Starting a local homesteading group

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by HilltopDaisy, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Back about a year ago, I sent a note to Countryside Magazine, to the Contacts section, looking for folks who had either started or participated in a local homesteading group. I received about 20 letters in response, mostly from people in NY state. None had done it, some said it couldn't be done, but some were excited about forming a group of kindred spirits. My goal was to find people like me, who have the strong desire to be as self-sufficient as one can be in this day and age, and possibly have a monthly potluck, and possibly exchange our excess veggies, honey, maple syrup, wool, whatever it might be.

    Prior to this, I had no one in my life who was interested in homesteading, other than my friends here at HT. My coworkers and family are kind, decent people, but let's face it, life is more fun when you can share your passions openly with other folks. In the past year, I've met some truely wonderful people, as a result of that ad, and because I've reached out through this board. We support and encourage each other, teach each other, and share of ourselves and our bounty. My life is so much richer and satisfying as a result.

    I wanted to present this to you all, and ask if anyone has formed such a group in your immediate area? I realize everyone is busy, but one afternoon a month isn't much time to invest in creating a support system. You might be surprised how many homesteders are living within 20 miles of your place. If you are already doing this, will you share with us what your get-togethers are like? What do you do besides visit? I think this is a wonderful idea; it is an opportunity to make friends and barter our goods. Reach out and you will be glad you did.
     
  2. boxwoods

    boxwoods Well-Known Member

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    :grump: I wasn't invited :p
     

  3. MullersLaneFarm

    MullersLaneFarm Well-Known Member

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    Paul isn't shy about just stopping unannounced at a stranger's place if they look to be living a similiar lifestyle to ours. If they're busy or not home, he simply leaves a card.

    We've met a few families that live close by from our website or from another forum. When Carla & Don were here a few months ago, we met a few more. Keeping in touch with these families (I see one every weekend at Farmer's Market) is important.

    If you have a chance to locate and network with other folks living this lifestyle, I promise, your life will be enriched. I have scads of new 'nieces' & 'nephews'. There is spiritual fellowship, and the understanding of others that walk your path.
     
  4. MaryNY

    MaryNY Well-Known Member

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    I'm here right in the middle of NY. I guess I wasn't here when you tried this before. Where are you? I have been noticing that there's a LOT of us NYers on this forum. Who'd a thunk you could grow veggies and raise critters in a state that everyone believes is paved from state line to state line!! LOL

    Oh, yeah -- and you CAN start such a group. Been there. Done that.

    MaryNY
     
  5. Patty0315

    Patty0315 Well-Known Member

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    I am in Jefferson county near Watertown or Ft. Drum.


    4 kids,12 horses,12 or so cows, 1 pig,16 goats,20 sheep , 80 or so chickens, some rabbits ducks and geese, 4 dogs , a handfull of barn cats and a wonderfull man to share it all with . :happy:



    Patty
     
  6. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Actually, Boxwoods is a very important part of our little group. You'll never find a more generous, considerate man. I met Patty about a year and a half ago, although we'd "known" each other from the Countryside forum for about 4 years prior to meeting face to face. I wish we didn't live so far apart, 'cause there is so much that I could learn from her.

    Mary, we're in Broome County. I thought you were quite a bit north of us, up by Woodsrunner?
     
  7. MaryNY

    MaryNY Well-Known Member

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    North of you, yes. But near Syracuse. Woodsrunner is near Rochester -- a bit west of here. I think Steff B.(sp?) is in the Southern Tier, too. And Catskillian is down there somewhere -- and Kate (Sheeplady). I know there are others. If you could just get them to look at this thread, they might be interested in your idea.

    MaryNY
     
  8. katlupe

    katlupe Off-The-Grid Homesteader Supporter

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    I think it's a great idea. You are your environment. So if you are around homesteaders more - it fires you up.

    And the idea of sharing with each other is exactly what I had been thinking of! Look at how the Amish work together and help each other get their work done. A barn raising in one day, a woman has a baby and all the other women go to her house to cook and clean, a harvest needs to be brought in or canned and they all work together - even the children.

    I lived next door to a couple from India some years back, and they would have all their friends over and make food and everyone would clean the house and work in their yard. The next week they would go to someone else's house.

    It makes the work go fast. And we can discuss our projects and get ideas, just like we do on this forum.
     
  9. wehes5

    wehes5 Some dream; Others DO

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    looking to start a homestead group in wisconsin and even willing to share our land to help others...anyone interested?
     
  10. steff bugielski

    steff bugielski Well-Known Member

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    Yep, I'm here in Sullivan county. Count me in. I love to learn and share with others of like mind. Most people I know simply admire what we do.
    Steff
     
  11. Patty0315

    Patty0315 Well-Known Member

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    I would not mind meeting in a central location every 2 months or so. Anyone further North email me. Cathy how are the drafts doing? Mine will be leaving this Monday or next.

    Darn delete button is not working!!!!!

    s
     
  12. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hi Patty! The horses are doing great. My brother was able to locate a harness, so we will be using Ben to pull some tree tops and branches out of the woods nearby. A fella up the road has a sawmill, and he's offered us all the stuff that usually is left there. It's perfectly good fire wood. I've never used horses for work, just for pleasure riding, so this offers a whole new dimension to the homesteading life!

    Patty, I think with you being so far north, you should look at who is close by you to see if there is interest in a group. With the cost of travel nowadays, I know I wouldn't be able to drive hours to get together.
     
  13. rickd203

    rickd203 Well-Known Member

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    I am forming a homesteading group also. Since the property values are much too expensive in CT to homestead, I am looking around the southern midwest area. I met other people that are also interested in forming a homesteading group/ intentional community. We regularly exchange e-mails to share thoughts and ideas. I told them about this site and I hope they have had a chance to check it out.

    We are trying to form a small to mid-sized community of about 100-150 people. We are still looking for more people that might be interested in joining our community. We especially need 10 15 people that would want to be one of the community founders/ directors. Founders are people that are able to make a larger financial investment in starting the community. In return for their investment, they would be in charge of a community activity and would represent the members of their group at the directors meetings.

    If anyone would like more info, I have a a web site www.new-hope-village.com.

    Rick
     
  14. janandkenny

    janandkenny Well-Known Member

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    I am here in Washington County, northeastern part of the state. anyone else close? I know there is someone here from over the mountain to the west... I am sorry I cannot remember who it is LOL.
     
  15. CountryGoalie

    CountryGoalie Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I still remember the time - I was probably between the ages of seven to nine, I don't recall exactly what year it was - we took a road trip to Nebraska for a dog show, and I was playing with a bunch of the kids on the playground, and mentioned that I was from NY. "Wow, you live in New York City?" It was quite a shock to them that there was actually a state, and not just a throbbing metropolis. :p

    We're located about forty-five minutes to an hour north of Syracuse (depending on route and traffic). We raise rabbits for meat and show (though it'll just be for meat when I head off to college), have a handful of chickens for eggs, and my father dearest has been talking about getting a beef steer next spring. Oh, yeah, and there's them forty acres with fields (we need to get some proper haying equipment, anyone know how pricy that runs?), and my grandfather's big veggie garden. Someday I'd like to get a horse and be able to cultivate the fields (plow the garden, mow hayfield, etc) by "horsepower". :dance:
     
  16. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I am NOT speaking of a group who all coexist on one piece of land. I'm talking about folks who already have their homestead, or who are serious about doing the work and making the sacrifices necessary to acheiving their dream. I'm talking about building a network of like-minded people who live within a reasonable distance, to enjoy each other's company and to barter with, possible on a monthly basis.
     
  17. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    MaryNY, would you mind sharing with us about your previous experience with forming a group? I'd like to hear about it, thanks.
     
  18. marisal

    marisal Well-Known Member

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    I think it would be fun. I am in western NY 30 minutes or so west of Rochester.

    I had to just about drag my DH kicking and screaming out here, He likes it, but wants nothing to do with the Homesteading part of it. So i'm alone in that aspect.

    ~marisa
     
  19. MaryNY

    MaryNY Well-Known Member

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    HTDaisy -

    Got your PM, BUT you PM Box is FULL!!

    MaryNY
     
  20. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sorry about that, it's got room now.