The Walden Effect: Homesteading Year 5. Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

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Walden Effect: About Us

Learn about the beginning of our adventure here.We're a couple of back-to-the-landers living simply on our 58 acres of swamp and hillside in southwest Virginia.  When we arrived on the farm in September 2006, a hundred year old barn stood amid a mass of blackberries and honeysuckle so thick we could hardly push our way through.  Since then, we've cleared a couple of acres (leaving the rest of the forest to grow naturally toward its climax state), installed a free trailer to live in, and are learning to farm.  (You can read about our adventures starting in year three in our blog archives.)

Weekend HomesteaderAnna was trained as a biologist and now turns her scientific leanings toward experimenting with no-till gardening, mushroom propagation, and chicken pasturing.  She dreamed about moving back into the countryside ever since her parents dragged her kicking and screaming from their family farm at the ripe old age of eight.  She admits that her childhood memories of farming don't really match reality --- real farm life involves a lot more hard work than the eight year old was involved in!  But the reality is also much more fulfilling and she loves harvesting her own vegetables, pigging out on sun-warmed strawberries, and soaking in a washtub of water in the yard.  (There are many perks to living in a secluded setting.)  In addition to writing here, she posts about her poultry experiments on her chicken blog and has published several ebooks, and a paperback.

Mark grew up in the suburbs in Ohio and never considered living the farm life until recently, but his family's roots lie in hard-scrabble farming in eastern Kentucky and homesteading seems to run in his blood.  While Anna putters with her seed packets and makes planting charts, Mark does the hard work of mowing, fencing, building chicken Avian Aqua Misercoops, and keeping the farm running smoothly.  He loves the freedom of making up his own hours and the self-sufficiency of living off the land.  Recently, he has enjoyed inventing labor-saving farm devices, including his Avian Aqua Miser --- a POOP-free chicken waterer based on chicken nipples --- and a deer deterrent that keeps the garden from being eaten by four-footed neighbors.  (Mark's chicken waterer is how the two make a living.)

Two year panorama
The farm in September 2008.


"The Walden Effect" is a term Mark uses to describe the changes he's experienced since moving onto the farm.  He's given up television, the fast food life, and even paper towels, and finds that his mind is clearer than it's ever been before.

We're thrilled to have you as part of our online homesteading community!  Although you can email us (using the links above), we prefer hearing from you in comments so we can all benefit from your homesteading wisdom.  Thanks in advance for sharing a story to help us notice a shortcut on our journey or to brighten our day!



Want to be notified when new comments are posted on this page? Click on the RSS button after you add a comment to subscribe to the comment feed, or simply check the box beside "email replies to me" while writing your comment.


Glad I found your site!

A commenter named Paul Myatt left told me about this site while commenting on one of my blog entries: http://www.livingoffgrid.org/homesteading-blogs/

I am going to immediately add your blog to the list of links on that page, and will also be subscribing to your feed.

I too grew up in Ohio (Cincinnati), have my family roots in Eastern Kentucky (Hazard County) and am looking to start a homestead in south, western Virginia (or western North Carolina, possibly Eastern Tennessee). My wife is also a graphic designer. Lots in common!

So feel free to email me. I'd love to keep in touch and learn more about the area where you've decided to settle down: everett@esizemore.com

Regards,

Everett

PS: If you want to reciprocate the link from your "friends" page, I'd sure appreciated it!

Comment by Everett Fri Jan 30 11:10:23 2009
comment 2
Thanks so much for stopping by! It's great to meet such a like-minded person. We'd love to be off the grid, though haven't figured out how to manage it yet. I've added a link to your site --- I really enjoyed some of the articles over there!
Comment by anna Sun Feb 1 09:12:19 2009
I love your site!
My husband and I have been reading Walden, and I stumbled across your website. You are living our dream! We are much too far in debt with student loans to live like that anytime soon... but, someday! In the mean time, we are learning as much as we can for the future. We have our first garden going, as well as a huge compost pile. The next thing, I think, will be chickens. Your site is a great inspiration! Thank you!
Comment by Jessica Tue Feb 3 23:38:21 2009
comment 4
Thanks so much for stopping by, Jessica! A garden and chickens are a great start --- every little bit helps!
Comment by anna Thu Feb 5 08:44:18 2009
Chicken Tractor and other

We tried something like a chicken tractor which seemed to work fine until it rained. What do you do about a roof to keep the chickens dry?

Also, I hope you know about NAIS and are working to stop it www.nonais.org

kcrchervey @ yahoo.com

Comment by RuralnearDallas Wed Mar 18 07:29:38 2009
comment 6
Mark always builds our chicken tractors so that most or all of their perch and their nest box are under a little roof. (I say most of the perch because we've noticed that if it's not too cold and wet, our chickens prefer to perch out in the open.) You can see the roofed area on our most recent tractor at http://www.waldeneffect.org/blog/Chicken_tractor_trek/ and http://www.waldeneffect.org/blog/Chicken_tractor_construction_tip/ and http://www.waldeneffect.org/blog/Do_it_yourself_chicken_tractor/. (Lot's of pages to look at, I know, but they give you different views.)
Comment by anna Wed Mar 18 09:57:17 2009
living off the land,
Especially in these times, a site like this is awesome, a family of 5 we are learning to garden can raise rabbits, Which is an excellent and clean easy meat source, cleaning chickens is a little gross for me, But we do like there eggs, a chicken tractor is a great idea.
Comment by Michelle Fehrenbach Sun Mar 22 17:20:32 2009
comment 8

I'm glad to hear that you're enjoying the blog, Michelle. I'd be curious to hear more about your adventures with rabbits. I hear folks talk about raising them for meat, but have never tasted it. Do you find them tasty enough to make them worth your while?

Chicken cleaning isn't really as disgusting as it sounds --- I don't think it'd be much worse than a rabbit! Sure, you have to pluck the feathers, but that goes really fast.

Comment by anna Sun Mar 22 20:09:23 2009
Rabbits

Yes rabbits seem to be very easy. They multiply fast and yes I find the cleaning alot more tasteful than chicken. Just cut away the hide peel and clean the inners. slow cook your rabbit. I also heard that rabbits have a sensitive digestive, though I find our rabbits eat bread that we have found from local bakery (Free) all natural organic whole grain, that they have over produced and sometimes just going out of date for store sale but still good to eat. We get it by hte garbage bag full. We feed to horses rabbits chickens even the dogs find it to be a treat, It fattened up our rescue horses and good source of grain, which is expensive. This is all we feed our horses except hay. Anyway, yes rabbit is very lean and clean. very good in alfreado with veggies and noodles, Rabbit noodle soup, rabbit pot pie is favorite with the kids, . Also rabbits love most garden items as they say all things in moderation and I dont find that they get sick like they say. Also rabbits seem cleaner less disease or germs than chicken. Rabbits love the fall leaves which we gathered and stored in bins or garbage barrels for feedin in the winter. Any left over stems or veggies that may be on the way to going bad. Dandelions and so forth. I did trial and error, so far no errors with rabbits. And I have started stock and breed with free rabbits people are giving away as no longer wanted pets. I have started saving pelts to tan for different uses Hats blankets so forth. Also the whiter fur with less color skins easier for some reason, it is 28 days for gestation And you process rabbits at 63 days old, 6 months old for breeding. 1 male and 2 females would definatly keep meat on the table for two people. rabbits breed rapidly and they also can get pregnant like 2 days after they have a litter. although i dont breed that frequent. Love your web.' Michelle

Comment by Michelle Tue Mar 24 09:08:39 2009
comment 10
That does sound extremely intriguing. I'll have to keep my eyes open for some rabbits to taste to see if we like the meat...
Comment by anna Tue Mar 24 09:41:33 2009
Chicken cleaning

Anna,

You say you pluck your chickens. We don't. We just skin them. Please comment back on the pluses and minus of skinning. Maybe we should try plucking, but we heard it was so hard, and were just going to remove the skin anyway.

Thanks

PS: I consider rabbit harder to slaughter and clean than chicken. It is very healthy meat, but is so fat free that most people would want to add fat (butter, whatever) to it.

Comment by anotherview Sat Mar 28 08:37:39 2009
comment 12

I hear a lot of people talking about skinning their chickens instead of plucking them. We don't actually find plucking difficult at all. If you scald them right (dunking them up and down in a pot of 145 F water until the wing feathers pull out easily), plucking is easy and doesn't take long. Mark and I like to do it together, which cuts down on the time even more --- four sets of hands get rid of feathers in minutes.

Of course, I like to use the skin. I know it's fatty, but if you've got free range chickens then the fat is pretty good for you. Roasting is my favorite method of preparing a chicken, and that requires the skin. Then I cook up the bones and skin to make stock, which we use in everything. We think it's definitely worth a few minutes of plucking!

Comment by Anna Sat Mar 28 08:59:57 2009
bees and snakes

Landed up at your blog tnx to Joey's blog. Joey's writings has helped me in computing on Debian GNU/Linux. I too live in a farm where we cultivate black pepper and nutmeg. Here had some bees, the hive went dead due to CCD and wild geckoes. Now the geckoes are hunted by a pair of cobras and another fast moving king cobra. The king cobra lives off fishes which are abundant in small pond like formations. A bunch of wild mongeese have landed up and the cacophony of their daily fights with the cobras is deafening. One of them, a huge guy looks real experienced when fighting with the king. He has had no successful kill till date. The farm is in a shambles with wild grass growing all over. The quietitude is soothing and the rains are pretty heavy, they are called as the "monsoons".

Comment by Ragu Sun May 3 09:59:50 2009
comment 14
Ragu --- you must be in India? Wow --- your farm sounds amazing! I'd love to be able to grow spices like that (and tea!)
Comment by anna Sun May 3 21:41:13 2009
Rabbits, Chickens... Goats?

All this talk about rabbits and chickens, cleaning, taste of meat, etc.

Have you guys ever thought of goats? Either for meat or milk? I've thought for a while about raising rabbits since I really like the taste, and I had rabbits when I was a teen. But people that I know that raise goats for meat & milk seem to swear by them. I've got three acres here and I've thought about goats for a while. Maybe I should take the plunge. I'll definitely have to make sure that I have my garden protected from them.

Comment by Shannon Sun May 10 00:32:26 2009
comment 16
We've considered goats, but the truth is that I think they'd be too high maintenance for us. The first time they got into my garden, I think I'd have to shoot them. :-) What I really want to do is find a neighbor who sells illicit raw milk --- that's the one major chink in our homegrown food.
Comment by anna Sun May 10 07:33:05 2009
Micro Hydro Electric
I heard that you are interested in Micro Hydro-electric. Here in Austria a guy named Franz Zotlöterer has engineered a low-head, low drop hydro-power generation solution. Which I guess he calls "The Zotloterer Gravitational Vortex Power Plant". Being he is an Austrian the level of engineering is way, way over the top... but the concept is sound and I expect a clever man could implement a much less expensive solution.
Comment by Bhima Mon Jun 1 16:26:30 2009
comment 18
Thanks for pointing us to that information! It looks very useful.
Comment by anna Tue Jun 2 10:39:00 2009
self-sustainable newbie =D
My kids and I just got our first chicks (4 heritage chicks-6 weeks old). We live in Wisconsin where our winters are obviously cold! We are in the planning stages of building the coop and need some advice...I've been told by some to make the coop small so that the hens don't get cold, but I would think if it were large enough to walk in, it would make for easier clean up (maybe 5 wide by 5 long by 5 high). We plan on putting a large area of fencing around and over the coop so that they have access to the outdoors but will still be safe from the coons and the neighbor's dogs. Also, how does one keep the water from freezing during the winter months without changing it 5 times a day? Thanks a bunch! Ericka
Comment by Ericka Tue Jun 2 11:00:48 2009
comment 20

Personally, I'm all for tractors instead of coops. That said, you might be a little cold to overwinter your birds in tractors. We can get away with it in the mountains of Virginia, but I think people in zone 4 or colder usually put their birds in a house for the winter. I advocate small tractors (easy to pull so you'll be sure to move them every day!) but big coops (lots of space since they won't get new ground to run around in.) Some folks have coops with movable runs, or have four runs which they rotate their birds through, one run per day. There are a host of options out there!

Mark's Avian Aqua Misers work here in the winter since it usually doesn't get below freezing except at night. The birds are asleep at night, so we just bring the waterers in --- they're clean and have an easy handle and hanger, so it's no trouble. Other folks sell heated waterers for situations where it sits in the teens or twenties all day.

Hope that helps!

Comment by anna Tue Jun 2 15:39:13 2009
Type of plastic of chicken waterer

Hi, I'm concerned about plastics leaching their endocrine disrupting plasticizers into water, especially plastics that aren't intended to be UV stable and may be exposed to sunlight. What type of plastic are the ready to go waterers made from? Also have you had any feedback on how much duty is charged shipping to Canada? Thanks! Angela

Comment by Angela V Mon Jun 8 16:30:08 2009
comment 22

They're made with food grade plastic (#5.) I figure that since they're food grade, they should be safe.

We shipped one to Canada and there didn't seem to be any problem on the Canada end that I heard about. That said, we do have to charge an extra $5 for shipping to Canada, so drop me an email if you're interested and I'll send you a special invoice.

Comment by anna Mon Jun 8 18:01:05 2009
chicken waterer
I greatly admire your commitment to the land. I've spent several hours on your pages loving every minute. I purchased the avian aquamiser and can't wait to try it out.I have four Rhode Island reds. I'm committed to urban farming and teaching others about Kin Domains, spaces of love, and eco-villages. Anna, if you and Mark are inclined you might want to read the Ringing Cedar series by Vladamir Megre. Especially the information about bees and beekeeping. You are so like-minded. I'm eager to watch your amazing journey unfold. Blessings
Comment by Julie Carda Mon Jul 20 22:46:14 2009
comment 24
Julie --- we'll have to check out the series you recommended. Thanks for your kind words!
Comment by anna Wed Jul 22 12:53:26 2009
Love the Site

Hey Folks,

Love the site. You guys rock. We're planning an extended transition from suburban and corporate life to homesteading and are just starting to learn the ropes. Hoping to take you up on your labor for room and board offer later this year or early next as part of our training.

Just saying hi from some friends in South Jersey.

Cheers,

Dave

Comment by Dave Morris Sat Aug 22 11:23:59 2009
comment 26
Dave, learning to homestead is an exciting adventure! Have fun!
Comment by anna Sun Aug 23 19:11:24 2009
Lovely Page!

What a lovely web page you have, and what lovely people you are! I have added a link to your page from mine: www.gardenofpoetry.com

I'll be back to visit again, I promise!

= )

Comment by Daniel F Mitchell Sat Oct 17 20:57:23 2009
comment 28
Thanks for dropping by! I really like the layering of text and images on your website!
Comment by anna Sun Oct 18 16:10:09 2009
I have enjoyed perusing your blog this morning over a cup of tea. I am inspired! Would love to reciprocate your blog with permission as we are trying to build a network for advice, inspiration and humor!
Comment by Haywood Homesteaders Sun Jul 11 09:11:18 2010
I'm glad to meet you! I'll have to go check out your blog --- glad to meet likeminded folks who don't live too far away.
Comment by anna Sun Jul 11 09:42:27 2010
I stumbled upon your web site. Are you still there?! I'm wondering my egyptian onions are acting funny this season. Seems as they either have been used as bedding by an animal or beaten down by rain! We have had a lot of rain in Michigan this season! I think it's the later. I have them in a raised bed and they are usually beautiful! Shared with chives and an occassional extra crop. Should I divide them in the fall? Do you think this is an overcrowding issue? Let me know when you can. Thank you!
Comment by Ann Williams Fri Jul 16 19:07:21 2010

We are definitely still here!

It's hard to diagnose your problem without a picture, or a better description of what you mean by "acting funny." However, I'll hazard a guess anyway. :-)

This is the time of year when the onions put all of their energy into producing their top bulbs, so they do often fall over and look a bit brown and bedraggled. That's quite normal and nothing to worry about. They'll start sending up green shoots in a month or so, especially if you pick off the top bulbs.

You can divide them, or just leave them alone (and maybe give them a top dressing of compost.) This is the one time of year when I don't eat our Egyptian onions, not that it's a hardship since the garden is so vibrant elsewhere right now.

Comment by anna Fri Jul 16 20:24:36 2010
I'm just awed by you people! Please post more about your daily life. I'd really like to know more about your life style and any problems you face during the routine.
Comment by Manu Mon Nov 29 00:03:07 2010
Manu --- Is there anything in particular you'd like to hear more about? We'd be glad to tell you more about our daily life, but that's a pretty broad question. :-) You might like to check out http://www.waldeneffect.org/blog/Morning_chores_video/ which is a video I made last winter of my morning routine, or http://waldeneffect.org/blog/Coping_with_paradise which is the beginning of a lunchtime series about how to keep our life on the farm full of fun rather than angst. If that's not what you're looking for, leave a comment with another question and I'll be sure to answer it.
Comment by anna Mon Nov 29 16:11:09 2010

Hey there! I have been enjoying your blog for a while now and thought it was time to introduce myself.

I'm currently living in Atlanta, but my parents live near Lebanon, Virginia. I lived with them for two years (in fact, I'm visiting right now!) and I love it there.

I was just wondering where you are, and if there would be any way we come come by and say hi one of these days. I'd love to see your farm, and I know my parents would, too.

I do hope we get to meet one of these days, soon! Nathan

Comment by Nathan Strange Fri Feb 18 22:02:07 2011

Oh! I almost forgot to mention that I started using your chicken waterers before I realized where you were or started reading your blog.

LOVE THEM! I've got two of my friends converted to them too. Thank you so much - they're brilliant! Nathan

Comment by Nathan Strange Fri Feb 18 22:04:15 2011
Nathan --- it's great to "meet" you (and to hear you love our waterers as much as we do!) I'd love to meet up in person too, but would rather discuss it over email. I followed the link to your blog (and was thrilled to see you talking about oyster mushrooms!!), but couldn't seem to find any contact information. Hopefully you'll come back by here. If you do, please drop me an email at anna@kitenet.net. Mark and I would love to meet you!
Comment by anna Sat Feb 19 13:22:10 2011

Hi ya! Just found the site and ordered Chicken nipples today-oh boy! super excited. We're getting ready for our first chickens this is such a great solution to the water dilemma. I also just ordered the rat race ebook-can't wait to delve into that. I'm wondering if i can get Anna's May Volume 1 book as a pdf too? I don't have kindle and that's the only option I saw. Thanks for such a great site. I'll let you know how the water nipples work!

Comment by Justine Sat May 21 13:49:00 2011
I emailed you a copy of the May volume of Weekend Homesteader --- I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for keeping the Walden Effect running.
Comment by anna Sat May 21 14:31:23 2011

I absolutely love your guys site! I really liked the "chicken waterer" It was very insightful, Ill have to get me one of those! I really liked how you did the killer multi-shots of the chicken taking a drink. I have several chickens myself and take pictures of them all the time (sitting on the golf cart, taking dust baths in our new garden, and running off our swans when they get too close to mother hen's chicks) Thank you for all the informational posts on chickens.

Sincerely,

The guy who makes Chicken Doors.

Comment by Jeremy Smith Mon Jun 27 15:07:05 2011
We love watching our chickens too. :-)
Comment by anna Mon Jun 27 17:26:49 2011
I was in the same place you are, trying to get this homestead running. My husband lasted here about 8 years; I remarried and stayed on. I worked full-time for 20 of those years and now I'm retired and back to the place I love, doing the things I love. reading your blog is like a trip back in time, and at the same time I am learning some new things. A great combination. I wish you luck. Stop by my blog sometime-- think you'll find some things that you might find useful.
Comment by Granny Sue Sat Jul 16 17:18:45 2011
I think Mark will probably go the distance. It makes it a lot easier when you're making a living online in just a few hours per week and don't have to juggle full-time work with farming --- that's a recipe for disaster! I'll have to check out your blog.
Comment by anna Sat Jul 16 19:54:04 2011
I love your site. I am so happy I found it and even happier that you post often. I check it every time I get on the computer. I have been looking for a place where I can ask general questions and can't find one. SO....have you ever thought of raising rabbits for meat?
Comment by Kathleen Olsen Tue Aug 16 22:24:06 2011

Thanks for being such a regular reader!

We're always happy to answer questions, no matter where they show up. To answer yours --- we've pondered rabbits, but haven't quite worked our minds around them. On the pro side, I think adding an edible herbivore of some sort to our farm would make it much more efficient (and a better ecosystem.) On the con side, I've never eaten rabbit, and I always hesitate to embark on a venture if I don't know I'll like the results! I'm also a bit leery of all of the killing involved for so little meat (although, when I look it up as I type this, it sounds like a meat rabbit carcass may weigh more than a chicken carcass!) It's one of those back burner projects we may try out once we've got the basics down enough that we're not running as fast as we can just to stay where we are in the summer.

Comment by anna Wed Aug 17 08:16:30 2011

Just yesterday I was searching for info on potato onions and your blog post on them popped up. I got to reading, I am now fully hooked! Btw, do you think the potato onions would grow well here in Florida? I'm finding that its either they will or wont, its not very helpful.

Anyway, hooked for sure! I'm rather young I suppose, as it is Ive just recently fallen hard for what you have. Ive always been an animal and plant person, but growing up around housing developments and no land aren't conducive of that. (Though in 07, on an impulse buy I got an old rooster and 2 hens. Things have exploded since. This just being said because I am very interested in your Aqua Misers! As soon as things loosen up a bit, I will be purchasing them for sure:) Yeah, Its fascinating(your blog) to me, the homesteading life, and the way people go about it. Its what I'm working towards now in my life. I'm very happy that you and others chronicle your trials, Its put me on track to where I finally think I know where start and where to go.....

Thanks for the blog, keep it up!

Comment by T:FL Cranberry and lemongrass tea Mon Aug 29 03:24:34 2011

Welcome to our blog, T! Florida is quite a different growing world, so I just don't know if potato onions would do well there. I know that garlic is very hard to grow so far south. No matter where you grow them, variety selection seems to be essential with potato onions --- we're trying out a new variety this year since the one we'd been growing for two years just won't produce large bulbs.

Good luck with your homesteading adventure!

Comment by anna Mon Aug 29 07:07:38 2011
I found your blog today and am enjoying reading through it! I also blog about life on my homestead, my goats, my horse, etc. Stop on over and take a peek!
Comment by Niki Mon Aug 29 17:58:25 2011
I hope you'll keep reading and give us some advice as we ponder adding four-foots to our farm.
Comment by anna Tue Aug 30 07:51:57 2011

Hi guys, congratulations on your lifestyle and accomplishments. I live in Australia and my hubby and I are on a homesteading journey Walden style. My last name is Walden and I have done a lot of research on the name and Thoreau's philosophy. My name has become my philosophy! Blessings Carol Walden

Comment by Carol Mon Sep 12 19:23:02 2011
It sounds like you have more right to the name "Walden Effect" than we do. Good luck with your journey!
Comment by anna Mon Sep 12 20:19:28 2011

Hi,

I am Nandan, from Kerala,India and do part time Fukuoka style natural farming and part time software development. I was also experimenting with no-till farming for grain, but not successful so far, so thought of sharing some experiences with you.

my contact - p_k_nandanan@yahoo.com

Regards, Nandan

Comment by Nandan Wed Oct 5 13:01:53 2011
Nandan --- Thanks for stopping by! I'll have to go read your blog and see what I can glean from your experiments!
Comment by anna Wed Oct 5 15:27:38 2011

Anna and Mark -

For the past half-decade I've been searching the internet for blogs about small farms and big gardens, and yours is, by far, the best one I've found. The focus on soil health, the no-till and cover crop research, the pragmatism. Your blog manages to be a very useful resource for others interested in the same sorts of farming techniques, and for that I, and I'm sure all your other readers, am tremendously thankful.

Comment by Ryan Sat Nov 19 13:45:32 2011
Ryan --- Thanks for your kind words! I'm so glad to hear you're enjoying my soil geekery. :-)
Comment by anna Sat Nov 19 16:58:53 2011
This is such a cool blog! My husband & I are going off-grid in Arkansas and building a sustainable homestead and earthbag home. This blog is really helpful for us, and because of that, I've nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award! You deserve it. http://versatilebloggeraward.wordpress.com/ Check out my post for more details about the award and keep up the great work in 2012!
Comment by Amanda Thu Jan 19 16:02:08 2012

I really appreciate you thinking of us (and I enjoyed visiting your blog!) Unfortunately, I'm afraid we have to decline the honor. I don't like to "waste" posts --- I always seem to have far more to say than one post (or even two posts) a day will allow. :-)

I'm looking forward to reading more about your journey, though!

Comment by anna Thu Jan 19 16:54:44 2012

Anna, Mark, are you still interested in Rocket stoves? Just wanted to tell you about the Cob Cottage Company and what they have done with Rocket Stoves. Theirs are really simple, designed to be hand built, based on fire brick and a 50 gallon drum and vented through long stove pipe that runs through built in cob furniture like a window seat or wide couch to heat the seat internaly and thus the air inside the structure eventually. The eventually vented gasses are just slightly warm, you can hold your hand in front of the stove vent and it feels like getting breathed on. They even had one in cobville that ran under an old castiron bath tub to heated the water, too hot if you let the fire keep going, but if 20 people in a cob workshop are willing to take bucket bathes that is enough water for everyone to have a warm bucket each night. Yes, i've seen it work up close and personal, but no, I don't think your trailer is the optimum location for a rocket stove install. Now if you ever built a cob or adobe or rammed earth structure up out of the flood plane...then a rocket stove might be the best thing since hullless oat cover crops. p.s. sorry I am link challenged, just google it.

Comment by Becca Fri Mar 9 20:59:27 2012
Becca --- Thanks for the rocket stove ideas! We are still interested, although not in something inside. I figure if we do a rocket stove someday, it will be on a porch or in another location where the heat won't drive me nuts in the summer.
Comment by anna Sat Mar 10 15:33:12 2012

I saw that you were going to try Oyster mushrooms on sycamore. How did that end up doing compared to other tree types?

Thanks!

In Christ, Jeff

Comment by Jeff Armstrong Mon Apr 9 18:59:33 2012
Jeff --- Our oysters did okay on the sycamore, but seemed to prefer the softer box-elder. That said, sycamore was a very good choice for shiitakes for us since we don't have many oaks and do have lots of sycamore, and the shiitakes seemed to fruit well in the sycamore logs.
Comment by anna Mon Apr 9 20:09:59 2012

hey guys, since we live in the same area, NE TN here, do you grow wheat? If you do, when do you plant? Is it possible to plant now, like right away? I have some heirloom seed that needs to be reproduced and hate to have to wait till winter.

Comment by pamela Thu May 3 11:51:02 2012
Pamela --- We experimented with growing wheat one year. We didn't have much luck, but I can probably still answer your question. :-) Wheat (and pretty much all of the other grains, except buckwheat) are cool season crops, so they're usually either planted in fall or early spring. You'd need to know whether your wheat seeds are winter wheat (to be planted in in the fall) or spring wheat. Either way, now isn't a good time of year to be planting wheat, so you'll need to wait a few months at least.
Comment by anna Thu May 3 19:59:22 2012

We have lived in Nigeria for 13 years, and for more than half the time each day, we have no power. Our first lighting solution was to buy a charger, a truck battery, and an inverter, and some 12 volt lights--about $200. When the power is on, the charger charges the battery (with a cutoff when full). When the power is off, we run the 12 volt lights, and our computer, electronic piano, and printer, etc, off the inverter.

In our new home, we got a bit more sophisticated, and bought a charger inverter and 4 solar panels, and 2 deep cycle batteries. We just hooked the inverter into the regular wiring for specific lights and plugs. So we didn't need 12 volt wiring, or separate plugs. When the power goes off, it automatically switches to the inverter and battery. We also got a 12 volt Koolatron cooler which has run continuously day and night for more than two years--not a complete replacement for a refrigerator, but good.

When the power goes off, we can do most everything except wash clothes. So we don't run our generator any more. It is much quieter and relaxing. And our headlamps are great for reading in bed. Becasue the overhead light isn't on, we can fall asleep more easily.

Craig

Comment by craig Ewoldt Fri May 11 12:19:35 2012
Craig --- That sounds a lot like the system we're slowly but surely cobbling together. Glad to hear it's working so well for you!
Comment by anna Fri May 11 20:01:38 2012

I find your blog very inspiring. Thank you for sharing such treasures!

I wanted to let you know that I've included you on a growing blog list for those inspiring others to live simply: http://www.liveinart.org/2012/05/community-of-bloggers-for-simple-living.html. I can't find a tag line for your blog - is there one that I can include?

Please check it out. If you have a moment, it would be great if you could share the resource with others and leave a comment.

Thank you! Nicole http:www.liveinart.org

Comment by Nicole Thu May 31 14:47:37 2012
Thanks for including us on your list, Nicole. The first line of this page should suffice as a tag line: "We're a couple of back-to-the-landers living simply on our 58 acres of swamp and hillside in southwest Virginia."
Comment by anna Thu May 31 16:31:25 2012

Hi Anna, Big fan, much appreciative of the good info you share. I had been purchasing each weekend homesteader as they came out on kindle. Missed April and now I have them all but that months. I can't seem to find it on amazon, but I would love to have the full set. Could you possibly direct me to where to find it?

Much appreciated for this and for all you share with us.

Thanks.

Comment by Barb Fri Oct 5 20:34:45 2012
Barb --- Thank you so much for reading and asking! I left April out of the Amazon ebooks because I didn't plan it out carefully enough and all of the thought projects ended up leftover for that month. However, I'm doing a major overhaul of the monthly ebooks to match the paperback, which will come out in a month or so, and the revised versions will include an April. It will also reorder a lot of the projects, completely revise some of them, and include yet more photos. Stay tuned to the blog and I'll make an announcement in a few weeks when the revised ebooks are published.
Comment by anna Sat Oct 6 07:50:58 2012
I'd like to download your monthly ebooks, but should I wait until you've updated them? Or will my purchased versions be updated as well? I'm a little impatient to wait!
Comment by Pam Sat Oct 13 17:27:00 2012
Pam --- I'm hopeful the updated versions will be up on Amazon within the next couple of weeks. I've been reading up on whether people who buy the old version will get the new and the answer is...maybe? It seems to be at Amazon's discretion, but I'm going to do my best to make sure they upgrade everyone. If they will, I think the way it will work is that you'll get an email from them and will have to reply with a "yes" to get the updated version, but then they will automatically show up on your kindle.
Comment by anna Sat Oct 13 17:30:47 2012
Glad to hear it will be available soon. I have all the other months downloaded to my kindle. Thank you.
Comment by Anonymous Thu Oct 25 17:17:33 2012
Anonymous --- I've been having some technical difficulties or April would have already been up there. That, plus October, are the only ones that aren't available in their revised format at the moment, but hopefully Amazon technical support will get back to me soon. I'll be announcing here as soon as they're revised and available!
Comment by anna Thu Oct 25 18:49:33 2012
I just have to say that this is perhaps the MOST useful homesteading blog I have found. I appreciate all of the knowledge and experiences that you share freely with everyone. The amount of detail you give on everything is very helpful, especially to a budding homesteader like myself. Being only 23 and not raised on a farm, I have very much to learn. Your records of your progress, setbacks, and knowledge has educated me more than I can imagine. The best part is that it's all in one place! I look forward to continuing reading updates as well as your wonderful archive of plentiful information. Thank you so much for doing what you have done! I will share your blog with my like-minded friends and encourage them to do the same. Thank you again.
Comment by Roberta Wed Nov 14 13:52:01 2012

My husband and I just bought land in west Texas. We are so ready to get out of the city(Baton Rouge La) and start homesteading. I lucked up and got your July book for my kindle fire. My first concern was where are y'all homesteading? As I found out if I am correct Ohio? The reason is I am in a different climate. Different growing zones. Is there any way I could adapt all of your wonderfulf advice to my area? We are planning on moving in March. We can not wait to start our new journey together. Are there any other advice or books you would suggest to a newbie just starting out?

Thank you Karen

Comment by karen Sun Jan 6 17:44:53 2013
Karen --- We're in southwest Virginia (zone 6). Most of the tips in Weekend Homesteader should work great for you, but I would recommend finding some local gardening information --- growing in the Deep South is very different from most of the rest of the U.S. I haven't actually seen any good books on the topic, although there might be some. Good luck!
Comment by anna Sun Jan 6 18:34:13 2013

Hello Anna! I just discovered your blog last night and stayed up well past my bedtime reading and becoming inspired. Well done! My husband and I are aspiring homesteaders in Colorado. We are preparing to purchase our first home and land and I am excited about all the projects we will finally be able to undertake (we rent property at the moment, but it is primarily horse pasture and other than a small flock of chickens and a small garden plot, we cannot get our landlady to agree to any other use of the tragically bare forty acres). I have a few questions for you, if you don't mind!

First, I want to try no-till growing in our new space. Colorado is not known for its soil quality and we want to help improve and preserve as much as possible. However, this is not something I've ever practiced before and I'm in need of some suggestions on how to get started. I understand that kill-mulching with cardboard will rid the ground of any weeds as well as prepare a bed for future planting, but is there a way to prepare planting areas that can be used right away in the meantime? I don't want to "skip" a growing season while waiting for the mulch to decompose, if possible! Would you suggest using some traditional tilled (or filled) raised beds in the meantime? Or is there another solution for an area in transition?

Thanks in advance for any help and advice. I have already downloaded and read your e-book on cover crops, and will probably read the January edition of Weekend Homesteader this afternoon. I love your writing style and enthusiasm for what you do, as well as your willingness to share it with the rest of us. And expect an order for a chicken waterer kit from us next week!

Comment by Ursa Sun Jan 27 11:21:40 2013

Ursa --- Thanks for your kind words about the blog and ebook! I've had good luck making the type of modified kill mulches I explain in Weekend Homesteader: April and planting directly into them with many types of vegetables (although I wouldn't do it with roots). I've also laid down kill mulches in late fall and had ground ready for anything come spring --- it's possible you could lay some down now to be ready on your frost-free date if your grasses (or whatever is currently cover the ground) are on the easy-to-kill side.

On the other hand, if you feel like your current groundcover is too tenacious, you can till up an area for this year. Before I learned about no-till, I used this method to create free raised beds, and they have worked extremely well for me.

I hope that helps!

Comment by anna Sun Jan 27 14:18:00 2013

Hey guys, I heard your interview with Jack on the Survival Podcast, came to your blog and found out that you are in Va too, Looks like I now have reading material for the foreseeable future. ;) My wife & I are in Bedford, between Roanoke & Lynchburg, and are planning a small homestead in the county on some family land in the next year or two. Give us a shout if you are in the area!

Comment by Jeff Fri Feb 8 15:45:34 2013

Please help! I purchased your book on Amazon all the way back on January 30th. They have yet to find a copy and it has now been over a month since i bought it and i NEEEEEEEED it! Please help me if you can, I am ready to get knee deep in your book and transform my yard and garden. I appreciate anything you can do to expedite my order.

Thanks!!

Comment by Marshall Fri Mar 1 23:27:07 2013
Marshall --- I'm so sorry! It appears that my books sold faster than expected, so they ran out of the first printing before the second printing showed up. However, my editor tells me the second printing should hit warehouses in the U.S. by the middle of this week, so I suspect your book will ship shortly. If not, let me know --- I've got a few copies stockpiled that I could send you instead. :-)
Comment by anna Sat Mar 2 08:04:21 2013

Hi - stumbled upon your site, and really enjoy it. I was wondering it I could get permission to use one of your photos (with photo credit attached to it), and maybe get a higher res of it. I am a volunteer with a group in town that promotes pollinators and would like to use your picture on one of our signs. It is the picture of the bees nesting in the twigs and you have it labelled with empty ones, full ones etc..

thanks

Comment by Karen McKeown Mon May 6 11:16:23 2013
Karen --- I'd be glad to let you use the photo and can email you a high resolution version. Just drop me an email at anna@kitenet.net and I'll email it out.
Comment by anna Mon May 6 12:16:03 2013
I stumbled across this site http://gilcarandang.com/ written by a gardener in the Philipines specializing in natural farming techniques, particularly related to fermenting (like bokashi). He shares his recipes which can be replicated here in the US to make your own cultures from scratch, using basic ingredients found in most homes. I now have a culture of EM, lactobacillus, and I'm working on a chicken-carcass based hydrolysate (rather than the traditional fish hydrolysate). Very amazing to make these organic concentrated amendments on a budget!
Comment by David Sat May 25 19:30:06 2013
I have been reading your blog for years. Loving every minute of it! Can't say how many posts I have bookmarked. This is my first year with a garden, small though it is. I live in a trailer park, and given the lack of growing area, I opted to build a wicking garden bed and structure it square garden style. The wicking bed has proven itself already, however the amount of rain Missouri has had this summer is complicating things. The zucchini plant came down with powdery mildew, and now the tomato plant leaves are beginning to yellow. I know nothing about tomato blight, so I was curious if the mildew is spreading to the tomatoes... Should I pull the zucchini plant, in hopes of saving the tomatoes? The planting dirt was an organic compost blend I bought from a local composting company. The wicking bed has an overflow system, so the plants aren't waterlogged. Thoughts? I have yet to get anything from the zucchini, though the plant itself is massive. The tomato plant is setting fruit. Help?
Comment by Jenny Wed Jul 3 19:52:10 2013
Jenny --- Although both the zucchini and tomatoes are probably suffering from fungal diseases, they're different ones for each plant, so pulling the zucchini won't save the tomato. I generally prune off troubled tomato leaves ASAP (and you can see other blight-mitigation tips here. With cucurbits, they're so fast-growing that I generally just succession plant every two weeks, figuring I'll get what I can, then rip out sick vines. I hope that helps!
Comment by anna Wed Jul 3 20:20:28 2013
Thanks Anna! I pulled out the zucchini plant, and pruned the diseased parts of the tomato. Do I need to do anything to heal the soil? Can I plant anything in that square, or are there any recommendations of what to do next?
Comment by Jenny Wed Jul 3 22:23:40 2013

you should update your website. On 7/20/2013 I read your paperback book is "coming out in 2012". Should at least change that to "came out in 2012", or if it still hasn't been published change the anticipated release date/year.

I found you through a Google search while trying to discover an inexpensive substrate idea for growing oyster mushrooms. Thanks for the info.

I thought you may appreciate my feedback to help you improve.

Michael

Comment by Michael Sat Jul 20 19:44:41 2013

Hello, We just wanted to say how delighted we are to meet you both in the new book on Modern Day Pioneers. Maybe one day we can meet in person. Your story is wonderful and so encouraging. We have posted a blog link on our site back to you for our readers. Feel like we already know you! "North Trapping and Bush Life" in Canada.

Comment by Ross and Deb Hinter Tue Aug 27 13:01:19 2013

I recently finished reading your e-book on Trailersteading (WONDERFUL book,BTW,my Wife and I loved it!),which is how I discovered here (just yesterday),looking forward to reading back through and catching up,as well as reading your other e-books :)

We're in the border-town of TN/VA now,but my Wife and I both grew up in southwestern VA ourselves (Buchanan County,Grundy area),so nice to meet you,Neighbor :)

Stephen

Comment by Stephen in Eastern TN Wed Aug 28 12:42:26 2013

Hi there,

My name is Ally Siegel and I work for BBC Worldwide Productions. I came across your blog while doing research for a documentary about off grid living. If you have a moment I'd love to talk more to hear about your lifestyle and to tell you more about our project.

Email: AlexandraNsiegel@gmail.com Cell: 818.521.6376

Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you!

Comment by Ally Siegel Mon Nov 4 15:41:34 2013
I have been avidly devouring your blog and it's archives. I love the combo of science and practicality. Was wondering if you had researched goat herding? Would appreciate your perspective. Btw when are ya'll getting pigs? I am eagerly awaiting the results of a pig pasture experiment. (Where I live the feral hogs are a nuisance and our source of pork) Good luck!
Comment by Elaine S Thu Dec 12 23:12:22 2013

Elaine --- Thanks for reading! We considered goats, but I love my garden so much that I'm afraid the first time they broke out and started eating vegetables, we'd have goat for dinner. :-) We may still try them someday, though, if we make some awesome fences.

Still not sure about the pig experiment. Mark and I were just talking about it yesterday, and are thinking maybe sheep would be a better starter animal. Stay tuned!

Comment by anna Fri Dec 13 09:39:57 2013

Hello Homesteaders!

Sorry for the email blast here. I know I have emailed before.

I am a development TV producer at Crybaby Media always on the hunt for new TV shows. I develop mostly in the male skewing space - like Nat Geo, History, Discovery etc....

Right now we are developing two separate shows in this space that you may be able to help me with. The first is Bare Hand Builds about people who have or are about to build their own off the grid cabin old world style! Think Dick Proenneke in Alone in the Wilderness. The second is Nothing Wasted, which would focus on groups of people or a person that specializes in using every part of a hunted/harvest animal. If this is you OR you know who would be perfect - please get in touch with me as soon as possible.

Look forward to speaking and thank you for your time!

Comment by Bryan Severance Fri Mar 14 11:26:32 2014
Hello, Thank you for making such as Awesome blog about your general life as free people :) I've enjoyed going through all the very rich content and the lifestyle you live in, I hope someday I will join in this beautiful way of living. Keep up the good work :)
Comment by Fuzz Sun May 25 18:50:44 2014

I purchased your Homesteader book a while ago in Middleburg, VA, and just found your blog by happenstance while searching for how to introduce a dog to chickens! I live on .25 acres in the DC area, and have two vegetable gardens in my front yard (where the sun is best) and I'm renting some chickens this summer to try it out. I only went through a few month of blog posts, but I bookmarked your site and I look forward to reading more!

Thanks for posting!

Comment by Nicole Sud Mon Jun 2 21:38:10 2014

Hello!

Yes another message from a production company! Sorry!!

I am a producer for Original Media in NYC currently doing a search for a Wilderness MacGyver. Who is that, you ask? It’s that guy who can make anything out of anything, when modern day technologies and machines might not be available. He’s your handyman in the middle of nowhere. If he has to make tools or use down logs already on the property for building materials - he does.

Think Off the Grid. Think of a guy who can make Dams, Outhouses, Smokers, Log Cabins, Fish Wheels, Hunting Blinds, Fences, Ice Houses, Make Shift Saunas, etc…. Anything made in remote areas that make use of the elements around you - is what we are looking for. A modern day Dick Proenneke!

Do you know this person? If so - I’d love to talk to you and hear your story. Please call or email anytime and look forward to telling you more about the project.

Comment by Matthew Mon Jul 21 12:29:37 2014

hello,

we'd love to use the sheep with the haha image to illustrate the concept in our book, Canada West Landscape Architecture

very cute!

jill

Comment by jill Thu Jul 24 15:58:39 2014
jill --- Unfortunately, that's not our image. If you click on the picture, it will take you back to the spot where we found it on the internet. Good luck with your book!
Comment by anna Thu Jul 24 16:54:37 2014

Hi,

I notice in your bio on Mark, that he has learned to do without paper towel.

In the attempt to not have to be so dependent on commercial products such as paper towel and toilet paper, first of all, in relation to paper towel, which is so often used for cooking and cleaning up messes around a house, what do you now do and/or use for such things? Further to cooking, sometimes if you cook bacon or greasy food, paper towel is great for getting rid of excess grease by wrapping the bacon in that and allowing the paper towel to soak up the excess grease. What would you do in a situation like that?

As far as not using toilet paper, some homesteaders or minimalists may have some solutions for that, what do you do, if anything for replacing toilet paper.

Years ago, I bought the Humanure Handbook, which I generally think is a very good book, though I don't think that Joe Jenkins knows about how to increase soil fertility, and there is only so much that this will be able to do for increasing the soil fertility, even though I think it is a great way to deal with human feces. Do you use a composting toilet system? What are your thoughts on them, and in the end using compost created from our own feces to put on the soil?

Thanks.

Eric

Comment by Eric Mon Feb 9 14:32:55 2015

Eric --- Great questions! We use a lot of rags (old t-shirts cut up into small pieces) for the things normal people use paper towels for. I wash the rags if they're not too gunky, or toss them if they're really nasty. We always seem to have too many rags, not too few, despite trashing the occasional rag.

For greasy foods, I generally just let bacon, etc., sit on a plate so grease drains down. Probably only 80% as effective as a paper towel....

We haven't tried to avoid toilet paper, though. Sometimes I wish we did...but apparently that's where I draw the line at self-sufficiency. Instead, I always mean to stockpile extra rolls, but don't quite get around to it.

You can read all about our composting toilet here. I love it (although Mark is only slowly being won over). Last fall was our first harvest, which we used around the base of our dwarf apple trees. Hopefully we'll get to eat the nutrients from that deposit this coming summer!

Comment by anna Mon Feb 9 19:28:56 2015

Hi, I enjoy reading your site! Is it okay to contact your through your email? Please email me back.

Thanks!

Cailyn cailynxxx gmail.com

Comment by Cailyn Tue Aug 11 01:27:03 2015

I stumbled on your blog last week, I love it! This is the life my wife and I have dreamed of since meeting and we are slowly working toward it. We live in SE TN in the valley. We are in zone 7, but a lot of the things you guys experience are similar to us!

I love the goat stories and the chicken stories and I hope to one day be able to put together some experiences like you guys have!

Do you ever allow visitors to your homestead? I'd love a field trip to see all of your projects, it might help push my wife over the edge (one way or another!).

Thanks and keep posting!

Comment by Willie Shannon Thu Aug 13 08:28:34 2015

Willie Shannon --- I'm glad you've been enjoying reading along! I hope it helps jumpstart your own adventure.

Unfortunately, Mark and I are both severe introverts (me more than him). So visits beyond friends and family are very rare. Sorry I can't help you push your wife over the edge!

Comment by anna Thu Aug 13 13:41:08 2015
What a delight to be turned on to this site by a good friend of mine. It is SO refreshing to see like minded people living out what so many of us out here so desperately want to do. Really proud of you guys. We are right behind you, retiring this year, looking to do exactly what you guys are doing, absolutely can't wait! Sent you guys an email responding to the land for sale, can't wait to hear from you. We are awesome people who love life, freedom, the mountains, and would make the best of neighbors.. Mac & Lori
Comment by Andrew McDonald Mon Aug 31 21:07:41 2015
I was reading your yearly plan and saw that you butcher your chickens at about 10-12 weeks? So do you breed your own broilers? Or do you just butcher extra roosters? Where can I find more info? Ty. :)
Comment by Anonymous Mon Oct 26 16:28:11 2015
Anonymous --- We're still ironing out our broiler plans because we're still settling on a favorite breed. For a few years, we raised our own Black Australorps and butchered the extra cockerels for meat. Last year, we tried out Cornish Cross (purchased), but they were awful to raise. This fall, we're trying Red Rangers, which we like a lot better so far. You can read about the breeds we've tried in more detail in my ebook, or you can read our posts about broilers here. I hope that helps!
Comment by anna Mon Oct 26 18:16:19 2015
You are leading a life in the way that we, scientists, are trying to do research. Inspiring!
Comment by Sanjay Thu Nov 12 13:06:40 2015

Hi Anna & Mark, I just wanted to say thanks. I have been reading your blog for 5 years now and it is so inspiring. We moved to the 10 acre remains of a run down old dairy farm in South Western Victoria, Australia almost 3 years ago. Since then we have been slowly working to become as self sufficient as possible. So, thanks again for all the wonderful ideas, info and for giving us a look into how your homestead works. P.S thanks for putting the corresponding Southern Hemisphere months in The Weekend Homesteader. :D

Comment by Erin Thu Dec 3 19:48:10 2015

I happend across your blog a few days ago and have to say thanks for taking the time to share some of the day to day happening on the farm and some of the how to's and life lessons. My wife and I have been dreaming about a simpler unplugged lifestyle for a long time. We are currently saving to buy 20-40 acres in the woods and to build a simple cabin so we can start on our journey. Our plans are to transition into it slowly and then sell our house and cut the ties to daily grind. Nevertheless, I have a lot of questions and concerns about paying the bills without a full time job. We have 5 kids ranging from 13 to 2 years old so stability and being able to provide is important. I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty and we plan on raising goats, chickens, rabbits and bees. Plus gardening and canning as much as possible. I just assume that you guys are full time and if so, how do you do it? The feed for animals, property taxes, utilities, gas for the car? Any insight is greatly appreciated.

Comment by Matt Fri Dec 4 10:17:22 2015

Erin --- Thank you so much for your kind words! They were such a pleasure to wake up to yesterday morning. :-)

Matt --- I answered your question this morning on the blog. Hope it helps!

Comment by anna Sat Dec 5 06:50:05 2015

Hi Mark and Anna,

Have no idea how on earth I ended up on your blog, but I began reading and couldn't stop. I've scoured nearly the entire site archives included. My wife and I are not homesteaders though we have the grit to do it. I grew up on a 50 acre grape vineyard in rural Michigan. Heather grew up in the city. I'm now a full time musician with a very successful career and this necessitated us building and moving into a bus. The website I listed shows the photos of us converting the bus ourselves including raising the roof on it 9" cause I'm tall. Anyway, we live a lifestyle way out of the box from others and now have a 4 month old to enjoy too. If we ever settle, we would love to be involved in some level of homesteading as the simplicity of it appeals to me. Always enjoy your posts. Keep them coming. We enjoy reading them as we travel the country.

www.scottmichaelbennett.com https://picasaweb.google.com/m/viewer#album/112938923773048709099/5662953938083749729

Comment by Scott and Heather Thu Jan 21 15:02:32 2016

You guys are awesome! Makes me want to do the same thing. Really inspiring story.

I work in development at Original Media in NYC and wish I had found you guys just as you decided to quit your jobs and move off grid. Because that is exactly what I am looking for and was hoping you might be able to help.

Currently, I am developing a show that would involve three different couples/families as they decide to buy a piece of land and truly live off of it. I am looking for people who are gonna not only build their homestead from their own land, but then work it and live off it.

Ideally, we would be at the start of it all the construction and see their dream come to life. I know it might be a little late for you guys - but is there anyone you know you might be interested in possible documentation of their journey. Any help or contacts or would be much appreciated!

And again - awesome work! So cool.

Comment by Bryan Severance Wed May 25 12:38:45 2016
Stumbled onto you looking for fruit trees in my plant hardiness zone. What a great site. Wishing you continued happiness on your journey!
Comment by Monica Fri Sep 30 23:52:07 2016