Hi everyone! I'm not necessarily making this posting to hook up. But, am letting everyone know that -- there are permaculture-minded people, albeit without access to land, even in the big bad city!
I'd like to make the transition out of living in NYC, but..... it's hard to know where to go. And like many others, I don't exactly have lots of capital saved to buy land, or even travel & experiment with places.
One of my principle dreams over the past few years has been to start a successful online business & then be location independent from there --- as well as having money pouring in, with which to acquire a "permaculture homestead" (easily self-sustaining) & then take off traveling several months out of the year from there......
As you can surmise, I am now finally waking up out of the dreams hatched in my twenties & early 30's & realizing...... whoah. This all takes a lot more work, & luck, than I thought! It was effortless to dream it when I was younger, but now...... inching toward 40......... I'm definitely way behind where I imagined I could be.
I've seen some threads where people discuss making a living, Early Retirement Extreme, & things like that. So I will continue to look into those, & continue to work on this online business idea.
In the meantime, I would also like to have more plants in my life.... & a greater sense of possibility.... feeling connected to nature, permaculture networks, etc.
So. Maybe I'm just looking for a bit of encouragement. Or guidance. Advice. Or something.
Read, read, read. The permies staff have created an immense library of the best of the best for all facets of permaculture and beyond. You may have seen it, it is here: https://permies.com/t/31762/books/Book-Review-Grid The worse thing to do is to set off into a new adventure without some sort of indication of where to go.
Sounds like you may need to get out of the city, I would keep a close eye on the intentional community threads. There is always some sort of cool opportunity shuffling through there.
I would also check out the regional threads. Pick a spot to go on vacation this year that has always interested you, jump on and research the heck out of what is going on in that area in the regional threads, throw out some replies on the posts that may be looking for help. Great way to see if the reality of all this is really for you and an idyllic dream.
I think the main thing is to get educated as much as possible. Get on permies everyday and read. Watch all the videos. Listen to all the podcasts. All the while explore outside of permies too. This is a great launching pad resource to find even more cool things in the interweb!
Good luck, I hope you find your serenity in all of this!!
I have similar goals to yours, and I have also run into bumps in the road and had to be adaptable to find ways to move forward. My situation is complicated by having a few kids to support, which has prevented me from moving far from them and their mom (Richmond VA area) or changing careers. For the next 5+ years I will be on the hook at least somewhat for supporting them, so I will have to keep working full-time for 5-6-7 more years (I'm 43 now). However, I have managed to get my finances stable, and at least for now my job allows me to work from home almost 100% (software engineer). I'm constrained because I don't have good credit - nor do I want to borrow against the future in these uncertain times. I have very few debts or obligations left, and I like it that way.
Permaculture is a design process that starts with what we have, and builds a bridge to what we want. I know I want to be near Richmond, and I am interested in urban permaculture and a walk/bike/transit lifestyle. I have found many aspects of rural living can be great, but it has an embedded fossil fuel cost and/or more isolation than I prefer. I have built up some permie skills and knowledge with lots of reading and experimentation over the past several years. I have a good job and some excess income to invest. I have a small IRA I can leverage to invest in property. I have been dithering over the past year or two where to settle and how, and with whom. I haven't had much luck getting people to collaborate, just not enough folks around with the same goals and ready to act/invest at once. I do know a lot of people in the area into different things; artists, performers, activists, foragers, gardeners, beekeepers, tiny housers, and a few scattered Transition/permaculture people. I want to stake out a place where I can live, work, and experiment with food forests, gardens, and aquaponics.
At the moment I am in the process of cashing out my IRA and looking for cheap vacant lots in Richmond. I have identified a favorable neighborhood with a community garden, plus some people I know living there. Definitely an "edge" community with lots of potential. I found a 0.24 acre lot I could afford with $15K or so left over toward building a modest house, perhaps a duplex to allow space for itinerant relatives or WWOOFers. My goal is to be rent/mortgage-free in 2016, investing more in getting off-grid and making a permaculture haven as time goes by and steady employment is still available. Maybe acquiring more land, if the experiment is successful, but weaning myself out of office work and doing more community-integrated livelihood experiments. I am inspired by elements of urban projects like Food Forest Farm, The Urban Farming Guys, and Growing Power.
That's my plan for 2016, or at least a starting point and vision. I'm going solarpunk.
Thanks everyone for your response. I perused the book list suggested, & ordered a couple more off of it. I am strongest in the cooking & edibles category, partly b/c that's what I can work with most easily here in the city.
I found the following Instagram for a farm up in Maine & I am JEALOUS --- or I should say, inspired This couple has such incredible artistic & creative chops, plus amazing resources at hand: https://www.instagram.com/threelilymama/
There are tons of pictures if you scroll through, the husband is a chef who teaches workshops, has online courses, etc. Somehow they have created this amazing farm that they harvest & cater meals from in, it sounds like, 3-4 years! Plus there is much berry-harvesting & mushroom gathering in the woods, nearby farmers for trade in raw dairy, etc.
Sigh. I will do what I can while still renting with roommates in Brooklyn..... A la, "Permaculture is a design process that starts with what we have, and builds a bridge to what we want." Thanks, Chris Lumpkin, that is a good reminder, for perspective.
It turns out I'm (super) late to this particular discussion/topic/posting, but glad to see I'm not the only one here from NYC with such ideas...I was really starting to think I was.
I feel the same as you...thinking/dreaming about this for quite a while now. But only recently have I been able to formulate some sort of feasible plan to get things started. Unfortunately, there's a step one before the actual first step. I keep these thoughts and goals in the front of my mind to help keep me going towards the homesteading life that I want. I have a general location in mind, but not too precise yet. I'm sure that will happen when the land search starts.
Its quite horrible how things are going all around all of us... the state of the world (and government), what aweful things people do to each other, climate change, human caused food and water problems, and all the other terrible money-driven things going on really saddens me.
...but I digress...
I was casually searching for both more information of things that relate to permaculture/homeateading and a possible website that's geared towards more like-minded people who are interested in finding a partner/mate/significant other (what-have-you), and I found Permies...then this section...then this post. Pretty great finds! OKC and other such sites haven't been much help. Most women who want this type of life don't want to talk to someone who isn't local. The few that do are in other countries. Shame.
So being over a year late to the exchange here, I hope you're doing well and have gained more knowledge that will help you. You might have even been lucky enough to find a great match to join you.
In any case, I would be open to making a new friend to talk with about these homesteading ideas and thoughts, as the people I already know don't ever see themselves living such a life.
Pop over and say Hi if you're ever inclined.