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The TTI Homestead


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Alright I've been quiet for several days while we got things figured out and decided, but I think we're far enough along the process to go ahead an announce it here:

 

At the end of August, we are moving our family out of the city/suburbs and out to a 16 acre homestead in the Ozarks.

 

Last year, we bought some raw land up in northern Washington state which I've mentioned a few times in other threads. The intent was to get up there next summer with a trailer, dig a well and then bootstrap ourselves up from zero using our savings. But now we're heading toward a recession/depression. Costs are going up and the economy is going sideways. It's not practical for us to start with raw land right this second, but if we wait another year we'll be working with a deflated dollar and less of it to work with overall due to increasing expenses.

 

But recently, the clouds parted and the sun shone through to reveal a place for us:

 

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She might not look like much, but she's got it where it counts. This sits on sixteen acres of heavily wooded red oak and white pine, with a creek that runs most of the year.

 

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This picture is out of date and this isn't the exact plot boundary, but you get the idea. Lots of woods, Along the bottom edge you can see a dirt road, which has been expanded to this:

 

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Our property goes from that white flag down to about the third telephone pole in the distance (next to the driveway that turns right).

 

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The driveway bends around the trees a couple turns:

 

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And then spits you out right at the house:

 

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Everything else is woodlands, all the way back, with deer and turkey running around (probably other things too):

 

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We have new electric, a brand new well, access to the electric company's gigabit internet (and Starlink if we choose). Perfect setup to begin an off-grid homestead, and is exaclty what we've been looking for. We'll own everything outright before our 8-year-old gets her first car, halving our current expenses in the meantime.

 

This is something I've wanted to do since at least middle school. My heart has always been in the woods, and camping (as little as I'm able to do it) is always where I've been the most relaxed. Not because it's a vacation, but because it's nature. The lack of pings and alerts, cars going by, manmade noises. I'm not a bird watcher or a gardener or anything like that, I just find peace in the outdoors where I'm able to just... Be alive.

 

I'm sure plenty of people can relate to that.

 

This is also something the wife and I have talked about since we've known each other (known her for 11 years, married for 9). Living a simple life, relying on our neighbors and ourselves, and raising our kids to be strong competent people who know how to DO things. We found the opportunity, and we're taking the leap.

 

There is a LOT of work ahead of me. But it's work I get to own. I like that.

 

We're looking to build something 100% off-grid and self sustainable. There's a great book by Ron and Johanna Melchiore called The Self-Sufficient Backyard. In it, they describe how to become an independent homesteader on a quarter acre:

 

https://amzn.to/3NKymUk

 

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The picture on the cover shows how they lay their quarter acre out to sustain two people. We're working with 64 times that size, so I'm sure we can figure out how to sustain five. The book goes into great detail about how to arrange your crops, composting, animals, everything you could want to know. The only thing you really lack after reading it is the experience of doing it.

 

Another great resource is this guy Justin Rhodes, who has a channel on YouTube:

 

 

There's plenty of homesteader channels out there, but Justin knows his stuff. He's got 75 acres or so out in Asheville, NC (I believe), and he even has people come out and pay him to learn how to do what he does.

 

The wife is in charge of the gardens, but I'll be in charge of the animals. We're looking to get rabbits, chickens and goats to start. Maybe some cows and pigs in the future, but one thing at a time.

 

There's just the house there, so beyond the usual stuff in getting ourselves set up we'll need to get some infrastructure built out for the animals. We found a really fantastic book that provides a ton of plans and ideas called Polyface Designs: A Comprehensive Construction Guide for Scalable Farming Infrastructure:

 

https://amzn.to/3xJ7MV5

 

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In it are plans to build simple and scalable structures for permaculture farming. So we'll start with a chicken broiler:

 

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The books details everything you'll need and provides a wood cutlist.

 

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And it's basically Legos after that:

 

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This is all still a ways out, we're working on getting rid of things here and getting ourselves out there. We'll leave around the last couple weeks of August, but I'll document what we're doing to get ready and keep this thread current with what's going on!

 

We're time traveling back to simpler times.

Edited by Cosmo
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First things first: Shedding all of the stuff we don't need or can't take. I'll be listing a bunch of things on eBay throughout the next few weeks, feel free to check it out here and throw a bid up if you feel inclined to do so:

 

https://www.ebay.com/usr/thecuriouscosmos?_trksid=p2047675.m3561.l2559

 

I'm putting up all the sealed/new Lego we still have at the moment, but there's plenty of random stuff in the garage.

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@Cosmo - Congratulations on buying your new home! :)

Thank you! It'll be a big change going from city/suburbs to rural Arkansas, but you only get one shot at life and I've come to realize what we're doing isn't living.

 

The way forward is the way back.

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you only get one shot at life

You know, I've got to be honest, I strongly disagree with that. There have been accounts claiming that reincarnation is real. Also, I strongly believe that if one wanted to, he could live his life over again. For instance, I want to either change history or create a whole new timeline, then relive life from the start with the things of my imagination converted to reality. Did you ever consider these possibilities?

 

As for the rest of your post, I can relate very much to what you're saying. :)

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Posted (edited)

You know, I've got to be honest, I strongly disagree with that. There have been accounts claiming that reincarnation is real. Also, I strongly believe that if one wanted to, he could live his life over again. For instance, I want to either change history or create a whole new timeline, then relive life from the start with the things of my imagination converted to reality. Did you ever consider these possibilities?

LOL maybe, but at the moment I'm interested in THIS life. if I can get all my kids and my wife to reincarnate with me, maybe we'll give Alaska a try on the next go.

Edited by Cosmo
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if I can get all my kids and my wife to reincarnate with me, maybe we'll give Alaska a try on the next go.

OK, if you guys decide to reincarnate or start life over again as I plan to do, I wish you good luck in faring well with the Arctic-like weather of Alaska LOL! :LOL::)

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For purchase ? that be gold you'll be swamped with orders:)

Absolutely. I've been dreaming of being able to do something like that for years. One of the first things getting set up is a workshop, probably just a shed from Home Depot to start, but I'll finally have a place to do stuff like that. Big boy capsules, not any of that PVC garbage.

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  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

Whew. It's been a busy month, so updates have been scant. Lots of freelance work landed too, so powering through that to help fund everything and keep us whole. Everything is going great, just extraordinarily busy as one is during the current year.

 

We're on the home stretch, though, liquidating the rest of the stuff we're not taking this week and getting the rest of it packed and shipped. We aren't taking a U-Haul or anything, so that presents some additional challenging maneuvers. That will pay off in the end.

 

We're heading out by car in about 2 weeks, and plan on posting some photos and updates along the way :)

Edited by Cosmo
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Godspeed. And please, Cosmo, dig a tornado shelter.

And miss my chance to see Oz?

 

And btw, my older child says she clears more profit seeming Legos on Bricklink than eBay 😉🧱

Yeah but Bricklink expects you to sort them out first, and there's 375 pounds of it, Doing that proved to be an impossible feat in a crackerjack box townhouse with three little kids, a cat, a dog and a Time Tortoise.. eBay seemed like the faster alternative as a bulk lot, so at least I TRIED to sell them off, a display of commitment to the cause. Nobody wants to spend that kind of money right now, so I'll keep them and find a good use for them once we're set up. Maybe a Titor machine replica or a Gobekle Tepe diorama, or something. If all else fails I can use them to build animal feeders.

 

"Set up" at the moment means a livable house, a garden with some late season veggies (turnips and spinach, etc) and a few chickens. I'm going to post pictures and stuff once we hit the road on Saturday and make this its own TTI project. We don't REALLY have internet there yet (fiber is coming but 9 weeks out), but once we do we'll get some Twitch streams going again and show you guys what it's like.

 

It will be an adventure.

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375 pounds of it

o_O

Titor machine replica

😍

turnips

how do you even eat a turnip? I love vegetables but I don't know that I've ever had one in my life...

fiber is coming but 9 weeks out

I reeeealy hope I'm wrong, but I'm imagining that 9 weeks in Arkansas means about two and a half years.

get some Twitch streams going again

Sounds good. I need to get back on Discord, too. Interesting TTI crowd there!

 

Godspeed.

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We made it! Arkansas is gorgeous and a lot of things I didn't know how much I'd appreciate until I was here. Trees, water, countryside, clam happy people. Cell connection here is very thin at the moment and we’ve been working hard to get things going, but have plenty of photos and videos and stuff from the trip and our arrival. I'll do my best to start getting some of that up here, but it might be a bit before I'm 100% again. Fiber is due in a few weeks but they're backlogged, so it might be longer. Once that's going, everything will be back to full operation.

 

I took a video this morning and have spent since about 8AM Central waiting for that sucker to upload over a bar or two of LTE, but it finally went and here it is:

 

 

Arkansas is lovely. Very happy.

 

Still waiting on proper internet and that will be a few weeks at the least, but I’m setting putting up a cell booster so we can limp along. At the moment the antenna is zip tied ten feet up in a tree, but I've got a few 10 foot pieces of pipe, a bucket and some cement. I'll make a better mount with that and cut down a few trees, maybe that'll get me zipping along a bit faster than I have now.

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We left Saturday morning about 5:30 AM Pacific. Made it all the way to Salt Lake City, UT that day then stayed overnight and left again about the same time the next morning. We booked it through Wyoming and into the western panhandle of Nebraska just after the timezone boundary to get us on Central. Drove south (left 2AM) through Kansas City (cleanest city I've ever seen) and through the rest of Missouri down into Arkansas, and we got here about 3PM Central on Monday morning.

 

The land is 16.31 acres about a quarter mile drive off the AR-9 highway. Heavily wooded, house is in good shape but definitely a little bit of a fixer upper. Nothing terrible, just dirty and needs some TLC in a few places. Found a nice big wasp's nest between our front patio and the exterior wall, got those suckers today with a little Long Shot.

 

We will build something new eventually, but the house that's here is in plenty good shape and will last a long time if we keep it up. We'll own everything outright in 7 years and can decide what to do then, but for now it's working the land and getting things going.

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We went to Home Depot for the second time yesterday, it's about a 45 minute drive and saw about six turtles trying to cross the road along the way. Strange.

 

We had purchased a 40 volt Ryobi chainsaw the day before, but had to go back. Found out you need to pay for the tool AND the charger AND the battery to be able to run it for an hour at a time on 16 acres. Rookie move, so we went back and got a 2-stroke instead. I got to play with my new toy for a couple hours and then got the bar stuck practicing on some already felled trees. Had to spend an hour hacking through 8 inches of hardened white oak with an axe to free it up. Fun times but I got it freed eventually.

 

Today I'm looking at felling a few trees in the path of the booster antenna to see how that improves my signal (although it's working pretty well at the moment), then getting the 20 foot mast put together and set in the bucket of cement. I'll have to anchor that to the house somehow, and then lie it down if a storm comes through. I'll take pictures and see how well those upload over this connection.

 

We cooked hotdogs over the fire last night and I didn't burn my finger this time.

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