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


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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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h1 Bob's Off-Grid Project in NV

Here is a brief introduction to my off-grid project planned for 2010...

I have some land in Lander County, NV, which is in north-central Nevada. This is in the Shoshonee Range (mountains) and is the only house on the visible horizon. There will be a couple other houses up the street in the coming years in several areas that are collectively known as Sage Valley. This is an attempt at a solar community.

My land is in the middle of nowhere, and I intend to build a small stick-frame house starting in perhaps April or May of this year. I will probably have someone do most of the foundation and roof for me, but I will try to build the walls, interior finish, and exterior finish. The house is a very simple 20' x 30' (exterior) from I might shrink it two feet before I start to build. I had planned on having somebody build a house and garage for me, but if I did that I would need to get a job as soon as I moved in, and I want to avoid that.

I am not sure if I can post pictures, but if I can, I will.

Comment by rehoot Tue Feb 9 17:20:13 2010
[[!img size="200x200" alt="Bob Valley Panorama"]]
Comment by rehoot Tue Feb 9 17:28:48 2010

Yup, this is your user page! It looks like you put your bio in the comment, but no problem! I'm thrilled you figured it out --- now I should be able to remember who you are. :-)

As you can probably guess, I highly approve of living in the middle of nowhere and going cheaper so that you don't have to get a job. I'll be curious to hear how your project goes!

Comment by anna Tue Feb 9 17:50:01 2010

I bought some plans for a small cottage, and they are designed to be easy to modify and build. Here is an example of somebody who built this design:

They modified the walls to be "panelized" so that it is easier for two people to erect the wall. I might do the same thing. I will modify the window size and placement, and I might eventually put stucco on the outside. One of the pictures on that link suggests that they did not add any support between the header and the top plate. The source that I have seen say to put either cripple studs up there or build the header up to the top plate.

I am not sure how I would attach the bottom of the panel to the sill plate. I want it to be secure so that it can withstand an earthquake. I'll ask the building department when I go for the review. I should also get the IBC book.

Comment by rehoot Wed Feb 10 17:38:55 2010
It looks pretty manageable! We built our walls in panels twice as big as the ones in the link you sent us to, and they were very easy with two people, probably manageable with one but I'm not positive...
Comment by anna Wed Feb 10 20:47:47 2010
You can build wall panels to any length, although you may waste a stud because one is necessary at the end of each panel. At age 65 I was able to erect by myself a 12 foot wall section built of 2x6 24 inches oc. Just don't put your sheathing on until the wall panel is erected. It fastens down thru the sub floor onto the outside sill with 3 1/2 inch screws or 16 penny nails with two between each stud, on on either side of the bottom plate.
Comment by Errol Thu Feb 11 10:33:43 2010
I knew you'd have some input on his project. :-) Thanks for sharing!
Comment by anna Thu Feb 11 16:11:57 2010
thx. If the 4' wide panels are really light, I'll try adding the plywood before erecting them. I fiddled with a CAD program and I now the layout of all the studs for exterior and interior walls.
Comment by rehoot Fri Feb 12 19:01:38 2010
You'll have to post pictures once you get started!
Comment by anna Fri Feb 12 19:22:47 2010
can you use Bacillus thuringiensis on pumpkins :-\
Comment by xoGUZq093Nxg8d9X6Yqj8I5xnfIQ [] Mon Jun 21 16:54:12 2010
Sure can. But pumpkins are very vine borer prone, just like our summer squash, so you have to be quite vigilant. I'd instead recommend growing butternut squash for a tastier squash that borers don't like as much.
Comment by anna Mon Jun 21 20:51:08 2010

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