A Year in the Round: How I Found My Host (I Swear I'm Not a Parasite!)

| 6/24/2011 3:01:00 PM

When I started planning the tipi move, it was very clear that I wouldn’t be able to purchase property to place the tipi upon. Hell, I couldn’t afford a blade of grass if someone gave it to me. Plus, that kind of defeated the purpose. I want to get out of debt, not further into it. 

Obviously, I needed to make friends with people who owned some land. So, my local craigslist “farm and garden” section saw an interesting ad.  I stated exactly what I wanted, in a decently concise manner.  

My ad went something like this:

      Wanted: Work exchange for small corner of property near town 

I’m looking for someone near town that would be willing to let me assist in the upkeep/maintenance of their land/livestock in exchange for borrowing the size of a decent garden for a couple years. I'm simply requesting a place for my 16' diameter tipi (for year-round living that I'm happy to discuss), my friendly horse, two happy dogs and a small chicken tractor.  

It's kind of an odd proposal, yes. Am I roving gypsy? No. 

Several people responded right away. Many were just interested in asking questions about the tipi, some actually with land and a plan.

Now, my best advice for someone who may be looking to do something of this sort; DO NOT make any agreements without meeting the land owner (and the land!) first. I can give examples.

I had several good email dialogues going with some well-connected and interesting folks. I even met some in person at the local coffee shop, and walked away happy and hopeful. However, upon visiting their properties, I was pretty disappointed by a few. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not really that picky. But, as I'm sure you're thinking, how could I be disappointed in a place that I could live for free? 

April Alexander
6/26/2011 3:09:00 PM

I noticed that you have a link to "Path to Freedom" on your "What We're Reading." Are you aware that the Dervaes family has trademarked the terms "urban homestead" and "urban homesteading?" The page Take Back Urban Home-steading(s) is a huge community of 8000 urban homesteaders who are fighting the DI's actions.

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