April 3, 2021

SKIP: Skills to Inherit Property

I think this is an absolutely brilliant concept. The idea is to connect industrious people with no means of obtaining property, with people who have property that they want to see used for homesteading, farming, and permaculture. I know in my part of the country, so much good land is sold off to developers by kids who inherited their folks' farmland. Then, it becomes trailer parks, apartment complexes, and shopping centers. Dan and I have talked to older folks who love their land and lamented that this is what will happen once they pass on. 

Paul Wheaton, founder of Permies.com, came up with a way to offer a different option to these folks. It started as a merit badge program to teach and document skills, and is now being turned into a book. Paul  explains it in this short promotional video. 

Right now, this book is in the fundraising stage, with great rewards for as little as a $1 donation. In fact, if you get in a $1 or more pledge before 2 pm mountain time (4 pm EDT) tomorrow (Sunday), extended through Wednesday, April 7, you get 26 goodies for free. (Including my eBook, How To Compost with Chickens). That's $180 worth of stuff! An excellent return on your money. Of course, the rewards get better for higher donations, and even better as the stretch goals are reached.

If you think something like this is a good idea too, take a look at the video and visit the SKIP Kickstarter page for more information.

UPDATE! 5 Acres & A Dream The Book by yours truly has been added for the next stretch goal! If the goal is met, everyone who donates $65 or above will receive an exclusive Permies PDF copy!


Retired Knitter said...

Interesting idea on an individual level. The county I live in has a larger group effort to save farm land called Howard County Agricultural Land Preservation Program. It was created in response to the developer, James Rouse, who started buying up farm properties in the eastern part of the county in the early 60’s. His plan was to build the first planned city - which exists today called Columbia. I lived in that city for over 40 years and his dream was made reality - a wonderful place to live and raise a family. But the farmers in the county - when they learned of this plan of a city within their midst - created the Preservation Program. Farms could only be inherited or sold for use as farm land. A great many farmers joined the program. Owners could not subdivide their land and sell it off in smaller lots either, but could allow single acres to be gifted to children for the purpose of building their own homes on the family land. The result of the massive effort over 40 years ago - allowed both an absolutely wonderful city to exist and farm land to exist, and both land uses benefited all bringing the benefits of controlled growth (with activities, services, shopping and a customer base) closer to the farmers and bringing the benefits of rural life (fresh food, learning activities, beautiful scenery) closer to the city dwellers. The mix of purpose that benefits all is rare - especially on the east coast. Will it continue? In another 40 years some younger generations of farmers will find a way around the preservation program for the wealth they can get if they sell the land to developers... and Jame Rouse has died and his genius may not be available again - so uncontrolled growth may result, BUT for hopefully 70 or 80 years both life styles existed side by side in a beneficial relationship.

Leigh said...

RT, thank you for sharing that. It's very interesting to me that others are taking steps to address this problem. Howard County came up with an excellent solution! Truly, it makes sense for a community to be a meld of both rural and modestly urbanized people and areas. It ought to be a balance of the best of both worlds, not one devouring the other.

wyomingheart said...

Great post, Leigh. We see so many little farms up here that have just been left. From town to our farm, there are a total of 7 little farm houses that are empty, and the cute barns are slowly eroding. Sure would be nice to see those little homesteads with living and loving energy again. I really think in my heart, there are going to be a lot more little farmers in the future. We are hopefully going to go back to small farms thriving again. Looking forward to this book, and thanks for sharing! Happy Easter!

Nancy In Boise said...

I've seen so much of this for a long time and the Treasure Valley near Boise Idaho. When we moved here almost 30 years ago there were so many farm lands on the outskirts of town. Now most of them are subdivisions and there's a huge amount of urban sprawl. I know some of this is just that Boise has become very popular place to live in but we do need to have green spaces and Farms locally. Sadly I think the same thing has happened here with older Farmers passing away or giving the land to their kids and then them selling it off. Another concern here with lots and lots of people moving here is water. Farmland uses a certain amount of water but people do even more and we're in a High Desert. We're definitely going to have water issues in the future from too many people and we need Farms to grow food Etc as well. I also see Open Fields aren't being farmed anymore where the soil looks just completely dead. Perfect place to build a subdivision sadly

Boud said...

I love this program. I really hope it keeps land in cultivation instead of "development".

In NJ we have a brilliant State arrangement which has preserved a lot of farmland, beautiful fertile land, from being built in. We're in a premium housing market for developers, set between ny and philadelphia, and it was going under the hammer fast.

Then Gov Christie Whitman instituted TDR, transfer if development rights. Farmers including our local ones, were substantially compensated for signing up never to sell to developer's. The farms must continue to be cultivated, passed through family generations or to tenant farmers, as long as they cultivate. It's a way to preserve open space, to give farmers an immediate profit instead of land rich cash poor, and I think everyone benefits.

I buy at the local farmers market and local farm, to support local food and the hard working farmers who produce it.

But without TDR, an individual farmer couldn't preserve the land. It needs an overarching initiative.

Cockeyed Jo said...

It's a brilliant idea. I often wonder what will become of our homestead after we are gone. I often think that it will return to nature just as it had before Mel bought the property. While we've had a few Wwoofers over the years, none have stayed on.

Kathy said...

Fantastic idea!! Thanks for sharing the info. Immediately went to the Kickstarter page and clicked on a donation button but it puts in a higher amount than I clicked on. Something is wrong with their buttons. Tried several. Wound up giving smaller amount than I planned.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Thanks for the heads up Leigh. This is the sort of novel thing we need to be thinking about.

My Uncle has actually mentioned something similar to this for his land (adjoining The Ranch) and trying to get the larger amount of land around ours to do the same (a relative of sorts as well).

Leigh said...

Wyomingheart, it's so sad to see property neglected like that. You must be pretty rural. Around here, they want to build homes on it. But then, we're have a population influx from the north.

Nancy, part of the problem is the modern farming methods that have been adopted. They absolutely kill the soil. Regenerative farming could make a huge difference.

Boud, good for New Jersey! I think local farmers markets are catching on, and hopefully, that trend will continue.

Jo, yes, it's sad to think that the place you've been so much heart and soul into will go by the wayside. Maybe something better will work out for you all.

Kathy, thanks! You don't mention which donation button. Was the one for physical books? I know there's shipping added to the donation amount for that.

TB, I hope your uncle can work something out! That would be great. Personally, I hope SKIP catches on all over the place.

Ed said...

One thought to muddy the waters a bit. Due to consolidation of the farming industry, many farms fell into the areas of estate tax ramifications until the previous administration doubled the limits. This mean that children who inherited the properties, also inherited a many hundred thousand dollar tax bill along with it and didn't have a choice but to sell off property. I know when my father dies, my brother and I could be in a similar dilemma which is tough when the only thing our father wants is to keep his land legacy intact. Right now with the favorable estate tax limits (that the current administration wants to lower) and our planning ahead of time, I'm hoping perhaps we won't have to sell off part of the farm to keep the rest.

Kathy said...

Whether or not you have land, it's a good idea to set up a Living Will & Revocable Trust (of which the owner of those assets is the administrator). This protects inheritance and bypasses probate court/taxes. Check out SuzeOrman.com - she explains why these docs are important and has a kit you can use to set it up (legal in all 50 states). Cheaper to do it this way than by hiring an attorney, but depending on your assets/situation you may want to go the personalized route.

Leigh said...

Ed, taxes like that are indeed a problem. I heard a news blip the other day that the current administration is planning to undo what the previous administration did in regards to estate taxes. Nothing was said about substituting it with something equal or better, but I hope it works out that way. The money to pay for these new aid and infrastructure bills is going to have to some from somewhere, however, and sadly, it never works to the average guy's advantage.

Kathy, that definitely looks like something to look in to. Thanks.

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