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View the most recent comments below. To join in the discussion (or see a comment thread in order), click on the title of a comment, then follow the directions on the subsequent page to add a comment of your own.

No one will be able to accuse you guys of being 'flat-landers' Any signs of the old farm? Joey's post about old homesteads was beautiful. I am in the Azores right now, there are ancient abandoned farmsteads everywhere, even a few villages. Have yet to see a "no trespassing" sign.

Comment by Chris from Canada Tue Oct 17 13:58:54 2017
Very cool! Glad to hear you found some solitude. Do deer trails mean you will have some fresh venison this year, and are you planning on adding chickens to the place once more?
Comment by Eric Mon Oct 16 18:26:52 2017
The first tree shot is impressive and the egg shaped mushroom. Good work landing this sacred spot. Intrigued to hear if you find remnants of the dairy farm in future digs!
Comment by Maggie Mon Oct 16 08:12:54 2017
Well said.
Comment by Heather Sat Oct 14 23:27:15 2017

"A Jack Russell Terrier. They won't stop until the rodent is dead, and they won't hurt the chickens"

Yes, humans created terriers for just this reason. However, I'd recommend keeping a dog away from areas with rats or their urine until you vaccinate your dog for Leptospirosis, and don't skip the booster shot to be administered 3 weeks later. Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease, which means it can be spread from animals to people. I live in NYC, where their have recently been several dogs infected with Leptospira bacteria; the health risks can be deadly. IIRC there were also 3 recent human deaths in the Bronx.

Comment by Elizabeth Sat Oct 14 17:05:55 2017

Good choice, those inverter gens are so quiet and fuel efficeint.

We have a Powerhorse brand from Northern Tool, and will keep a small chest freezer and household fridge going.

Comment by Eric Sat Oct 14 08:13:40 2017
Long time reader,have read you blog from start to present.First welcome to Ohio.Second you better tie that generator down reaaaal well.Not just a chain through the handle they will saw the handle into to get it.Maybe two anchors in the ground and a tight chain over the top of the generator.Not trying to scare you but but they are a popular item.Hope you like it here.
Comment by Robert Loar Fri Oct 13 21:41:57 2017
Please remember to take your generator inside or lock it to something when not at home. We use a generator at our property in Meigs county for camping and always keep it chained to something or otherwise they tend to grow legs and walk away.
Comment by Pam (Ohio) Fri Oct 13 11:51:17 2017

Honda's patent on the inverter generator ran out and now there are clones of the design, I purchased the "Ironhorse" brand at our local Northern Tool store, sort of like a higher-end Harbor Freight tools store with more of a market of tools and equipment aimed towards ag and industry.

I paid $600. After hurricane Mathew in 2016 we had no power for several days, running our 17 cu foot fridge and a 5 cu ft chest freezer it would go 7-8 hours on it's gallon tank.

I wanted a unit that my wife and daughter would be able to pick up and start if I was not around and this fits the bill just fine!

Comment by Eric Thu Oct 12 16:52:09 2017
We have a Honda 2000 watt for our off-grid camp where we spend our summers, and we love it. It will run everything we will ever need except an air conditioner, which at my age might be necessary to avoid heat exhaustion in the hottest weather, I am prone to heat related health issues. BUT we can purchase the piggy back unit at a later date and then have 4000 watts to run an air conditioner, if the situation arises. Electricity, although not really a necessity, in our domestic instance, makes a big difference in our quality of life.
Comment by Maggie Turner Thu Oct 12 10:24:02 2017
I built a foam fiberglass clad Clivus Multrum in 1986and it is still in use today. . 6 of my family used it it for 10 years. There have been 4 of us using it since then. I unload it about every six years . It’s big ,built to handle about 3,000 uses per year. This winter I will repair an air baffle which fell down ,although it is still cooking as good as ever. I’m a furniture maker / carpenter so I always have plenty of hardwood sawdust for a bulking agent.
Comment by ralph fulton Thu Oct 12 08:26:14 2017
It looks like such a paradise. Why are you moving?
Comment by John Wed Oct 11 21:28:42 2017
I keep my tomato seeds in zip bags labeled on varieties and all the bags are in a cardboard box. As my house has a cellar with a cooler and relatively constant temperature I keep my seeds in there and they last for 5-6 years.
Comment by Seminte de Rosii Wed Oct 11 05:16:02 2017

Hi Anna and Mark,

Just curious. How much are taxes and of what kind?


Comment by John Tue Oct 10 15:58:00 2017

I love all the comments on this post! Very limited internet time still, though, so just a few quick replies.

Joey --- I know! I stacked up some cinderblocks at first, but Mark didn't let it fly this time around.... :-)

Jennifer --- Yeah, the rules seem more complicated the more we look into them. Looks like we need a landing on top and a handrail too. Here's hoping our next edition will pass the test. :-)

Comment by anna Tue Oct 10 15:02:54 2017
Thanks for those good thoughts, Mom! We actually had a nibble from a hunter today. So maybe someone will snap it up who loves the secluded luxury of it just like we did! :-)
Comment by anna Tue Oct 10 15:00:52 2017

The garden spots have such rich earth, that I would say the new owners could. for ex. grow pumpkins, or some other cash crop. And the barn, with its water-tight roof, can be used for all-season car-repair, among other things!

This farm has much potential for a special family, used to country living and tuned in to stewardship of the land. Worth checking out, if only for the breath-taking experiences: crossing the beautiful creek, walking in through past the "alligator swam", imagining the bleating of baby goats...or imagining the frog choruses. Imagining the ducks, out in the creeks:)

Whoever looks this over will feel the love of the land that has been lived here. that is to say: there are "good vibes" here!

Comment by adrianne Tue Oct 10 08:35:53 2017

I'm trying to convince my aunt and uncle that they need your homestead! They were looking for a peice of land that they could use as a camping get-away, and I sent them the listing. I'm crossing my fingers!

Emily in Bristol

Comment by Anonymous Mon Oct 9 17:54:18 2017

Well, the couch looks like it has the Huckleberry seal of approval!

There is one downside to pleather; it doesn't breathe. You might want to toss a blanket over the couch. That way it will be warmer in the winter and less sweaty in summer.

I'm pretty sure Huckleberry would approve of that too. :-)

Comment by Roland_Smith Mon Oct 9 12:44:37 2017

You're not in the country anymore. I hope you can adjust quickly to having people dictate to you how things must be done.

Freedom vs Convenience

Eagerly watching you rebuild and praying the transition goes as smoothly as possible for you.

Comment by Ned Mon Oct 9 10:25:04 2017
good for you guys! Now you can put your feet up at the end of a long day!
Comment by Jennifer Mon Oct 9 09:41:56 2017
California is a bit of a nanny state apparently. Where I lived, the rise and run of the stairs are dictated, as is the width from left to right, the type of wood if it touches the ground, you must have a slab of cement under the bottom step, rails have a minimum height and maximum separation distance, rails are required once you have 3 stairs, you must have a grippable handrail (with lots of specification)... all of which I completely understand and accept as valuable. But it does make it a drag to know what's right or wrong, what will/won't pass inspection, unless someone is available to give you some info.
Comment by jennifer Sun Oct 8 12:45:24 2017

Sounds like you two are super busy managing the contractors and doing your own work. Plus, even just washing and cooking must be a bit of an endeavor without power and running water. Can you tell us more about a day-in-the-life in another post sometime? What is similar and what is different from how you lived before? What do you like better already and what do you miss? Is the chaos making you crazy? Can you explain what the "final inspection" is all about?


Comment by jennifer Sun Oct 8 12:39:47 2017
As I recall, the old trailer had cinderblock steps for like 5 years. Interesting to see the different priorities this time around!
Comment by Sat Oct 7 10:12:31 2017
It's good your contractor spoke up. It would be disappointing to find out, at inspection. Here's hoping you get to keep your stairs. I imagine some support rails are in order. In Australia, if stairs are higher than a metre, you need support rails, by law. Someone decided, under a metre, was safe to fall from - but anything over that, could result in injury.
Comment by Chris in Oz Fri Oct 6 22:18:11 2017
Roof rack?
Comment by Gerry Fri Oct 6 22:06:23 2017

You're not in the country anymore. I hope you can adjust quickly to having people dictate to you how things must be done.

Freedom vs Convenience

Eagerly watching you rebuild and praying the transition goes as smoothly as possible for you.

Comment by Ned Fri Oct 6 17:09:06 2017
Anna and Mark, I am truly enjoying hearing about your new adventure! I love the pictures. I think you are going to love your new home!
Comment by Maggie Turner Fri Oct 6 09:53:09 2017
I humorously call my Subaru Forester the "TARDIS" because with the way I pack it, it's obviously bigger on the inside than the outside!
Comment by Nayan Thu Oct 5 13:15:22 2017

Oh the locals are abuzz! "Someone moved a trailer on to the old (insert name of people who have not lived there in twenty years) place"

Good luck to ya!

It's not official until we see that tin mailbox on a post at the end of the driveway. :)

Comment by Eric Wed Oct 4 19:05:56 2017

Thought provoking wonderful write up on Mark & Anna's homestead and all that has been The Walden Effect I do not believe anyone could have done it better Joey!!

Adrianne - love your comments as well!

Comment by Jayne Wed Oct 4 11:55:30 2017
Congratulations on your arrival! Best to you both! How are the cats doing?
Comment by Jennifer Wed Oct 4 10:37:56 2017

Your trailer looks a bit unlevel--maybe this is a trick of the perspective?

I'm sure you are on top of all this!

Comment by adrianne Wed Oct 4 10:24:13 2017

Yay!!! first word that comes to mind. Looking forward to your new adventures. Are you in a different plant zone now?

Comment by Donna Stroud Wed Oct 4 10:12:06 2017

We purchased an MSeries 36,000 BTU Dual TriQuad Zone Mini Split Outdoor Condenser Heat pump and four indoor wall mounted units (one 15,000 BTUs for the larger main room; one 12,000 BTUs for the kitchen and eating area; two 6,000 BTUs units, one for each bedroom) two years ago from an on-line company called Total cost was under $5,000 for everything including the piping, insulation, etc. (no shipping charge). My husband installed everything himself but we did get a certified technician to come and verify proper installation so the warranty would be in effect. We have been very pleased with this system. The A/C in summer is amazing--very comfortable no matter how hot and humid. The winter heating is great, but it does feel cooler in the house when the temps start dipping in the low 20's (main room has lots of windows and is not yet well insulated so that no doubt has an affect). Can't give much info on cost comparison to other systems since we heated totally with wood prior to the installation and we did not live here full time previously. The system is very quiet, both the outside unit as well as the inside units. We really like that you can set each room's temperature separately, so for example if one likes to sleep in a cooler room you can set that temperature lower than the rest of the house. If we had it to do over, we would purchase the same unit again.

If you decide to purchase through Home Depot, I would suggest you verify with them prior to the purchase that they will indeed allow the veteran's discount (if that is a large part of your choice). We have recently had issues with Home Depot not allowing discounts on things they had previously honored. We have had no such problem with Lowe's however.

Good luck!

Comment by Norma Wed Oct 4 08:57:45 2017
Thank you for this post. I burn the berries in my smoker when working with the bees. Sumac is amazing.
Comment by K Wed Oct 4 07:33:40 2017

Very nice. Often I wonder of the place where my parents built their home I grew up in, and their description of how they found foundation stones there indicating at one time there was a structure. Or how we found traces of barb wire fence in the middle of what was woods, and some rocks rowed to indicate there must have been a cleared and cultivated field at one time.

Hopefully someone will buy the place and make it a home.

Comment by Eric Tue Oct 3 17:32:28 2017


On the page you link to I only see 5 °F mentioned in the context of “cooling operations”. I can't find a minimum outside temperature where it can still work as a heater on that page.

According to the spec sheet [PDF] from what seems to be this model, it can heat from an outside temperature of -13 °F, which is quite impressive.

But when it is very cold outside, efficiency will suffer a lot. According to the temperature chart [PDF], when the outside temperature is 5 °F, and the inside temperature is 60 °F, it will yield 19200 Btu/hr. That is approximately 5.6 kW of heat, for an electricity input of 2.39 kW. So the COP is 2.35.

When the outside temperature is 32 °F, is gives 20450 Btu/hr with a power use of 2.22 kW. That is a COP of 2.7. If you want to heat your house to like 70 °F, efficiency drops even further.

So in the winter, I think that you should realistically reckon that you get about twice the electric input power as heating power.

Comment by Roland_Smith Tue Oct 3 16:18:27 2017
Comment by Theresa Tue Oct 3 13:22:20 2017
A very nice way to bring closure at the end of one adventure, as another adventure begins. I hope that Anna and Mark continue to blog, I've been following for years! Wishing them the best in the years to come!
Comment by Maggie Turner Tue Oct 3 10:42:46 2017

One very unique homestead, $1,500 per acre, the opportunity of a lifetime