It’s been a busy month. We moved to our new property and have been working hard to create our new off-grid lifestyle. There are a lot of moving pieces in our projects. Along with our full-time homeschooling curriculum we haven’t had much time to provide updates on the blog. This week I’ll try to do that by sharing some of the cool things we’ve been up to.
1. Living off-grid: Since we have been living in a motorhome for the last 6 months, we’ve gotten pretty good at living without services, so it hasn’t been that difficult to adjust here. We have been here for almost a month with no running water or electricity. This past week we installed a really nice wood stove so we have not been cold at night. In the next week we should have reliable electricity through our new solar system being installed (more details later).
One of the toughest challenges so far has been our limited access to internet or cell reception. We have tried all the internet companies and they won’t service our addess as we are too remote. Although we get pretty good calling and texting service, we don’t have enough reception to reliably use the internet on our cell phone plan. We ordered a cell phone booster for nearly $400, which I plan on installing this week in hopes that it improves the situation.
I’ve kind of liked the lack of reception because it makes me way more intentional about my internet usage. I keep a note pad of all the things I want to look up or order and I do it when we go to town. It has been a little more difficult in the last few weeks because we are ordering new materials, appliances, supplies, etc every day. We also have lots of research to do on a lot of the projects we are working on (e.g. solar, wood heat).
2. First members of our homestead: When we moved to this new property, the local mouse population had gotten too comfortable here. This property was previously used only as a camp so there wasn’t much traffic. In our first two weeks we caught most of them but after reading about the subject and consulting with friends who lived in the country, we knew we needed barn cats.
We contacted a family friend who operates a farm and had an abundance of barn cats. Caleb and Mia each chose a new kitten from two different litters and named them Sara and Noah. They helped us create an insulated outdoor shelter for them. Now they spend most of their day checking on them, feeding them and bringing them new toys they keep making for them.
3. New tractor: I’ve been contemplating what I would do for snow removal and grass since the day we first visited this property. We knew we loved this beautiful property because of how much land and trails it provides and because of the private setting it offers. However, with a 400ft. driveway and at least 2 acres of grass to cut I needed more than a traditional lawnmower and snowblower.
So after a month of searching and conspiring, I settled on a brand new 20hp sub compact tractor with a 48in cutting deck and a 48” snow blower. This purchase was one of the toughest ones I ever made. Mostly because it was new, not on sale and way more than I would have ever expected paying for a tool or machinery. But after having owned it for 2 weeks, I have no regrets. I haven’t even used it for it’s main purposes yet (snow and grass) and I love it already. It helped us till a 2000 sq foot garden, move hundreds of boulders to clean up the property an up d already cleared 500 feet of scenic trails.
4. Garden: Even though we have been super busy on the house renovations, we have made time on weekends to prepare next years garden. Danielle transplanted 60 raspberry plants from around our property and 120 strawberry plants from a family member's property. This garden will be a huge contributor to our weekly menu next summer.
That’s it for now. We are about 2-4 weeks away from being fully settled in. Once we are, we should have more time to write and provide updates.