Step #2 – Finding a piece of land
This topic is to discuss options to find a piece of land, i’m sure there are many places available but hard to find them all from a laptop in the Netherlands. This this topic is to share ideas, sites, listings, pictures of land that is available. You might even have a friend that has a piece available.
Specially in early stage we are quite easy, never bought a piece of land so would like to explore options. A few (flexible) guidelines though.
– Netherlands would be cool, otherwise or Europe.
– Close to an airport or train station (max 1,5 hour)
– Enough surrounding green land around it.
– River in it would be sick! Otherwise we will digg a lake 😀
– Possible to live there with multiple people
– Max €80K, i guess…
Hopefully you guys are able to help out! The person that finds the land gets its own statue with name on the land. Eternal Project Kamp fame ✌️
That’s awesome, Dave! We are together on this as friends and I just bought a piece of land with this purpose here in Brazil. Looking to learn and contribute in this journey. Good luck! I’ll try to be more active here as the threads come up. I’ve attached some photos of the land.
I am not suggesting a land or a country to live in, but an alternative idea that we are working on, here in China and that has many congruences with what you are describing in your video.
In short, we want to establish a biocentric floating village on the Tai lake near Shanghai (the 2nd largest lake in China). Instead of using land we want to create new ones out of recycled shredded, slightly melted PET, to form thick floating slabs, covered with sticky films to attract microbial life, with plants covering the island surface with their roots dropping into the water. This help detoxify the lake, creating a mini habitat benefitting fishes, birds and butterflies, on which humans could live and work while giving back to the eco-system and not just taking from it.
It’s true Holland has many euro regulations (trust me… I am French), but you guys are also masters at floating architectures. So maybe, instead of thinking “land”, think “water”. In our project here in China, we will have a land base geodesic dome with a permaculture surrounding it near Wuxi city by the banks of the lake. But the idea is to have most activities on water. Here the rules depends very much on one’s good relationship with the local government, which we haven’t been able to establish yet. So personally wherever you stay in Holland or come to China… I very much hope we can work together in some ways to develop techs allowing a comfortable and safe living while improving our biosphere. And the precious plastic machines are very much in our mind to help build and maintain the village’s structures and equipments.
Just another avenue of thought…
Instead of building a community on a “greenfield site” (a patch of land previously untouched by development) – how about considering “brownfield sites” (land previously developed, and now unused, with possibly derelict facilities).
An example could be an old military camp, a derelict airfield, or an old industrial facility. It is possible that there could be problems with contamination from previous activities on the site – but sometimes there are grants available (e.g. from the EU) to help with the clean-up.
I know that it doesn’t sound like the “back to nature” idyl, but it could be compatible with a desire to reclaim the planet from the industrial excesses of the past.
Dave you are dutch and you guys know how to create land if you can’t find one. How about creating land from scratch? A floating structure made of recycled plastic buoys?
There’s a lot of ocean out there waiting to be colonized.. (in an environmentally friendly way..)
Argentina here! North, 30 hectares. Widely available for intentional comunity projects.
Hey @davehakkens ,
This is my first post here, but I’ve followed you for quite some time. I registered here because of your video about looking for land. It appears that many have offered you great options, and I’d like to discuss another.
My wife and I dreamt of doing precisely what you’re planning now, and we purchased the land to do it. We selected what was formerly an old trailer park in the country, in North Carolina. The site has several small septic tanks in the ground already, is already internet-ready (cable), and is large enough to support several houses and work buildings (9 acres / 3.6 hectares). The others who joined us in the endeavor became discouraged and abandoned the project early, and we no longer have the resources to continue working on it.
We intend to sell the land, but seeing your video, we would want nothing more than to sell it to you for this project. It would be a win-win for everyone. We would be able to continue our plans in life, and you would be able to continue our dream with your own project.
Our land checks everything on your list. We have already checked the regulations of the county where the land sits for this sort of project, and everything is greenlit. Exactly what you’re planning is fully legal here. It is centrally located within the state, so you have easy access to several airports and a train station (which I’ll include below with times and distances). There are plenty of trees on the property, and there are several adjacent plots that are undeveloped (for future expansion possibilities?). The back corner has a small creek, and the land is suitable to digging a pond, if you prefer.
The only thing that remains is price, which is something I would very much like to discuss with you directly, but before that I would sweeten the deal. I believe in what you’re doing, and I’m familiar with this area. Should you end up basing your project here, I’ll personally commit a full year of part-time work to you without pay. I am in such a position that I can offer you this without reservation. I can help develop the land, build, and contact local professionals, makers, and environmental enthusiasts to come to your aid. There are many in this area.
Please, give thought to establishing in the US. If there’s any country on the planet with such need to consume less, it’s the US. We could really use your help here. We look forward to your reply. Thanks very much.
Airports (with driving time from land):
Charlotte International ~1 hour 45 min
Raleigh International ~50 min
Piedmont Triad International ~45 min
Greensboro ~35 min
Burlington ~20 min
Durham ~40 min
Within a couple hours (or less) drive of mountains, lakes, rivers, hiking, fishing, a half-dozen breweries, many colleges and schools (to speak about your work), and sporting events of all sorts. I’d be happy to send you the survey of the land and other images. I include here only one to give you an idea of the undeveloped nature of the land. There is great potential here.
I think Brazil is a damn good place for this project, cheap land, not that much laws, lots and lots of rivers and sun AND people in need of info how to preserve the environment right next to Amazon Forest.
I’m 26, no money at all, but give me a chewing gum and some branch then I can build a robot for your purpose and tell you why it is useful or not for society.
Count on me for this project.
Ps. If it catches your interest, google for Curitiba/PR, Brazil. International airport next to a 4 million people, temperature goes from 5ºC to 25ºC over the year, 40km from the big city (Curitiba) you’ll get a whole lot of land for 80k for sure (1 euro = 4,6 reais). Can help you find the perfect place if you want.
Great idea, I love it.
I also thought about a similar idea few years back,
I ended up stoping it, maybe a bit to utopistic at the time for just a few friends.
You can look at this website they are selling villages that has been deserted and lands in Spain.
Some of theme aren’t cheap but there were some big lands for cheap at the time.
At some point the Spain government was giving some for free if you were submitting a environmental project/ rehabilitation.
Aslo i would suggest a river rather than a lake, to make hydropower which is cleaner and more reliable on long terme than solar panel.
Also i would suggest to give a look to GEN (eco village network)
Here is the map of all the places.
I went to visit one in Tarifa (spain) they had some really great feedback on how to start and methodology to mobilize people on this type of project (dragon dreaming methodology)
also unmonastery project was really interesting (unfortunately i think it had to stop)
stones, oakforests, sheep, fertile ground, wild boar and deer
an island in the north of Croatia (Cres)
the local communities were always selfsufficient and are disappearing
the ‘bad’ news: beautyful coast flooded with plastics 😉
the good news; big pieces of land are of my family, i speak the local language and i’m a summer shepard 😉
So this is a website where properties from the dutch government go up for auction. Sometimes for redevelopment, sometimes for interesting social projects in collaboration with the locals and the county.
Like this old campground! I did noticed that a community of tiny-housers are interested in making an offer for this old campsite, they want to build a tiny house community for 10+ residents.
Whenever a community wants to live on a piece of land without facilities like sewage, water and electricity it is quite important to make an inventory of how many residents, what type of industry, agriculture, how many livestock are estimated. All of this determines the amount of water needed from wells and rainwater is needed and how much wastewater and sewage is going out into the environment.
There are quite some regulations concerning the waste water and plans for adequate filtration systems need to be accounted for to get county permission.
Septic tanks are quite efficient but also expensive and these need to be emptied. They will need accessibility for trucks to empty these
Leech fields are a good addition to other systems but take up quite some space and are prone to bacterial contamination when waste water exceeds it’s capacity. Which happens quite fast when you add more residents and or livestock.
Sewage: Makes life easy but deviates from the original thought of building an offline off-grid community.
Myco-filtration: Using mycelium inoculated wood chip beds to consume excess nutrition and bacteria from waste water is a concept not put to test that much but there are some studies and tryouts being done in the United States and Canada. This system holds a lot of potential and is quite low tech.
Composting: Mix in your feces with sawdust, straw and plant matter, box it up or put it in a barrel to ferment for 12 months or longer. Bacteria and viruses harmful to humans and other mammals get replaced by benign bacteria and micro-organisms during this period. After that period you’ll be able to use it as compost without contaminating your soil and food with harmful bacteria. This method is low tech but you will be dealing with barrels full of fecal matter. 😛
It all comes down to not exceeding the threshold of bacteria enriched wastewater from the property into the environment. And we produce quite a lot of that stuff. There are quit some regulations concerning these type of subjects and differ from county to county in Europe. Some county’s are interested in developing communities and try out different concepts. Other county’s don’t want to have anything to do with alternatives.
There is one thing where everybody is right, migration policies are shit. But yall missing a big point, that is a bunch of bullshit.
As an international volunteer the thing you learn the most is visas, the way they work the way to go around them and the actual option on the table for almost all countries. There is a volunteers visa that alouds people to stay for longer periods of time. And thats when the site and it registration will help the comunity members. And that is only one example.
What happens here is people not having a clue of how a project like this one works, and thats what i would like to discuss.In our land we are planing to have an international crew, for starting we are an Argentinian/Australian couple with a just born Australian baby, our names? Nicolas, Sharna and little Sol… we are people from all over the world that keep runing into each other in diferent projects for diferent reasons. The goal in 2017 was to go and do enough research to aloud us to have this kind of conversations. Thing is you need to be a Foundation (at least in argentina) in order to make the “constitution of the foundation” not overwritable, to have the founders as the maximum desition making authorities as well.
Thing with a lot of people from diferent places is that it tends to get a little unorganized so starting something like this shouldnt be on site planification because disagreements can cost years in progress.
Long story short i would recomend to decide the “Legal Figure” that the project will hold on to its life so that way it will be easier to make a call to people with proper information.
To dave I will insist on using our land as a base, and tell you that the family fully supports you and we are more than happy to host a project like these ion our farm, i would like to know if you have the time to have a private one on one skype, facetime, whatever you decide, maybe i should make a youtube video answering your call for land? Sadly the only online information about our farm project is in a facebook group and i dont know how much you use that platform.
Know mate that our land has no price when it cames to care for the planet. And we have a lot of advice from friends and family about how to develop a project like this. Open arms from Australia (at the moment).
Nico, Sha y Sol.
Hi Guys, I think before you purchase any land you really need to discuss and plan what you really want in terms of “Self-Sufficiency” and how much land you will need. You also need to work out how many people and a $share price.
Here’s what various sources say:
According to the Food and Agricultural Organization, the minimum amount of land needed for self-sustainable food in North America or Western Europe is 17 acres per person. This number assumes absolutely no land degradation, crop failures, or waste.An infographic by 1BOG.org breaks it down to about 2 acres of land for a family of four. This includes approximately 12,000 sq. feet for wheat, 65 for eggs, 2640 for corn, 100 for dairy, 207 for meat, and 77,000 square feet for vegetables.An older study from 1994 estimates 2 acres per person to sustain the standard American diet.Proponents of aquaponics say that 90% of our dietary needs can be grown in 50 square feet.John Jeavons of Grow BioIntensive says that a vegan diet can be grown in 4,000 square feet.Permaculture advocates say that ¼ acre per person is adequate when permaculture is combined with poultry, fruit trees, and possibly aquaponics.Clive Blazey in his book The Australian Vegetable Garden claims that 42 square meters of space is enough to support four people.John Seymour in his book The New Complete Guide to Self-Sufficiency says that 5 acres is enough to be food sufficient in high-rainfall areas of the UK.
I tend to go with John Seymour but not to his extent in self sufficiency by way of livestock and growing crops to feed them. So maybe 1 acre per person, 100acres = 100 individuals contributing in some way to the community.
Loving these ideas and pictures. Gives me hope 💪
I’ve been dreaming up this same project for years. I’ve always had my eye on Costa Rica which is one of the most green and forward thinking countries there are.
Land is still relatively cheap and the economy and government seem to genuinely take care of its people.
Your country is Colombia !!
Good variety of climate, oceans, mountains, valleys, water, fauna, everything is here ! and the law is good for immigrant and business.
Where i live in Valle del Cauca, close is Cali, the capital city with 2.5 million of people, the land is cheap, the airport is close, we have rivers and lakes near, rich in biodiversity, ask to @mattia-io, he came here in the middle of “jungle” !
You can move in bike or public transport.
I invited you to come and nowk this country In june 28 one event of sustainable projects in Colombia “Call of the mountain”
I share some pictures than i take a round here
Hi Dave im from Colombia and here the land is realy cheap, you can find cheap land under 500 usd, with all the thermal floors from the snowy to a tropical dry forest and the sea. You can also buy a land that has guadua (bamboo) crops and make your home with this beautiful material that is harvested every 4 years and gives an excellent beams of around 25 meters in each harvest; Colombia has more than 30 paramo ecosystems that is where the water that feeds the rivers is born.
I have dreamed of this same project before and I have done some research on it to obtain water, food, energy and other needs that may arise. I recommend a project called warka water, study the possibilities of aquaponics crops and to reduce the need for electricity the use of bike machines.
Some pictures of where i live down there ,here we have excellent land to cultivate and cheap, water everywhere, delicious typical food, if you want to go from warm to cold weather or vice versa are only trips of about 1 hour, the nearest city has airport ibague, and international flights in Bogota the flight is less than 30 minutes so you get easy anywhere. Oh I almost forgot, and not least, Colombian women are beautiful, warm and funny.
@davehakkens , of course. I understand.
If there’s anything we can help with as far as information regarding our land (or the US in general) that would help inform your decision, please just send me a direct message here.
Or, maybe you’d like to come take a trip over to see us? You travel the world already, it seems, and we’d be more than happy to guide you about for awhile!
sure @davehakkens .. please see top view of the property.. and the high light could be ‘yours’. It is in El Pla de Manlleu .. maybe better to have a Skype or call to discuss the options. Cheers!
HI Dave, I have 40 hectares in Spain, just outside of Barcelona, 85 km. Forest and vineyards .. Our ideas totally match up. Happy to discuss or guide you to your own property.. there is a lot available but its not that easy if you don’t have a construction permit on the property itself. groeten, Lars
If you look at a place in The Netherlands, think about Fort Oranje in Zundert, Noord-Brabant. This special place was negatively in the news because of its inhabitants. The local government put an end to all the illegal activities and everybody had to leave and clear the campsite.
Look at this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow5JFWCN4rc
If you want to make a chance to become the new future of Fort Oranje: talk with the local government of Zundert. At this moment they don’t know what to do with the place, so the idea of Project Kamp may come just at the right moment. Come with a solid, environmentally plan (for example to use the current debree for new buildings) and let the Kamp have a close connection with nature, just like how the local government wants it. Small rivers (Turfvaart, Bijloop, Aa of Weerijs) are near the campsite and may provide fresh water.
The local government doesn’t want problems with Fort Oranje like they had the past years, so convincing them that this Kamp will be different than the last one, will be a challenge…
What do you think?
Transylvania is a cheap option in Europe, perhaps close to Brasov, Sibiu or Cluj. They all have airports and a flight from fx Cluj to Copenhagen is 2.5 hours. Driving wise well it’s a bit trickier. The country experienced a massive loss of population in the past 10 years. About 6 million Romanians have left the country because of better salaries in the Vestern countries…but for someone who has an international income like you, a place like that would be ideal because of lower costs. So 2000 Euro in romania can get you a lot further than lets say in the Netherlands. Plus romanians are super crazy, creative and warm people.
The nature in Transyilvania is stunning, plenty of rivers, lakes mountains…and the country is 15-20 years behind the rest of Europe, so plenty of room to improve on …anything :))
On the picture you can see an older version of Project Kamp that was very successful 🙂 Good luck Dave, let me know if you need some more precise research, i’ll be in Cluj starting from 1st of August 2018
A few useful links:
Meanwhile i am making a list of things that might improve the life of the campers: such as bio-gas container that makes …well natural gas from food leftovers.
Hi Dave and community, love to hear this idea, it would be great to reproduce it by my own, but, at the moment I think I can be helpful offering this piece of land in Costa Rica, Central America, near to a volcano(not active volcano :D), near to airport and the most beautiful beaches you can imagine, is a beautiful place, rich soil, a river crossing, and the possibility to create a lake, this is my father in law’s but it can be provided at a nice price.
It is a cheap country to live and grow this kind of community, as a matter of fact, Costa Rica’s electricity this year were produced 100% on renewable energy, as far as I know to the month of may, I supposed this is going to continue, hopefully.
I know many people would be loving to help!! myself included 😀
Attached are some photos of the land 😀
if any info needed, reach me at [email protected]
Also, check this company out, they made a [recycled plastic brick factory inside a container]… does it remind you of anything? (V3) Link: http://www.byfusion.com/
This could be what we start with in terms of Construction, or maybe this and Bamboo coverd with “hot-air-gun-melted-pet-bottles”-around-them…
@michellechristensen, as long as the coffee and the sandwiches are vegan you are welcome to help us. We need many skills and many expertise. Fortunately we are attracting the right kind of people, and executing does not require major skills. We actually want everyone to be able to build these islands and domes by themselves. But to design and engineer these equipments do require special experts and these people are not cheap, but not un-reasonable either. As I briefly mentioned, our hurdle right now is a good connection with the local government. The moment we have that, things can come out of the drawing board fairly quickly.
Hi Nico, Sha and Sol. Welcome to Australia, sorry about the cold weather. Must be climate change 😊
Dave, looking at everyone’s contributions we are all inspired about the idea of living and working an eco-property that includes recycling, designing and manufacturing plastic products.
I think there is a consensus on the difficulty of immigration and obtaining permanent visa’s etc. Like Nico, I too have travel a lot, volunteering my labour through WorkAway and WWOOF (Willing Workers On Organic Farms) for accommodation and board.
I think it would be a good idea if your Netherland group develops a manifesto for anyone in the world who wants to set-up their own community that includes the ideas and designs of the “Dave Hakkens” community.
I have three young men (including my son) around your age who are keen on the idea and want me to provide the capital for such a venture in Australia.
I have already started drafting my own plan for anyone who is interested but it will only be a draft as I still need to research legal requirements for Australian shared community properties and businesses.
What do you think?
If this is going to be an International Kamp you need to look at the country’s Permanent Residence Permit Laws for foreigners looking to immigrate to that country. This is were it gets tricky.
If this project becomes too overwhelming, you could think about a global network of “Kamp’s” where members could support each other just like the plastic recycling project. I’ve seen a lot of, not failures, but communities become not what they intended to be. Check out https://www.ic.org/the-fellowship-for-intentional-community. Don’t be disheartened, there are a lot of people out there looking for this kind of opportunity including me 🙂 I just haven’t found the right group (they’re either too out there or too in there). Not sure what Dave’s vision is or if he even knows himself, it appears organic, but I can see a global network of properties each set up with recycling facilities and self-sufficient families living and caring for each other harmoniously, not for money profit but to give back to humanity.
wauw @cordane thanks for the offer! I have to admit it check pretty much all the boxes. Mountains, lakes, rivers, hiking, fishing, a half-dozen breweries>Sounds amazing! But i’ll be real honest here, i’m not sure if i am ready to establish in the US……. Give me some time to think about that…
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