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Mike Oehler taking interns/community

Mike Oehler
author


Joined: Jan 03, 2009
Posts: 60
Location: Bonners Ferry Idaho
    
    1
We are finishing up the first 1800 sq ft section of the Ridge House this year and starting on the second. Those who would like to apply for an internship phone me at 800 328-8790. Will also consider forming a community -- This technological civilization is looking shakier every day; circle the wagons. As I think Paul will attest, I have 45 wonderful acres, four livable houses (two more under construction) and 42 years experience homesteading. Especially interested in carpentry skills and ladies who love to cook -- we are known for decent housing and great meals (building crews work on their stomachs). But we will consider everybody. -- Mike Oehler 


author of:  The Fifty Dollar and Up Underground House Book and The Earth Sheltered Solar Greenhouse Book Visit Mike Oehler's Website
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15102
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
I've spent a couple of hours visiting with Mike about this. The key is that Mike is worried that he might die and then his projects are flushed down the toilet. He is open to the idea of several people coming to his land and moving his projects forward. And out of those folks, he would select a person to will his land to. Or maybe select several people each of whom would receive a chunk of land.

For those that aren't familiar with mike, he is the author of the $50 and up underground house book



link

And the earth sheltered solar greenhouse book



link

I have lots of videos of him.

The land has a lot of buildings that are currently not being lived in. Including the original $50 house and the ridgetop house. There is a total of 45 acres. This is about ten minutes outside of bonners ferry, idaho. Beautiful land.

Mike will be pissed, but i want to express the downsides. This way, the only people that contact Mike are people that that are serious.

A) There is a single wide trailer on the land. I think it should be hauled away. I've stayed in it twice. But the last time there was terrible mold on the ceiling. I think this comes from sitting empty so much. I suppose somebody could clean it up. I would think that folks would much rather stay in the underground houses.

B) Drinking water is brought onto the land. Mike is worried that one of the neighbors is dumping something that might be fouling the water. I'm not sure if it has been tested or not. But Mike is playing it safe and bringing water in from outside. I think a good permie should be able to find a good water supply to tap into.

C) For years, it has been pretty much just Mike there. And for a lot of that time he could barely walk. So people have come and gone, and some were tidier than others. There is need for cleanup in spots.

D) For some parts of the land, you can hear the train. on those parts, the train does come through about every 20 minutes. For most of the land you never hear the train - so it is always a peaceful paradise.

It sounds like Mike's plan is that he will live on the land about half time. I think it would be great if eight people moved to the land full time and helped to restore the land to its full glory. Then install a massive permaculture food system. And maybe build a new Oehler structure.

I think that for a large collection of people, this could be one massive leap forward of awesome.

Mike is one of the hippiest guys I know. He loves to go to rainbow gatherings (but I get the impression most of the crowd is not what he is looking for for his land). He does almost everything barefoot. I think he enjoys three martinis every night.

If you think that you might be compatible with Mike, then you should give him a ring.











sign up for my daily-ish email / rocket mass heater 4-DVD set / permaculture playing cards
Katrin Kerns


Joined: Feb 08, 2012
Posts: 102
    
    2
Mike Oehler wrote:We are finishing up the first 1800 sq ft section of the Ridge House this year and starting on the second. Those who would like to apply for an internship phone me at 800 328-8790. Will also consider forming a community -- This technological civilization is looking shakier every day; circle the wagons. As I think Paul will attest, I have 45 wonderful acres, four livable houses (two more under construction) and 42 years experience homesteading. Especially interested in carpentry skills and ladies who love to cook -- we are known for decent housing and great meals (building crews work on their stomachs). But we will consider everybody. -- Mike Oehler 


I so wish we could do this, my husband loves to cook and I like to build things, but we don't really want to leave Washington State. Good luck finding the folks you are looking for.


P.P.O.Y.T. (Playfully pouncing on your toes.)
Vicky Barton


Joined: Mar 07, 2013
Posts: 24
Location: Chattaroy, north of Spokane, WA
Back in 1979, I bought a book by Ray G. Scott, 'How to Build Your Own Underground Home'. It was my dream to live in a cave, or earth shelter. Since then, I've lived in 4 tract homes, 3 mobile homes, and one small cedar home that I designed and had built, but didn't like the location 1/2 mile from a busy highway. After all these years, purchased in 2011 the land of my dreams, where it's very very quiet, but it came with a moldy old double-wide that we're currently stuck in. The seller painted it floor to ceiling ... yes, the floors too... with that special paint called Kilz. They missed a few spots like, oh, an entire bathroom and the whole wall behind the kitchen sink where I can't reach it. And our first winter blessed us with ice melting in the walls which flooded floor in 2 rooms, so we had to fork over big bucks for a steel roof. I'm old enough now that I'm no longer able to work like a horse. I have to overlook the obvious flaws and enjoy the deeper blessing of having this land in the woods. Nearing 60, I still love to build things and work gardens. I missed out on some great opportunities in my life, and now I too toss around ideas, like maybe renting some garden space to a few city folk in exchange for some manual labor on our almost 4 acres. Kudos to Mike Oehler for seeking help. Hope the right ones show up for the tasks. If I were 20 years younger, I could really enjoy such a community, as long as everyone was involved and committed. It's the lazy types who scare me. Interested to follow how it goes for Mike.


Livin' on a thread.
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
boy do I know where Mike is cominig from, I keep planting fruit and nut trees knowing I'll likely die before they are in full production. My son has no real interest in the fruits and nuts and he is not married and has no children..so honestly there is no real heir here either.

I have discussed this with him and we have some thoughts of where the land might go after we are gone..but really want someone who will take care of all the work I've done ..and those type of people are few and far between


Brenda

Bloom where you are planted.
http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/
Mike Schofield


Joined: Mar 14, 2013
Posts: 3
Well done Mike, a very brave move. I wish I could be one of your volunteers but as I'm in England it might be difficult! If anyone in England is thinking of doing something similar then my wife and I would like to talk to you!
Katrin Kerns


Joined: Feb 08, 2012
Posts: 102
    
    2
Brenda Groth wrote:boy do I know where Mike is cominig from, I keep planting fruit and nut trees knowing I'll likely die before they are in full production. My son has no real interest in the fruits and nuts and he is not married and has no children..so honestly there is no real heir here either.

I have discussed this with him and we have some thoughts of where the land might go after we are gone..but really want someone who will take care of all the work I've done ..and those type of people are few and far between


Have you thought about finding land heirs? You know like minded younger people to come out and help you continue to work your land the way you want it and who will eventually inherit it after you are gone? I know there might be some issues if your son is the type who would want to inherit the land so he could just sell it, but there should be a way to find folks who would actually appreciate both the work you are doing with it as well as who would carry on in the same vain after you are gone.
Sherakee O'Riley


Joined: Jan 21, 2013
Posts: 15
Hey guys!
This is officially my first post. I'd like to say how very proud of all the work you've done, and how very important it is. If you counted the education alone, you are giving so much more to the future than can ever be measured. My future plans are right in line with all that you teach and do. I'm intent and extremely focused on developing between 150-200 acres, or smaller if the property will allow, into not only a habitat for wildlife and nature in and of itself, but also a shining example of sustainability and growth with no damage, but instead improvements as each week passes to the richness and 'growth' of the quality and nutrition of the dirt itself, and with guided tours and classes be worked in as a hands on education for the permaculture that must take place on larger and larger scales for the future of the planet, such as what you are already doing with your organization yourselves.
I have just recently begun putting together an organization to save land, period. I've a friend who's built a extremely successful organization in his fight for the oceans and the life they hold within them, so in my efforts to support that ideal and join the 'fight' to save our planet for future generations, I've begun work on "The Land Shepherd". It seemed to me to be the most logical step for me, and the most helpful, with the vast majority of the pollutants that go into the oceans being from 'land', even though I may be a tiny speck of a cure for the massive problems, I will be - at least - a cure and not another detriment and/or abusive scavenger. You can see the beginnings of the new site I'm working on as I go, by going to facebook and searching "The Land Shepherd" to see just how closely our ideas have coincided.
I've been working to get my house here in Aiken SC. ready to become a rental and all my loose ends tied up so that I may be free to travel across the U.S. in the next month or two, looking for interesting areas to begin placing roots, or land that is in need of clean up and protection, and/or just protection in order for it to stay in it's natural state. I would very much like to come and visit when I am in your area, and will bring you some of my heritage seeds and multi craft hand tools, and possibly even some of my organic gooseberry jam. (If there are any surviving jars)
Again I truly believe in you and your efforts in moving forward in sustainability and education for others to follow suit.
Sherakee O'Riley


Joined: Jan 21, 2013
Posts: 15
Ah, now I feel I must add, "Environmentally Symbiotic Farming", in place of the word "sustainability". hahaha (another plot, and successful one at that!)
Keri Engelhart


Joined: May 10, 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Currently roamin' the Midwest...
Hi Mr. Oehler. I am really interested in helpin out.
My email is bongbellypickney69@gmail.com. Feel free to message me anytime!

Thanks,
Keri


"Am I being a cosmic schmuck?" - Robert Anton Wilson

Leave no trace
Miles Flansburg
steward

Joined: Feb 03, 2011
Posts: 2244
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
    
  57
Keri, Mike might not see your message here so it might be best if you try to contact him. There is a 1-800 number he gave in the post at the top of the thread. Or he has a website.
Keri Engelhart


Joined: May 10, 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Currently roamin' the Midwest...
Thanks! How did I miss that?
Rush Manbert


Joined: May 30, 2013
Posts: 1
Mike and Brenda, your words have touched me. The thought that people like yourselves might lack an heir to continue your legacy was very saddening - so much so that I am finally posting on this forum instead of lurking, as is my normal strategy.

Let me assure you both, there are like-minded youngin's out there in droves! Out here in California (the bay area) I've noticed an uptick in the amount of local food production initiatives taking place. Of course, many are a far cry from actual permaculture methods, but more people growing their own food will naturally lead to more permies.

As one of the aforementioned youngin's, I have just started my journey to fully understanding permaculture design, and I have a lot to learn. My Fiance and I are becoming increasingly frustrated with the dystopian state of post-graduate city life, and are seriously considering a change.

We've been looking everywhere for viable property that we could actually afford to purchase and develop, but have had little success so far. In fact, just earlier today we were both lamenting how far off our goals seemed to be. Needless to say, stumbling across this thread (and the others like it in this "rockies" forum) was a breath of fresh air.

Knowing that there are people looking for help, and looking to build communities around permaculture ethics, is an exceedingly comforting notion. I have a ton of research to do now, and some serious discussion to do with the Mrs., but I wanted to thank you both for showing me that the barriers to entering the world of permaculture design and sustainable living are not so formidable.

Thank you.

-Rush


Joel Cederberg


Joined: Apr 17, 2013
Posts: 58
    
    1
Mike,
Are you still accepting interns?
Dustin Wilkinson


Joined: May 08, 2012
Posts: 40
I am moving to Klickitat county Washington in August & would LOVE to chat with anyone who lives in the area or who would like to organize in & around that area... Projectperfectdayz@gmx.com

I will not & do NOT want to be an intern as fees to become one are complete bs in my opinion... If what is happening on the "farm" or whatever is NOT producing enough for food & lodging for the extra help the why bother joining up with ANOTHER corporate structure!

BUT, if indeed there are any WHOLESOME people that feel that money is no object then let me have it!


If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves.
- Edison, Thomas A.
 
 
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