Jon, we did communicate recently. I think the hanging point is that you follow Weston Price and I tend toward plant-based/vegan, and my impression is that you would want your partners to also follow Weston Price. I do think domestic animals may have a role as partners in a community, but their interests must be respected if they're included. Of course, wild animals also are part of the community.
We're looking west of I-75 north of Tampa, but would consider Plant City.
S. Bengi, good questions. I have been informed by a Tiny House group person that the county I am looking at does not allow houses under 600 square feet. I assume other counties have similar rules. However, I know there is different law relating to farm workers that we might be able to use, considering that I'm looking at a worker-owned cooperative permaculture space. Alternatively, we can find a way to work with 600 square feet.
As to lot size, my experience in my permaculture studies showed that individual lots of about 1/4 acre were much more productive per square foot than huge expanses of acreage, which makes sense because it's much easier to get to the area right around your house, and you see it every day. Therefore, I'm looking at individual spaces of that size, possibly less, with edges around the property being given over to Zones 5 and up.
As to type of farming, I'm looking at 50% or more subsistence crops (i.e. for personal use), and the rest location-appropriate "market gardening" in order to pay property taxes and other incidental costs of the land and cooperative.
Apparently, according to the one person who has given excellent input so far, I did not define restrictions enough in my ic.org posting. There's a reason for that, since I'm waiting for interested people to give input on possible restrictions. However, it's possible that the majority opinion would create a space that I'm not comfortable in. That's fine. I don't mind doing a certain amount of coordinating and not ending up as part of the finished product. On the other hand, perhaps if I were more specific I would attract more interest. I doubt it! I just need to find the right forum to promote my ideas.
Forming west-central Florida permaculture community, August 2018. See the IC.org Directory for more detail. (The name may change at some point.) Looking for people to join me in formation. I obtained a permaculture certificate in 2012 from Urban Harvest Houston, and my project was (theoretical) community.
Will be ready to obtain land soon.
The plan is to form initial structure, including name, location, "rules," etc. with the initial members, but permaculture/transition/cohousing models will be used. There's quite a bit of flexibility at this time.
This is intended to be a working permaculture farm/food forest, and members are expected to provide a significant number of hours of community work each week. It's intended that this be paying work as soon as it's possible to do so, as a "worker-owned cooperative." Details need to be worked out, of course. Tax consequences will be taken into account...
It's intended that the community be as sustainable/regenerative as possible, which means we do not intend to have luxury homes at this time. :-O Conservation of energy will be as important as generation of renewable energy. Intensive growing will be used as opposed to spreading out on dozens of acres.
I want to add that I have posted more info in the directory at ic.org, search on "west central florida" or just "west florida." I have been advised by someone interested in what I'm doing that that the info is maybe not detailed enough, so I will get around to updating it at some point. Until then, please feel free to message me with questions/comments. Note that I don't check my messages often enough and may miss some, so maybe try a second time if no response.
Anyone have opinions on / recommendations for kit house / modular house, preferably from a company in the southeast? What are the options? I know there is steel, there are SIPs, I suppose there must also be wood frame.
As something temporary, there are many videos on YouTube regarding living in a camper/van/rv/truck.
However, at least in the U.S., where you have agricultural land it often is permitted to build worker housing of various sorts as part of the agricultural land purpose. If you make clear that the land will be used agriculturally and the cabin(s) will be used to house workers (i.e. yourself, as you will be working on the land), you may not have to go to court. Just find out what kind of worker housing is normally permitted for ag land.
I'm interested in doing something like this, but with a different structure. I'm in Clearwater, selling house, and looking for a "farm" between Gainesville and Brooksville, preferably west of I-75, or slightly east. I would be willing to consider joining you if you are willing to consider modifying your structure, as I am looking to do a cooperatively-owned and operated permaculture situation, incorporated as agricultural, and depending on tax treatment possibly everyone as owner-employees. If people wanted to work on the "farm" but did not have the money, they could put in extra hours per week to work toward buying in, a few shares at a time. I'm looking at intensively working Zones 0 to 4 to grow as much food in a food forest structure as possible, meaning using layers and probably not row cropping. The purpose would be to provide as much food as possible for humans, meaning very few animals to support other than the native wildlife. I want to make this a demonstration that is scalable around the country to provide food on minimal land, to withdraw the need for and support of industrial agriculture. I'd like to be joined by 10 or more people who would negotiate the details together. I'm permaculture certified and my "project" was cohousing. (It was theoretical, didn't actually form cohousing at that point, but walked through the steps that are used.)
I can't figure out from your post and your website where you're located. Are you close to Pete Kanaris? Have you done any videos with him? I've got to go visit his place sometime soon.
We'll be available to move in about three months.
If anyone is interested in joining me, feel free to message.
Dale, yes, I think you're right. The tile, as it is, is very beautiful, although very inconsistent in pattern. But yet I have the curiousity of "what would happen if ...?"
The travertine backsplash tile is plenty, but it's pretty close to the same color as the countertop tile, especially when sealed, so I'm thinking maybe we can find scrap of a darker stone, or use tile. Or maybe we could darken the travertine more than the sealer darkens it, to provide some contrast and division. (Sorry, not sure if you were suggesting to use it to divide the large tiles, or use it as a backsplash. As a backsplash it's fine as-is.)
Dan Phillips of Phoenix Commotion says you can make odds and ends look aesthetic, as opposed to an eyesore, by creating patterns with them ...
In building our kitchen, we have gotten a pile of scrap 24 x 24, about 1 inch thick, beige/pinkish marble tiles - for almost nothing. They may actually be honed limestone. They had gotten stuck together and some had corners broken off when someone attempted to separate them. Long story short, they have now been separated and we have enough to do the kitchen countertops. While they're all about the same color (except for one very pink one which I separated out), they have significantly different patterns. Some have fossil patterns, others have those marbled lines, but look like they came from different sources. I'm wondering if limewashing them will give them a more uniform look. Both marble and lime come from limestone, and my understanding of lime is that the limewash probably will fuse with the marble (or limestone). We would then seal them, and I see some good ideas for natural sealing above.
So is this crazy, considering the current smooth honed surface?
Edit: Through online search, the stone appears to be "Crema Luna" limestone, and may actually be polished rather than honed, as they are very shiny: "Occasionally, a type of limestone will be hard enough to take a high polish. Some of these stones include Crema Luna and Cafe Pinta, although these stones are most frequently found in a honed finish as well." - www.ehow.com/about_6130457_honed-limestone-marble_.html
I have read a million things that stress how "porous" even a highly polished marble is, and marble is compressed limestone, so this polished limestone should be considered to be porous, but is it "porous" enough for limewash to fuse to it? http://www.minervaconservation.com/articles/limewash.html
Of course, I may lay them in a way to emphasize their difference, rather than trying to make them look uniform. I could do wide grout lines, or divide the tiles with contrasting stone or glass tile lines. (I also got a box of blue glass backsplash tiles for almost nothing, fwiw. Got a couple boxes of travertine backsplash tile also for almost nothing, also fwiw.)
I've read a couple threads that mentioned this in passing. So has anyone found ethical mutual funds? I want something that is completely divested from fossil fuels and also from unethical pharmaceutical and chemical companies (which is most of them).
Is it even permitted on here to talk about specific products?
It's not my money, so I don't have the option to invest in land right now, although I'd like to.
Thanks Redhawk! You are very kind. As to Mom, I have a lot of leeway since I'm managing and the house is to be a family place, but don't want to do something too far outside her concept. (Anyway, she's considering moving on to an "independent living" facility at some point in the near future.)
We are already aware that the firebricks in the attic are loose, so will have a "chimney sweep" come in to update that at the right time. I suppose that would be the local stove and chimney guy who is stopping by on Saturday.
Sounds like we need to at least expand the apron, because I'm very concerned about fire safety in the house. It's just a lot of old dry wood!
Of course I want to eliminate pollution, and also would like to have a stove that I can keep a teapot warm on top of, all day.
I'm thinking of building seating on either side of the fireplace, possibly covered in tile.
Wondering if it's possible to convert into a masonry fireplace, but there's not a whole lot of space, in general.
Regarding a recently-bought house in NC mountains: 1950 small cottage, on crawl space, fireplace in center facing living/dining/kitchen, with bedroom at its back, set up for gas, with gas heater sitting in front of and connected to fireplace. The fireplace is at floor level and about 2.2 feet high, with brick hearth and surrounded by wood floors. Keeping in mind that the house actually belongs to my 87-year old mother, but that we're also starting certain remodeling, including verifying and improving insulation and making changes to the roof, I thought Permies would be a good place to go for off-road ideas before I go out and get a wood-burning stove or fireplace insert. (Fireplace guy is coming by in a couple days to try to sell us something.)
House is being encroached-on by many trees, primarily oak, so wood will be available for a very long time. My experience with the NC mountains is that you couldn't stop the trees from growing if you tried all day long!
Part of roof reconfiguration/addition will be to set up a south-facing area for future solar. (Fortunately, trees to the south are minimal.) Also, house does have electric baseboard heat, so the fireplace is not 100% necessary for heating. The house is so small that it could overheat quickly. If you close off the office and porch additions, we're talking about maybe 450 square feet, almost literally square. Ceiling is 8 feet, although I've considered raising it.
Experience so far is that we will need heating for at least 7 months a year (and cooling not needed, other than the ceiling fans).
Despite the fact that the gas company says there is no leak, I believe that I can smell it, and don't like the idea of inhaling gas year-round. Water heater is on gas and will be until I can determine a better option, but that room can be closed off from the rest of the house.
All creative, off-the-wall ideas as to what to do with this fireplace are welcome! (Hopefully will not be only "seal it up.")
Something I've considered is giving up all milks and milk products. Just eat the nuts, the grains, etc. My issue is yogurt. Yogurt is one of my staples. I don't eat much meat, and only normal (food pyramid?) amounts of vegetables, so getting enough protein is an issue. However, now I have chickens, which have started laying eggs, so maybe that's solved.
I have very bad reactions to pasteurized cow's milk. I adore goat's milk but it's expensive.
Have you tried oat milk? It sounds like it would be good, but I haven't had it, except in the form of atole de avena. Now that's good! But it has boiled milk and sugar in it.
Many milks have xanthan gum and I found a long time ago that I have bad reactions to that. More recently I've heard that it's a product of processing corn with bacteria, probably GMO corn. It's a result of people insisting that their food be creamy without any effort on their part.
Apparently a shower head that you have to hold lever to keep on is only sold in Europe: http://www.everydropisprecious.com/thumb-operated-lever-shower-head.html. There's also something similar called a "Muslim bidet," also only sold in Europe. Perhaps a kitchen sink sprayer or an outdoor hose sprayer could be modified to work. (One too little pressure, one too much??)
Thanks for the link. It has several good ideas, including those in the comments. I have used the shower heads with the button on/off on the head before and that helps a lot when taking a "Navy shower" to keep the water at the right temperature in between rinses. I'll probably do that again, although even better would be a shower head that requires pressing and holding a button/lever to release the water, rather than pressing to stop it. One other thing I've seen in the past is a heat lamp above the shower, which directs heat only where you need it without having to heat up the whole space. That would be good for the cold days when I don't want to turn off the shower.
I want to transition to using captured rainwater, and I've considered various means of water conservation, but I know that for me the best option would be a timer that I could set for two minutes, it turns the water off, and then when I'm ready I set it for another two minutes. I searched the internet and all I can find is a thing that lets the shower run for 5 minutes (not adjustable) and then turns itself off for another 5 minutes (also not adjustable). That is definitely not what I want. The YMCA I went to as a kid had a timer that looked like these:
http://www.intermatic.com/Products/Timers/InWallTimers/Springwound_Auto-Off_Timers/FFCommercialSeries.aspx set in the shower wall, but it would only run for three minutes. The linked product is not made for use in showers. Does anyone have an idea of how to rig up something?
You may enjoy the Small House Bliss website. I'm copying the floor plan of one of the houses (Dreamcatcher, Seaside, FL) for the house I'm building. Except I'm modifying the roof into a two-part south-facing roof. Also, my house will be smaller, with an 875 sq ft base. I'll probably post it on this website when I'm finished.
Hey, calm down everybody! I didn't realize that "pressure-treated" actually means "poison treated" and I definitely am not introducing any poison into my home. I hadn't researched it because I wasn't thinking much of wood for structure. There is no timber industry in Florida - the pitiful skinny pine trees here are probably not a great building material.
As to qualified builder, the builder is my husband (experienced carpenter, etc. etc.), the primary designer is me (permaculture certified, btw), and this is our first start-to-finish project. Actually not quite start-to-finish because the concrete slab is already there. So far my choice of structural material is autoclaved aerated concrete from 75 miles away or concrete fiber SIPs from almost 300 miles away (Miami). Note that these things use sand for a primary ingredient; sand is what Florida has. We could pour our own concrete mixture, but may have problems with permitting and it probably wouldn't be much greener, I've heard of concrete made with a high level of recycled plastic fiber (http://www.youris.com/Environment/Recycling/Plastic_Waste_Set_In_Concrete.kl), but I'm not finding any locally (FL). I'd love to just fill bottles or cartons with dirt, maybe combined with plastic fiber, but again, maybe permitting problems. Other building choices are regular concrete block or wood framing, with some kind of insulation added.
Aside from the structural walls and insulated unpainted galvalume roof (and rough plumbing, some electric, solar water heater unless we can get one used, cistern), everything else will be reclaimed or hand-made materials. We reclaimed what we could from the house we tore down, but other than the slab there wasn't much structural material to reclaim, being wood eaten by termites, mold, and other fungus - even the heavy, painted roof beams. The roof itself was made of some kind of cardboard with asphalt and rocks poured on top! My husband saved the rocks to put at the end of the driveway. We wouldn't want them near our plantings, being covered with asphalt (tar) as they were.
If anyone has any ideas for any type of building materials, please feel free to chime in.
Thank you. I really haven't looked into what pressure-treated lumber is. It was suggested to me by a designer/drafter. After seeing what happened to the previous house on site within a space of a few years, using regular lumber is a scary prospect.
Unfortunately, there is no earth on my lit, only sand (plus the backyard is a septic field do can't be dug much), so something is going to have to be brought in, preferably from nearby.
I'm open to all practical suggestions. I'm thinking pressure-treated lumber would be greener than concrete. SIPs are a possibility, as long as they're not sandwiched with something toxic or termite-prone. I understand some are made from recycled foam, fwiw. Autoclaved concrete is somwhat local, but not much better than regular concrete.
Beef, what did you end up doing? I'm in the same situation. The previous house on site was wood and was literally eaten up by termites and mold/fungus, so I'm trying to avoid wood, but concrete is so energy-intensive. Also I'm on a small lot in the middle of a city so don't have the flexibility of someone on rural acreage. So far, code enforcement and permitting people love us for taking over the property and I don't want that to change, so I have to be very clear on what I'm doing.
I'm looking but not finding local (Florida) suppliers of something like compressed earth blocks.
Buying a large piece as a group is more economical than each buying a smaller piece. Considering cohousing/cooperative community (small/tiny houses/apartments plus community building) with consideration of permaculture in all/most aspects. (I am permaculture certified.)
Will work out details once a decent size group is formed and we have the chance to meet.
Please respond here or Purple Moose (PM) me.
Talk to you soon,