We found a small cabin on a hill in Western Maine with a beautiful view, seven acres and a sturdy, aesthetically pleasing cabin with great southern exposure. It is on a town maintained road. There are several farms on the road and a blueberry barren in the neighborhood. The town itself is nice. There are several organic farms within biking distance. It is a little tiny cabin but it will not take much to make it spacious enough for every one. The catch is no water and and no electricity.....
We are exploring some ideas for some power. We found this plug and play solar system that will provide most of what we need. We have several back-up oil lamps and we will probably find some battery lanterns to hang in the kids rooms. Because the house is on top of a hill we will investigate DIY wind power.
As for water, well, we will dig a well in the spring. WE will hook up our water catchment for use until the snow flies. But we will have to haul water for the winter season. Hubby will get this on his way home from work. We will bathe at the University gymnasium that hubby gets a discount at through his school district. REgular exercise would not be a bad thing either! We have a power washer for small loads of laundry and will take care of larger loads at the laundry mat. All this will be upgraded in the spring. I told a friend about this and she had an interesting take on it. She said," It is just a matter of setting up and refining a system."
There is a gas cookstove and we will bring our woodstove with us. The space is very air tight, so we should be all set with the firewood we have put up for the winter already.
We have a friend that does not have a refrigerator and she lives off grid so we will be exploiting her knowledge to its fullest extent.
The land itself is beautiful. It is fairly open. With seven acres we will be able to get some of our firewood off the land through fall down. There is a stream on the property.
We are doing this through owner financing with very favorable terms. We need time to let our current home and our land sell. We will try to find renters for our home by listing it at the local University. But once everything shakes out....we should own the place outright in 10 years or less.
Hubby and I have both discussed that our feelings about this are mixed with both excitement and understanding of the amount of work that lies ahead of us. We know that it will be challenging this winter. But our family will be under the same roof which should make dealing with any challenge that presents itself easier than our current arrangement. We had investigated very similar situation this past spring but that did not work out and then hubby got the new job. So at first there was a sense of OMG ,do we really want to do this? After all it IS going to be challenging for a while. But then we thought, " Yup, it is going to be challenging, but it is what it is". It is what is would be no matter where we decided to do this. Because we aren't millionaires who can buy the prefect green dream. And we don't want to be. Starting a "homestead" is done in increments. It is a matter of adaptation and refining. It will be a great learning adventure!
I look forward to sharing this journey with you!
Planted: winter rye
Harvested: cabbage, rutabaga, leeks, kale, zukes,
Preserved: corn, dehydrated apples, dehydrated zukes, apple cider vinegar
Managed reserves/ Prepped: 2 dozen canning jars on sale, everything else was at a standstill until we knew what we were going to do about housing.
Reduced waste: a friend gave me her kitchen table. We will use our current table as a desk in the teens bedroom or give it back to my aunt for safe keeping. It is a family table. Saved apple scraps for cider vinegar. We gave some garden scraps to our neighbor who has 4 piggies they are growing.
Local foods: went to local orchard and picked up a case of apples, I joined Wendy's Challenge.
Eat the food: Hubby made Cawl Cannin a potato, leek, local bacon, yummy, yummy soup!