Dear Cindi -
Your co-op sounds ideal to me. My husband & I are both 49, with skills including animal husbandry (horses, sheep, goats, cattle, rabbits & poultry). We presently have 8 Nubian dairy goats (all the does are pregnant) a flock of Buff Orpington chickens, & a donkey, along with our farm dog who looks after all of these creatures marvelously.
We make our own cheese & ice cream, wine, & grow an organic garden each year. I cannot tell you how much it hurts me that we will not be able to take all the frozen produce with us... We have 2 freezers completely full... For weeks now, I have been thawing frozen foods & drying blackberries into fruit leather, roasting the pecans, parching corn niblets, etc. I had 2 cases of quarts of tomatoes canned before I began drying them to pack in our "bug out bag."
The way socioeconomic events have been going for the last few years, we had already begun stockpiling coffee, flour, sugar, cornmeal, rice, beans - all the staples... I thot I had planned for everything... but I always thot I'd do my surviving on my own ground... Toxic air (now) & the threat of toxic rain & toxic groundwater (BP's landfill where they are putting the oil gathered from the beach is just 11 miles from my home, North of us on the watershed) are very real possibilities, so our chances of subsisting on our own place are virtually nil... Once the oil spreads inland (it's already in our Bay) & up the rivers, into the groundwater, we will have no choice... Leave or die.
We also have old-time skills like shearing, spinning, weaving, sewing, making paper, herbal medicine & aromatherapy, candle-making, soap-making (I had an aromatherapy shop before I went overseas to Australia & SE Asia). We butcher our goats for meat & make our own buttermilk & sour cream, most of our cheese & ice cream. We also tan the hides into leather... (Does my Creek blood show here?)
I have cooked for large numbers of people (sheep shearers at various sheep stations across Victoria & South Australia)... Cajun, French, Mexican & Asian... We are also good stockmen, with an eye for livestock, quick to spot any illness or "failure to thrive" & prefer to treat with herbal remedies, not pharmaceuticals. In fact, I have never used chemicals to worm my goats, preferring to use a mixture of ground pecan hulls, tobacco, & wormwood... and everyone says they are THE healthiest, most beautiful goats in the county!
I would be interested in becoming part of a heritage community, down to teaching old-time skills to the younger groups, especially. (If not US, then who?)
My only reservation about Montana is the cold... Can you tell me what area you are in & what kind of weather you experience in winter? I can take just about any amount of heat (East Thailand's heat index was 120F in the jungle), but severe cold keeps me indoors... I do LOVE a good wood stove, tho.
My husband is a master pipefitter & currently works as a foreman supervisor at a shipyard... Together, we have 4 adult children (3 sons, 18, 19 & 21; a married daughter, 23, & her husband, 25). Their job skills include roofing, landscaping & tree maintenance, short-order cook & fry cook, and veterinary assistant. The 18-year old & his best friend (our "adopted" kid) will be at university, I hope...
I do have a background in the healthcare field, altho I rely on holistic remedies for people as I do for animals.
If we sound like the type of person you would like to have in your co-op, please message me back or Email me at:
If you prefer, ring me on my cell at 251-654-8636. I'm available 24/7.