Homesteading (48)

Handmade/Homemade: The Half-Acre Homestead

When I start working on a book, it’s like setting out on an ocean voyage without a map. I get a theme, an idea, some kind of coherence on a subject, then start.

When I built my first house in Mill Valley in the early ’60s, my friend Bob Whiteley and I laid out the foundation lines in chalk on the ground. “What do we do now, Bob,” I asked.

Bob said “This,” and took pick and shovel and started digging the foundation trench.

It’s been my M.O. all my life. When I don’t know what to do, I start. Things (usually) sort themselves out in the process. (I know, I know, I’ve said all this before…)

This book is about the tools and techniques Lesley and I have evolved in building a home and growing food (and creating a bunch of things) on a small piece of land over a 40+-year period.

I started by writing it in chapters: The House / The Kitchen / Kitchen Tools / The Garden / Garden Tools / Chickens / Food / Foraging / Fishing / The Shop / Shop Tools / Roadkill / Critters … What we’ve learned; what’s worked, what hasn’t…
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Two Great Home/Garden Catalogs

Two great catalogs just arrived. Lehmans and McMurray Hatchery. The former: do-it-yourself tools for home, kitchen, garden; the latter for chicks by mail — which we’ve been doing for over 30 years.

We’ve got about 25 baby chicks coming this month. It’s great: We get a call from the post office: “We’ve got a box for you that’s chirping!” We pick them up and put them under an infrared light until they feather out. This year mostly Rhode Island Reds and Auracanas.

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Alan Beckwith's Homestead

…Alan did everything himself: carpentry, plumbing, wiring (solar electricity and hydro), and developed his own water supply. He drives a tractor, maintains several miles of roads, makes beer and wine, and raises pigs and ducks. A lot of people have started homesteads since the 60’s, but seldom have they got as far along as this…

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Hallig Home in Northern Germany

Hallig Habel during “land unter,” a local term describing the flooding of the Halligs during storms when just the houses stick out of the water. Thirty years ago, when this picture was taken, the house was inhabited by a farmer. His sheep and cattle spent their nights in the lower story. In extreme storms, when the lower story was flooded, the farmer would bring his animals upstairs. Photo by Hans Joachim Kürtz

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Living Off the Grid in Paradise



Warrick Mitchell lives deep in one of the world’s most remote locations: Fiordland, New Zealand. His home in the country’s oldest national park is nestled in a vast wildness accessible only by boat or airplane, a four day’s walk from the nearest road. Life in isolation can be hard, but surrounded by breathtaking, pristine natural beauty, plentiful wildlife and a small but tight-knit community that is always willing to lend a hand, Mitchell would have it no other way.

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Cape Breton Store Offers Free Land, Job to Canadians Willing to Relocate

farmer-s-daughter-in-whycocomaghA family-run business is trying a unique approach to recruit people to live and work year-round in rural Cape Breton by offering two free acres of land to people who are willing to relocate.

Farmer’s Daughter is a general store and bakery in Whycocomagh, N.S., which has a population of about 800. Sisters Sandee MacLean and Heather Coulombe took over the business earlier this year from their dairy farmer parents, who started it nearly 25 years ago.

From Rick Gordon

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Homesteading Residency Opportunity on Bill Coperthwaite's Land in Maine

bill

Dear friends of Dickinsons Reach and Bill Coperthwaite,

We are very pleased to announce the creation of 4–6 week long homesteading residencies at Dickinsons Reach in honor of Bill Coperthwaite and his way of life. The residencies will start this September and occur every season thereafter. We are very excited to offer individual and couples this wonderful chance to live within the homestead and landscape that has inspired so many of us. The Homesteading Residencies also reflect a new phase of our shared stewardship of Dickinsons Reach.…

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Green Bridge Farm: Going Green from the Ground Up

Green-Bridge-Farm jpg

Michael Maddox has been reading Mother Earth News since he was in high school, and has always wanted the lifestyle described in its pages. Now in his 60s, he’s reached a point where not only can he bring that dream to fruition, but he can also share it with others.

His strong desire to “think globally, act locally” is why he decided to subdivide part of the farm that’s been in his family since 1798. He received approval for his subdivision from the county zoning commission in 2008, and soon began selling 1.2- to 1.6-acre plots on 25 wooded acres in Effingham County, Georgia. Unlike many subdivisions where McMansions are the prevailing aesthetic, Green Bridge Farm sets maximum square footage and heights, and requires that 90 percent of each site remains wooded. The subdivision has an organic farm at its center.

www.motherearthnews.com/…

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Mark & Meg's Half-Acre California Coastal Farm

On which they grow 60-70% of all their own food.

I’m going to post sneak previews of our next book, Small Homes, once in a while, as I proceed with layout. There will be 6 pages with photos of Mark and Meg’s home, built out of recycled wood, and garden.

I’m experimenting with Twitter to post references to other websites; it’s quicker than blogging. www.twitter.com/lloydkahn

Post from: www.lloydkahn.com/…

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Off-Grid Homestead in Wales

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Hello Lloyd/Shelter Blog,

I started a laid-back UK-based photo blog last autumn and thought you might be interested in a particular story I wrote about a friend’s off-grid homestead in West Wales.

I’ve long been interested in handmade homes and lived on a converted canal barge for over a decade but you’d be hard pushed to find a better example of “walking the low-impact talk” in the UK…

www.thebimbler.co.uk/a-long-time-ago

Hope you enjoy this and my other stories.

Best wishes,
–Rich (the Bimbler)
www.thebimbler.co.uk

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