r ranson wrote:Hello Oddo,
You've found the tinkering forum. https://permies.com/f/11/tnk
Any posts that don't meet publishing standards are usually quietly removed. https://permies.com/t/17422/tnk/permies-publishing-standards
And here is a great big pile of links to help you learn more about how permies works https://permies.com/wiki/34193/permies-works-links-threads
Is there anything specific you want me to look into?
Nicole Alderman wrote:Bumpity-bobbity-bump! (It's like bippity boppity boo, but without pumpkin carriages and sparkly dresses. Instead, it generates wheelbarrows and overalls )
Brody Ekberg wrote:I’m very glad I found this post on here because I’ve been mentally battling similar concepts for months now. Glad I’m not alone!
“Quick” background: I’m 27 years old, live in upper Michigan and am married (no children yet). As a child, I was brainwashed into believing that debt was a part of this life and that if I wasn’t going to go to college, trade school was the ticket. College never interested me and so, instead of following my heart, I followed my brainwashed mind and advice given to me by generations past. Over the course of a couple years, I went from spending as much time in wilderness learning, exploring and experiencing new things to completing a trade school, moving, and starting a full time job at a utility company. I’ve been at this job for almost 6 years now, make excellent money and benefits compared to the majority of people that I know. I married my high school sweetheart (and her $50,000 student loan debt), took out $100,000 loan on a house and now have this seemingly massive debt hole nagging at me every day.
Due to chronic overthinking and worrying, I had a revelation (panic attack/breakdown/mental blowout) a few years ago that completely revolutionized my life. To sum it up, I realized we are all one, past and future do not exist, all we have is this present moment and we are here to embody love; nothing else matters.
This obviously clashed with my lifestyle in many ways. I had spent my life trying to be happy, doing what I was told, working for the future and was not enjoying it. I was tired, unhealthy and unhappy. After watching Food Inc, the Truth About Cancer and various documentaries and youtube videos, reading several books (Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway was probably the most profound and influential in my opinion), detoxing, correcting our diet and correcting nutritional deficiencies and digestive issues, I had a new found passion for life. I felt more alive than I knew possible, finally felt passionate about life and knew what I was here to do: spread love, teach others and be well. During my revelation (I feel this word fits the experience nicely), I had a vision of my wife and I in a luscious garden, surrounded by abundant food with smiles on our faces. I knew this was the ideal and that it was not only possible to create but felt like life was calling me to do it. I knew that if I was single, this would be quick and easy because I’m focused, easy to please and have low expectations. My wife likes to go places, spend money, do things and have fun. I knew that staying with her meant this process would be a lot slower and more difficult, but I willingly chose this path because I love her.
I used to think living sustainably meant needing lots of land, debt, machinery and back breaking work for little to no pay. I know now that sustainable is a direction, not an end point. Gaia’s Garden showed that people can and are making fantastic leaps in sustainability on tiny plots of land all over the world: A handful of raised beds in an inner city lot, rooftop and windowsill gardens, community gardens and orchards, school gardens and orchards. Many people are even able to have children, chickens, bees, a couple goats or sheep, large polyculture gardens, rain harvesting... all on an acre or two. This was what sparked me to buying a house/property. I wanted to create my vision, not only for my wife and I to be well and fulfilled, but to freely give knowledge, experience and good food!
Current situation: We took out a $90,000 loan on a 3 bedroom house with 2 1/2 acres to realize our dream. Half of the land is wooded and half is cleared with the house, garage and yard space. I spent the first year dreaming, drawing, planning, making gardens and putting up fencing. We have a loop driveway and I plan on filling the yard space with fruit and nut trees, berry bushes, chickens, vegetables, herbs, flowers, mushrooms and bees. I envision a short bus rolling in to drop off a handful of kids for a field trip where we experientially show them how to plant things, harvest things, eat things and teach them why this is important and how to do it without loads of money or land. To help them realize they can do so much with an acre or less by utilizing what resources are readily available. We have good soil and abundant resources, many of which are totally free and sustainable (wood, wood chips, leaves, sawdust, yard waste, water...).
My current struggle: My job is killing me. It is physically demanding, unsustainable, unsatisfying and leaves me feeling like I have no time to put towards realizing the dream. I’m away from home all day and when I get home its all catch up and compensation for being gone all day. I want to just live off faith, quit my job and get dirty actualizing my dream. If we lose it all, whatever, The dream will be the same somewhere else. My wife is not on the same page though, and so we’re trying to figure out how to pay bills, a mortgage and student loan debt without my current job. We’re quite seriously considering starting a fermented food business. Ive been fermenting for several years now, have some good products and have been told to start selling by many people. Plus there’s a niche for it and demand. Ideally, we would source organic produce as locally as possible and try to keep sales relatively local as well. We could do classes and workshops about fermentation as well. I could work from home and make my own hours. I even thought about taking in shredded paper and restaurant waste to start making and selling compost and also doing edible landscaping/sustainable garden design on the side for more income. This would be radically different than a biweekly paycheck! Part of me screams “do it” and another part says these are all just ways to make money for the sake of playing this damn game when I could just get down and dirty right now, laying it all on the line and living off faith alone. I know this is true, but would likely cost me my house, my credit, my marriage and my reputation. Sure, i could be a filthy, wandering, John the Baptist looking gardener but I doubt I would be as influential or happy as I would with my wife living from a relatively stable home teaching children and doing community programs in sustainability and whatnot. Call me impatient but I’m working on it. And sure, my generation is used to instant gratification, so feeling like I need to struggle for decades before things really seem to “come together” isn’t particularly appetizing, especially if my physical and mental health is being dedicated to working for profit while I’m in my prime. That leaves me with leftovers to put towards my passion at some future date that never seems to arrive. This body is meant to spread love and life, not grind out unnecessary mundane tasks for money and to be the fuel of a broken system.
I really feel like there are a good number of people in similar situations as this. So many people here are interested in gardening, wellness, and small farms but are stuck with large amounts of debt, a lack of encouragement and a lack of motivation. There seems to be a gap and I feel called to be the bridge over that gap. Sorry about rambling on. I don't have many opportunities to talk about these topics with like minded people in similar situations!
Hamilton Betchman wrote:Unfortunately, this means you will have to be sure to plant where you have never grown squash before, as they develop in the soil over the winter, only to emerge under your row crops in the spring.