and defensible space that would be really handy to have access to (or already be living in) when shit like global pandemics emerge sound?

 

I'd guess that either option is probably a LOT more appealing now than back when I posted this thread (which feels like a lifetime ago).

 

We live in a new world now, so the sooner we adapt to it, the easier it will be. And that means some lifestyles will be easier to maintain and more resilient than others (e.g., a Manhattan apartment or even a suburban mcmansion vs. a rural farm in a time of pandemic with no clear end in sight).

 

And as soon as (or if) the dust settles from this pandemic, rural properties and especially farms are probably going to become very, very popular (and therefore possibly skyrocketing in price) as many will probably want to leave urban areas as soon as they can afterward.

 

It's appealing to me because it's also a great place to practice the "primitive" hunter-gatherer survival skills we'll all be needing to transition to in coming years as the implosion of industrial civilization progresses towards its existential tipping point.

 

I'm not kidding about any of this. I'm going to make an effort to get some expert-level Tracker students on board as on-site instructors who will also enable the project to generate a decent income by hosting classes for the public as well.

 

I REALLY don't want to see it sold at this point, so help me develop the farm into a launch pad for surviving and thriving in the intense times ahead instead!

 

 

Together we stand...

 

 

 


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#42 Alder Logs

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 03:33 PM

If I survive this cold, I have community here, own nine acres of an adjoined 45, in a mild climate, and no goddamned poisonous snakes here.  We have a heavily armed Baptist preacher and his church compound with multiple cabins a mile down the road, and though he might not know it, he could be our first line of defense.  Praise Jesus!


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#43 TVCasualty

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 04:04 PM

 We have a heavily armed Baptist preacher and his church compound with multiple cabins a mile down the road, and though he might not know it, he could be our first line of defense.  Praise Jesus!

 

That's like every neighbor of the farm except for the Quakers who moved in to the area 2 years ago, lol. They all fancy themselves preachers of some sort and all are well-armed.

 

I almost accidentally formed a militia during one visit when a neighbor dropped by and we had a long conversation about politics and freedom and all that. I had him nodding emphatically in agreement with me (my words being tailored to do so since good neighbor relations are a security concern) and he was ready to start getting folks together to talk about it before I realized where things were headed and walked it back.

 

I found that conversation to be funny, informative, and slightly disturbing at the same time. He's still there and would remember me, so if something comes together I think I can get enough neighbors to join the mushroom militia (I'll ease the mushrooms into it gradually, lol) and be allies instead of potential adversaries.


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#44 Soliver

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 10:24 PM

That's the problem with friends and neighbors, especially during times of duress.

 

I've literally had dozens - dozens of people side-handedly suggest that they want to come to my property "if this gets much worse."

 

I've had to politely laugh it off by suggesting they're welcome to come with the understanding that I'll be eating them before I eat my dog.

 

Everyone has their own way of doing things, and alpha males have an odd way of fucking up an empty room when 'the shit goes down" IME.

 

If I can come out the other side of this mess with a wife and kids, I'll consider it a success.  If friends, family and neighbors were a concern?  No

way, man!  'Cooperatives' don't handle stress very well.  Hell, I'm not sure I handle stress well. 

 

[Direct Link]

 

:)

 

soliver


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#45 TVCasualty

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 01:49 PM

Very good and relevant points.

 

On the other hand, under uniquely challenging and difficult situations people can work together to a degree that wasn't really possible before times got truly rough. The French underground resistance in WWII had people working together to the degree necessary to be a cohesive and significant force, but then few things motivate people quite like the imminent and likely destruction of their nation, culture, and way of life (and the constant threat of summary execution).

 

I've visited a few intentional communities aka "hippie communes," and they began with the goal of coming up with new ways of living. But the ones that endured for more than a decade (which were the ones I visited) had all pretty much reinvented business as usual and largely resembled miniature versions of regular society except with a lot more passive-aggressive bickering at council meetings vs. the aggressive-aggressive bickering among mainstream city councils or County Commissions. One such community (at least) experienced repeated cholera outbreaks in the 1970's because of either a general ignorance of basic hygiene or a belief that it was oppressive or something. So naive idealism is clearly not the right motivation to come together around since shit happens, literally, and needs to be dealt with properly.

 

 

They didn't come together to help each other endure a global catastrophe, so observations of such communities' social and political dynamics are probably not very relevant to a SHTF context and frankly I couldn't put up with living in the ones I've been to. No way in hell, actually.

 

 

The main challenge with all this is that people will probably be able to live a lot more cooperatively once cooperation becomes a matter of life-or-death, but bringing people together before that happens risks driving them all apart with the usual acrimonious bickering and petty power politics that occur in most groups of people no matter what the context. On the other hand (or is it the third hand?), not bringing people together before shit hits the fan pretty much precludes any chance of doing so once the shit's flying everywhere. And being alone is fatal if put under siege (surrounded).

 

So what I'm envisioning (and it's a work in progress) is more like a home base and training location for a like-minded group of survivalists who take the low-tech, primitive skills approach rather than the stockpiled ammo, fortified bunker approach. So most involved wouldn't live there most of the time, though all would be encouraged to purchase adjoining properties to expand it and efforts would be made to get the local neighbors on board. Those involved would show up for practicing survival skills and learning new ones and then go back to their regularly-scheduled lives (assuming the pandemic ends and we'll be able to do that at some point). If shit hits the fan for real then we'd at least have a place to meet and face whatever comes as a (skilled!) group instead of alone (though both have pros and cons). 

 

 

 

I have a friend who lives in the deep South who has the most common last name in the County where she lives, and to get to her house you have to drive past (and through) the properties of dozens of her blood relatives who've all been living in the area for generations. She's a sitting Probate Judge, and some of her other kin are also elected officials, police officers or Sheriff deputies, and so on. They run the place, in other words. If you have the right name when you get arrested in that County it goes fairly well. If not, it doesn't. Is that fair or just? Fuck no, but then fairness and justice don't really have anything to do with what actually happens.

 

Fully half of that County is basically a huge but very low-profile compound (i.e., no fences between all their adjoining properties, no formal organization or hierarchy but none ever sell their land to non-family). It's composed of one very large extended family and if they wanted they could stop all travel through the County in a matter of minutes. To an outsider it looks like anyplace else where everyone lives on their own mostly-rural properties in their own houses (which is the case), so they are not living in anything resembling a commune or intentional community though their interests are closely aligned because they all see the great benefit to being part of a family that is capable of running the place whether society is functioning or not.

 

I know of several other identical arrangements in North Georgia and Mississippi (I have a weird knack for getting people to tell me things they don't normally talk about), and I was even given a name to drop and a password to use to not get shot on sight if I rolled up to one after a SHTF scenario and the guard didn't recognize me (they prep and plan and practice for various SHTF scenarios but are not the kind of meatheaded reactionary and racist "militia" type groups and in fact one was created to counter the potential threat from such groups). And I was assured that if I went to the area I would definitely be confronted by armed guards popping out of nowhere, so I'd better not forget that password!

 

 

We might have to suck it up and learn how to compromise with and tolerate each other better than we generally do lest we some day face the unimaginable all by ourselves.

 

I might not be able to figure out any viable answers but I'm not going to go down without trying, and if it's all doomed either way then I'd still much rather experience a failure in execution rather than one of imagination.


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#46 TVCasualty

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 07:08 AM

So here we are a little over nine months after I originally posted this, and it's safe to say that the world is considerably different now than it was then. Even the previous post was made way back in April, when it was still fairly easy to pretend that things would go back to what passed for normal before the pandemic.

 

I imagine a rural farm where social distancing in a pandemic is easier and where it still rains reliably, fresh water is abundant, and wildfires are rare is sounding better and better.


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#47 xlcor

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 11:33 AM

I'm absolutely willing to volunteer as a live-in caretaker. As for the idea of an educational foundation/festival location, I believe these are both things I can help facilitate. I'll ask around some of my mates to see if anyone else is interested.


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#48 PirateFarmer

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Posted 13 September 2020 - 02:11 PM

What's the current status of this? I currently caretake 10.5 acres of mountainside. I grow organically, using draft animals, instead of a tractor. Specifically, donkeys. I have a diversified farm: meat rabbits, goats, pasture pigs, chickens, ducks. I live in Idaho, near Hell's Canyon...way too hot (currently 96°). I'd be interested in moving back East, if I find what fits me.
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#49 DarkPassenger

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 05:02 AM

Interesting situation TV... Any burgeoning entrepreneurs here on Mycotopia that want to collectively invest and turn it into a (mostly) legal mushroom farm?

DP
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#50 TVCasualty

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 12:28 PM

I'm absolutely willing to volunteer as a live-in caretaker. As for the idea of an educational foundation/festival location, I believe these are both things I can help facilitate. I'll ask around some of my mates to see if anyone else is interested.

 

Well that's good news. PM sent.

 

 

 

What's the current status of this? I currently caretake 10.5 acres of mountainside. I grow organically, using draft animals, instead of a tractor. Specifically, donkeys. I have a diversified farm: meat rabbits, goats, pasture pigs, chickens, ducks. I live in Idaho, near Hell's Canyon...way too hot (currently 96°). I'd be interested in moving back East, if I find what fits me.

 

Still there, still vacant, still looking for a caretaker. The owner is currently in Idaho, ironically (somewhere in or around Driggs, I think).

 

I have a friend who went old-school and became a sustainable logger who uses draft horses and sustainable practices and apparently there are enough land owners who want to selectively harvest some timber without trashing the whole place to keep him busy. I could get him to work on the farm if that ever came up since there are stands of large hardwoods that could benefit from selective thinning. It's a real trip to stumble on a guy pulling logs out of a forest with horses (he's almost as strong as one himself; his nickname is Big Country, lol). It can get that hot in TN, and is usually more humid, but there's also plenty of rain and surface water and it doesn't get nearly as cold as N. Idaho in Winter, obviously.

 

 

Interesting situation TV... Any burgeoning entrepreneurs here on Mycotopia that want to collectively invest and turn it into a (mostly) legal mushroom farm?

DP

 

I hope so! And it can sustain a lot more than a mushroom farm.

 

I'm bringing the land and considerable knowledge and experience in such endeavors to the table. It would be nice to attract some capital investment, and someone (or a few people) with the needed organizational and administrative skills to set up and manage whatever legal entities are formed to support whatever vision everyone involved collectively decides to make happen (whether for-profit or non-profit, or a bit of both like maybe a Benefit Corp).

 

I've always focused on the tangible/fun side of such things, like alternative construction methods (or conventional if necessary), alternative energy (solar and hydro), sustainable forestry management, permaculture, "primitive" skills, neighbor relations, security, etc.. When I've worked on similar projects in the past (and when I hit the woods and lived in a tent) I always considered legal concerns, zoning, and building permits (and inspectors) and so on as things to avoid at all costs, since they all bring costs and scrutiny I'd rather avoid. But if this becomes a large group effort then the security-through-obscurity approach won't work for avoiding those issues since they can and will bite us on the ass later when the Building Inspector or Fire Marshall shows up and makes us tear down anything built without a permit or whatever.

 

One additional advantage is that the owner's cousin still works at City Hall. Every little bit helps.


Edited by TVCasualty, 15 September 2020 - 12:29 PM.


#51 PirateFarmer

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 02:37 PM

I'm in the Banana Belt, where it gets down to zero only a few nights a year, but stays triple-digit hot from mud-June until about now, most years. I snig firewood logs with me donkeys, it's actually kinda fun. But it's not just entertainment: I put out 40-60 cords per year, for sale. I follow the "Worst first" idea on wood harvesting. Most modern logging goes in and takes out the best first, aiming for the big check. Worst first actually aims at IMPROVING the timber stand, by leaving the best to seed, eventually obtaining an overall improvement in forest health and diversity.
I am interested, but it would have to be better settled as to form. It sounds like it's all still up in the air. I've seen a lot of communes and/or planned communities fail for varied reasons.
In my opinion, it is quite possible to have a planned system where there is a good profit made, thus ensuring sustainability, with a small core of permanent residents, and a revolving flow of people coming and going, as well. Even a "B.O.D " But the vision, the basic plan, must be totally set out in advance.
For instance: autonomy. If I was to move across country, I would need to know that setting up a system for on-farm harvesting and processing of the meat animals would be acceptable, even if a majority of the Directors someday decided change to focus on vegan. Just a "for instance".
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#52 TVCasualty

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 11:41 AM

I'm in the Banana Belt, where it gets down to zero only a few nights a year, but stays triple-digit hot from mud-June until about now, most years. I snig firewood logs with me donkeys, it's actually kinda fun. But it's not just entertainment: I put out 40-60 cords per year, for sale. I follow the "Worst first" idea on wood harvesting. Most modern logging goes in and takes out the best first, aiming for the big check. Worst first actually aims at IMPROVING the timber stand, by leaving the best to seed, eventually obtaining an overall improvement in forest health and diversity.

 

There's quite a bit of mature hardwood forest on the property, but probably not so much that it could profitably support sustainable forestry-improvement practices, and clear-cutting any stands or just "harvesting" the big trees for cash is not an option so no worries there (I never liked that word in this context since a mature tree is an entire ecosystem unto itself; they're not "harvested," they're "destroyed").


 


I am interested, but it would have to be better settled as to form. It sounds like it's all still up in the air. I've seen a lot of communes and/or planned communities fail for varied reasons.
In my opinion, it is quite possible to have a planned system where there is a good profit made, thus ensuring sustainability, with a small core of permanent residents, and a revolving flow of people coming and going, as well. Even a "B.O.D " But the vision, the basic plan, must be totally set out in advance.
For instance: autonomy. If I was to move across country, I would need to know that setting up a system for on-farm harvesting and processing of the meat animals would be acceptable, even if a majority of the Directors someday decided change to focus on vegan. Just a "for instance".

 

 

It doesn't have to be open to the public, or even to anyone else at all. The "small core" of residents can be as small as one or two, depending. If you got a plan that generates sufficient revenue to maintain the place and provide a modest living for whomever is involved then to hell with any communal whatever, lol.

 

There currently is no plan at all, but when one is made then it will be executed properly like any venture intended to live off of should be.

 

So there will be formal agreements in place and all the rest to ensure there will be no concerns about arbitrary changes imposed after commitments have been made and any actual work begun. If the owner agrees to allowing livestock for meat production then she won't suddenly go vegan on you and even if she did she couldn't impose it on you until whatever formal contract you entered into expires. That said, she's probably not going to be amenable to livestock since the first thing she did when she was given control over it was to evict the cattle the neighbors were grazing on it as soon as their leases expired. But that was cattle; other, less environmentally (and aesthetically) problematic animals can be considered on a case by case basis.


Edited by TVCasualty, 20 September 2020 - 11:41 AM.


#53 PirateFarmer

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 08:59 AM

Interesting, about your being a float guide: for the last 7-8 summers, I've taken a temporary ( I get fired at least twice a year, until she needs someone to drive an ugly beast of a rig at the last moment and shows up at me door at 3 am) shuttling rigs for people floating the Salmon & Snake rivers. *For those who don't know, THAT'S how your rig is there at the end of your river run*.

About the land: to be feasible for a profitable market garden/ "truck farm', it really needs to be located within an hour's drive of a population center of 30k+ people. How far out is this land? I already currently farm using me donkeys, and farm tours bring in good revenues, which the donkeys are an excellent draw.

#54 TVCasualty

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 10:29 AM

It's about 30 minutes from Cookeville, TN which in 2010 had a population of 34K and is where Tennessee Tech is located. It's also about an hour and 40 minutes from the center of Nashville, and a few miles from Monroe, TN which has no population to speak of but you can use it as a close-enough landmark to gauge distances to nearby cities from.

 

And running shuttle out West is a lot different than in the East (for the most part). Out West a shuttle is often more like a real road trip and can be a serious logistical challenge. But where I worked I'd guide the same 5-mile stretch of river between 3 and 5 times on the busiest days since the trip back to the put-in was a 5 mile drive right along the river. It really was like Disneyland for whitewater. Sometimes it seemed like you could just run down the river jumping from raft to raft and never hit the water. Those were the days that paid the bills, but were most like having a regular job you were glad was done for the day. The owner of the farm worked there as a guide, too (which is where I first met her back when she was an alternate for the U.S. Women's Kayak team a couple of Olympics ago).

 

But then there was the after-hours scene...

headbang
 
Anyway, it looks like she'll be in the area starting later next month and will probably be there until right around Thanksgiving.
 
I'd guess that interest in "back to the land" type workshops and classes would be very popular now (exponentially more so than they would have been last year). So would classes about how to build things and fix stuff. Anything tangible and hand's-on, basically. A friend who started a teaching farm with her husband in rural Romania about 8 years ago has sold out every workshop they've ever offered since they began, with most of their students coming from major cities in Western Europe where there is a growing desire to reconnect with nature and agriculture ("Nature Deficit Syndrome" is a global problem).

Edited by TVCasualty, 27 September 2020 - 10:32 AM.

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#55 Arathu

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 06:54 PM

Holy fuck is that place beautiful....I had visions looking at the pictures......wow!

 

If I were rich I would buy it and turn it into exactly what you've done there......the spirit of that place is strong....

 

Put a server farm on that and hide the high speed hi tech shit in a nice building.....generate advertising revenue....

 

Shit HOST Topia.......

 

A true place to sink roots deep into that ground.......

 

A


Edited by Arathu, 29 September 2020 - 06:59 PM.

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#56 TVCasualty

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Posted 14 October 2021 - 03:46 PM

Just got back a few days ago. Still lookin' good:

 

farm2021copy.jpeg

 

 

A plan seems to be coming together to make it profitable and therefore keep it from being sold. I found a standing dead ash tree that can easily produce 3 or 4 slabs that are each 2" thick x 2.5-3 feet wide x 12 feet long. The would bring in ~10K each at retail, so that one tree alone might fund "phase 2," which would be awesome.

 

 


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#57 FLASHINGROOSTER

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 01:10 PM

Let me know if there are any opening for town fool?

 

I have a extensive resume and many references if one would like to hear and see such things

 

Wish I had something constructive to add T.V. best I can do is a thread bump


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#58 bezevo

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 06:12 PM

I am usless  .......unless you need a top notch ass kissing YES  Man ,

 

YOU ARE ABSOLUTLY RIGHT !

 

See ha ha

 

Bezz


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#59 Juthro

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 08:22 PM

Dont sell yourself short, Bez....   Every farm needs a pit master :)...    :wub:

 

It looks like an absolutely wonderful place, and it makes me almost wish I didn't live in a different world, but......   I'm just too old to bet on a different horse now, and in reality I just don't think I could handle a move back to 'merica....  :meditate:


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#60 rockyfungus

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Posted 16 October 2021 - 08:40 AM

I still think weddings for all those city slickers that pretend to be country. Spiritual retreats and events. 

Commune would be amazing really difficult but they've worked in Israel for years. Just need the right group of people with varied skills and the same goals. Then elect me supreme ruler and I'll make sure we're all taken care of. 


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