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Help wanted, space available in East Tennessee

 
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Hi all, I'm new to this forum and not the most frequent user of any kind of forum. After reading through some of the posts here, I'm wishing I would have come across this years ago. My wife and I have been homesteading on our own for years now. We wanted to work with others to ease the burdens and reduce the risks of working alone, but we never met anyone who would or could move to the country like we did, aside from being people we felt would be good neighbors. Progress has been hard, but we've built some infrastructure and gathered some resources on our land in Cocke County, TN. We have nearly 100 acres of rolling hills, mostly wooded, many beautiful homesites, 3 septic systems, 2 wells, springs and a pond. We are open to a variety of purchase / rent / lease / barter options. All we ask is that you have good values, ethics and morals. We hope to someday have a tight knit group of 6 or 7 families working together to provide for all our needs in a sustainable way. We have also developed ways to earn outside income if that is necessary for you. We do not have the means or the intention to pay any wages.

Some of the key issues I've seen discussed here are code restrictions, legal and binding agreements, and organic or sustainable living. This county has no codes or zoning. This State requires licensed installers of mobile homes. The county, state and federal EPA requires septic permits. I'm pretty sure there are no other restrictions. We insist on properly executed and legally binding agreements whatever they may be. We are adamant about healthy land and food for ourselves, but if you want to eat chemically enhanced tomatoes, we won't stop you.

We do have at least four like-minded neighbors with about 200 acres among them and significant resources of their own. We are not as 'close' as I would like to be, i.e. truly working together toward a common goal, but perhaps in the future...
IMG_0106.JPG
Cherokee National Forest from my back porch
Cherokee National Forest from my back porch
 
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Hi there,

I am looking for a landshare/tenet farming kind of situation.  I have lots of ideas and projects just sitting in my head until I find a way onto some land - either my own or not. Some of my interests are in regenerative organic farming and native and medicinal nursery, food forestry, repairing riparians and conservation of endangered plant species.  I would like to discuss more about what you are looking for in detail, maybe share some thoughts.  If you are still in need of help, maybe we can help eachother.
 
David Michael
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Hi Sunflower,

We're all about helping each other. I'm not exactly sure what to say about what we are looking for other than good people. I can tell you we consider extremism of any kind to be uncomfortable. For example, many here might frown on my use of machinery. I'd rather not burn more fuel and chew up the ground to build infrastructure, but I can't possibly do it alone and it would be very difficult and time consuming to do it even with many hands. I love nature and I intend to live in harmony with nature, but not to the extreme that I believe Nature Must Not Be Disturbed. We can cooperate with nature just like we can cooperate with other people and smooth the road ahead. I hope this helps, and please do ask questions. If you'd rather communicate off-line, send me a message.
 
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Hi David nice to meet you neighbor. My family and I live in Cosby and we have a small homestead, 47 acres, where we live off grid. I would love to connect with y'all sometime. Please feel free to send me an email myhomesteadlife@yahoo.com
We've only lived here two years so we are looking for like-minded people to connect with.

Looking forward to meeting y'all,
Amber B
 
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David Michael wrote:Hi Sunflower,

We're all about helping each other. I'm not exactly sure what to say about what we are looking for other than good people. I can tell you we consider extremism of any kind to be uncomfortable. For example, many here might frown on my use of machinery. I'd rather not burn more fuel and chew up the ground to build infrastructure, but I can't possibly do it alone and it would be very difficult and time consuming to do it even with many hands. I love nature and I intend to live in harmony with nature, but not to the extreme that I believe Nature Must Not Be Disturbed. We can cooperate with nature just like we can cooperate with other people and smooth the road ahead. I hope this helps, and please do ask questions. If you'd rather communicate off-line, send me a message.



I sent you an email, hopefully we can get to know each other better. If the winds take us your way, then it would be awesome. At this point we don’t know but we have a clear goal in mind. There is a risk:benefit ratio to keep in mind, as you say.. machinery is a must for a large homestead. The land can still be respected and enriched even if it’s tilled. It’s the bad treatment of animals, antibiotic use, pesticide and herbicide use that I don’t want in my food and I think we get to a point we want to make the choice to not have that. The only way to do that is to become a LOT more self sufficient and avoid the grocery stores. For over 5 years I have wanted to do this, and we started with a school bus. We just haven’t found our tribe yet. We went to the first classified ad we got a response for, they said they wanted to homestead and had 50 acres and water and etc. It turned out it wasn’t even their land, they didn’t garden, the woman was a child abuser and the man was later tried for rape. We ended up having to leave 2 weeks after homebirthing our son. It was a nightmare because birthing is a sacred thing requiring safe space and I felt lost! Throughout our experiences we have taken the lessons and we are putting new plans down. Hopefully we can go home to a village soon!!
 
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Hi David,
My name is Josie.
I have been searching around for a place to buy or lease for quite some time now, and what you have described sounds like just what I have been hoping to find.

One of the most important attributes for choosing a new place to settle in and put down roots for me has been really wanting to live and grow somewhere where the spirit of neighborliness is alive and well.

I am kind, curious, hardworking, strong, observant, resourceful and helpful.

I truly enjoy meaningful physical work, simple living, cooperation, collaboration, teamwork, and finding ways to create mutually beneficial projects and relationships.

I have plenty of experience with outdoor physical labor, rustic and off grid living, natural whole foods cooking, baking, and fermentation.

I am good with plants and animals.

Please get in touch if this sounds like it might be a good fit.

Thanks, and Happy Growing!

Josie






 
David Michael
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I've written a few responses to interested parties and it occurs to me that anyone looking here will likely be interested in the same information. Without further ado...

Good to hear from you. My wife and I have been married for 12 years now. We have 5 children among us from previous marriages, one (17) still at home. None of our children have any interest in homesteading. My wife is a software developer who now works from home part time. She manages our gardening, chickens, and natural supplements/remedies. Her mother lives with us and manages most of the cooking. I have a wide variety of experience in many trades like plumbing and electricity, a solid education in physics, business, and philosophy, and work experience in other areas like database management, reporting, and systems administration. I am currently a member of the National Guard. I do all the construction and repair around here. I have lived on a homestead before when I was younger, and my wife lived on a dairy farm when she was young, so we are not strangers to country life.

We have been trying without much success to connect with others who are decent, like-minded people to share knowledge, labor, and simple 'neighborliness' for many years. We've certainly met many good people who were happy where they were, but we've also met many bad people. So far, no one has been able to join us here. We have good neighbors nearby, but it's not the same at all. Some of them are (sort of) like-minded, but so focused on their own lives they aren't exactly community minded. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes I work better alone too! I don't know how to decide who will be a good fit other than to try it out for a while. Easier said than done. Anyone can come and visit for a few hours, some have even stayed for a few days, but to really get to know someone you need to live and work together for a while. Most people can't do that. I've been busy building infrastructure for growing food, but I've also been trying to build infrastructure for work, housing, power, water, sanitation, etc. We will soon have extra living space to make it easier for people to spend more time here. We know that getting to know each other is critical to choosing good neighbors. Often these days we don't even know who our neighbors are in this country, and that's very sad. Imagine what your neighborhood could be like if you chose your neighbors rather than luck of the draw! We believe people are the biggest problem to deal with in a community or group. Not food, water, or shelter, those things are easy compared to dealing with people. Just look at the world as a whole. Some of the worst stuff going on is because of the things people believe, not hunger. So in order to live together, we need to group together with sane people. I don't know how, but careful vetting is part of that process. Any suggestions?

We are serious about permaculture and agroforestry. For my part, I hope to minimize labor for food production. I'm happy tinkering, not gardening. Healthier, cheaper food and a cleaner environment are bonuses! None of us are experts, so I won't tell anyone to come here to 'learn how it's done', but we are smart and willing to use resources like this forum to help. None of us want to work any harder than we have to (well, my wife might, she's very meticulous). I think laziness is the mother of invention more often than necessity. The machines I use are for constructing all of this and would have no role in food production. We know that tilling is bad for the soil. We're not really doing any one thing, but we are focused on raised garden beds and rotation of animal living spaces. We are also building earth sheltered housing for ourselves and an earth sheltered greenhouse, both of which are designed to be as passive as we can make them. Energy is going to be a premium, and I don't see why we should waste it when we can heat and cool without it. How do you see yourself living and supporting yourselves?

Rules are important. We believe in the U.S. Constitution. They are good rules for people to live by. I tend to favor consensus over majority rule, but that's hard to achieve. Consensus minus one works fairly well if you have time for a longer decision making process. That raises the issue of immediate action and judgment. Sometimes somebody MUST be in a position to react. This is why we elect people to act (theoretically) in our interest. I favor limiting this as much as reasonable. Any ideas on rules for daily living in your community?

Ask anything you like. Take care, and I hope to hear from you soon.
 
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Hi there! My husband and I would love to talk more with you. We’re a family of 4 in Chattanooga. A three year old boy and a baby girl. Maybe we could drive over one day and introduce ourselves. You can reach us at kpageyoung@gmail.com.
 
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Hello Sir and Ma’am,
allow me to introduce myself and my family first. My name is Lyndon I am 42 years old. Been a teacher for almost 2 decades now. 14 years in Thailand, a year in Indonesia, a year in Myanmar, and now almost a year in Japan. My wife is also a teacher 16 years in Thailand and almost 2 years here in japan. We have two lovely daughters 12 and 6 years old. Both of them can speak thai English and Japanese. But there native language is English for we were only and unfortunately have been affiliated with International schools for almost our entire lives. We have started a small garden in our current school and my family had awakened the passion to farming most particularly fermi culture farming. My family would really love to join you there and we will help you and we would love to learn the rest of it on the way. We also wanted to migrate there if that is necessary. My wife and I are excellent thai dish cooks and Filipino dish cooks I am very healthy and been a economics, geography and social sciences and sports teacher for the past 18 years. I can do simple carpentry, can operate truck pickup trucks and any heavy equipments and grew up in my grand parents farming, where we grew corn, sugarcane, bananas, sweet potatoes garden fruits and vegetables, cows, chickens water buffaloes and many more. I would really love to see you succeed and work hard to help you reach your goal in that way I may also reach my goal up to I retire in a new environment that you and my family are going to build and expand. If that is what you envision then my family will do our best to get there. Please contact us and let us get to know each other more. Here is my email. kinglyndon15@gmailcom. Truly yours, Lyndon
 
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David, I feel you, I put an ad up here a couple few years ago, a grand opportunity for the right person/people, no real takers, with 50 million unemployed I can only theorize there will be more people looking for opportunities, were no too far apart, I'm on the other side of 81, if it were not for this dreaded virus spreading like wildfire I would say lets meet and compare notes.
 
David Michael
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Hi Bruce, I'd love to compare notes. Send me an email!
 
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Hi there,

My name is Christy and I am a single parent to my 12-year old son and 5-year old daughter. We have been living near Murfreesboro TN for the past several years, where I teach high school Spanish. It has been my dream for as long as I can remember to homestead, but so far, life has not worked out that way...I still dream about it though, as I am not dead yet!!! And East Tennessee is one of my favorite places in this world.
I would love to talk with talk if you are interested. Please feel free to e-mail me at: mariasblues@yahoo.com.

Thank you for reading, and best wishes to you.
 
David Michael
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Hello all! I'm sure most of you are well aware of how much work homesteading really is, so I needn't explain why I don't post here very often. I do try to respond to every request as quickly as I can even though the responses don't always show in this thread. I just want to thank everyone who has contacted me, and assure others who might be passing by that we are still hear and still serious about finding good neighbors. I mentioned before that I am adding infrastructure as fast as I can. Since my last post I have finished installing a mobile home. It now has all utilities, one finished bathroom and two finished bedrooms. It still needs a lot of work to make it a home, but it is a place to crash. I've also planted 16 new fruit trees, built about 130 sq. ft. of new raised beds, Set up a 6 tall by about 40 ft long Hugelkultur mound, and so many little things along the way I can't remember them all, not to mention having to keep equipment working or making/ modifying things to do the job at hand. If you seriously want to find a home in the country, we can probably make that happen. I must say though, that I'm surprised at how many people contact me but then never respond again. Please give me some feedback! Am I saying something to put you off?
 
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David Michael wrote:... I must say though, that I'm surprised at how many people contact me but then never respond again. Please give me some feedback! Am I saying something to put you off?



I cannot imagine that it is anything you are saying that is putting people off from following through with anything. I have found your posts to be honest, straight-forward, clear, and welcoming, all in one. I am sure your private messages are no different. In fact, I get the sense that it would be great to have you and your wife as neighbors! If I was looking for something in your area, I would definitely consider your situation. And I am not one to say so easily. I think it is just human nature to be initially excited about an idea, but when it comes to actually implementing it, that's a whole other situation. And someone moving to a whole new area, starting a new life, well, that's not so easily done, I guess, and a bigger deal in a human's life. My point is that I definitely don't think it's you. I'm sure you'll find the right people eventually. It may be good to bump the post every so often to be sure it gets seen. Good luck - I have a good feeling about you and and your wife finding fitting people for your situation.
 
David Michael
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Thank you so much Annie for your kind and encouraging words. We just thought the world was full of people looking for an opportunity like this, all we needed to do was connect. We've been trying for years! You would think the current geopolitical and environmental unrest would spur even more interest. What does "bump the post" mean?
 
Annie Collins
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David Michael wrote:Thank you so much Annie for your kind and encouraging words. We just thought the world was full of people looking for an opportunity like this, all we needed to do was connect. We've been trying for years! You would think the current geopolitical and environmental unrest would spur even more interest. What does "bump the post" mean?



I find it strange and also interesting how many things aren't going the way one would expect these last couple of years.
As far as "bump the post", it simply means writing something on the thread and posting it so that the thread gets back to the "front of the line", so to speak. With a forum as busy as this one (yea Permies!), threads get buried and forgotten (and sometimes revived again if someone finds it and posts something to it). By you writing a brief post, could be something as simple as "still looking for someone", it will bump the thread to the front and make it much more visible again to people just coming onto the forum and perusing posts/threads in chronological order which always means starting with the most recent posts.
 
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I would be interested I have a fifth wheel to start with I plan on building a house I have 2 disabled people I take care of  also wholesale real estate on the side
 
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Josie Harding.....I can't figure out how to contact you; am new to this forum; but would like to talk.  You can message me on FB at jelizabeth farms or email me at jelizabethfarms@gmail.com if you would like to talk/explore possibilities.  If you message me on FB I won't see it unless you somehow let me know that you did!  Seems life has gotten so complicated in trying to connect with people!  I hate FB and do not engage there, but have a page for those instances when someone might like to know a bit about me before responding to something like this.  Hope you see this!
Janice
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