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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
not a spouse-swappin' one!


i am soooo excited i just had to share! we bought acreage in oregon last summer and we are saving to build an off-grid, strawbale home on our new homestead. in the meantime, we are living in california, and the cost-of-living is killing us, literally. i am having panic attacks and constant stress. and we're not even in debt! we are trying to live on $1600/month for a family of soon-to-be 5.

our dear friends (ayurvedic therapist and solar builder/certified green plumber and their dd) and a waldorf teacher and her dd are all moving to 15 acres of pure bliss in the mountains! there is already a huge fenced garden, a well, a generator, outdoor shower and an adorable cabin that will be the "community" hang-out. there will be other yurts for other families to live in.

the owner of the property is giving us a small travel trailer that a bear broke into for FREE!!!!
i am going to strip it completely bare (including floor and walls), put in new copper piping and an on-demand water heater, a big kitchen sink and possibly new shower surround, new electrical system ran off solar power and back-up batteries that can also be charged with a generator, a composting toilet, new floor and walls from recycled plywood - painted and sealed with all-natural paints.

when we move to our property in oregon, we'll be living in the trailer while we build, with a smallish tipi to hang out in when the trailer feels to close. WE HAVE A HOME!!!

during the renovation process we will be living in an awesome mongolian yurt! we'll have our compost toilet and a small wood burning stove inside.

i think i may be giving birth in a yurt!


you guys have no idea how excited i am! this is the key to our family's future! i have been working toward this for many, many years now and it's all coming together! hooray universe!
 

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Oh I might know how excited you are.


We are presently living in the trailer/mobile home that our freinds sold to us for a dollar on the land that they own, that we will be leasing for 99 yrs with first option to buy when the parceling sanction is lifted, if ever.

We have to move the trailer over, and hook up phone and electricity just until we are moved into the home we'll be building.

The whole thing has to be gutted, is missing 13 feet of exterior wall and we have to heat with oil radiators right now.
Very shabby, but our first home and soon to be acreage.

We unhooked the water (from hauled water in a pump house built by our friends) this winter when we were sick of thawing frozen pipes every day. We'd been hauling water for a year and a half before while living in a cabin, so we're used to it, and prefer that to freezing pipes.

We're still hooked up to septic now because we can't cap it until spring, but I as sooooo looking forward to getting back to our sawdust toilet because this dumping hauled water down a toilet bowl stuff is getting very old now.


As soon as we can hook up phone and electricity, we'll be moving the trailer by renting axles and then our neighbour is going to help us by towing the trailer with his huge CAT.

We're on a farm and we'll be homesteading over the one side of the 25 acre property. We'll be butted against first nations land on the other side, a mountainside on the back, north side, and a major but little used highway in front.

Our plans include installing an old woodstove, salvaged front door and windows, tearing out the panelling and replacing it with rabetted pine stained with earth pigments, new floors made of pine or hardwood plank or board, putting in a new low pitch truss roof, new wood exterior, and a complete gut of the kitchen and bathroom with gravity tanks above the sink and shower stalls with heaters for warm water. We'll be building our own cabinetry, toilet and shower stall. Well, we're doing everything ourselves. And by 'new', I mean new to us, but I am hoping to salvage hardwood crates from dealerships in town from atvs and snowmobiles. They'd make great cabinets and floors!

When we've built our home, this refurbished trailer will have a permanent place on the property as a studio and guest house.

I'm pg right now though and due in the summer, so my guess is that it will take two years to do the trailer and two years afterward before we can move into the house although I doubt it would be done in that time, so we'll be living in renovations and building for five or more years, I guess.

BUT we can always escape to the mountains or garden or woods when it is too much. Just a look out the window is a refresher from the sometimes oppressive feeling of living in squalor...


We don't have a commune, but we are living as neighbours with our friends on their farm, and we'll be just a little ways away once we're moved, so it still feels communal if not like a commune proper. They toyed with the idea of a co-op because they really wanted to have neighbours who care about the earth and sustainability and they and we are working toward that more and more, with them ahead having now moved into their house (and having been sustainably farming forever and 9 yrs here), but still living in their build and us just beginning.

It is wonderful. I was delighted to know that someone else is doing this because sometimes I wonder if we're the only ones going about this in such an unorthodox way, so thanks for sharing!

I would love, love, love if you would share your trailer renos! It is very hard to find non-conventional info about converting a trailer to a sustainable living space. Actually, I haven't found any, but have been making plans by piecing things together. Will you blog your plans and progress? If you do, please share here! I am hoping to do so when we are started, but I'm not sure how much time I'll have with having our four boys, one on the way and then renos and building all at once. We can't do much of anything until it's a bit warmer for a consistent period of time. It's too difficult to use materials and tools at -35 degrees, but it seems to be warming up now, so I am hoping to really get at it before my belly is enormous and I can't move without contractions.
 

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How exciting Scarlett! We're in the same DDC and also in Oregon, what part are you going to be moving to? We're west of Portland.
 

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Yay! Good for you guys !! I am so glad to find this topic! We live
in our 5th wheel on our land with out 4 sometimes 5 children. We went travelling for half a year in our RV and studied sustainable building. We were guided back here where we bought our 5 acres in the fall. We run on solar and have a composting toilet and greywater biofilter. In April our foundation will go in on our 1000 square foot con home! We are thrilled! We are building load bearing cob on west south and east and woodchip clay infill on the south, designed passive solar. We have a website and if you look way back on it to fall 2008 there are pics of how we did a bunk system in our 5th wheel to fit all the kiddos
it is www.canadianfamilyrobinson.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks again mamas! this has been a long-time dream of mine, one i wasn't sure would ever happen. it just kind of came together.

Momma2DoubleCuties - actually we will still be in california while we save $ to put in a well on our own property. apparently in klamath county, where we bought our property, you can only stay on your property legally 14 days out of 30, until you have a well and septic/grey water in and house plans submitted and approved and a permit to stay on your property while you build. we can't afford any fines while doing this, so we are trying to stay above the law on this one.


we get to stay in our awesome little hippie community in the ca mountains, right down the road from our best friends!


Preggie - CONGRATS!
your situation is way more ideal than ours! i'm jealous (in a good way!). i will definitely be blogging, to the extent i can (i always forget to post and suck at it in general) about our new adventure and renos. once i have a site set-up, i'll post a link. thanks for the great idea! when are you due? i'm due in july, and i think i can accomplish a lot in the next few months before the baby is born.

kimmom - thanks for the link! i spent awhile looking around at it! what an amazing and wonderful way of life you have made for your family. your children look so happy!


Camile - i'm not sure about the weather - we will be in southern central oregon - prairie land. from the weather data i pulled there isn't much rain or snow, but it does get under 0 degrees F at night for a month at a time. where we live in ca we get lots more snow and rain, but it only gets down to around 30 F or so at night during winters. but i think we'll be ok - we have some ideas and plans for keeping warm!
 

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ScarletB, 'ideal' is not the word I would use to describe our little home.
I wish I could post pics because it is so shabby and I laugh when I don't feel overwhelmed at the amount of work it will wake to gut this thing.

BUT, once again, it is our home to do with as we please, which is something to be very grateful for and we are. It is really nice to not have landlords for the first time in our lives too!

I am 19 weeks, or 21, depending on how I'm counting- from conception is 19 and I ovulated partway through my period (had a day off from period, took advantage
, now pg), so it is 19 weeks since then. Most people would consider it 19 weeks but assume the baby was conceived two weeks later. Anyway... due in July-ish. I bake them long; I had a 42+3 from conception and the one before was 44+2 from conception, both huge and very healthy.

I'll be huge soon too, so I'm a little nervous about how things are going to be accomplished. There's no way I can climb a ladder already, and I'm limited by how much my belly pokes out; I have to be careful. This pg seems too quick.

I'd really like to be done most of it before his baby is born because winter comes really soon and I'll be pp with a newbie then. It's very cold by October and we need the heat on at night in August and then all day in September.

So, we'll see how things go. If you do take pics of your renos, please post the link here; I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd be interested.
If I can find the battery for our camera (disappeared when we moved here), I'll post pics too.

My plan for this week is to frame in the 18' of exterior wall that's missing. I wrote 13' in my last post, but that was a typo. It's 18'. This will include a door and window installation, and my first time doing this. I'm pretty excited! I always cut wood by hand because our circular saw is unweildy for me, but I may have to ask dp to do the cutting if sawing by hand isn't going to work with my belly. I do it also because I really enjoy and prefer non-electric hand tools, with the exception of the cordless drill, which I use liberally.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kimmom View Post
Yay! Good for you guys !! I am so glad to find this topic! We live
in our 5th wheel on our land with out 4 sometimes 5 children. We went travelling for half a year in our RV and studied sustainable building. We were guided back here where we bought our 5 acres in the fall. We run on solar and have a composting toilet and greywater biofilter. In April our foundation will go in on our 1000 square foot con home! We are thrilled! We are building load bearing cob on west south and east and woodchip clay infill on the south, designed passive solar. We have a website and if you look way back on it to fall 2008 there are pics of how we did a bunk system in our 5th wheel to fit all the kiddos
it is www.canadianfamilyrobinson.com

I have enjoyed looking at yours before.
 

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What a great oppurtunity it sounds like a lot of fun. Congratulations. That awesome you can live mortgage free and work on your straw bale. That is my dream too. I always wanted to live ina off the grid straw bale. I wish we had the opportunity to live mortgage free like that.
 
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