If I Were To Do It All Again - A Responce to 100k Homestead Challenge...steemCreated with Sketch.

in ecotrain •  11 months ago 

@thetreeoflife in her 100K Homestead Challenge asked:

If you could start your Homestead over, completely from scratch, and you had a hypothetical budget of 100k US dollars in your pocket, how would you plan and prioritize?

A variation of this question often pops into our minds when we walk our dog up the hill, on a beautiful piece of property with a view of the lake and a opening in the forest with a south facing slope on the hill.

My husband usually says, "if he were younger, he'd really like to rebuild here with an earth bermed house, digging into the hillside."

earth bermed house sketch.jpg
Source

That is one thing we miss living right in the forest - direct sunlight in the winter, for the sun will not come over the treetops.

We would take advantage of the insulating factor of the earth for all the walls and roof of the building except the south side.
With the south exposure we would set it up to take advantage of the sun for growing indoors and for passive solar heating. Lots of windows (these would also give us a good view of the lake) and heat sinks (rocks on the walls, dark water containers, etc.)

With good exposure to the sun we would also set up a solar power system, something we haven't been able to do in the bush.

A well with a wide mouth casing (this allows you to draw water by hand if needed) would be our next priority.

Then I would start planting my orchard and developing my permaculture beds, really building up the soil.

I can live with an outhouse and buckets for gray water, etc. but eventually I would want to set up something like @mountainjewel with their humanure, composting toilets.

We have a septic lagoon right now, all gravity feed, which works fine but Hey! If you can use it to feed the soil all the better!

When we first set up our homestead we choose our place because we liked the people in the community and we wanted to live in the forest. It was either in the forest or by the ocean and by the ocean was way to expensive.

I think it's also important to have a community that you can get along with, for in hard times if the community can come together there is a lot of strength in that.

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Ah, the benefit of hindsight huh! Yet it evolves the way it evolves, and you do love your place. If I was to do it again, I'd hire a bobcat to make the beds and paths in a day rather than over 6 years lol - but then, we didn't have the cash. And I would have copped the expense and bought by the sea, coz property prices have shot up a lot since then and we could have sold and retired by now!

Ya! To have unlimited funds would be wonderful! But I do feel fortunate for what I have here and that we can live comfortably and that it will be here for future generations if they want it.

Yah but I have a feeling if you had your place by the sea, it would be mighty hard for you to sell it! Lol

This is awesome, thanks for participating @porters! The recurring theme of community keeps popping up, which is really exciting to me. My hubby and I are going to do some traveling to a few different states and some cities therein to see where we enjoy being, where we vibe. We are both people persons so we get the gist of places pretty quickly. Haha

I also loooove the idea of the earth bermed home, and how it could give us passive heating and cooling as well as a greenhouse attached to grow some things indoors in the winter.
One of the things that concerns me is building codes for structures like that. So annoying to have to worry about that, but it is what it is. I'm hoping we find a nice balance of good community without too much govt interference in what we can do with our own land.
The other concern is that a main building material commonly used in "earthships" is recycled tires, and they off gas cancerous crap into the home. I'd be interested to see what other materials could be used for the structure!

Thanks so much, loved reading your entry and I hope some other newbies find it helpful as well!

Xx ToL

Ps, resteemed!

Glad you're traveling around to check out where you want to live. It was the people (and the fact it was in the forest) that first attracted me to this area. It was a wonderful place to raise kids in, with the community helping each other to build and doing all different things with the kids. Wonderful if you have the luxury of scouting around to find the place you want to be.

The image I included in my post was from a PDF from a US government site on earth sheltered homes at: https://www.nrel.gov/docs/legosti/fy97/6993.pdf
There was some good info in there although it was a little bit older.

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