Vallejo Woman Saves Thousands In Georgia

Her father had been ill. She’d bought a house for him to live in here in laranablu1California. Then the downsizing began. The next purchase was an 800 sq ft 2 bedroom loft in the San Francisco Bay Area. But her desire to lower her over-head so that she could devote precious time to all the projects she dreamed of doing continued.  So eventually she sold every thing, bought 30 acres of RAW land in the deep south (Georgia—between Warner-Robbins and Macon) and in a few months ago, moved into an idea she calls an ecologically centered Convertible Community.

The World Help Training Center is currently working on residential housing and agricultural planning in advance of the 2009 spring planting season,” writes LaRahana Huges on the Intentional Community that already has 30 lots slotted for the next Katrina-like disaster. She and 9 other equity partners (each of them purchased $2500 of equity input) now live on the land, and are TOGETHER, pioneering a black Intentional Community that frees them from all the constraints modern urban living straps us with.

So now, she has “downsized” to the point of freedom. She has paid for the land she’s on. With the money added by the other equity partners, her ongoing living cost is about $100 a month. Did you get that? All she has to earn … is ONE HUNDRED (“100”) DOLLARS a month, plus food cost (until the land is producing this summer) and fuel to live. If you were LaRahana, and you’re a writer, artist, farmer … you would now have time and energy to work on the main dreams and pursuits you have in life.

But basic ongoing costs (for the land) $100….ONE HUNDREN DOLLARS. That alone is freeing. The equity contribution ensures we can install the complete infrastructure, wells, septic, power and provide food and living expense stipends for 6 months. After that…$100 is what i need to spend time earning. I have no water bill. I have no electric bill….My life changes when I can decide how to use all of my time for things that are vitally important to me, rather than chasing dollars for someone else to maintain an illusion that will never be satisfying. I don’t mean to get on a rant, but that to me is HUGE.

Freeing up my life so that I own it ALL, every hour of the day is like early retirement! And that is life changing. Being able to live doing the things I want to do, which happen to be growing stuff and planning stuff and writing stuff… the reality of my new adventurous life.

But the move is not without “pain.” She speaks about the pain of letting go of the old so that she can fully enjoy the new involves “pushing through the fear and the pain … which is really is a good thing! It’s critical to learn how to keep moving long until the clearing occurs. Being able to look back to tell others that to venture out and get on this road is a awesomely beautiful gift…to be able to tell them that there IS a clearing ahead is vital. It really does feel like pioneering, except its not uncharted land, but it is a new society emerging!”

So … there it is. LaRahana Huges, former Vallejo resident, is saving thousands in Southern Georgia. Thousands of dollars … and one day … thousands of people. Good on ya LaRahana Huges. Proud of that girl. Check out her Mission Statement. Who knows … you might even want to join them.

LaRahna’s Links

The Open Toolbox

The Mad Houser’s Group

Food Not Bombs

Other Links:
Hetep Land Project

Happier Abroad

The Blue Goose Community


The Farm Dog

So, what say you get that little 5, 10, or 20 acres out in the country … not too far from a city or college african boerboel town. How are you going to protect your critters? Coyotes, Raccoons, skunks and snakes are all predators  capable of wreaking havoc on your chickens, goats, sheep and calves.

Enter: The Farm Dog
The South African Boerboel was raised to fight off lions and protect the homestead. The Boerboel is also reported capable of herding, hunting, and tracking. Due to this Mastiff’s size, (140 to 200 lbs.) their bite is reportedly so strong that if it bites an intruder in the arm, chances are they’ll break it.

It’s important to know that this dog is bred to be loyal. It will protect—with its life—anything it was raised up with. It’s common for children to ride them like horses. Their mouths are dryer than English or American Mastiffs and they are a great deal more active than the Mastiff. Due to being a mixed breed, they don’t commonly have the same hip problems that their mastiff brothers do.

Confident But Not Aggressive
You don’t have to train a Boerboel to protect. If you’re away, no one is going to get in. Hence, it’s also important to be a responsible owner and keep these dogs securely fenced. These are not good “first time” dogs. The owner should know how to be the Alpha Pack Leader. You’ll most likely want to lean on the socializing side rater than doing something like Wrap Training (bite), or chaining this sensitive, intelligent, easy to train dog. Oh, and Boerboels want to be with you. Don’t relegate this fine friend to the backyard with rare visits. And never, never beat on your Boerboel. Like a Great Dane, he’ll remember it…

Best Boerboel Breeder
I’ve traveled the country and I’ve sought out Boerboel breeders to talk with. These dogs aren’t cheap. Think: $1,000 to $1,500. More if you want a proven female that’s ready to breed. The best, most knowledgeable breeder I’ve found is a brother named Roger who lives just outside of Phoenix, Arizona.

Roger’s mother showed dogs so he grew up with deep, inside knowledge of breeding, showing, and training dogs. One of the problems I’ve experienced with many Boerboel breeders is that after paying all that money for your dog, they want you to sign contracts stipulating what THEY want you to do with the dog. But Roger, while he may express openness to continually work with you in raising this high quality animal, he too is amazed at the arrogance of other breeders and will not attempt to over-step normal boundaries. Click here on: Atomic Boerboels to visit one of his websites.

Other Flock Guardian Breeds

Good Companion Dogs (With Boerboels on farm)

Art and Science in Rural Maine

Yeah, Guy (that’s his name) has a great brain. His resume includes having worked on “Star Trek the Motion Picture” in 1979.
The Hip Quaker

The Hip Quaker

Somewhere around 2001, he and his artist wife Rebekah packed all their belongs and escaped California for rural Maine. I’m highlighting them because we urban folks tend to dismiss everyone who lives in the sticks as “potentially dangerous ignorant hicks.”

But regardless if you want a home in the country or not, you still need to have a look at Guy’s website. He’s got everything on there from thermal window insulation solutions and info about solar differential temperature controllers, to links and comments about wireless surveillance equipment, and robotic equipment. (No, he doesn’t have any robots running around the acreage, but he does have a solar powered lawn mower … and I’m sure he’ll gladly answer any questions on robots you send him….) is intentionally folksy and down-to-earth.  One trip to the site and I guarantee you’ll … feel smarter. It’s like a mini Smithsonian for geeks, homesteaders, and art lovers. You quickly discover there are no high or low-tech problems that can’t be solved. Some solutions are expensive and others … relatively cheap. (After all, he was one of the Visual Effects engineers for Star Trek…)

Guy and his wife Becky are wonderful examples of “Back-to-the-Landers.” I doubt if they’d classify themselves as such, but this team of art and science lowered their overhead, escaped the rat-race, and now live healthy and extremely creative lives. They have time and space to create far more than they would had they remained in an urban space where problems like … well … everyone knows the problems.

Oh yeah, any woman curious about fashion, click on the Chicago Native’s link to her  textile art … and while there, explore her latest photos that came out of a recent MFA program. These are folks. Smart folks … but folks… aware … GOOD folks. People who enrich the “neighborhood” they move into—if allowed. They do their homework before picking a spot in paradise, and then they become “neighbors.” Neighbors are important in the less alienated rural countryside. You have to be. One wet spring morning you might need one to pull your car out of a ditch. Isn’t that part of the allure?

Becky continues to travel to market her textile art and Guy… creates high tech toys, teaches homesteaders how to insulate their homes, answers high tech questions and provides solar and wind solutions. He even built a canoe.

Visit the hip Quaker at:

Becky’s newest art site:

Her older mainstay website is: “Younger Knits”:

Quit The Road: God MUST Love Me Because …

“Thank you for all you’ve done … and for allowing me to eat this past year … but ‘yall can have these keys back.”

That’s right … on Wednesday I handed the man back the keys to his truck.  No more Flatbed Fred wrestles with filthy tarps, heavy chains, and dusty straps. No more unloading in frozen ice and snow. Gone are work days spent in southern Arkansas … where you can pass out before your load is secure and tarped.

Now … I’ve returned to the INSANE, arrogant California Bay Area and on the first day, I’m amazed at how well things are going. This is the same place where economic racism forced me to become a truck driver. This is the same place where I left 14 months ago and traveled to OKLAHOMA to get a job! Now, on my first day back, I already have:

  • A new job … one that allows me to go home every night
  • A new van – the owner has a body shop and someone failed to pay, so he has to get rid of it…
  • A new apartment – he’s throwing in the small apartment over the shop

This allows me to take a Greenhouse Production class out at City College. Amazing. God is good. I don’t think it’s ever been this easy. After the semester, it most likely will be the right time to pack “my stuff” into my new van and drive to South Carolina … which will become … “My New Home.”

Alternative Building: Papercrete

Okay, so you’ve got your eye on a piece of property that has a 3 bdrm/1.5 bath house on it, 17 acres of land, a barn, an all season creek (fresh water is going to be increasingly more important), and is divided between 5 acres of cleared pasture/farmland and the rest in timber that you can mill or sell.

We’ve already learned that one of the best small farm practices is to start off using no more than one-to-three acres for crops and flowers. So what else can you do with all that land?

When you have land, you have SooOOooo many options. Every structure you add to your land increases its value. Building Green and “Alternative” allows you to creative wonderful, mortgage-free buildings at pennies to what traditional buildings cost. The building can be wood burning Sauna cordwood building or a Strawbale “Adobe” home that keeps you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer while decreasing your dependence on both energy and energy companies.

The latest … and the building style that has recently caught my eye is Papercrete …. a substance that creates lightweight “concrete-ish” mix or “adobe-ish” blocks to build with.

Like cordwood homes, you don’t have to be a builder to build a house. There are books and videos at your local public library. You can begin your search by clicking on the links and by googling some keywords like: alternative building, papercrete, cordwood building, strawbale houses, and building with cob.

Successful Change lends to Opening The Heart

Things are looking just a tad different since I got out of California. I never thought I’d be anywhere near Tulsa, Oklahoma, but as they say, “God smiles when you make plans.” I’m shocked that Oklahoma is so very Kool compared to over-done “Cali“. It’s far from perfect, but very surprising.

I’m witnessing the effects of the policies and greed of the last 10-20 years. Huge Korporate farms caused huge numbers of Midwesterners in small towns throughout Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas to migrate to urban cities on both coasts. Some changed as a result. Others brought their resentment and fear with them and made urban life just a tad more toxic than it already was.

But this isn’t about finger pointing—because there is far too much blame to go around. No, this is about discovering that the new changes we’ll all have to make in the future just may be more racially inclusive than we imagine. Those who are preparing to leave the malnourished environments that urban America will increasingly become (as the economy declines and crime rises) are people who wear all manner of “labels”. Lesbian commune builders, new young black farmers, white permaculturists, Buddhist village creators, and Native American returnees will be opening aware hands and welcoming you.

Here in Oklahoma I see how economic struggle has forced many whites to be open to anybody with skills who wants to come here and better the economy by creating more jobs. Black Oklahomans seem respond by taking a more tolerant and accepting attitude in turn.

So, who for those who want to leave the no-win of life in the urban hood and move out to the land (once they’ve created the skills necessary to live anywhere), they are going to be surprised to find that they aren’t alone, and that some of the kindest hands that reach out to them … will be white, red … yellow … brown … pink … etc….

God has funny ways of opening our stubborn hearts. I came across this website as an example: Ryan Is Hungry

Made it! I got my CLASS A DRIVER’S LICENSE!!! FOR FREE!!!!!

Fred GuidryI made it. At 53, I’ve created yet another new career … and I never thought I’d even want this one … but I did …. and now I have it. Yes, there is power in dreaming ….Conceptualizing what your FIRST DREAM currently is, then figuring out how you can make it really materialize in your life.

I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. It has some of the best weather in the world. The scenery–even though not as picturesqest as it was when I was growing up, is still world class. But not matter what or how many college degrees I obtained, I’ve never been able to break even here. So why sweat it complaining? Better to find a way and a place to do more than just survive … before I die, I want to flourish!

Quality of life. There are just as much drug use in rural America as it is in urban America. But with affordable land (found in Midwest and Southern States), homes, barns and outbuildings, I can carve out space and time to do the type of projects that nourish my life. I can decide rather than be forced to adapt to the decisions of others.

So, graduating from this FREE truck driving school, I can walk into a lifestyle that allows me to keep my balls, and live anywhere I want. There is simply so much to do to do now. It’s only been two working days since I’ve graduated, and I’ve already turned down about five jobs, and I am interviewing a company that might meet my needs.

“The only constant is change.” Change happens regardless wither we want it or not. It’s only when we resist that change drags us along kicking and screaming (often painfully) to the inevitable.

Goodwill’s Bayview Truck Driving Academy may be the ONLY FREE truck driving school in the United States. Men and women of all ages, races and personal histories are graduating each year. Yet, when I tell others – people on the street who obviously need it – they do nothing. Sad. Oh well …. more for those of us who work towards faith in creating God’s full bounty so available to us … when we choose.