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No Experience No Money


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#1 Luucid

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 12:38 AM

I've been living an urban lifestyle my entire life but I want to get away from the noise of society and live a simpler, quiter life. I have absolutely no experience of living self sustainably and the little knowledge I have of it has been gathered from bits and peices of things I've seen on the net. I also have little money. What I want to do is buy a bit of land and build a small house that has solar power, running water, etc. I was wondering what options I would have to make money while living self sustainably and the price range of setting up this type of living. Any information is appreciated and if anyone can point me in the direction of some good sources that would be nice as well.

#2 Jordan86

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 12:47 AM

If you have no experience or money, then maybe you should consider working on someone elses farm before you go out and buy some land and hope for the best. I imagine it is kind of hard starting from scratch.

#3 usagolden

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 12:52 AM

with little to no money or experience
it probably isn't a good idea to just jump into such a situation
as owning your own self-sustaining farm

i know your desire to do so is very strong
(as is mine, a lot of topians too ;) )
it would be better to start from the bottom up
getting a job on such a place
learning the life inside and out
before you went at it on your own
in order to better your chances of success

g'luck with that dream
it's a good one

#4 Luucid

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 01:03 AM

Sounds like a great idea! I might as well make the money for my goal while also learning things I need to know. I've been feeling lost and that seems like it would be a good starting point. :bow:

I was planning on working for a couple years or so to get the money for this.

Edited by Luucid, 22 April 2011 - 01:24 AM.


#5 usagolden

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 02:11 AM

well time to get to it!!
all kinds of local, organic, self sufficient operations trying to make it happen
find one and hop on board!
and make sure to keep us posted
we really like color photgraphs:space:

#6 TVCasualty

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 08:39 AM

I've been living an urban lifestyle my entire life but I want to get away from the noise of society and live a simpler, quiter life. I have absolutely no experience of living self sustainably and the little knowledge I have of it has been gathered from bits and peices of things I've seen on the net. I also have little money. What I want to do is buy a bit of land and build a small house that has solar power, running water, etc. I was wondering what options I would have to make money while living self sustainably and the price range of setting up this type of living. Any information is appreciated and if anyone can point me in the direction of some good sources that would be nice as well.


If you want to go all the way with it (and why wouldn't you?) then you might want to consider attending a few classes at a wilderness school in New Jersey (of all places, but it's in the Pine Barrens not Newark). Check it out here: www.trackerschool.com

After taking a few and learning some skills, you can sign up to be a Caretaker, which is a year-long commitment where you live by your own hand at the school site in the Pine Barrens and help out with the classes when they're happening. You're also a "caretaker" of that part of the Pine Barrens which is part of a Nature Conservancy land trust, meaning you are taught how to make natural environments stronger and healthier.

By the end of that year you can wander into the bushes anywhere in North America (and most of the rest of the planet too) with nothing at all and live comfortably with ease for as long as you want (this is not an exaggeration). I've been to a bunch of classes at that school and know some former caretakers but didn't go that route myself. I did however put the lessons to work on land my girlfriend at the time bought after her father passed away suddenly, so I lived there for 6 years while we built a straw bale house off the grid and tapped springs for our water supply and composted everything, including our own poop. Incidentally, human waste disposal is a vastly underrated concern in the context of living in the woods since it has to be done right or you could end up gravely ill or dead (and some communes started in the 70's in the U.S. experienced cholera outbreaks from a too-casual attitude about sanitation).

Anyway, the hardest part of my first attempted Escape from Civilization was adjusting my mind to the pace and attitude necessary to function in a completely unfamiliar context. I've written a lot about it in other threads around here somewhere, but the gist was that it was an almost intolerably-intense collision between Theory and Practice and the more steeped in Theory you are (as I was), the harder the Practice will be, at least at first.

It took me a solid 3 full years before my brain adjusted to a rural off-grid lifestyle deep in the Appalachians after having been raised in a Southern California suburban hellscape. It began with us driving as far into the bushes as we could, clearing a space, and pitching a few tents. Building a house while living in tent is not recommended, btw, but it's educational to say the least.

I would not wish the relentless, grinding daily experience of those years on anyone, but the ultimate results do seem to have been worth it since after all the mosquitoes, fire ants, wasps, chiggers, redneck trespassing poachers, bears (they tore up our kitchen made of lashed saplings- twice!), mold (of course the Summer we started was the wettest in 60 years), extreme cold with only minimal indoor heat (we kept the indoor winter temp at around 45 F), and countless other little challenges I put up with, I don't seem to get annoyed by anything in my physical environment anymore.

If you truly want to know what it's like, you can get a concentrated dose in as little as 5 days and from that you'll know if you're ready to go for it or need to work on your head a little more. I should've definitely worked on my head more before I began, but didn't have the luxury of such a choice.

Anyway, if you try a traditional Vision Quest, you'll get a taste. Four days and four nights of sitting within a 10-foot diameter circle with nothing but a blanket and a few gallons of water. That's the gist, but there's a little more to it than that if you want to do it right. If you make it all the way without wigging out and going home, you'll be a different person. Many don't on their first attempt (I only made it three days for my first) but you can do it again a few months later, and each time grounds your mind a little more solidly and brings other intangible benefits.

Freedom is found in the mind anyway, so I strongly recommend starting your work there.
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#7 Beast

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 02:08 PM

WWOOF - World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms

I believe the above link would be a really good start.

If you have a bachelor's degree, you should look into joining the Peace Corps.

Helping other people is a great way to help yourself. Best of luck to you in your quest.

#8 Luucid

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 05:21 AM

If you want to go all the way with it (and why wouldn't you?) then you might want to consider attending a few classes at a wilderness school in New Jersey (of all places, but it's in the Pine Barrens not Newark). Check it out here: www.trackerschool.com


I went to the site and it looks interesting but right now I wouldn't be able to afford the classes. Although, if I get the extra money to take them it sounds like it would be a great experience.

Anyway, if you try a traditional Vision Quest, you'll get a taste. Four days and four nights of sitting within a 10-foot diameter circle with nothing but a blanket and a few gallons of water. That's the gist, but there's a little more to it than that if you want to do it right. If you make it all the way without wigging out and going home, you'll be a different person. Many don't on their first attempt (I only made it three days for my first) but you can do it again a few months later, and each time grounds your mind a little more solidly and brings other intangible benefits.


I like the idea of pushing the body to its limits, it leaves me in a tranquil state of mind. I haven't taken the concept to the extent of a vision quest but I think taking one would be a worthwhile path to take. I am for sure going to look more into this. Thanks for the post, I always love reading them!

#9 Luucid

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 05:22 AM

WWOOF - World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms

I believe the above link would be a really good start.

If you have a bachelor's degree, you should look into joining the Peace Corps.

Helping other people is a great way to help yourself. Best of luck to you in your quest.


I know someone who is doing something very similar to the WWOOF thing, I'm going to talk to them about it before I decide on anything.

#10 Mrs.Hippie3

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 06:53 AM

i moved to the country over 3 years ago now with very little experience. one thing i learned after reading many books and magazines about country life is that it was a waste of my time. you learn as you go and you make many mistakes along the way but thats how you get the experience. in the last 3 years i think i have learned more than i have in my whole life like how to can my own food, build a fence, bottle feed a goat, milk a goat, wrestle a goat, save a goat but kill 4 and that birds are highly over rated. they are noisy, stinky, filthy critters but their eggs are worth it. i have also learned not to overwhelm myself with work which is why i am in the process of selling my critters.


#11 chokdeemax

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 11:29 AM

WWOOF - World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms

I believe the above link would be a really good start.



I searched far and wide for something similar to this years ago...May i ask if you participated in this particular program before Beast? Thank you very much for the link and info.

:cool:

#12 SilvrHairDevil

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 03:24 PM

... Any information is appreciated and if anyone can point me in the direction of some good sources that would be nice as well.


Here ya go:

http://www.cd3wd.com...index.htm<br />
From:

https://mycotopia.ne... /><br /><br />How have things worked out for you so far?

#13 tryptaminer

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 06:12 PM

buddy's girlfriend saved enough for a one way ticket to thailand and is living, eating for free there in exchange for farm work. I'm so envious of her situation.

a little extreme to go to thailand but there's gotta be something of sorts in the USA. hawaii!

#14 PirateFarmer

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 04:21 PM

Check out ATTRA/NCAT = they have a listing of apprentice-needing farms - some give a small stipulation and/or a way to make your own side money, as well as room & board. If you're into working with draft animals, check out the Small Farmer's Journal, or especially Rural Heritage magazine (ruralheritage.com) - who has an extensive listing updated every issue in their mag., of apprenticeship opportunities.
Or, you can do like I did (NOT recommended) --> Get busted...go to prison for 5 years...study every thing on small farm/sustainable living you can get your hands on...join prison fire crew...meet professional trail-builder while on a fire...get out...go work for him for 4 years...quit, borrow some land, buy donkeys & goats, buy basic equipment & go for it, even though everybody says you can't...succeed anyways, because you are determined to live your dream, instead of merely surviving within your nightmares...join Mycotopia to have a community of knowledgeable & friendly people to share the journey with. {Okay, that last part IS actually recommended!}

Bottom line is, there's many, many paths to your destination - some, obviously, better/wiser than others - but the journey won't begin until you start it, and wishing won't make it happen.

Edited by PirateFarmer, 15 February 2012 - 04:25 PM.
correcting spelling errors





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