Rewilding Havens


#21

Thanks for starting this thread, Willem! I’m very excited about this idea, of linking up people with land and people without land, who all want to come together to form communities of people to share life with. Here’s all my current thoughts…

I’d gotten quite discouraged in the past when looking into ways of doing this, because everything I came across was either the ecovillage model, or WWOOFing places. Unfortunately, both of these usually still operate on the premise of working (selling one’s labor power), either in order to make the money needed to invest in the ecovillage (buying a house, paying monthly fees, etc), or in exchange for meals and the right to live on the land.

In other words, both these models still include the basic premise of civilization - that one must sell one’s labor power in order to survive. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I want to completely obliterate that idea in my community and way of life. I believe that that concept, along with the concept of private property and owning land, is the primary thing wrong with this civilization, and IT NEEDS TO END. I know, I know, it won’t totally end until civilization ends, but at the very least we should end it when creating true communities of people truly living with the land.

My dream is to live a very simple life with a community of people, eliminating virtually all of the trappings of civilization that require money, returning to indigenous ways of life as much as possible (but of course creating our own unique way of life, since we all come from civilization and have to begin anew).

This community would consist of equals, sharing and living equally regardless of who “owns” the land. Of course there the community would have shared values, boundaries, and rules. But there would be no hired hand working on a farm owned by someone else, as in many WWOOF situations. A person working on a farm that produces food to be sold commercially is essentially an employee - they’ve just taken out the medium of money. And if the two people were living two different lifestyles, then it still seems like it would be perpetuating the same old civilized power relations, of those who own and those who work.

I’ve been considering how I would create a rewilding haven in my own life, and am realizing how many obstacles the dominant culture throws up. Of course there is the massive obstacle of the institution of private property, whereby one has to buy land with money that they probably will have to make by selling their life as a wage slave. This makes it even more important that we somehow link up those who are in the position of “owning” land, with those who don’t, because many have been lucky and/or privileged in their life - and sharing in this way would free so many who would otherwise be bound to years of wage slavery.

There are also obstacles thrown up by the isolationist, nuclear family structure of society. What does someone do if they jointly “own” land along with another person (their spouse), but who don’t agree on how they want to live on that land? In other words, what if one person wants to set up a rewilding haven and the other doesn’t?

The whole modern institution of marriage essentially locks people into relationships and often requires people to greatly reduce their personal freedom in order to share their lives with the other person. Most people view marriage as very much of an either-or situation, where either both people are together, following the exact same life path, or their relationship is over, and they go completely separate ways. Not many people are flexible enough, tolerant enough of the other’s desires, and secure enough in their relationship with someone to be able to continue a long-term relationship while also having the freedom to pursue one’s own personal life path, wherever that may lead. Because everyone’s life path meanders to and fro, and no two people’s paths ever follow the same route. Most people either get divorced when their paths diverge, or one or both compromise to make their paths conform to one another.

I don’t think this creates many difficulties for people when they both live standard, civilized lifestyles - the biggest issue that comes up is usually where to live because of their respective jobs. But when introducing a radically different way of living, then it can suddenly become a major issue. I guess its only a problem because we have so much physical stuff holding us in place, limiting our options - shared ownership of a house, assets, stuff, finances, the family dog, etc. Splitting all that up so that both people can “go their separate ways” is hugely complicated and difficult.

But I’m going off on a huge tangent. :wink: These are all questions that I would have to figure out before I could create or join a rewilding haven. I would love to hear all your thoughts!

Jessica


#22

I’m not currently in much position to offer up a rewilding haven, however, I can find room for a few more guests should anyone need a place to stay for a bit. I’m currently in Columbus, Ohio.

I should probably warn tho’, there’s a good chance we’ll be moving to KY and/or IN sometime in the next year.


#23
Willem Wrote about creating Rewilding Havens: "I actually believe that in some form or another, this work has begun already, of course. So let's add to the momentum. Sometimes things just need a name. What do you think, should we open a topic in the communities of Rewilding category for folks to sign up their place (or their future place) as Rewilding Haven?"

You’re right Willem… the work towards creating a web of “Rewilding Havens” has already begun. In April 2006 “Coyote’s Camp” had a brainstorming session about creating a web of “Rewilding Havens” across the country with the intention of interweaving the homesteading gardner and migratory hunter / gatherer lifestyles into a Cooperative. In todays civilized, desecrated landscape of fenced, privately owned or government controlled land, a nomadic hunter / gatherer lifestyle is almost impossible without asking always permission, trespassing, being harrassed, chased off or arrested and incarcerated, or starving. Waiting around for the collapse of civilization and the demise of private property ownership, before returning to the wild is also not a tolerable alternative for many. Therefore the traveling band of Coyote’s Camp are envisioning and preparing the way for the creation of a Web of scattered Rewilding Haven’s that are both privately owned and commonly owned by a Non-profit land trust or cooperative that acts as caretakers.

Those who prefer putting their roots down, homesteading and tending to the land would serve as land stewards, and those who more suited for traveling the “hoop” would follow the seasons harvesting and planting natures bounty, setting up their seasonal camps on the various Rewilding Haven’s scattered along the Hoop.

Instead of me trying to explain it… Here is a link to the document they wrote from their brainstorm session in 2006, that tells of their Vision. It’s about much more than just living off the land… it’s about giving back.

http://www.pullingforwildflowers.org/journal-rewild-haven-brainstorm.htm

Coyote’s Camp are considering forming a Non-profit corporation that could accept land and monetary donations, while providing a tax break to those making the donations. I changed the word corporation to cooperative and changed property to Rewilding Haven (thanks Willem for that aesthetically pleasing name).

You can find out more about Coyote’s Camp, “The Hoop”, the seasonal camps and join our “Email Loop” at www.pullingforwildflowers.org The planning for Root Camp and Festival near Arco Idaho in June 2009 is now underway. Willem has also joined in and we are seeking a theme for an “Open Space Gathering” at Root Camp. I believe that a theme around Creating Rewild Havens would be a wonderful theme.


#24

Orion-
That looks totally cool. I’ve just started reading the document, but I already see cool synchronicity. I did think of the Coyote Camp crew when I mentioned “folks doing this already”, so thanks for chiming in!

Jessica-
Essentially, the new relationship of land and people transforms into one where we all, fundamentally, orient ourselves to care of land and family (blood or adopted). The land, and family, comes first. Holding this boundary can introduce some complex issues, like you mention. Also, as Derrick Jensen unforgettably addresses, to own land means to have the power of soldiers in your pocket (though only provisionally; this power in fact belongs to the state). What makes a land owner able to say “get off my land?”, or to treat family and visitors as “hired hands” or “trespassers”?

Guns. Men with guns and badges, just a phone call away. If we all can admit this, and take this seriously, then we can finally talk honestly with each other about what it means to partner in this way, what difficulties will come up. I don’t feel afraid of this, I don’t even necessarily see it as a bad thing, but we can’t pretend it doesn’t exist. To own land means to have the (provisional) power of soldiers in your pocket, for good or ill.

I probably haven’t really addressed your tangent, I think I may have started my own. Anyway, I’ll go read the Coyote Camp document now! :slight_smile:


#25

Yeah, this may be a tangent, but it couldn’t have happened any other way. Right? :slight_smile:

This idea seems to successfully reintegrate those of us who have split between a nomadic and permacultural goal. Which has the potential for substantial long-term benefit. And long term cost.

With the number of people preparing the region the Pacific Northwest looks to be the most densely populated area of the world post-crash. I think I’ll stick over here. Jherg, you’re in Columbus? Any one else in the area?

These Havens have benefits to the nomads in terms of a place to stay, safety, meetups, etc. I think some focus should be offered to the benefits to the host as well. If we don’t try to grow a symbiosis we won’t end up growing as much as we can. In a hundred years this pattern could be continuing if there is mutually beneficial reciprocity. Or it won’t survive much beyond the crash itself.

  • Ben

#26

[quote=“Hypnopompia, post:25, topic:1142”]These Havens have benefits to the nomads in terms of a place to stay, safety, meetups, etc. I think some focus should be offered to the benefits to the host as well. If we don’t try to grow a symbiosis we won’t end up growing as much as we can. In a hundred years this pattern could be continuing if there is mutually beneficial reciprocity. Or it won’t survive much beyond the crash itself.

  • Ben[/quote]

For this reason I see the primary job of nomadic folks as caring for the land wherever they go, including the Rewilding Havens. In a sense, the folks putting a stake in the ground will get a constantly refreshing corps of help to revitalize and partner with the land. Anything else, like simple squatting, or freeloading, or whatever, I don’t see part of this deal. People have to support each other. End of story. Rewilding Havens exist just to help both groups find each other - the ones who support by holding space for a Haven, and the ones who support by bringing fresh minds and nurturing hands to help caretake the Haven.

And of course all the camaraderie that this kind of shared “work” creates.

The dirty secret: Human beings actually love to work, when they freely choose it of their own hearts, as a gift to themselves, each other, and the land.


#27

So so true. The free choice part seems like the key here.

I’ve realized that I have no desire to spend hours gardening and “working the land” every day. But I think I would be happy roaming the countryside foraging, tracking, and hunting all day.

Yes, I think everyone would agree that all members of a community should contribute fairly - the health of any community relies on this balance of giving and taking. But so much of what I’ve seen on the WWOOFing websites sounds like “hired hand” type situations, with the people not just working to contribute to the people living on the land, but working to produce things for sale. This is where it gets unequal, I feel. Of course there wouldn’t be anything untoward about a group of people selling (essentially trading) food they’ve grown in order to obtain other things they need to live. But the group would need to share the resources equally, which isn’t the case when the process of selling the food (and receiving the $$) is kept separate from the exchange of labor for meals and lodging.

This is exactly what happens in capitalism, whereby workers are removed from what they produce - the workers get wages, while the employer gets exclusive ownership of the goods produced, and gets to pocket the whole value of those goods when sold. This is the definition of capitalist exploitation, because the wages paid are invariably less than the value of the goods, with the surplus being pocketed by the employer as profit.

So, to make a long story short, in order to remove capitalist employer-employee relations from the picture, it seems essential to me that all the resources of the community - generated from the members’ various contributions - be shared equally. And this relates to another thing that has been bouncing around in my head - whether or not this would require the members of the community to live the same lifestyle (the same standard of living). In other words, would it work if the people owning the land lived in a nice house (with electricity and whatever), while those who didn’t own lived in a trailer or in tents? Would this arrangement make it impossible for everyone to consume the same amount of resources, or would it necessarily be unequal?

I’m wondering this because personally I would feel awkward living in any community with such a disparity. To me, a true community means everyone fundamentally sharing their lives, which includes sharing living spaces (and having the same type of living spaces). And even more fundamentally, I just don’t feel that true sharing of life can happen when everyone’s living spaces are separated from each others, as in modern homes (thinking about how much of life is spent inside these living spaces).

But I know that lots of other people would want to continue living in their current homes, for example, so I’m not sure how this would all end up working. Probably this network would include the whole spectrum of living arrangements - just wondering how that would work out.

Jessica


#28

The resources and the percieved disparities between the homsteaders and the hunter/gatherers would need to be managed by the members of the cooperative. The nomads have chosen a preferred lifestyle of fewer material possessions and lighter mobile habitats and ideally would not begrudge the homesteaders who put roots down and build permanent, warmer, more comfortable shelters, especially if the homesteader purchased and owned the land and was “holding space” for his Nomadic brothers and sisters. However if the land was owned by the cooperative and 80% of the resources were being funneled into “castle building” for the homesteaders while the Nomads were always broke, no gasoline or horse feed monies, tattered tents, meager supplies… then the “medicine wheel” would be out of balance and need to be re-balanced.

There is a natural trade-off or a price to pay for everything desirable that we choose in life. Both the homesteader and the Nomads make a trade-off for their desired way of life. The Nomad trades the comforts of Materialism for Freedom, and the Homesteader trades his Freedom for the comforts of material possessions.

I have noticed in my own life that material possessions have a way of taking me prisoner. They consume my resources, my time, freedom, and peace of mind. The more material objects that I “Own” the more work and worry that I invest into acquiring, possessing, protecting from damage and decay, thievery, etc. So instead of me owning them… my material possessions begin to own me. Sometimes I wish that I would sell it all and just travel around the country, exploring and camping for awhile where I like and moving along to someplace new. I am torn between Freedom and the comfort, security of materialism.

I am not a devout christian or a bible thumper but there is wisdom in the bible, and here is one of my favorite verses “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” You might want to substitute Nature for Heaven.

Things have a natural way of balancing themselves. It would be know amongst the Nomads which of the havens were more hospitable, accomodating, balanced, harmonious and they would migrate towards those Havens, and avoid the Havens where unfair disparities existed, and if the diverging havens were privately owned they would fall off of the Hoop, and if the Haven is commnuity owned then Stewardship would need to be changed to bring balance.

Together they could build a Longhouse where the Nomads could live in comfort during their stays at the Haven. On Havens owned by the cooperative, there might be an arrangement of rotating, alternating Land Stewards who would take a break from the rigors of the nomadic lifestyle for 6 months or a year, tending the Haven and assisting the Nomads,and then going back the Hoop and another Nomad would become a land steward for 6 - 12 months. This way there is no individual possession of houses, but a true sharing of both lifeways.

There would be so much to consider and arrange for, in a feasible, workable community cooperative of scattered Rewilding Haven’s and bands of hunter/gatherers.

Another interesting aspect to ponder is what objects the Haven might produce, besides food, to trade or sell for resources needed for the haven, caretakers and Nomads. In 1978 I made my own Tipi (or Teepee) with 100 yards of canvas and a sewing machine, and it made such a beautiful habitat to live in. I especially like the idea of making Tipi’s as habitats on the haven and also for trade. I love the vision of a harmoniouss community living in a large circle of tipi’s around a large central firepit.

For ideas… here are some websites where they make and sell tipi’s

Nomdic’s Tipi Maker - http://www.tipi.com/
Reese’s Tipi’s - http://reesetipis.com/
Long list of Tipi Makers - http://www.tipis-tepees-teepees.com/tipi_makers.htm


#29

I’ll just relate my own experiences here and try not to pass any judgements. I don’t want to discourage anyone here. I would just like to relate some of the pitfalls that I have experienced.

I live in a nuclear family unit now. I have lived communally in the past and also in a “neighborhood” of very like minded alternative types each with their own place, but all adjacent to each other or very nearby. This neighborhood was also bordered by very large tracts of public land and timber co. land.

I was also a traveller for many years. I moved in a loose knit network of alternative communities as well as places that were known to be open for transient people like us.

I remember being very put off by the expectations of people in communities who let us travellers know in no uncertain terms that there was work that needed to be done and if we weren’t into that then we could hit the road. Later on I started to come around to seeing their point and if I wasn’t in the mood for that then I’d just keep my visit very short or stay out on the “road”.

I’ve bought two pieces of land in my life. Both came to us through very hard work and commitment. I never had those kind of resources handed to me on a platter. I have had people express that I had certain luxuries because I had land and a home. My response is that it was a concious decision to make that commitment that could be made by anybody if it was possible for me. The same goes for the “free” life of the nomad. It requires a commitment to what that life demands.

What many of you are talking about is something that I could see far down the road when a common culture is widespread and when the customs and world views of the nomadic people are at least complimentary with those of the settled folks. Expectations have to be clear and understood both ways. So many times I have seen situations where the expectations have been unclear or where the arrangement was begun with one expectation and when that changed the awkwardness set in. Hard feelings love to grow in those situations.

My home since I was in my early 20’s has always been a place for visitors to stop by. We have often had people stay with us for extended periods. Sometimes people have stayed at our home when we were gone. We often have a steady stream of visitors in the summer.

Since I have been tanning hides for a living I have had a number of people come stay here in order to learn to work with hides. I’m not really open to that any more. What I have found is that the people often have little understanding of the concept of investing in the learning process and commitment.
I have been mentored by people who do not “teach”. If I want to learn about something, a commitment is required. I must be willing to invest in the learning process. This is similar to an apprenticeship. An apprentice might start out doing all the shit work and it might seem to be work that doesn’t even have to do with what they are apprenticing for.
This might go on till the apprentice has just about had it with that fucker that’s supposed to be teaching them but is just using them for slave labor to do all the shit they don’t want to do. This is how I have learned a lot of what I know.
I used to think this was some kind of hierarchical, patriarchal bull shit but I now see that what is going on is that the mentor is finding out how commited to the learning the apprentice is. If the apprentice says fuck this shit you asshole, then so be it. This is when the apprentice learns to pay attention, follow instructions, drop the preconcieved notions and the ego, and open up to the learning. That’s all important stuff that really gets in the way if it doesn’t happen.
My mentors find out if the apprentice is ready to learn, and if not that’s fine. Come back when you are, or not. They have no attachments to my process.

What has happened to me in the past is that I get my ego stroked by having students who learn from me so I drop what I am doing and spend my time trying to teach them everything I know. Then just about the time when the student could actually do the work on their own and really help me in return, they decide it’s time to move on to the next place. And I feel ripped off. I don’t take that on anymore. .

There are benefits to the nomadic life and there are benefits to the settled life. The problems come when people feel entitled to it all without doing what it takes. A nomadic life requires some sacrifices in comfort, possesions etc. and it rewards us with freedom from many attachments that hold us back. It opens us up to a universal flow.
A settled life requires a commitment and investment in staying in one place and doing what needs to be done in caring for that place and developing a deeper relationship It has it’s rewards as well.
Blending these two ways of being can be very tricky. It often requires an investment of time on the part of travellers and a willingness to tune into what is happening in a community. The "permanent " dwellers in the community have made that investment and consequently formed attachments to outcomes.

I’m just rambling here, jumping from one thing that pops into my head to another. Hope there’s something useful in all that.


#30

Orion-
As always, I love the longhouses. Of course, the appropriateness of shelter design varies with location; here on the PacNW waters, lots of native folks built amazing cedar plank longhouses. The Iroquois did Elm bark-covered ones. The Norse I believe often thatched theirs, as in your photo.

I do think some rotational, or organically determined way of finding land stewards and balancing nomadic community make sense.

Billy/Heyvictor-

Expectations have to be clear and understood both ways. So many times I have seen situations where the expectations have been unclear or where the arrangement was begun with one expectation and when that changed the awkwardness set in. Hard feelings love to grow in those situations.

I agree with this; in fact, I think the lack of this social technology/cultural tradition (or rather, the loss of it) has done more to make us a weakened people with low survival odds than anything else. We run into it over and over as we struggle to find our way back to the land and tribe/village/family. One way or another we need to learn new traditions or relearn old ones. Hence my boosting for Open Space technology, teamworks skills, clarity and so on. Otherwise the pressure to remain nuclear family units, however neighborly, I think will limit all our efforts to really thrive as we did of old.

What I have found is that the people often have little understanding of the concept of investing in the learning process and commitment. I have been mentored by people who do not "teach". If I want to learn about something, a commitment is required. I must be willing to invest in the learning process. This is similar to an apprenticeship. An apprentice might start out doing all the shit work and it might seem to be work that doesn't even have to do with what they are apprenticing for.

Exactly. So much of this Rewilding Haven idea sounds “care-free”, almost like an escape, except really, if indeed an escape route, it must lead to a rock solid foundation of clear intentions, focused work, and caring for each other.


#31

I did one of these WWOOF style things this past summer on a small vegetable farm (for sale at market and through a CSA). I had a lot of the frustrations you’ve described here. I was more or less brought in as another hand to work a 40 hour week to help keep the farm going. I didn’t resent the farmer or his assistant (who quickly became a friend) at all – they worked harder and longer hours than I did and weren’t by any means striking it rich (just barely getting by to be honest). I guess part of my main frustration wasn’t that I felt overworked or under-appreciated, but that we were working all this land all these hours and then we were just selling it away to others who could pay for it with money. It didn’t feel right. I wish we could have done the same thing for subsistence, but that wasn’t an option. Maybe we would have worked less, maybe less, I don’t know, but it would have at least been for supporting ourselves in a true sense rather than in obligation to the monetary economy.

Mostly what I long for is a way of life where I can put forth the creativity, passion, and effort to live, play, and work among others as we work to take care of our needs. But that longing is nothing new. I just hope I have the maturity to follow through on that desire and put in the hard work to make it happen.

I think one of the things I worry about is finding others who I trust and feel safe with and who want to follow a similar path and make a similar kind of commitment. Sometimes I worry I want there to be other “me’s” out there who want to do exactly the same things I want to do. Haha.

~wildeyes


#32

Orion, awesome pictures! Is the first one a painting, or a photograph? (looks like a painting to me)!

I totally agree with this, especially if “freedom” includes “freedom from having to participate in the wage economy”. To me I see it not as a dichotomy between “nomad” and “homesteader”/“settler”, but between agriculture/gardening and hunter/gathering. Of course these distinctions aren’t black and white; there is plenty of overlap. But I think this better describes the difference between those who choose to work more in order to have more of the benefits of civilization, and those who want to minimize the trappings of civilization in order to be able to work less (much less).

As long as everyone is clear about their choices, and doesn’t expect others to adhere to what they expect of themselves (in terms of workload, especially), then I think communities of people with mixed goals could potentially work out just fine.

This is precisely why I feel the need to really clarify the issues of lifestyles, workloads, etc; and why I cringe whenever I hear people talk about “paying your dues” or the virtues of hard work in general. I don’t have a problem with working hard, but I do have a problem in the expectations many have that survival (and happiness) necessarily requires the insane amount of “work” that people consider to be normal (up to and beyond half of one’s waking hours, and most of one’s waking hours if housework & child care is included on top of a full-time job).

Of course, it all totally depends upon what one considers to be “work”. One person may consider weeding to be a chore, while another may enjoy it as a relaxing hobby (although I’ve found it to be incredibly hard on the body - I am ALWAYS sore the next day, if I worked hard for a couple hours). The key is whether or not the work is freely chosen, or if it is an obligation that one has to do, but doesn’t want to.

If a person freely wants to teach something because they enjoy it, then should they “charge” others for it (in labor or money)? Depending on how much $$ they need to survive (how plugged in they are to the capitalist economy), they may have to. But if community meets their needs the same as everyone else’s, and if they desire to teach, then why should they require those being taught to pay? Why couldn’t those students just contribute to the community in other ways, freely given?

Of course, everyone who enters into a social agreement should fully understand the terms, and the basis for everyone’s terms. In other words, if someone chooses to have a house and bills to pay, and therefore need to charge for teaching (for example), as long as the students understand this and freely agree to that, all is well. I personally would not choose to pay more in this situation, if there another teacher existed who did not have those bills and therefore did not need to charge (or charged less).

I have spent years learning how to train horses and teach others to ride, and I would much prefer not that they students not have to pay me at all. The whole “payment” thing has always felt awkward and wrong to me, and especially when it is for something that I enjoy (I desire to teach others these skills when I feel that it would help them). But if I have bills to pay, then I have no choice but to charge.

I would much prefer to live in a community of people who freely give to others, without expecting payment. Where those who respect what they are given give back in other ways; where everyone spends their days helping each other, in whatever way they feel like doing (rather than people dictating to others what they need to do to contribute).

AHA! :o I think I’ve found it, the crux of my whole rambling argument: The difference between people contributing to the community in ways that they themselves choose (doing what they would like to do), and people contributing in ways that are chosen for them (imposed on them in the form of requirements, expectations, etc). Others may choose the latter, but I would want to live in a community of the former.


#33

I also wanted to mention that I have no desire to live an agrarian lifestyle, spending large amounts of time weeding and maintaining a farm. I’m much more interested in foraging-type horticulture, not only because it seems so much less invasive and controlling of the land (enhancing nature rather than subduing it and converting it for human purposes), but also because I have no desire to spend long hours laboring each day.

I’ve read that agriculture requires more caloric input (in the form of work) for the same amount of food as foraging does, and it seems that the experiences of every small farmer backs this up. It seems that even homesteaders living very simplified lifestyles still have to work (relatively) long hours to survive, from what I’ve heard them say. Of course hunting and foraging may take just as many hours, if one includes walking time, but that just seems so much more enjoyable to me (and easier on the body)! Maybe it’s just personal preference.

Anyway, I’m bringing this up because it relates to an idea I have, that I’d like to share (tell me what you think). I’ve been thinking that I would really like to establish a rewilding haven by buying a (relatively small) chunk of land adjacent to public land, where people could live a pretty much hunter-gatherer lifestyle but with a more or less permanent base camp. That way the need for a larger landbase would be satisfied, while satisfying legal requirements that restrict living on public land. And we could include neighboring private land in our landbase as well, as long as the owners of the land didn’t live or do anything on it (we certainly wouldn’t be negatively impacting it!)

Because we’d be living an uncivilized lifestyle, we’d have very little need for money except to pay property taxes & mortgage (my lender would probably be my grandma ;D, so no getting robbed blind by a bank). The only main difficulty, for me, would be what if my husband doesn’t want to live like that? He’s very much the “lone mountain man” type, who doesn’t like living closely with others (he doesn’t even like living closely with me some of the time! ;)) But honestly, if it came down to it, I would still choose this life regardless (he’d just have to deal with it or not live with me, I guess). There’s only so much I’d be willing to give up for another person!


#34

It is an interesting question… just where is the line between hunter/gatherer/permaculturist and “evil farmer”? I think if we’re breaking thinks down along the lines of “fun” vs. “not fun” then there’s bound to be a pretty good range of opinions. For instance: I love raising animals, planting trees and herbs, and finding suitable wildflowers to surround my house with. All of these are in the “totally fun” category for me. On the other hand, I don’t like “row vegetables” because of all the work.

I would hope that if everyone was truly honest with themselves, no one would find fields of monoculture crops “fun”. If it’s then possible to let people follow their hearts, there would be a great range of non-destructive possibilities. It would also make for a great trade relationship between the homesteaders and the nomads, because some crafts and products (like felting, weaving, and cheese-making) are easier to do if you can keep all your “stuff” around you and not always be moving. At the same time, nomads have things that the villages do not. Maybe they bring a medicinal plant that doesn’t grow in that region; or maybe news and stories… what about the idea of the traveling bard? They used to be quite popular.

I can envision a culture in which everyone gets to do what they love, and everyone has something essential to contribute… and if you have stories to trade, I’ll have some lovely goat cheese and dried apples to give you.


#35

I suppose I should talk to my brother first, but I’ve been wanting to open TrollSplinter Land up to folks to come through and visit and stick around as long as things are working out. The idea of Open Space seems pretty rad. I’m moving out there in April to start building a timber framed, wattle and daub house. Good company would be incredibly welcome.


#36

Yes, at least for now. The plan was to head down towards the Stockport area at some point, but… for family reasons, I think we’re more likely to head down towards Louisville.

Emily/Dream of Stars was in Cinci, but I haven’t heard from her in a while and unfortunately, I don’t know any other rewilders in the area. Though, there’s certainly some folk doing some pretty interesting things. I started an Ohio resource thread here. Dunno if you find anything new, but you might find it worth a look. (Although, I think I need to update it)

I gotta say, I’m excited about the idea of having Rewilding Havens, even if they only help us through the transition period then disappear.

[quote=“Ink, post:34, topic:1142”][quote author=bereal link=topic=1206.msg13177#msg13177 date=1225624897]
I also wanted to mention that I have no desire to live an agrarian lifestyle, spending large amounts of time weeding and maintaining a farm. I’m much more interested in foraging-type horticulture, not only because it seems so much less invasive and controlling of the land (enhancing nature rather than subduing it and converting it for human purposes), but also because I have no desire to spend long hours laboring each day.
[/quote]

It is an interesting question… just where is the line between hunter/gatherer/permaculturist and “evil farmer”?[/quote]

Yeah, as much as I enjoy gardening and taking care of plants, I don’t have much yearning for an agrarian life either. Part of that is I really disagree with annual tilling & monocropping, that doesn’t increase life, it pretty clearly diminishes it. In fact, that’s pretty much the line I draw, does it diminish life the area or increase it?


#37

Quote from Wildeyes:

"I think one of the things I worry about is finding others who I trust and feel safe with and who want to follow a similar path and make a similar kind of commitment. Sometimes I worry I want there to be other "me's" out there who want to do exactly the same things I want to do. Haha."

In my youth I was very idealistic and dreamed of getting back to nature, living on the land in a rustic pioneer way, in a commune with all of my friends. I bought 13 acres of remote land in Southern Colorado with a small “canyon” running through it and a beautiful view of the La Platta Mountains to the north. I made my own 20’ Tipi habitat, an adobe sweat lodge and cool dip pool, ect. I soon realized that my dream of creating this commune with all of my friends was unrealistic and would not happen. All of my friends had their own plans and dreams for their future and it wasn’t their dream to live in a commune on my 13 acres. Most of them were too busy with their own lives to even make the 75 mile round trip to visit my “Haven” that I wanted so much to share with them. So I sort of wrote my friends off, and lived like a lone hermit on my land with my 2 dogs for companionship, keeping busy with building projects during the day, and a jug of cheap wine or six pack of beer everynight around the fire to ease the loneliness.

[center][/center]

[center]http://www.pullingforwildflowers.org/threshold-dream.htm[/center]

In the summer of 1978 I posted this sign on the bulletin board in a natural food Co-op in Durango, hoping to attract some settlers to homestead with me on my land. Pretty idealistic and dreamy… huh?

Now, if I were to open my small present day homestead as a Rewilding Haven to hunter/gatherer nomads I would be very concerned about safety, vulnerability, and commonality with the Nomads who would stop by and set up camp for awhile. If they are camped in close proximity to the house, it would be natural to invite them into your house to visit and share a meal, but if you do not know them or their true intentions, you are very vulnerable if they are deceptive and have evil intentions. When word got around of our hospitality, it is likely that “Low Life” would be attracted to the prospect of getting something for nothing at “The Haven”. I guess there is more safety in numbers and the larger the family on the Haven the safer. Now I live the life of a hermit with 2 dogs and a cat as companions… and a loaded shotgun (and a home alarm system) for security.

I think that there is an unrealistic “Fairy Tale Romanticism” in our modern day perspecitive and beliefs about a wilder, less civilized world. In the US, we have lived in a period of relative law and order, where it is possible to live safely and securely in a solitary house on a farm in the countryside. It is hard to imagine the brutal reality of living in a world without the safety and security of Law and Order. An example of that reality happened in 1994 with the slaughter of 1,000,000 Rwandans within a 100 day period, by their fellow countrymen. During the “Dark Ages” a lone farmer & family living in the countryside was likely to be slaughtered and their house and farm burned to the ground. The peasant farmers had to live within a walled fortress city ruled by a wealthy landlord who protected them with his private Army, in turn for their labor in his fields." A sort if medieval WOOF - ha! In the present day civilized world of Law and Order we are able to live in relative safety. After the fall of civiization, I believe that humans will resort to inhumane barbarism that makes the animal kingdom seem more humane than humans… but this is WAY off the topic of rewilding havens.

Bereal wrote:

"Orion, awesome pictures! Is the first one a painting, or a photograph? (looks like a painting to me)!"

The longhouse image also looks to me like a painting. I did a google image search for longhouse and this is one of the first that appeared. I like to use Imagery to help convey ideas and stimulate the imagination.

Bereal wrote:

AHA! :o I think I've found it... The difference between people contributing to the community in ways that they themselves choose (doing what they would like to do), and people contributing in ways that are chosen for them (imposed on them in the form of requirements, expectations, etc). Others may choose the latter, but I would want to live in a community of the former.

I would also like to live in a community where I choose how I can best contribute. That would be ideal. yet we know that the ideal is often not the norm. I am told by “coyotes camp” about the “Hoop Law” of the Native Americans which includes

[ul][li]Carry your own weight[/li]
[li]Come bearing gifts[/li][/ul]

I understand “come bearing gifts” as meaning it needs to be as much (or more) about giving, rather than taking or recieving. There would be alot of not-so-pleasant, dirty work (like waste/sewage disposal) that no one would really care to do. This work would need to be shared by everyone in the community. Those who only contributed as they pleased without sharing in the dirty work would create conflict. If we willingly do our share of the dirty work as requiered, then it is not being imposed upon us. When we avoid doing our share, then it will probably be imposed upon us if we wish to stay in the community. So it seems to me that there will always be some degree of requirements and expectations of the members of a successful harmonious community.


#38

Such security is a valid concern. I think a great, tribal way to handle this might be some sort of recommendation system, by which I mean people who care for havens would only let nomads stay if they came recommended by another known caretaker from another haven. In this way, we could set up a sort of monitoring network. If someone has a habit of causing trouble in one place, his or her reputation might follow them to other places.


#39

It would also depend on the popularity of the Haven. With enough people there any one who dared to do anything unscrupulous would be…encouraged to reevaluate their lives by the other guests in short order. The deal danger would come in from Havens where only a few visit and the locals become out numbered by the guests. Otherwise I suspect that everyone here knows how to deal with people who do harm to their hosts, and I would venture other re-wilders will too. In nature a symbiot is encouraged, but a parasite is eliminated. As a movement I think we’ve grow-up a bit past helpless idealism. Its made us practical and hard, which can be beneficial. I hope it hasn’t left us unable to see possibility in the infidel.


#40

[quote=“orion, post:37, topic:1142”]Quote from Wildeyes:

In my youth I was very idealistic and dreamed of getting back to nature, living on the land in a rustic pioneer way, in a commune with all of my friends. I bought 13 acres of remote land in Southern Colorado with a small “canyon” running through it and a beautiful view of the La Platta Mountains to the north. I made my own 20’ Tipi habitat, an adobe sweat lodge and cool dip pool, ect. I soon realized that my dream of creating this commune with all of my friends was unrealistic and would not happen. All of my friends had their own plans and dreams for their future and it wasn’t their dream to live in a commune on my 13 acres. Most of them were too busy with their own lives to even make the 75 mile round trip to visit my “Haven” that I wanted so much to share with them. So I sort of wrote my friends off, and lived like a lone hermit on my land with my 2 dogs for companionship, keeping busy with building projects during the day, and a jug of cheap wine or six pack of beer everynight around the fire to ease the loneliness.

[center][/center]

[center]http://www.pullingforwildflowers.org/threshold-dream.htm[/center]

In the summer of 1978 I posted this sign on the bulletin board in a natural food Co-op in Durango, hoping to attract some settlers to homestead with me on my land. Pretty idealistic and dreamy… huh?[/quote]

Wow, I see so much of myself in your story.