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#121 of 329 Old 03-24-2004, 08:45 PM
 
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A few friends and I have talked for years about getting ajoining 5 acre parcels and sharing things and skills (and a tractor)- we all have different skills- gardening, knitting, spinning and things we like to do. But land is expensive and far from our jobs (where its affordable) and we all still have money to pay on our mortgages and cars, as well as needing benefits for health insurance and 401Ks.

I still am so inspired by this thread I'm going to work the ENTIRE Your Money or Your Life program and find out where we stand and if we can work towards financial independence and sustainability through making changes.

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#122 of 329 Old 03-24-2004, 11:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Farmer Mama~ We are still in the planning stages, checking out land right now. We are making plans with friends, but they are all pretty heavily in debt and I'm not sure if it is going to work out or not. DH and I plan to buy land there regardless, because it is such a great community. I found the *perfect* place and depending on how rural we decide to be it will be 500-1,000 per acre. I pm me if you want to know more about the area, I don't want to hijack the thread. We're looking at an entire community of people who are like us--spiritual, sustainable, etc. It is a fertile valley surrounded by 14'ers, wildlife, and organic farms.

Heaven!! We'll be driving out this summer to pick a spot.
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#123 of 329 Old 03-25-2004, 09:07 PM
 
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Have any of you explored the existing or forming intentional communities?

Being right is not always fair, but being fair is always right
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#124 of 329 Old 03-25-2004, 09:14 PM
 
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I've thought about joining an eco village. Not sure how dh would go with it tho'. THe big stumbling block for us on this is the $$s. Just to buy into the land is a considerable outlay & then you have to build a house on top of that.

I had thought about finding a big chunk of land & starting my own eco village. Then the price of land everywhere totally skyrocketed so... well back to my paltry 4 acre block with neigbours. Not that I am complaining
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#125 of 329 Old 03-26-2004, 12:12 AM
 
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Oceanmomma, the $$ are one for us, too.

I'd love a four-acre parcel. Your land always sounds so beautiful.

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#126 of 329 Old 03-26-2004, 01:27 PM
 
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We also could not do an existing one because of the cost. But we have a few friends that we may eventually do one with, because I like the idea of building a community. Joyful- Did you go to you biodynamic class and if so, could you share what you learned? Thanks, fm
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#127 of 329 Old 03-26-2004, 02:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by monnie
Have any of you explored the existing or forming intentional communities?
There are two organizations here, one is a urban cohousing projuct and one is a rural cohousing project. They both started planning at the same time and we went to the meetings. The urban is now finished, consisting of self contained units in complex with natural gardens and a common area.

The rural is more confusing. Land around here is very inflated. If you purchase land within 50 kilometres of the city limits you are looking at spending about 200,000 per acre. So finding affordable land is a challenge. The biggest hurdle is to find a rural community that is open to the concept of a rural cohousing unit so that there can be positive interaction.

All of the people interested would like to maintain there standard of living as well which I think is too much of a challenge. You have to drop some of your comforts when you move rurally.

We are now actively looking for a parcel of land about 8 hours west of where we are now on the other side of the mountain range.

It would be great to find like minded people in this region that we could landshare with. We have close friends who already purchased land there that tried to organize some landsharing but financial disagreements abounded. :

Hope you all have a great day!
Colleen
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#128 of 329 Old 03-26-2004, 03:54 PM
 
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Good Morning to all!

Yes, Farmer Mama, I did attend the biodynamic gardening lecture yesterday and it was so interesting and inspiring. Yet, it was frustrating, too, as they we only able to scracth the surface. The lecture was not practical in a sense of helping you to grow your food biodynamically. The speakers gave an overview of the agricultural movement and where biodynamic gardening comes in.

Before the lecture ended, I asked the speakers to recommend two books for a beginner, one practical and one philosophical. The practical one they recommended is by E. Pfeiffer called, "Grow A Garden and Be Self-Sufficient." The philosophical one is by W. Storl, "Culture and Horticulture: A Philosophy of Gardening."

We also received an annotated bilbiography of about 30 books on the subject. We also learned of this website www.oregonbd.org. Once there, select the link "introductory class on-line". This site was created by Dave Robison of the Oregon Biodynamic Group.

Also, go to the biodynamic farming and gardening associations website at www.biodynamics.com for their on-line resource catalog.

Finally, the speaker is going to send me a list of biodynamic farms and initiatives in Western Washington for those of you who are in the area. I'll post them as soon as I receive the information.

I also want to find a resource for biodynamic seeds.

Phew! Okay, don't forget our book discussion on the Nearings starts Sunday!!!

Peace to all of you mamas, and enjoy your day!! Must go round up my boys!!!

ps All you beekeepers, a book on bees that is listed in the biodynamic book catalog is "Toward Saving the Honeybee" by Gunther Hauk -- "This book invites the reader to experience the innate intelligence and wonder of the natural world. In addition to being a guide to the care and protection of the honeybee, this manual demonstrates how the ills plaguing our honeybees proceed from the ills in our manner of living and doing business."
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#129 of 329 Old 03-26-2004, 06:17 PM
 
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mountain mom, where are you located? I understand if you don't want to answer since this is a public board. I'm in the Puget Sound region and land prices here are pretty much what you're describing.

I'm still really interested in the co-housing concept- I keep thinking of myself on acerage when I can't even get my bathroom cleaned and wondering how isolating it would be. In an intentional community, that factor as well as overwork for one person would be eliminated.

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#130 of 329 Old 03-26-2004, 06:46 PM
 
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Thanks for the biodynamic info and book ideas especially the beekeeping one, I am reading Culture and Horticulture right now! I will put the practical one on my wish list. I am really wanting some very practical information on BD gardening, as I some understanding of the general philosophy. I want to know what I can do right now to apply this to my garden and animals. Anyhow, off topic, but do any of you know of a good source for a manual grain grinder? I love the one in Nova natural toys but I want something pretty heavy duty. Any ideas?
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#131 of 329 Old 03-26-2004, 07:35 PM
 
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One more thing, would any Puget Sound area people want to get together to discuss, make crafts and learn skills, and let the kids play? I know a lot of crafts (knitting, spinning, weaving, basketry, bees, herbs, gardening) and am willing to share and would like to learn from others. Anyone else? I am North East of the Sound but am no stranger to driving to something worthwhile!
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#132 of 329 Old 03-26-2004, 07:43 PM
 
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I saw these for sale on a web site here the other day & book marked it.

http://www.goldenfields.co.nz/hand_mill.php

THey are a foreign mill so you can probably search on the make & find a source near you.

I saw a grain mill made out of two round stones with holes in the middle & a handle on in the science museum in London I think. It was in the food history section. You could even have a go with it.

As to dealing with the acreage, that is why I only have animals that cxan be organically farmed. The sheep are my lawn mowers & weed eaters. I only grow heirloom veges as they pretty much look after themselves. I only garden with natives as they all look after themselves too. All Ihave to do is keep on top of the noxious weeds which I do by walking around every couple of days with the kids & getting as many as I can see so it is never stressful. I don't stress about the bathroom at all. My fantasy, altho' I think it is too cold here, is to make an outside bath & a solar shower so I don't have to ever do that much cleaning THen keep the inside bathroom for show
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#133 of 329 Old 03-26-2004, 08:01 PM
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joyful heart--
thanks for the booklist!! those two books you mentioned are definitely on my wishlist! but first-- the good life! i'll have to get my copy in april.
Territorial Seed company just added some biodynamic seed to their selection- they have a great selection of seeds for the northwest.
www.territorial-seed.com

farmer mama- i wish i was in the puget sound area! i'm trying to get together a crafting circle here in the Willamette Valley. Maybe I could make the drive up once or twice- my dh goes up to Seattle every once in a while for business... I especially wanna have a natural dyeing gathering- it's so much fun when we can have many pots of color happening at the same time & can overdye, make rainbow silks, etc.

oceanmomma-- your farm sounds awesome! we moved to five acres with my mil- she chose a property that has too much landscaping, it would take a full time gardener to keep up with the weeding or a ton of chemicals. i would definitely go native & have some wild areas for the animals when we get our own property... but it's all good for now.
dh and i were talking about building a outdoor wood-fired hot tub. does anyone have any experience with that? is it even possible to build our own tub with cedar?
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#134 of 329 Old 03-26-2004, 08:13 PM
 
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I have a book by Becky Bee called something like make your own hot tub blah. ( Her web site is http://www.cpros.com/~sequoia/ )
It's about how to make a hot tub about of an old horse trough surrounded in cob which you then build a fire underneath.

My place is very beautiful but it is only in it's initial phases. I have so much work to do still. I can touch the dream tho' so that is something. That is if the stress of getting a building permit doesn't kill me. We keep having hassles with the council over building permits - boy do they harrass the cr@p out of you if you want to build an eco home over here. It's like this whole peeling layers of an onion thing & for some reason they only post you letter about their objections & needing more info on a friday so you get them on saturday morning.
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#135 of 329 Old 03-26-2004, 08:25 PM
 
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You guys are so inspiring and encouraging. Farmer mama....I am here in Puget Sound and would love to get together and learn something new. You sound like you have a great deal of skills to teach......I can only offer a few: herbs/reflexology for health (especially for women/children), baking/cooking, sewing (Waldorf dolls right now). As far as our schedule.....we're open any day except Saturdays (our Sabbath).

How old are your kids?? We're in Tacoma right now, in a very transient situation. I think I explained before but DH is doing a contract job for Weyerhaeuser. Recently, I visited my family (where I grew up) in rural Pennsylvania. My 3 year old just thrived in that environment and it truly is my passion. I'm hoping to be able to go back this summer and do an apprenticeship with an Amish midwife. If you're interested....I'll tell you all the story of how she turned my son (who flipped breech at 37 weeks).

Lisa
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#136 of 329 Old 03-26-2004, 08:33 PM
 
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ocean mama- Permits are really difficult to work around here as well. I have always thought there should be separate permits for owner-built homes. thanks for the mill info, I will look into it. Again, your place sounds great. Do you give herbs to your chickens? I give mine the occasional dose of oregoin grape root and echinacea in their water to ward off coccidiosis. I don't know if you even deal with this where you are. Our chickens are healthy so I think it is helping out.
Lou- Doing natural dyes as a group sounds great. If we end up doing something, come on up! I am thinking of coming down to the Black Sheep Gathering this year. I have been in wood fired tubs but never built one. fm

Hi Lisa, I definitely think we should get together. My dd is almost 5 and my ds is almost 2, but they play well with a variety of ages. Maybe we should do something in Seattle as a middle ground for all of us? Edited for spelling errors due to the nursing toddler on lap!
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#137 of 329 Old 03-26-2004, 09:21 PM
 
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farmer mama........we're always up for a drive and your place sounds like fun. I'm sure my 3 year old would be delighted to see all your chickens. He especially likes the "hairy" ones (feathers on the feet). Its kinda tough to find some place we could all hang out and be comfortable with our kids roaming.

So where is the Black Sheep Gathering held this year? That sounds like alot of fun. must run.......

L
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#138 of 329 Old 03-26-2004, 09:33 PM
 
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farmer mama and spiisy, I would love to get together! I can knit and garden, that's about it right now. Am open to learning anything new, and my kids would love to see the chickens.

My kids are almost 5 and two as well.

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#139 of 329 Old 03-26-2004, 11:08 PM
 
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Does this mean I'm going to sit around a fire with some of you afterall? I, too, am in the Puget Sound area, and am willing to drive to meet up with you mamas! Maybe we should pm each other as to our exact whereabouts so we can find a good middle ground??

farmer mama -- of course you are reading Culture and Horticulture! What do you think so far??

I don't own a grain mill, but have a wooden one on my wish list!

Thanks for the link on bd seeds, Lou!
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#140 of 329 Old 03-26-2004, 11:23 PM
 
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joyful.....

I sure hope so!!!! So, what are you *into*?? I'm really excited I just wish my friend, Rebekah, could come too....she's across the mountain....couple hours away. RAF....pleeeeease come!

Lisa
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#141 of 329 Old 03-26-2004, 11:33 PM
 
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It's really amazing how many of us are in this area. I would love to be a part of really sitting around the fire.

Being right is not always fair, but being fair is always right
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#142 of 329 Old 03-26-2004, 11:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by monnie
It's really amazing how many of us are in this area. I would love to be a part of really sitting around the fire.


Lisa -- What am I into?? Ummmm....I love doing handwork, especially knitting, quilting and working with felt, gardening -- especially vegetables and herbs (lavender), making jams, and many other crafts, especially those made from nature. I have a small garden and plan to join a CSA again this year to give my children a chance to be part of a larger food growing community.

What is everyone bringing to the campfire? I'll bring a large enough blanket to share, a homemade loaf of bread and a basket of fruit.
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#143 of 329 Old 03-27-2004, 12:22 AM
 
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Sounds good, I think we should meet somewhere, do a picnic and see if we want to do something regularly. What do you all think? My house could be available for this or we could meet in a more centrally located place, a park in Seattle? Seems like we have two from North of Seattle and one South thus far.
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#144 of 329 Old 03-27-2004, 12:31 AM
 
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I think meeting for a picnic for the first time is a great idea. Anywhere is fine by me. We should probably hold off on making a craft or anything for our first gathering...just bring your hand-work if you're so inclined??
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#145 of 329 Old 03-27-2004, 12:32 AM
 
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OOOOHHH! I'm so jealous!
I'm way down here in Texas, just a bit too far to join you.
Well, I'll be at that fire with you all in spirit!

Jennifer, Wifey to Stevenwinky.gif, Mommy to Gwhistling.gif and Hfairy.gif. TTC for 5 years.
Praying for God to bless us again!

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#146 of 329 Old 03-27-2004, 12:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by zanelee
Well, I'll be at that fire with you all in spirit!
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#147 of 329 Old 03-27-2004, 01:31 AM
 
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My thoughts exactly joyful! So it looks like so far we have 4 mamas and their kids, not a bad start. Sorry moms not in this area, we will be thinking of you. Maybe those interested should just pm me or should I start a new thread just for planning this? Let me know suggestions for parks to meet. I'll bring hummus and veggies.
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#148 of 329 Old 03-27-2004, 04:38 AM
 
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I want to come!!!!!! Maybe in the summer when we holiday we will travel down to the states to see ya all!!! (If they let us across...opps thats another thread :LOL )

Monnie I pm'd you my locale!

Take care everyone, bedtime for me
Colleen
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#149 of 329 Old 03-27-2004, 05:06 AM
 
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I'd love to come too but I think I am a bit too far away. Maybe next year you can all save up & come here

fm I give my chooks comfrey & puha, which I think is also called sow thistle. Puha is the maori name. I put garlic in their water every now & then. I do it for all the animals actually. Usually on the full moon if I get my act together. I'm looking into herbal forage plants for the chooks. Also a way I can get them some insects to eat as I can't let them free range properly yet. I noticed they'd been spending a whole heap of time in their hut recently. Then I noticed we have a big hawk hanging around so that may be why. Either that or it is just too exposed when the wind blows for them. At least it is a big hut. They seem very happy. I don't know about you but I find it very amazingly restful just to go hang out with the chooks. My washing line runs along past their coop which is my other treat for the day. Trip out while I am hanging out the washing with the chooks & the sea Awesome

As to the permits. They have managed to pass a law here. One of those sneak thru ones. Where now only a qualified, registered builder can build a house. It's in its phasing in phase right now & dh is a builder so we're covered. I am told there are loop holes too.
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#150 of 329 Old 03-27-2004, 01:04 PM
 
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We actually hope to travel there sometime in the next few years (along with every other American). Actually, we have friends there we need to visit and your country seems so beautiful. Thanks for the herbal info, I will see if we have anything called sow thistle, but I give them plenty of comfrey. There is also something here with the folk name "fat hen". I love it when I am digging and I have all my little helpers (chickens) there eating the weeds and bugs. My daughter is almost 5 and she spends a lot of time in the coop, hanging out and making discoveries. A while back one of our chickens died (it was pretty old) and she was the one to find it. It was actually a very beautiful and non-scary way for her to learn about death, and she asked all sort of questions. We buried it in the woods and put a large rock over the site, so she sometimes goes there to "hang out with the spirit of the chicken" as she says. I think there is so many important life-lessons for kids to learn from gardening, spending time in nature, making things by hand, etc.
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