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establishing a sustainable, sacred, primitive homestead in northeast missouri.
joan kovatch
rutledge, Missouri
United States
2 Team Members

WE MADE IT! feel free to keep donating and we will put your money to good use on these projects. and don't forget to continue enjoying our videos, updates, and photos! <3 <3 <3 THANK YOU for helping to make our dreams come true!

welcome to shagbark

baby ducklingwelcome to my homestead - a six acre haven of sacred sanity nestled within red earth farms land trust in northeastern missouri. my neighbors are dancing rabbit ecovillage and sandhill community, though i like to think this little hollow fills a particular niche.

 Why are we raising money this way? click here to read more.

the dream life i'm manifesting here with my friends is primitive, comfortable, intensely local, and removed from the monetary economy (something you're helping to achieve!). not only that, it's a life and bit of land that's full of magic, welcoming to friends, and balancing beautifully on the edge of the best realities. your dollars in our hands are shifting into local meats raised as close to wild as possible, shelters made directly from our surroundings, ceramics made from the clay we dig, herbal medicines wildcrafted with love and care, hides tanned for clothing, eggs and milk and honey flowing into neighbors' homes. i hope you'll join in the magic that i've begun. to read more about shagbark and our home at red earth farms, click here.

what we need & what you get

when i tally up the costs to realize all our desires for a solid, sustainable home that can provide for myself and my loved ones, the amount i come up with is $4,000. that much support would give us the space to firmly establish so many good systems that we'd be able to continue growing our home on well under $1,000 a year. here's how it goes:

happy goat on pasturefencing - $800 - costs to use a co-op vehicle to harvest willow for woven fencing, to fell trees by hand from a local conservation department for split rail paddocks, a few good axes and hatchets, and the cost of a rockin' work party to bring our community together to help get paddocks set up to sustainably graze our goats and sheep. (WE RAISED THIS MONEY!)

animals - $550 - purchases sheep for fiber to provide clothing, linens, and stuffing for beds or pillows, and meat from lambs well into the future. also meat rabbit does to feed my (guard) dog and (mouser) cats as well as supplement our human diet, and enough heritage breed ducks/chickens to supply meat and eggs to our neighbors, a sustainable source of income long into the future (WE RAISED THIS MONEY!)

hauling straw for gardenstools - $500 - enough tools for friends to help when they visit, and to process freely available raw materials into usable wool, wood, straw, etc. this is especially focused on specialized metal tools like scythe blades, broadaxe heads, and others that we can haft ourselves and repair on our own for decades of use (WE RAISED THIS MONEY!)

forge - $400 - pays a nearby friend to set up a small smithing operation on our land to provide our few metal needs and re-shape/re-work existing tools for ourselves and neighbors (WE RAISED THIS MONEY!)

ceramics - $600 - labor costs to have a local potter help us build a kiln and pottery wheel on our land so we can ditch the plastic and create our own crocks, bottles, jugs, and water storage barrels

salves made with beeswax coolingsweets - $550 - support to build a dozen hives and start them with honey bees, as well as process that into raw honey, beeswax candles, wax for herbal salves, and mead (WE RAISED THIS MONEY!)

green stuff - $600 - purchases over a thousand saplings to provide human and critter food, shelter, erosion control, windbreaks, firewood, fencing, and lumber long into the future, as well as seed for annuals and perennials that will be used for a million things (dyes, fiber, soap, ink, medicine, livestock feed, mulch producers, beneficial insect promoters, and many other purposes) (WE RAISED THIS MONEY!)

campaign fees - $200 - roughly covers the fees indiegogo charges for helping us raise this magic money
the perks - i want my way of saying thanks to convey what our life is like to you - full of magic and wonder, made up of simple and small things. so your perks are:

dream catcher-word of mouth thanks via the internet, where i share stories from my life with far-flung loved ones and friends
-a letter written with a homemade quill and walnut or pokeberry ink
-a poem sharing one of many sacred connections with the land
-a dreamcatcher made by us from willow, handspun yarn, and feathers
-a visit out here complete with tour and a luxurious massage or chiropractic therapy
-do you have questions about our lifestyle, or how you can take a step in this direction? anyone who contributes is welcome to a few e-mails/letters worth of advice, direction, or support from me in how you might bring your life closer to the dream world you imagine.


-a wooden pipe hand carved by a supportive neighbor
-a hand thrown ceramic cup made by a friendly local potter
-1 oz. bottle of wildcrafted or respectfully harvested medicinal tincture
-a hand forged candlestick/rush light made by a friendly local smith


if the full amount we're trying to manifest isn't reached this time around, whatever money is gathered will go toward whichever of these projects feels the most urgent to us in moving forward more effectively on our homestead.

the impact

the work and play we're doing here at shagbark impacts our world in a number of ways. we try to act as an example of the best of both the future and the past, embracing primitive techniques, local materials, permaculture ethics and practice, and a desire for a comfortable, conscious lifestyle. we hope to model closed loop systems that can help others provide for themselves in a fulfilling way, letting go of our collective dependence on a failing monetary system. the standards we hold for living with each other bring about an atmosphere of joyful work, deep relaxation, and an openness that leads to happy, whole human beings. and of course, all our activities are done in concert with the desires and needs of the land and the wild cfrancis with wattle wallritters who are already here - so these six acres of rock and soil and water and growth are more fully and lovingly nourished than ever they would be otherwise.

i can't tell you that i've already built a farm like this and succeeded. i have lived on farms for a handful of years, have been researching and studying and planning and practicing, and finally started my homestead adventure in 2009. a full time project since 2011, i now have friends on the land with me to help us expand into a shared homestead.

tent/homesince it began, i have planted over 1000 trees, dug and sown three gardens, built two simple shelters, and a variety of shelters for livestock. i've got dairy goats, meat and fiber rabbits, meat and fiber sheep, and egg and meat chickens and ducks started already and only seek to improve their health, happiness, and quality of life by adding new blood and giving them the safest, most animal-happy shelter possible.


before i moved to shagbark i had never camped in my life. i've been living essentially outdoors for several years now, have gone without heat and without refrigeration or plumbing, have labored month after month to get these systems into place. i have run through hard earned savings and am at the threshold of success. it's hard to balance income-producing work and working on the land in a way that helps the land nourish us more fully. so i'm asking for your help to tip the balance, to give us that push into having home grown food through the winter, and enough surplus to sell and trade with neighbors, that will become our new bottom line over a cash economy. your donation helps us to live as the happiest feral primitive sustainable humans in existence.

other ways you can help

kitten on bootif, like me, you find extra dollars for helping others to be something beyond your reach, consider this: likely we've all got that one wealthy relative or friend who likes supporting cool ventures. or maybe you're surrounded by friends with really stable jobs who don't mind helping out people who are working hard at the work worth doing. if you really want to help out shagbark, ask those friends, those random philanthropists, if they're willing to support this dream-coming-true. even a few posts on your blog, twitter, facebook, etc can have a huge impact from folks who donate just a few dollars at a time. find the cutest picture from my farm and share it. who doesn't love seeing baby goats!? we're building a magical world, here, and i hope that when you share news of it with others that they will feel as inspired as you do.

Find This Campaign On
raised by 67 people in 1 month
102% funded
No time left
$4,200 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on May 1, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $6USD
    encourage - get a shout out

    i'll praise your good works on my facebook, blog, and twitter.

    3 out of 18 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2013
  • $12USD
    communicate - get a letter

    i'll write you a letter with quill and home made ink, stamp it with sealing wax, and send it your way full of thanks, love, and good vibes. plus all perks above.

    8 out of 12 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2013

    sling mud - get a ceramic cup

    receive a hand thrown and glazed cup made by a local potter and dear friend. glazes are a mix of sky blues and calm, rustic browns.

    10 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2013
  • $36USD
    heal - get an herbal tincture

    receive a 1 oz bottle of wildcrafted or respectfully harvested herbal tincture to nourish your health (could be yarrow, motherwort, cinquefoil, echinacea, or vervain).

    2 out of 13 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2013
  • $64USD
    dream - get a dreamcatcher

    i'll send you a dreamcatcher that i make from woven willow, handspun yarn, and feathers from my own birds. plus your choice of perks above.

    15 out of 16 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2013
  • $78USD
    breathe deep - carved pipe

    receive a hand carved pipe for tobacco or herbal smoking blends. carved with love by a supportive neighboring artist.

    3 out of 9 claimed
    Estimated delivery: July 2013
  • $164USD
    forge ahead - rush light

    receive a hand forged candle holder / rush light made by the smith who's helping us set up our forge.

    1 out of 2 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2013
  • $587USD
    inspire - get a poem

    i'll write a poem fresh-from-the-muse, and send it to you along with your choice of perks above.

    1 out of 3 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2013
  • $1,002USD
    godhead - visit and a tour

    come camping on the land for a night or two, and while you're here i'll give you a tour of my homestead and arrange a massage or chiropractic therapy session for you. plus your choice of perks above.

    0 out of 2 claimed
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