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Apr 11, 2014

Welcome to the 'stead

A couple years ago my husband and I purchased an inexpensive 10 acres in cowboy country -literally.  Fifteen miles of un-paved ranch roads will get you to the closest civilization.  Civilization being subjective I guess, the town population is hovering around the 300 mark.  They do have their own all-in-one gas station/general store/motel; post office; church; middle school as well as two restaurants/bars; oh and a church!  The local cattle ranch still free-ranges their beef and you're likely to run into a real cowboy or two at the local Cowboy Bar Restaurant or just riding along the range on horseback.  It's pretty near perfect. 


Ranch road & view
What's the downside?  Well, climate would have to be the biggest.  The environment is very arid (monthly rainfall averages about 1" during their wettest month) and the lows in the winter can be brutal.  Eeking out a living here has always been a challenge and the people who have made it have proven they have true grit and their very own character.  In recent years a small off-grid community has started to develop with some being able to hang on while others have yet to make the move permanently.  In spite of any perceived drawbacks we believe that we can make a good life for ourselves out there on the range.  In the meantime we plan, prepare and save. 

Every successful implementation rides on a good plan and meeting specific goals.  With that in mind, we've put together a rough list to keep us on track and measure our progress.  Every homestead comes with different challenges, ours happens to be that it is off-grid.  Not being able to just plug-in to the local grid adds another layer of planning to our preparations.  I'll try to cover items like housing/shelter selection, power and water consideration and other such things in greater detail with seperate posts as they arise.


  1. It's going to be fun to follow along on your journey! My husband and I are doing something similar, albiet not in such a rough environment. We will be off grid, using solar and wind power. Our home will be built with ICF so that it will be super-insulated and fire resistant, as our acreage is sited in a forest. We have already build a tool shed with a metal roof upon which we collect rainwater into three 1,100 gallon water storage tanks. This waters our small (12 trees right now) fruit and nut orchard automatically with zero pressure battery run timers. We will build a masonry heater (some call them russian stoves) because we have found this to be the most efficient way to heat, and possibly use geothermal for heating and cooling. Our home will be built for passive solar gain in the winter and passive solar cooling in the summer. At least that's our plan so far. I would love to hear more about your plans! It will be fun to see what differences our plans include when related to a desert environment versus our forest environment! Good luck!


  2. Can you give me some suggestion through by your post.Thanks.


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