If you were looking for a rental property to live on while you save up for your own permaculture dream property, would you rather stay at a permaculture rental which is all set up with gardens and food forests, or would you want to be able to design and plant your own space? Or a little of both? (please describe what this looks like in your imagination)
I think I would tend toward turn key - that way I could enjoy the fruits of an established system while devoting my energies to planning my permanent place, and cherry pick what I like about the turn key place, what works, what doesn’t, and so on. That way I will have a better sense of what I will want to do on my permanent property. It also means I don’t have to invest a bunch of my own coin into a system that the landlord will mow when I leave.
All that said, I would also want permission to add to, experiment with, tweak etc. the existing system.
“All good things are wild, and free.” Henry David Thoreau
I would want my own shack to live in rather than a shack that someone else built.
It took us a couple of years but we found a piece of land with a very low down payment / owner financed. For most of the two years, we lived at what was called primitive campsites but not in some campground. Just a guy with 40 acres. He also sold property and he used the 40 acres for people to stay at while they chose a property or were able to carve out a clearing on a property they bought from him. We never did buy from him as his properties were mostly junk. North or West facing elevations or a few miles of a barely maintained logging road. The properties had been logged hard and looked like crap with nothing left but the tall skinny trees swaying in the breeze. The 'campsites' were $495/yr. During that two years, I ran across a craigslist ad - free fire damaged house - you tear down. So we bought a tiny $400 camper and stayed on that property while I tore the house down. Not too long after getting that done, we ran across this property and snagged it. I used the materials from the fire damaged house to build a cabin and shop/barn here. We stayed in that little camper here while I did that.
I would think with a "permaculture rental", you'd be required to do some work or maybe a whole lot of work which leaves you little time to find deals for yourself.
I'm old school and not into the communal living thing. I like to control my destiny a bit more than that. Very few communal living situations work out long term. I'm the quiet, get things done type. Not real social and I always seem to get taken advantage of by the social, gift of gab types that can't do crap or are just too lazy to do crap but know a bit of psych 101.
If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
If I am only for myself, what am I?
If not now, when?
I would think with a "permaculture rental", you'd be required to do some work
Why would you be required to do work if you're paying rent?
John Pollard wrote:I'm old school and not into the communal living thing.
I posted this in Intentional Community because I (the landlord) would be living on the property also, and the Intention is Permacultural, but not sharing the rental space. So, no communal living, probably. Renters would have their own living space, and their own gardening space.
We've got another forum called "land shares" (it's pretty new, and I'm still making sure all the right threads are in it). But, any way, I've read through a good 100+ land share threads while getting the forum made. I see them come in a few different formats:
(1) Free rent and "renter" just lives on the land (in either an existing structure or one they build) and gets to develop their section as they choose, sharing the fruits of their labor with the land lord. This seems to be for someone who just wants to see their land developed and used.
(2) Free room and board in exchange for doing set amount of hours for the landlord. This is more like a job.
(3) Free room and board in exchange for doing set amount of hours for land lord, and getting a bit of land to use for themselves.
(4) Land for rent, where the person pays to live there and gets all the food from their plot.
There's probably some further overlap between the categories, but you can check out the Land Shares forum for more examples (I added this thread to Land Shares, too). FYI, the Land Shares forum used to be called "WWOOF/volunteer/intern/jobs" forum, and I'm still moving some of the non-land-share stuff out of there. I think pages 2-7 are all that's left that I need to sort through. All the others are land shares (and people looking for land shares.)
A potential risk of a "do your own improvements model" is that the renter gets so caught up with doing the improvements, and so proud of their work and a feeling of "ownership" in the improvements, that they could become hesitant to to take a risk on purchasing a new place, or feel "cheated" out of their work if they are asked to leave(presumably for other reasons). I know this sound petty and "people are better than that," but I've seen it happen on more than a few threads.
I think it's better to offer turn-key, where they get to see well-designed system in action, get to enjoy a few fruits from established trees, but only have a small seasonal plot for annuals/short-term/temporary projects until they move on.
I would definitely pay rent to "test-drive" a cob house, wofati, rocket stove, and/or composting toilet, just to see if these systems were right for me and my future homestead & family while looking for property and gaining experience.