David Michael wrote: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...
Eleonora Quillen wrote:Dear David,
I just hope that you are still looking for people to join in. I found out about homesteading about 4 years ago, and it has never left my mind since.
I grew up in Siberia, where developing plots of land often were the only way to survive when I was growing up back in 90-ies and when our society collapsed.
We lived through 10 years of literal no-law-or-order and no-means-to-live period and that implanted in me deep understanding that if you don't start helping yourself - no one will. Plus I acquired some good valuable skills - from community cooking for large numbers of people to processing birds, fish, and small animals, to knitting wool clothes to order to canning to bread making to sewing and alteration to "never give up" attitude.
We live in MD, my husband is a truck driver and want to stay such (he can work in any part of the country) and we are fairly established - I have a good job (something like a project manager with the State), insurance, friends, 2 kids... and yet I'm looking to give it all up to give our kids a chance to live in a normal situation around normal people, know where and how food come from, learn better things than strange things schools are forced to teach... AND peruse my dream.
Right now we're getting resources to build my backyard garden for the next season - pallets, would chips, food scraps for compost. But my strongest passion is raising animals and farm birds - which is not allowed where you live unless you have acreage (and cost of acreage in Maryland fits a millioneer).
I wish we could just go and buy the land in another state and homestead, but know the reality: my husband,
though very supportive, wouldn't be able to be of much help as he needs to keep his job to pay debts we have since the time he had cancer.
Actually, he can make mead (honeywine), quite tasty, and distill (which doesn't need his 100% being present).
However, it will leave me with 2 small kids (4 and 6) to do the entire homestead by myself which is somewhat hard.
Therefore I am looking for a situation when there is a group of people come together as community to build something and join in, as long as this community is like-minded, working hard, and not embracing all the... substance that is hitting the fan now.
It's just the beginning of my search, and hopes to find something are high. Well, if they would be in vain, I'm putting together a plan to find a bunch of people - a lot are looking for something here - and see if we can form a group to pitch in and make out dreams the reality.
I would greatly appreciate your reply.
We are reachable at email@example.com
Nathan MacAilpin wrote:
Hi! God bless you Eleonora. I am touched by you and your husbands devotion to your kids and their future. I hope you find a path forward. David did send me his phone number and i have yet to call him. Keep up hope!
Samantha Cain wrote:I am very interested in talking with you. Me & my friend are currently living this way but unfortunately the landowner passed away & didn't have anything in the will to protect us staying here so we need to find a new location & like minded people. We both have rvs & she has a tiny home as well. Both of us would be very interested in your project/vision. We have many skills that would be helpful.I look forward to hearing from you. My email is
David Michael wrote:Hi Iuval,
I would definitely be interested in any advice you have to offer. We are (I think) largely in the category of "sharing our gifts/talents/goods/services primarily with our community members, not about money". Some people are more willing to let go of what I call "score-keeping" than others. I have always tried to promote the concept of karma in this regard though very informally. We are all still dependent upon the mainstream economy because we have yet to become self-sustaining, but that is our (common) goal. Perhaps this is a bit of the "shared dogmatic beliefs" you referred to? I don't think anyone here is particularly dogmatic, but we do have pretty clear shared goals that tend to help bind us together.
David Michael wrote:One thing we definitely want to avoid is any kind of Guru or rigid hierarchy. I have been developing the legal framework for an intentional community that we all agree on. It incorporates the community and creates rules for decision making at the local level that do not conflict with, and are enforceable at higher government levels. In most cases decision making requires consensus minus one. A few cases only require a 2/3's majority. I am confident that we are implementing a system Dr. Ostrom would recognize and applaud.