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Gen Z Permies

 
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Last year I made a thread for Millennial permies. I recently found out that I’m actually on the cusp of being a millennial or generation Z. I’ve noticed some folks younger than me poking around the forums looking for friends and connections lately, so I thought I’d make this thread.


Please, feel free to introduce yourself, talk about your goals and aspirations, what resources or situations you’re looking for, etc!



Here's the other thread:

https://permies.com/t/101996/Millennial-Permies
 
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Hey James, thanks for posting this. I am definitely Gen Z as I was born in 1998. I am pretty much brand new to permaculture.

I learned about the state of our civilization and our planet around the end of last year and it shook me up quite a bit. For a few months I think I was depressed now that I look back on it now. My parents grew worried because I wasn't making all the dumb jokes I usually do and we eventually talked about it. From there I improved until I got to where I am today. Active Hope by Joanna Macy was and still is a big inspiration for me. "Hope is something you do, not something you have" she says. And she's right. The big change was going from waiting for humanity to do something to getting off my ass and doing something! I now consider myself a builder of whatever world follows this one. I see in my mind's eye of network of people fighting for our planet in diverse ways: some tell the story of ecological collapse or climate change, even if few listen. Others teach about how to survive and thrive in a changing world. Some fight to change or replace the corrupt systems that are in place now with something better. Many folks are getting to know local farmers, and starting to garden, and turning away from endless consumption. I see myself as just one tiny part of this growing network of people who are, in big or small ways, doing their part to love and protect our collective home. It's this thought that gets me out of bed in the morning and what drives me to do what I do.

As of now, I'm learning as much as I can about permaculture as possible. I am lined up to visit a permaculture homestead this summer and I am oh so excited to get my hands dirty and to soak up as much knowledge as I can. I hope some more folks respond to this thread, I am curious about how many younger folks there are out there.
 
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Generation Z, colloquially known as Zoomers, is the demographic cohort succeeding Millennials and preceding Generation Alpha. Researchers and popular media use the mid-to-late 1990s as starting birth years and the early 2010s as ending birth years. Wikipedia

^ I had to look that up 😁

Hello everyone my name is Silvanus but most folks call me Silas or si. My dream is to have a permaculture homestead somewhere. Meet someone special and raise a family while hopefully raising pastured livestock and fruits and vegetables. My biggest challenge is I live on a small acerage that is completely surrounded by conventional row crop ag fields so my little garden gets a ton of chemical drift. Hoping to move soon and maybe start wwoofing to gain exsperience. Can't wait to meet more of y'all!!!
 
Cam Haslehurst
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Silas Rempel wrote:Generation Z, colloquially known as Zoomers, is the demographic cohort succeeding Millennials and preceding Generation Alpha. Researchers and popular media use the mid-to-late 1990s as starting birth years and the early 2010s as ending birth years. Wikipedia

^ I had to look that up 😁

Hello everyone my name is Silvanus but most folks call me Silas or si. My dream is to have a permaculture homestead somewhere. Meet someone special and raise a family while hopefully raising pastured livestock and fruits and vegetables. My biggest challenge is I live on a small acerage that is completely surrounded by conventional row crop ag fields so my little garden gets a ton of chemical drift. Hoping to move soon and maybe start wwoofing to gain exsperience. Can't wait to meet more of y'all!!!



It sounds like you have pretty similar aspirations to my own! Whereabouts are you?
 
Silas Rempel
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Cam Haslehurst wrote:

Silas Rempel wrote:Generation Z, colloquially known as Zoomers, is the demographic cohort succeeding Millennials and preceding Generation Alpha. Researchers and popular media use the mid-to-late 1990s as starting birth years and the early 2010s as ending birth years. Wikipedia

^ I had to look that up 😁

Hello everyone my name is Silvanus but most folks call me Silas or si. My dream is to have a permaculture homestead somewhere. Meet someone special and raise a family while hopefully raising pastured livestock and fruits and vegetables. My biggest challenge is I live on a small acerage that is completely surrounded by conventional row crop ag fields so my little garden gets a ton of chemical drift. Hoping to move soon and maybe start wwoofing to gain exsperience. Can't wait to meet more of y'all!!!



It sounds like you have pretty similar aspirations to my own! Whereabouts are you?



Just north of Greenville Mississippi
 
Cam Haslehurst
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Silas Rempel wrote:

Cam Haslehurst wrote:

Silas Rempel wrote:Generation Z, colloquially known as Zoomers, is the demographic cohort succeeding Millennials and preceding Generation Alpha. Researchers and popular media use the mid-to-late 1990s as starting birth years and the early 2010s as ending birth years. Wikipedia

^ I had to look that up 😁

Hello everyone my name is Silvanus but most folks call me Silas or si. My dream is to have a permaculture homestead somewhere. Meet someone special and raise a family while hopefully raising pastured livestock and fruits and vegetables. My biggest challenge is I live on a small acerage that is completely surrounded by conventional row crop ag fields so my little garden gets a ton of chemical drift. Hoping to move soon and maybe start wwoofing to gain exsperience. Can't wait to meet more of y'all!!![/quote
It sounds like you have pretty similar aspirations to my own! Whereabouts are you?



Just north of Greenville Mississippi



Nowhere near me, but good to know there's another young person learning this stuff. Best of luck to you Silas.

 
Silas Rempel
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Cam Haslehurst wrote:

Silas Rempel wrote:

Cam Haslehurst wrote:

Silas Rempel wrote:Generation Z, colloquially known as Zoomers, is the demographic cohort succeeding Millennials and preceding Generation Alpha. Researchers and popular media use the mid-to-late 1990s as starting birth years and the early 2010s as ending birth years. Wikipedia

^ I had to look that up 😁

Hello everyone my name is Silvanus but most folks call me Silas or si. My dream is to have a permaculture homestead somewhere. Meet someone special and raise a family while hopefully raising pastured livestock and fruits and vegetables. My biggest challenge is I live on a small acerage that is completely surrounded by conventional row crop ag fields so my little garden gets a ton of chemical drift. Hoping to move soon and maybe start wwoofing to gain exsperience. Can't wait to meet more of y'all!!![/quote
It sounds like you have pretty similar aspirations to my own! Whereabouts are you?



Just north of Greenville Mississippi



Nowhere near me, but good to know there's another young person learning this stuff. Best of luck to you Silas.



The same to you! God bless!!

 
James Landreth
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Cam Haslehurst wrote:Hey James, thanks for posting this. I am definitely Gen Z as I was born in 1998. I am pretty much brand new to permaculture.

I learned about the state of our civilization and our planet around the end of last year and it shook me up quite a bit. For a few months I think I was depressed now that I look back on it now. My parents grew worried because I wasn't making all the dumb jokes I usually do and we eventually talked about it. From there I improved until I got to where I am today. Active Hope by Joanna Macy was and still is a big inspiration for me. "Hope is something you do, not something you have" she says. And she's right. The big change was going from waiting for humanity to do something to getting off my ass and doing something! I now consider myself a builder of whatever world follows this one. I see in my mind's eye of network of people fighting for our planet in diverse ways: some tell the story of ecological collapse or climate change, even if few listen. Others teach about how to survive and thrive in a changing world. Some fight to change or replace the corrupt systems that are in place now with something better. Many folks are getting to know local farmers, and starting to garden, and turning away from endless consumption. I see myself as just one tiny part of this growing network of people who are, in big or small ways, doing their part to love and protect our collective home. It's this thought that gets me out of bed in the morning and what drives me to do what I do.

As of now, I'm learning as much as I can about permaculture as possible. I am lined up to visit a permaculture homestead this summer and I am oh so excited to get my hands dirty and to soak up as much knowledge as I can. I hope some more folks respond to this thread, I am curious about how many younger folks there are out there.




They're out there, for sure (younger permaculture and activists in general)

I know a big challenge for our generation is access to land. But we've been coming up with all sorts of solutions to that across the board. Some people practice responsible guerilla planting. I volunteer to help religious groups set up food forests and pollinator gardens. Every bit helps, for sure. I've been so lucky to see as much progress as I have

I just want you all to know that you're not alone, and that there is hope, and that younger people like you have a seat at the table.
 
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2002 here in north FL. Exploring human rewilding and natural farming.
 
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I'm far removed from your generation, but I'm happy to see that there are people your age interested in permaculture/homesteading/making the world a better place.  Thanks for that.
 
Cam Haslehurst
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James Landreth wrote:

Cam Haslehurst wrote:Hey James, thanks for posting this. I am definitely Gen Z as I was born in 1998. I am pretty much brand new to permaculture.

I learned about the state of our civilization and our planet around the end of last year and it shook me up quite a bit. For a few months I think I was depressed now that I look back on it now. My parents grew worried because I wasn't making all the dumb jokes I usually do and we eventually talked about it. From there I improved until I got to where I am today. Active Hope by Joanna Macy was and still is a big inspiration for me. "Hope is something you do, not something you have" she says. And she's right. The big change was going from waiting for humanity to do something to getting off my ass and doing something! I now consider myself a builder of whatever world follows this one. I see in my mind's eye of network of people fighting for our planet in diverse ways: some tell the story of ecological collapse or climate change, even if few listen. Others teach about how to survive and thrive in a changing world. Some fight to change or replace the corrupt systems that are in place now with something better. Many folks are getting to know local farmers, and starting to garden, and turning away from endless consumption. I see myself as just one tiny part of this growing network of people who are, in big or small ways, doing their part to love and protect our collective home. It's this thought that gets me out of bed in the morning and what drives me to do what I do.

As of now, I'm learning as much as I can about permaculture as possible. I am lined up to visit a permaculture homestead this summer and I am oh so excited to get my hands dirty and to soak up as much knowledge as I can. I hope some more folks respond to this thread, I am curious about how many younger folks there are out there.




They're out there, for sure (younger permaculture and activists in general)

I know a big challenge for our generation is access to land. But we've been coming up with all sorts of solutions to that across the board. Some people practice responsible guerilla planting. I volunteer to help religious groups set up food forests and pollinator gardens. Every bit helps, for sure. I've been so lucky to see as much progress as I have

I just want you all to know that you're not alone, and that there is hope, and that younger people like you have a seat at the table.



It's comforting to hear that. Following covid I am very excited to get started in some permaculture events. Maybe when I get a car I can even visit Wheaton Labs! It looks like an amazing place.

I'm far removed from your generation, but I'm happy to see that there are people your age interested in permaculture/homesteading/making the world a better place.  Thanks for that.



Like James said, we're out there! And I think the numbers are only going to grow.
 
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James Landreth wrote:

Cam Haslehurst wrote:Hey James, thanks for posting this. I am definitely Gen Z as I was born in 1998. I am pretty much brand new to permaculture.

I learned about the state of our civilization and our planet around the end of last year and it shook me up quite a bit. For a few months I think I was depressed now that I look back on it now. My parents grew worried because I wasn't making all the dumb jokes I usually do and we eventually talked about it. From there I improved until I got to where I am today. Active Hope by Joanna Macy was and still is a big inspiration for me. "Hope is something you do, not something you have" she says. And she's right. The big change was going from waiting for humanity to do something to getting off my ass and doing something! I now consider myself a builder of whatever world follows this one. I see in my mind's eye of network of people fighting for our planet in diverse ways: some tell the story of ecological collapse or climate change, even if few listen. Others teach about how to survive and thrive in a changing world. Some fight to change or replace the corrupt systems that are in place now with something better. Many folks are getting to know local farmers, and starting to garden, and turning away from endless consumption. I see myself as just one tiny part of this growing network of people who are, in big or small ways, doing their part to love and protect our collective home. It's this thought that gets me out of bed in the morning and what drives me to do what I do.

As of now, I'm learning as much as I can about permaculture as possible. I am lined up to visit a permaculture homestead this summer and I am oh so excited to get my hands dirty and to soak up as much knowledge as I can. I hope some more folks respond to this thread, I am curious about how many younger folks there are out there.




They're out there, for sure (younger permaculture and activists in general)

I know a big challenge for our generation is access to land. But we've been coming up with all sorts of solutions to that across the board. Some people practice responsible guerilla planting. I volunteer to help religious groups set up food forests and pollinator gardens. Every bit helps, for sure. I've been so lucky to see as much progress as I have



agreed -access to land is a big hurdle, for sure, rising costs of land, and the rising inflation compared to wage stagnation for decades. it was an issues for me when i was younger, and continues to be, and sadly its only gotten that much exponentially worse, not better in my time.

some thoughts - obvious ones are community, co housing, land share...more autonomy and sovereignty than a proper "commune" ...not all in one pot.

maybe not as obvious - team up with older people. there can be some win wins here, older people have land and experience to share, but not as much strength and stamina, younger people need to learn and lack land. small scale or more intense...but even small exchanges...like keeping up some ones gardens for gleanings, or they let you use the space to grow if you kick down part of harvest...with like your neighbors...or even work small landscape gigs that turn into more potential like land share or work trades ...or even co housing with elder couple...that sort of thing.
 
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I'm not Gen Z, but I have a follow up question for the "Zoomers" out there, since land access is always such a hot topic around the forums.

Often, people ask "how much to buy an acre of land" etc.  Well, I know Zoomers are just starting out, so buying outright would be tough.  And the types of land and activities likely vary.  So I'd like to ask the Gen Z types:

How much is renting land worth to you on a monthly (or yearly) basis, as a young permie?

For instance:
-How far would you be willing to drive to have a practice plot for farming/gardening/woodlot access/mushroom growing/tree planting/permie practice stuff?
-How much would you pay to rent for a month or year?
-What amenities or infrastructure would be essential?
-What amenities would be "nice to haves"?
-What situations result in a "no go" or red flag?

For example:
"I'd drive X hours away, and pay $Y dollars a month, for the opportunity to practice Z activity, as long as condition A is met.  B would be really nice, but C is a deal breaker for me!"
 
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I’m from 1993, so technically just a bit too old to be considered Gen Z, but somehow I don’t feel very millennial either, haha.
Buying property is definitely the biggest problem I see among my peers. But I also see a bunch of young people using their knowledge and ease within the digital world to their advantage.
Europe has a lot of countries where rural properties in abandoned regions (in favour of the great move towards the cities in search for jobs) are up for grabs for very interesting prices. $25000 for a simple house (with some much needed work) and a few acres is no exception in these regions. But there’s little to no work for people who hope to be given work. There’s already a more interesting scene for self employed people willing to create work and set up a new market in a place where they have little competition. And even more ease for people who can work from home as long as there is internet.
My husband and I have been very fortunate to fall in the latter category, which allowed us to move from our home country to Italy (where property is cheaper and the nature is much more undisturbed in regards to our home country); and managed to acquire our first property here in a Italy last year for a mere fraction of the cost that we would have paid for a property like this back in our country. The fact that the property doesn’t have direct access to the main road made it undesirable to many Italians, but didn’t make a difference to us as we don’t have to leave the property often anyways.
We are so looking forward to starting our lives and a family on this new property (Moving in next February!).
The way I see it, young people who want to set up a digital work-from-home situation, and are willing to move countries and learn a new language, really can have their pick from some of the most beautiful properties (I’ve seen entire abandoned villages in the middle of the forest, old vineyards and even small abandoned castles listed for affordable prices), for a price that would allow them minimal need for a loan, allowing them to be financially independent sooner rather then later.

The only downside to our situation is that we do miss the friends and family we left behind in our home countries, so we always plan for one or two trips a year to go back and visit them.
Any plans we make for the farm we want to set up on this new property will have to accommodate the possibility of us leaving it for a week.
 
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My name is Hank Waltner. I am 17. I live in northwest North Dakota. I help my dad ranch and farm. I do pigs and chickens. Not full permie but defiantly working towards it.I believe human scale agriculture is what God designed us.
 
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S. Bard wrote:
...
Europe has a lot of countries where rural properties in abandoned regions (in favour of the great move towards the cities in search for jobs) are up for grabs for very interesting prices. $25000 for a simple house (with some much needed work) and a few acres is no exception in these regions. But there’s little to no work for people who hope to be given work. There’s already a more interesting scene for self employed people willing to create work and set up a new market in a place where they have little competition. And even more ease for people who can work from home as long as there is internet.
...



Similar situation in Japan right now. Lots of abandoned houses and land in the countryside. For people willing to jump through visa hoops and over cultural hurdles, there are lots of opportunities. The level of infrastructure still maintained in the countryside was very surprising to me. We have full bars on are cell phones and fiber optic internet is available nationwide. There are also some opportunities to earn cash in the village.

The farming population is quickly aging out, so depending on the openness of the area, farmers are looking for people to continue farming their land for free. The scale is small compared to the US, not acres, but plenty for one person to manage. Prices vary and those listed online are usually overpriced. The unlisted houses are unlisted because the owners think no one would ever buy them, so are pleasantly surprised with any offer. But getting the whole family to agree on whether or not to sell the "ancestral home" can be more difficult...even though it's falling apart....

There is a nice forum, where people talk about living and farming in the Japanese countryside to get an idea of what it's like for those interested: https://www.japansimplelife.com/index.php

We are in our thirties now, so millennials, and just starting on our land. Our neighborhood is mostly abandoned. We think it would be cool to slowly flip the neighborhood (and someday the village) into a permies neighborhood. Something to consider when travel restrictions are lifted.
 
Silas Rempel
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Amy Arnett wrote:

S. Bard wrote:
...
Europe has a lot of countries where rural properties in abandoned regions (in favour of the great move towards the cities in search for jobs) are up for grabs for very interesting prices. $25000 for a simple house (with some much needed work) and a few acres is no exception in these regions. But there’s little to no work for people who hope to be given work. There’s already a more interesting scene for self employed people willing to create work and set up a new market in a place where they have little competition. And even more ease for people who can work from home as long as there is internet.
...



Similar situation in Japan right now. Lots of abandoned houses and land in the countryside. For people willing to jump through visa hoops and over cultural hurdles, there are lots of opportunities. The level of infrastructure still maintained in the countryside was very surprising to me. We have full bars on are cell phones and fiber optic internet is available nationwide. There are also some opportunities to earn cash in the village.

The farming population is quickly aging out, so depending on the openness of the area, farmers are looking for people to continue farming their land for free. The scale is small compared to the US, not acres, but plenty for one person to manage. Prices vary and those listed online are usually overpriced. The unlisted houses are unlisted because the owners think no one would ever buy them, so are pleasantly surprised with any offer. But getting the whole family to agree on whether or not to sell the "ancestral home" can be more difficult...even though it's falling apart....

There is a nice forum, where people talk about living and farming in the Japanese countryside to get an idea of what it's like for those interested: https://www.japansimplelife.com/index.php

We are in our thirties now, so millennials, and just starting on our land. Our neighborhood is mostly abandoned. We think it would be cool to slowly flip the neighborhood (and someday the village) into a permies neighborhood. Something to consider when travel restrictions are lifted.


Thanks for the lead!
 
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Huxley Harter wrote:2002 here in north FL. Exploring human rewilding and natural farming.



I fear that the human species has been domesticated for far to long to be successfully reintroduced to the wild. There are a few rare specimen out there though!
 
Huxley Harter
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ben heidorn wrote:

Huxley Harter wrote:2002 here in north FL. Exploring human rewilding and natural farming.



I fear that the human species has been domesticated for far to long to be successfully reintroduced to the wild. There are a few rare specimen out there though!


It will certainly take a few generations of dedicated rewilders to get there or close. Do you know of Dan Vitalis or Arthur Haines?
 
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Cam Haslehurst wrote:

I learned about the state of our civilization and our planet around the end of last year and it shook me up quite a bit. For a few months I think I was depressed now that I look back on it now. My parents grew worried because I wasn't making all the dumb jokes I usually do and we eventually talked about it. From there I improved until I got to where I am today. Active Hope by Joanna Macy was and still is a big inspiration for me. "Hope is something you do, not something you have" she says. And she's right.  



I'm not familiar with this writer, but Derrick Jensen is someone who has written extensively about the issues of modern civilization. You've reminded me of an essay published in Orion Magazine (a magazine worth checking out, a very beautiful publication, that at least some years ago helped shaped some of my views and thinking) -- the essay is titled "Beyond Hope".

Perhaps it's all just semantics, but he dismantles our use of the word hope pretty well.... an excerpt:

"The more I understand hope, the more I realize that all along it deserved to be in the box with the plagues, sorrow, and mischief; that it serves the needs of those in power as surely as belief in a distant heaven; that hope is really nothing more than a secular way of keeping us in line.

Hope is, in fact, a curse, a bane. I say this not only because of the lovely Buddhist saying “Hope and fear chase each other’s tails,” not only because hope leads us away from the present, away from who and where we are right now and toward some imaginary future state. I say this because of what hope is.

More or less all of us yammer on more or less endlessly about hope. You wouldn’t believe — or maybe you would — how many magazine editors have asked me to write about the apocalypse, then enjoined me to leave readers with a sense of hope. But what, precisely, is hope? At a talk I gave last spring, someone asked me to define it. I turned the question back on the audience, and here’s the definition we all came up with: hope is a longing for a future condition over which you have no agency; it means you are essentially powerless.

I’m not, for example, going to say I hope I eat something tomorrow. I just will. I don’t hope I take another breath right now, nor that I finish writing this sentence. I just do them. On the other hand, I do hope that the next time I get on a plane, it doesn’t crash. To hope for some result means you have given up any agency concerning it. Many people say they hope the dominant culture stops destroying the world. By saying that, they’ve assumed that the destruction will continue, at least in the short term, and they’ve stepped away from their own ability to participate in stopping it.

I do not hope coho salmon survive. I will do whatever it takes to make sure the dominant culture doesn’t drive them extinct. If coho want to leave us because they don’t like how they’re being treated — and who could blame them? — I will say goodbye, and I will miss them, but if they do not want to leave, I will not allow civilization to kill them off.

When we realize the degree of agency we actually do have, we no longer have to “hope” at all. We simply do the work. We make sure salmon survive. We make sure prairie dogs survive. We make sure grizzlies survive. We do whatever it takes."


https://orionmagazine.org/article/beyond-hope/


Possibly also read this one, "Forget Shorter Showers" - https://orionmagazine.org/article/forget-shorter-showers/ - this essay may be especially relevant to this community, though if I remember correctly it may also be a difficult idea to come to terms with. Personally I think there is space and room to live a good and somewhat selfish life, but one that is perhaps punctuated by important pushes of activism.






And, I think by definition I may be a millennial. Born mid-80's. Though the birth date range for millennials is quite broad I would say. For example, relating to the internet and computers, it was still quite young as my cohort grew up, we didn't see the iPhone until we were starting our 20's. I think it must have been a very different experience having access to social media, a more dominant internet, etc. in your youngest years.
 
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i am just about to graduate highschool, i discovered permaculture when i had my first garden. i learned a lot and i ended up watching food forest videos and learning about mob grazing.
since then ive learned more about the downsides of grazing large quantities like that. i hope to be able to have a farm in the southwest to grow rare breeds of livestock, do silvopasture and dryland farming. in my research i havent found much about using controlled fire as a tool to promote grasslands, and i havent found much for dryland rotational grazing.i want to balance wildlife and habitat conservation with ranching
 
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I'm way too old for you all but I'm very glad to see the conversation.  I love what S and Amy are offering for vacant or soon-to-be-vacant land as a way for younger people to get a plot to work.  I didn't see mention of the PEP program but that might be a solution for some.  It's basically a  merit badge system where you tackle different skills, post photos as proof that you did the skills and get certified for them. The intent is that if you can prove you're capable enough, a retiring/expiring homesteader will take a shine to you (likely from afar) and put you in their will to keep their land from being turned into a subdevelopment.
 
Cam Haslehurst
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J. Rosseau wrote:

Cam Haslehurst wrote:

I learned about the state of our civilization and our planet around the end of last year and it shook me up quite a bit. For a few months I think I was depressed now that I look back on it now. My parents grew worried because I wasn't making all the dumb jokes I usually do and we eventually talked about it. From there I improved until I got to where I am today. Active Hope by Joanna Macy was and still is a big inspiration for me. "Hope is something you do, not something you have" she says. And she's right.  



I'm not familiar with this writer, but Derrick Jensen is someone who has written extensively about the issues of modern civilization. You've reminded me of an essay published in Orion Magazine (a magazine worth checking out, a very beautiful publication, that at least some years ago helped shaped some of my views and thinking) -- the essay is titled "Beyond Hope".

Perhaps it's all just semantics, but he dismantles our use of the word hope pretty well.... an excerpt:

"The more I understand hope, the more I realize that all along it deserved to be in the box with the plagues, sorrow, and mischief; that it serves the needs of those in power as surely as belief in a distant heaven; that hope is really nothing more than a secular way of keeping us in line.

Hope is, in fact, a curse, a bane. I say this not only because of the lovely Buddhist saying “Hope and fear chase each other’s tails,” not only because hope leads us away from the present, away from who and where we are right now and toward some imaginary future state. I say this because of what hope is.

More or less all of us yammer on more or less endlessly about hope. You wouldn’t believe — or maybe you would — how many magazine editors have asked me to write about the apocalypse, then enjoined me to leave readers with a sense of hope. But what, precisely, is hope? At a talk I gave last spring, someone asked me to define it. I turned the question back on the audience, and here’s the definition we all came up with: hope is a longing for a future condition over which you have no agency; it means you are essentially powerless.

I’m not, for example, going to say I hope I eat something tomorrow. I just will. I don’t hope I take another breath right now, nor that I finish writing this sentence. I just do them. On the other hand, I do hope that the next time I get on a plane, it doesn’t crash. To hope for some result means you have given up any agency concerning it. Many people say they hope the dominant culture stops destroying the world. By saying that, they’ve assumed that the destruction will continue, at least in the short term, and they’ve stepped away from their own ability to participate in stopping it.

I do not hope coho salmon survive. I will do whatever it takes to make sure the dominant culture doesn’t drive them extinct. If coho want to leave us because they don’t like how they’re being treated — and who could blame them? — I will say goodbye, and I will miss them, but if they do not want to leave, I will not allow civilization to kill them off.

When we realize the degree of agency we actually do have, we no longer have to “hope” at all. We simply do the work. We make sure salmon survive. We make sure prairie dogs survive. We make sure grizzlies survive. We do whatever it takes."


https://orionmagazine.org/article/beyond-hope/


Possibly also read this one, "Forget Shorter Showers" - https://orionmagazine.org/article/forget-shorter-showers/ - this essay may be especially relevant to this community, though if I remember correctly it may also be a difficult idea to come to terms with. Personally I think there is space and room to live a good and somewhat selfish life, but one that is perhaps punctuated by important pushes of activism.






And, I think by definition I may be a millennial. Born mid-80's. Though the birth date range for millennials is quite broad I would say. For example, relating to the internet and computers, it was still quite young as my cohort grew up, we didn't see the iPhone until we were starting our 20's. I think it must have been a very different experience having access to social media, a more dominant internet, etc. in your youngest years.




I've seen the downsides to conventional hope before, but I've never seen it quite in that light before...the giving up of agency entirely. Man that's good stuff, thank you for sharing.
 
pollinator
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I'm in my twenties, I got my start in computer science in my early teens with entrepreneurial exploits in the field before finishing high school; now I'm looking to apply my professional experience where I can to promote permaculture and intentional living. Decided I didn't want to tie myself to a desk my whole life lol. I've grown up around farming but am very new to any kind of practice so I enjoy absorbing the abundance of information here.
 
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Ah, I am a younger millennial, partner is GenZ. Been homesteading together for some time now, one other in the household older than me. About a decade across the three of us. Sometimes it's harder to fit in for sure.
 
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25 F in PNW living with my 26 M partner. We're blessed and fortunate to have upper middle class income, a home, and no kids. I am doing therapy as my career but permaculture is my lovechild. I've been slowly taking this tiny 5000 sq foot city lot and converting it from grass and suburban monotony into a food forest garden. I hope one day to have chickens and ducks and frankly just live that queer cottage core energy I imbibe....without all the colonialism of course. I don't know permaculture is just the only thing that has made me feel like there's something I can DO while living in the collapse. Highly recommend Retrosuburbia by David Holmgreen on ways of downshifting urban and suburban communities to be more resilient to climate change.
 
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Not Gen Z or Millenial, but at 37 I found myself buying a mountain hut in the Italian Alps with a plot of land 5 years ago. My steep slopes between rock walls and towers covered with chestnuts are not prime farming country (bought it for the solitude and the view - some 3000ft above the plain), but I have built terraces and am trying to grow a little food forest. In the olden days people cultivated buckweed and other things on such terraces (most of which have been reclaimed by the forest in the decades of abandonment)
For me it had started out as a crazy thought, some online dreaming (via immobiliare.it) and before long things got serious and I ended up in this corner because properties were cheap, I love the mountains here (knew them from previous hiking holidays) and if you were willing to put some money and work into a very basic building you had the chance to become a home and land owner for about 20.000 € ( I would have spent that same amount for renting a hut in my native Austria for 3 years).
For those looking at Italy and the cheap side. If you can, buy from the seller directly and do not go through an agency (which asks about 5000 € just in fees), but there are of course some things to consider before jumping into it (Italy is norotiously burocratic). I know other people who bought a very nice house with a new stone slab roof near me for cheap (40.000€) and with much more land than my 1.5 acres. They however found themselves needing to repair the new roof because of water damage (some badly done work previously to their buying). So beware of some hidden things that come up (and make sure the contract is tight and the seller can actually sell it) I was fortunate in all these regards, but building codes and rules regarding old houses have somewhat dampened my desire to build, construct and add on. That said, I have no regrets and will now use the evening light to see how my Amelanchiers are doing :-)

Italy btw has seen one of the largest returns of young people to the land (and often agrarian life style) in Europe (according to a documentary) even in the years prior to Covid. Their grandparents left for the cities and for work. And they are now returning (often with worthless degrees and little perspectives in the city), creating small businesses conected with the land. Now with Corona many more people are leaving the city. My closest small town of 4500 people has had an increase of 400 new arrivals from the Turin region over the last few months.
 
pollinator
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Are you trying to tell me if I was born in 1995 I'm a GenZ... or otherwise known as a 'Zoomer'? (yuck)

I'm going to keep proclaiming myself as a millennial since I believe family dynamics can impact things greatly. I'm the youngest of 4 with two siblings at least a decade older than me... so I definitely relate to millennials a lot more than my peers.

Regardless, hello peers and younger peers :)

For those discussing the land issue, I recently 'purchased' land with my parents. I say 'purchase' as I took a casual, low risk loan out with my parents and they purchased the land in cash. We'll be building two homes on our little 4.5 acres, one for them and one for my own family. (This of course only works with a certain degree of trust)

It's one way to get on some land, though probably not the most practical. I know many people have tough relationships with their parents, parents with limited money, deceased parents, or they just plain don't want to be neighbors or live in a multi-generational house. Nothing wrong with that. And don't forget the difficulty of finding unrestricted land that will allow two homes on it.

After living with my parents for two years in my young adulthood (as a mom and spouse), I'm able to assess that.. Yes! We can stand to be each other's neighbor and in fact in may be preferred. I have readily available child care and they'll have readily available elder care when the time comes. Not to mention all of us will get to benefit from being immersed in nature and eating nutritious home grown food.

It's been a great short term journey living in the same house as them, but I am looking forward to my own house in the next 1-2 years. :)

Making this decision as a married woman is great as I don't have to worry about what any future partners may think. Good communication with my husband about the whole situation has been a must.
Communication with the 0-2 year old has been limited, but she seems to love the idea. lol
 
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That’s cool, these generations are the backbone of the fight ahead. I look forward to all the changes in society that you will all bring.
 
shane davis
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No worries, so long as you try and grow and build healthy community you are doing what you can to make the world better. 👏
 
shane davis
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Coding behind a computer can be extremely helpful especially if what is being coded is permaculture related.
 
shane davis
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Did not know that was a purpose of the badges. Duly noted.
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