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Homesteaders: what do you have to say to folks who cannot buy land?


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#1 Cybilopsin

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 11:43 PM

For those of you in the homesteading movement (forgive me for generalizing for the sake of asking an open-ended question) - I'm soliciting your thoughts and ideas that you care to express regarding the sizable number of people out there who, for various reasons, cannot buy land and do not expect to be buying land in the foreseeable future.

 

I'm not necessarily looking for advice on how to become able to buy land. Such advice would be welcome, but what I'm more interested is your thoughts and opinions, as a (actual or potential) homesteader, on the general topic of people who cannot buy land and are not going to be buying land.

 

Thoughts that are expressed directly towards such people, or thoughts that are addressed simply in response to this thread about the topic, either are fine.

 

Disclosure: I do not own land and I do not see myself owning land for a long, long time, if ever. In my arrogance I imagine that I probably could achieve it if I set out with that as a top priority, but it would get in the way of other achievements that I want more. That said, I have a certificate in permaculture design and I know a little about strawble houses and rocket mass heaters and forest gardens and solar cookers... so I get it. And I also feel very deeply concerned about the impact that my own conditions of life have on the rest of the world.

 

Thanks for reading! :biggrin:

 

Edit: Just wanted to add that I fully intend this thread as a respectful and open exchange! I hope people of many different lifestyles, including others who do not/cannot own land, will pipe in. I hope the title doesn't turn people away because looking back I can see how the title might superficially appear to be a kind of challenge. But I not looking for fights. I do not know a lot of people who own land, and I know no one closely who is anything close to a true homesteader or permaculturalist. So I'm sincerely curious.


Edited by Cybilopsin, 31 December 2015 - 12:06 AM.

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#2 Juthro

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 01:07 AM

I'm really not sure what your asking Cybil. But I'll give a shot at giving you some info.

My wife and I lived in a 32' travel trailer for several years, saving every thing we could to get the down payment on the little piece of land that we don't own, and wont for another 30 years. But I think it was the best move we ever made in our lives, and I am thankful for it every day I wake up in our humble home. But it took many years worth of sacrifice, and hard work to get here. And I don't think we could have done it if we hadn't made it a top priority in our lives.

But at least now, our mortgage payment (AKA rent) is not just going to someone else, it is adding up as capitol in our portfolio. We hav to pay either way, but you get nothing back on rent.

Like I said, I am really not sure what your asking, so if I didn't take the right course in answering your question, I apologize. But if you clarify some more, maybe I can tell you what your looking for.
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#3 Cybilopsin

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 01:30 AM

Like I said, I am really not sure what your asking, so if I didn't take the right course in answering your question, I apologize. But if you clarify some more, maybe I can tell you what your looking for.

 

I enjoyed your response very much Juthro. It fits right in with what I was awkwardly attempting to ask, especially the part where you said that paying the down-payment on "your" land was the best decision you've made.

 

It was a very open-ended question. I just realized I should add something.

 

Not only do I not own land, I don't even rent land. I live in an apartment. I probably will live in apartments for decades to come (with some possible exceptions that don't change the basic disconnection between my life and any kind of homesteading). In other words:

 

I, and many many people out there, will never in the foreseeable future live in a situation where they can have a garden, grow their own food, have space to store large machines, etc - in a word, they will not have anything like a homesteading life as a possibility. They will continue to live in urban or urban-sprawl areas, in apartments or shitty houses with no land that they do not own and cannot substantially alter, etc.

 

The backdrop for my question, in case its not clear, is the obvious connection between the homesteading movement, "sustainability" (in its various usages), and people's desire to stop participating in lifestyles that aren't satisfying (the rat race), contribute to the destruction of the earth (consumerism), errode our ability to control our own lives (the political crisis, alienation). Though I'm aware there are other good reasons people choose / end up homesteading .

 

I can't tell if that is clearer or muddier...


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#4 Myc

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 09:11 AM

I think I may get what you're driving at Cybilopsin.

 

It's a strange and sticky question. 

Land ownership is an illusion. Stop paying taxes on the land you "own" someday and see what happens.

I have often - very often - felt blessed that I am in line to inherit real farm-land. The kind that's already broken out for agriculture. On that land, we have historically, as a family, raised a 30 acre garden and up to 50 head of cattle - in addition to farming a cash crop. On the homestead (where the house sits) my great-grandfather was well-known for his hogs and sheep - all the "ag" students would buy their "show" animals from him. It took two families (approximately 10 souls) to run this type of outfit and could sustain both families with surplus to sell/trade.

 

With my grandfather's passing, the homestead and surrounding land has been leased. We, the family, left the farm to chase the trinkets, baubles, and the enticements of "capitalism". 

In the event of some social upheaval - where food and energy become destabilized - we're fucked anyway. The folks who've leased the land aren't just going to step aside because the "owners" need the space. And who, in a collapsed world, is going to act as "law enforcement" on behalf of "owners" who want to re-posses their "property"?? -- Long story short, the idea of "ownership" will be revealed for what it really is at that time. Just like economy, religion, politics or any other imagined construct, once the mass illusion evaporates, we're left standing next to each other.

 

I tend to maintain an ongoing strategy of know thyself - then know thy neighbors

Shake hands at the mailbox. Treat life as we treat this forum - always looking for a way to help. Share cookies and goodies around the Holidays. Help change a tire or offer a jump-start when it's appropriate. Offer to "haul-away" all of their mulched leaf litter (and dump it on your flower-beds). There are so many easy ways to endear oneself to one's neighborhood.

When the shit hits the fan, the only thing that counts is who you are and where you stand.

If you want to prosper in the form of an easier life, you're going to need help. (i.e. big family or good neighbors). 

 

I wish we could have a successful community somewhere that didn't turn out to be a Jonestown. (Warren Jeffs, David Koresh, Jim Jones, ad nauseam)

It would tickle me to no end to live within a functional, successful "hippie" community. Fuck a bunch of "ownership".


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#5 Alder Logs

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 11:07 AM

I was able to get nine acres of logged over and non-replanted ground in 1972 in a cash deal.  It was then a ten to fifteen year growth of alder trees.  The first thing that happened was the law was changed so that no piece under 40 acres could be assessed anymore as timberland, and my first reassessment increased over 900%.  The taxes have continued to rise with assessments with every rich person showing up and willing to pay more for the few parcels of rural land that hit the market.  The timber companies make these few and far between.

 

When I got here, there was no building code enforcement.  That's gone, thanks in part to the same rich ex-urbanites wanting to exert their influence over how this county (without a stoplight) should be governed.   While I am at the end of a seven mile dead end with clearcuts happening all around me, the last election cycle opened the way for neighbors to bust their neighbors for unlicensed vehicles parked on their own land. 

 

State Fisheries has declared a tiny creek on my land to be a class A salmon creek (though one can step over it at any time of year and no salmon has ever been seen in it) making my dreamed of home site off limits to me building there. Meanwhile, the timber company has sprayed glyphosate, and other 'cides, straight into the headwaters of this creek with impunity. 

 

As for permaculture, I see it as one of the few hopes for this planet's future livability.  Here, it is impossible without each permaculture island having an elk fence. 

 

What we had here as a hippie community is down to two of us.  My 73 YO neighbor lady is more like a suburbanite.  The "hippies" have died off or decided on other values and left the farm.  I learned quickly, 43 years ago, that my subsistence farm was to be a labor intensive hobby and I would need other income to support my habit.  Some folks here know that I have tried to get various cooperative, worker owned, endeavors going on my land, as I used this site for outreach.  But everyone has their own ideas and dreams invested elsewhere in most cases. 

 

Good luck to us.


Edited by Alder Logs, 31 December 2015 - 11:22 AM.

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#6 CatsAndBats

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 11:19 AM

I'm not being funny or a smartass (first time I think), someone has to work on these plots that 'progressive' peeps are purchasing:

 

 

http://www.cbsnews.c...xt-to-the-farm/


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#7 Heirloom

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 01:56 PM

ownership is an illusion. a few years back in my county the sheriffs office had to double tax sales to two times a week ,on average 60 properties a week sold for back taxes. I think this was due to giving the very wealthy tax abatements for 10 years and shifting the tax to the common man/woman.

 government as far as I understand is a mafia with the local law enforcement  as the muscle, even when you pay they tell you what you can do on your own property, or else the enforcers come in..

I think the powers that be want people in cities not out there free on their own. there is no opting out of society. I told a lawyer once I did not want to be part of this society and they where aghast . they did their best to work against me and see to it I got societal re education.

edit: born in the usa , the usa thinks they own you, as other countries own people born there. we can't go out on a ship and be free of government pirates or to the south pole and just live a free life. given the way things are going the south pole might be the new frontier.


Edited by Heirloom Spores, 31 December 2015 - 02:28 PM.

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#8 happy4nic8r

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 03:08 PM

Purchasing raw land is easy, if you have the money. You can't borrow money on undeveloped acreage, at least not in a normal bank.

 

I have lived on two of these attempts, land with no power, no water, no septic, and they weren't really easy first steps, even with the land being owned, and pretty cheap.

 

they want you to have approved building plans before they will let you have electricity, and you need that to pump your water.

 

If you didn't want services you would still have to have generators, water rights of some kind, and a whole lot of other rules and regs, pretty much anywhere you are going to live.

 

If you fly over the US you see there is a LOT of land that is unused. There are reasons people live in cities.


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#9 Il19z8rn4li1

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 03:16 PM

I say...

 

look up Joel Salatin.

 

Edit=

I dont understand your concern or interest in the topic if you so steadily refuse the claim of ever

owning land at all... ?   Im confused with your tactics :P


Edited by Il19z8rn4li1, 31 December 2015 - 03:21 PM.


#10 Il19z8rn4li1

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 03:36 PM

 

Like I said, I am really not sure what your asking, so if I didn't take the right course in answering your question, I apologize. But if you clarify some more, maybe I can tell you what your looking for.

 

I enjoyed your response very much Juthro. It fits right in with what I was awkwardly attempting to ask, especially the part where you said that paying the down-payment on "your" land was the best decision you've made.

 

It was a very open-ended question. I just realized I should add something.

 

Not only do I not own land, I don't even rent land. I live in an apartment. I probably will live in apartments for decades to come (with some possible exceptions that don't change the basic disconnection between my life and any kind of homesteading). In other words:

 

I, and many many people out there, will never in the foreseeable future live in a situation where they can have a garden, grow their own food, have space to store large machines, etc - in a word, they will not have anything like a homesteading life as a possibility. They will continue to live in urban or urban-sprawl areas, in apartments or shitty houses with no land that they do not own and cannot substantially alter, etc.

 

The backdrop for my question, in case its not clear, is the obvious connection between the homesteading movement, "sustainability" (in its various usages), and people's desire to stop participating in lifestyles that aren't satisfying (the rat race), contribute to the destruction of the earth (consumerism), errode our ability to control our own lives (the political crisis, alienation). Though I'm aware there are other good reasons people choose / end up homesteading .

 

I can't tell if that is clearer or muddier...

 

 

I see your thought process now.

 

 

and the best way I can reply is simply..

 

If one isnt happy in their current situation, its only ones responsibility to take the actions required to change them,

namely changing their mind, then consequently their lives. 

 

 

 

but to take the stance for yourself and "many others"(excuse my target) by saying that you all will never see a future 

will you can grown your own garden is a bit disrespectful to yourself more so then anyone else. 

 

Dont short change yourself. 

 

if the interest in growing anything is your jig, then youll follow that passion whole heartedly.  

Youll figure out a way to maybe attribute homesteading(more accurately growing plants) to the city life style..

so that all can enjoy..

 

 

Maybe use your confusion or interest in the type to motive you into expressing this exact thing to your locale. 

 

Flood the social media with it...

(we all know we need it lol.. a reform in the way to treat our planet let alone production of anything)

 

 

 

Take it for what its worth.

BUt dont take a stance(if you are...you might not be lol) that puts you chains from the start.

 

 

 

Look up Roof Top gardening...

its a real thing and its growing vastly..

 

The imagination of the human brain has been sparked recently imo...

 

 

:D

 

happy new year btw


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#11 Cybilopsin

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 11:55 PM

Lovin this feedback. Wow this community is the best. So glad I came back here.
 

I'm not being funny or a smartass (first time I think), someone has to work on these plots that 'progressive' peeps are purchasing:
 
 
http://www.cbsnews.c...xt-to-the-farm/

^This is terrifying to me.  Thanks for sharing Cat. I really hope that organic agriculture can escape becoming a mere luxury amenity for elite gated communities.

 

Purchasing raw land is easy, if you have the money. You can't borrow money on undeveloped acreage, at least not in a normal bank.
 
I have lived on two of these attempts, land with no power, no water, no septic, and they weren't really easy first steps, even with the land being owned, and pretty cheap.
 
they want you to have approved building plans before they will let you have electricity, and you need that to pump your water.
 
If you didn't want services you would still have to have generators, water rights of some kind, and a whole lot of other rules and regs, pretty much anywhere you are going to live.
 
If you fly over the US you see there is a LOT of land that is unused. There are reasons people live in cities.

^The first thing you said, I had no idea. Further evidence that I will probably never go "back to the land". 

 

but to take the stance for yourself and "many others"(excuse my target) by saying that you all will never see a future 
will you can grown your own garden is a bit disrespectful to yourself more so then anyone else. 
 
Dont short change yourself. 
 
if the interest in growing anything is your jig, then youll follow that passion whole heartedly.  
Youll figure out a way to maybe attribute homesteading(more accurately growing plants) to the city life style..
so that all can enjoy..
 
 
Maybe use your confusion or interest in the type to motive you into expressing this exact thing to your locale. 
 
 
The imagination of the human brain has been sparked recently imo...

 

Don't sell yourself short - truth. One never knows what destiny and the human imagination have in the works.

 

I'm working right now on growing microgreens with CFLs in my apartment, plus edible mushrooms of course. I also want to experiment with underutilized edible weeds like burdock, lambsquarters, and dandelion indoors under CFLs or other inexpensive lights. At least I can have better variety, eat healthier, and shave off a few bucks. On my own, though, such is never going to allow me to opt out of the supermarket, though.


Edited by Cybilopsin, 01 January 2016 - 11:57 PM.


#12 Il19z8rn4li1

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 03:59 PM

I'm not being funny or a smartass (first time I think), someone has to work on these plots that 'progressive' peeps are purchasing:

 

 

http://www.cbsnews.c...xt-to-the-farm/

This is exactly what Im working on in my community.

 

 

The people that make these into TREADY over priced living are pieces of shit imo...

 

I bet the produce there is over priced too(thats just my assumption of course)

 

 

I already have about 100-150 locale community members that live within ... 500ft from my garden 

that are fully aware of my activities and are 100% supportive.  This is utterly importantly because 

this prevents the city from being able to touch me.

 

Community support = community votes.  

Any politician that stands against natural food production will NOT be reelected and frankly
ill petition such an asshole to resign, with plenty of community members to support such an act.

 

Activism is the cure... not dwelling over the wrongs that others are perpetuating, one just have

to do the opposite and not stop. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is this place in milwakee Wisconsin, called "Growing Power" i think...

Will something is the owner I think..

 

One of the first most well known aquaponic gardeners in the USA and world imo.. BUT

 

BUT... Fucking dude....charges $1 an OUNCE!!! for micro greens and herbs...

 

LIKE HOLY SHIT...  what a racket and the sad thing is... these people are not really expressing their

over head costs or running costs and coming from that industry, Ill be the first to say that OVER HEAD can be

PRICEY oh yes, BUT running costs after the fact are nearly ZERO once its operating properly.

 

I agree with over priced produce in order to recoup the initial over head of start up, but for

human sake... bring the price down to something reasonable.

 

 

I sell all common easily grown veggies in my community for $1 a lb... thats right.. 1 DOLLAR per pound 

for Lettuces, Herbs, Perennial Spinach, Zucchinis and Squashes

 

larger and more finicky fruits get different pricing.

 

 

Tomatoes and Peppers are the biggest and frankly can be some of the most finicky of produce if one

is attempting to grow extremely nutrient dense produce with paired abundance.   These are around

2$ a lb, which is still half price or not 1/3 the price of the natural produce at the local grocery store.

 

Gourmet mushrooms are sold at competitive prices but again, Im not short changing myself.

Local grocery store sells Oysters and Shiitakes(surprisingly) at the same price, roughly $8 a lb... but they

look like SHIT and are more likely sprayed with chemicals.

Mushrooms are the most sprayed produce in the world, or bananas are.. i forgot.. but mushrooms and banana

make up #1 and #2 for most treated.

I sell my mushrooms at $10 a lb fresh, oysters and shiitakes.

More challenging mushrooms like maitakes and morels, well those are teh grails lol, your over 20 bucks a lb with those babys.

 

 

But you see people non stop selling produce at outrageous prices, dont get my wrong though I know of some damn

good farmers markets with damn great prices, but I believe thats because those growers are talking together

and teaching eachother better methods of production... go figure,, working together benefits all... GOOOO FIGURE!!! lol

 

 

Then there is the FISH.. oh the wonderful FISHY!!!  lol

I got 24 mature tilapia in a 55gal drum lol.. Lil tight, but they seem happy to me.

Its pretty easy to read a fish and get to understand their vibes.  

As long as you got clean water, steady temps and lots of oxygen, they will be happy.

 

In a 10x10 bedroom, that most apartments might have, one can grow A SHIT TON of food for personal

consumption, youll most likely start selling your surplus to your neighbors on the same floor.

 

Youd be amazed what is possible...

 

 

 

 

 

But, if i was to give any advice...

FUck asking for permission because its always easier to ask for forgiveness lol.

But of course if you try to make a aquaponic setup in an apartment, i wouldnt tell

the building manager or your landlord, just do it, but being sure that if anything happens, you

have taken actions to counteract any short comings.

last thing youd want is a 300 gallon water spill that fills up your neighbor below you lol.

So, making the entire thing "flood proof" with a few redundant safety measures would be wise. 

 

Start small and youll be amazed.

 

 

With a single 55gal drum, and 3 grow beds that are each roughly 55 gallons, equipped with a

ebb and flo auto siphon, either Above bed siphon or a perfected bell siphon, loaded with pea gravel

and recirulating.   You can grow more then enough produce for yourself and youll be able to harvest

a few tilapia every month.   Having 2 tanks to store smaller fish while the others grow out, you can have a nice

setup.

 

 

Its not hard... just requires a lot of self discipline, and ultimately the determining fact would be

"how much you want it" 

 

 

:)  


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#13 Alder Logs

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 04:19 PM

If you do have neighbors downstairs: http://www.engineeri...pan-d_1479.html


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#14 CatsAndBats

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 04:25 PM

Thanks for contributing that post @

Il19z8rn4li1

#15 Il19z8rn4li1

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 04:29 PM

If you do have neighbors downstairs: http://www.engineeri...pan-d_1479.html

 

lol  hehe, of course also be aware of the floor load capacity.  

 

 

I wouldnt suspect a 1000lbs is anything to worry about though, being sure to stay by the wall and not the center of the floor.

but a ground floor would solve everything..

(do I have to mention to extremely over weight people that live in some of these establishments...

I have a buddy that cleans up dead people(someone has to do it) and he has so many stories, the ones that

stand out to me are when he has to clean up a 500lb person that is dead in their bed and they are

on the 4th story... come on... lol )

 

Maybe you can start something interesting here... move to ground floor and actually produce

food for tenets of the apartment.

Just on a VEGGIE and MUSHROOM stand point, youd be able to produce a SHIT LOAD,

keep the fish for yourself because youll need them to fertilize and feed your plants.

rememeber also... when plants and animals(+mushrooms) are grown together, they

recycle each others wastes and in turn THEIR waste feeds the other..

 

plants breath Co2... Animals and Mushrooms Exhale Co2.

Animals and Mushrooms breath O2... Plants exhale O2(besides at night time, they breath O2 too, but

im not trying to get to complicated here lol)

 

Animals and Mushrooms produce waste that bacteria turn into food for plants.

 

Plant residues(cleanings and prunings etc..) can be used to feed the animals

 

Mushrooms can be used to break down fish waste, fish carcasses, animal waste(you can grow HAPPY rabbits

in very small space and have crazy beneifts from them, they wont smell either if done "right")

I can go on forever about this, but i dont haev time right now lol.    Enough said for now.  

Time to get my shit done for today, oysters and morels baby :P

 

 

Heres a damn good article, and Oh Look, It came out TODAY.. must have been a gift from myself in another 

dimension hahahah

 

READ THIS!!!  Its pretty good information. 

http://www.cichlid-f...rium_weight.php

 

 

 

 

Common sense shouldnt have to be mentioned... BUt hey... lol  gotta say it. 


Edited by Il19z8rn4li1, 02 January 2016 - 04:39 PM.


#16 CatsAndBats

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 04:44 PM

Alder and I do not concern ourselves with 'common' sense.

 

Good stuff @ Il19z8rn4li1


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#17 Juthro

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 09:35 PM

One of the things you can do to be more self-sufficient without a plot of land is make an indoor herb garden. They doesn't take up much space, and even if you don't have a good window for sunshine, a florescent or LED light will work. And fresh grown herbs taste so much better then store bought. There is also a definite satisfaction in using something you have grown yourself.
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