5G isn't truly necessary for working remotely, even at a high end IT job. We live off-grid in western Montana. Achieving 4G cell service here requires a cell signal booster, so we use one of those, plus we have satellite internet, because reliable internet is necessary to our bread and butter. Between the two, my husband works his Silicon Valley IT job from our Montana mountainside. The plan is to pay the place off and get other major, one time expenditures out of the way, while developing other income streams, because he has been working IT for over 20 years and wants out of it--or maybe part time, as a very expen$ive consultant.
We know that we want to keep dairy animals, and will eventually want at least one cow, but are wondering whether or not we should start out with a dairy goat or two first, to get our feet wet. We have 40 acres that is mostly pasture.
IMO, about the most energy efficient and water efficient way to clean clothes is a wringer washer and clotheslines. My current washer is a 60 year old Maytag that was $5 at an auction. You can adjust agitating time and water use infinitely, to your own needs. My usual routine is to wash the next load in the rinse water from the last load, starting with the light clothes. Others wash all the loads in the same water, then rinse them all in the same water, but our stuff is generally to dirty for that to work well (we have 3 kids under 8, and we are building a homestead. Dirt is our constant companion. . )
Then, dry on the line. In freezing weather, I dry stuff that is needed soon on racks inside, the rest on the line outside. A pair of the really cheap fit-everyone winter gloves under a pair of rubber dish gloves does a fair job of allowing clothes hanging without frostbit fingers.
If you are hungry a bit east of Missoula, Parker's Restaurant in Drummond serves local beef, as 125 or so different kinds of burgers. I don't know what else is local/organic, but the couple that run it are a chef from San Francisco and his wife that got bitten by the Montana bug. Yummy burgers, some of the best homemade fries, ever, and friendly people.
Analysis of our situation and available materials has led us to the conclusion that we will be building a round, bermed, cordwood house this summer in the mountains between Drummond and Helmville, MT. If anyone has a yen to gain hands on experience, feel free to give us a yell.
We are planning to talk to the Small Wonders Futons folks when we need a mattress.
If anyone wants to get wool from the lady near Dillon, there is a woolen mill near Hall (between Drummond and Phillipsburg) that can do the cleaning and carding. https://www.sugarloafwool.com
I'm building a top bar hive, and I think a shook swarm/package is probably my best option at this point. Do any of you have particular favorite places to buy such things? I'm in western MT, so a northerly place to buy bees would probably be best. Thanks!
If you haven't already found the place you want, you maybe ought to have a chat with Bobbie Twite, at Twite Realty in Missoula. We just bought 40 acres between Helmville and Drummond (a little over an hour out of Missoula, but not that much over) for under $60K, on a south-facing slope, with live water, off-grid. Bobbie is agent for a LOT of land right in that neighborhood, including at least another 40 adjoining ours (maybe more). If she doesn't have one piece of land that would do, she might be able to combine adjoining ones. We'll be getting busy up there as soon as the PDC is over, maybe before, and will be homesteading up there.
I was in Hamilton yesterday! I can spare a pound or two, yet. I'm in Stevensville, and you can holler at me if you're up this way, or I'm planning to take the kids to a homeschoolers' park day in Hamilton Friday, and could bring some with me.
Finding country land in MO with a creek that will work for hydro is indeed easy, as long as you stay in the Ozarks. Make sure it'll flow year round, but most do.
By the way, Ray, just to let you know, AmerenUE isn't actually likely to be who would be providing grid electricity once you get out of the city. The mostly curse St Louis and Jeff City with their foul stench. A lot of rural MO communities actually do their grid electricity via local co-ops.
We're from MO, but have recently moved to MT (as MO is twice the size of ME, so MT is twice the size of MO...with about 1/2 the population of the St Louis metro area!)
We just bought land out between Drummond and Helmville. It's not the kind of place that is going to be on a trash company's route (and, if we can recycle, we simply don't make a lot of landfill trash). So....I am guessing I can bring recyclables to one of the bins I see in parking lots around the area, but what does one do with landfill stuff in this state, if you're not sending it with a trash company? Is there a dump we can bring it to? Thanks!
I don't make my own vinegar--yet. That is on the list of things to try, but, for now, I use Costco's white vinegar for cleaning, and Bragg's cider vinegar for eating. So it's just plain white vinegar in the squirt bottle. But it gets the job done and costs close to nothing (not even $ for the squirt bottles, since I use them for the countertops, anyway.)
Here's an odd deodorant solution I stumbled onto: I keep a squirt bottle of vinegar and a squirt bottle of peroxide (a peroxide bottle to which I've added a squirt top, as peroxide stores better in an opaque bottle) in the kitchen for sanitizing countertops and cutting boards when needed. One day, less than satisfied with the performance of store-bought "natural" deodorants, I wondered if the peroxide/vinegar combo, which kills countertop germs so well, might not also take care of stinky armpit germs. You have to wait for it to dry a minute or two, but it does the job quite well.
Jerry Ward, you're going to want to talk to people more local to you about the number of acres you need to raise a beef cow. That will vary according to how well grass grows and how much rain you get in your locale. It takes a lot more acres of pasture to grow a cow in dry Wyoming vs. warm, wet MO, for example.
I could easily see doing this winter grazing in MO, where I used to live. There's green grass all winter, even if it's not long enough to need mowing--and there's only about 3 months out of the year that it's not actively growing. I, too, want to know more about how this method translates to colder, snowier, climates.
Actually, I took a better look at how the schedule works for the classes, and hubs and I talked about it, and he's going to take the course instead of me. We have a toddler that is still used to nursing several times a day (we don't have anyone local who could babysit 3 kids for us to both take the course this year, and our oldest is 5 1/2), and I'm not into husband torture enough to leave hubs with him for 13 hours every other Saturday, when it would mean missing nursing all day and evening. So, he'll take the course, and the collective "We" will still have the knowledge imparted. I'll maybe take it next year, when I won't have a nursling too big and rowdy to bring with.
We'll all be at the seed swap tomorrow night, though. I didn't have a garden here last year (we just moved here in December), but I did have one at our old place, and I had a bumper crop of sunchokes, so I will bring a bunch of them to swap.
I just signed up for the full course last night. We may not be able to get to all of it, but as much as we can get to, plus the plant species analysis for the place we're buying (since we just moved here, and there are certain to be plants that don't grow in any of the other places we've lived), are well worth the price. I'll be bringing some seed sunchokes to the swap Friday!
By the way, any recipe you use for potatoes will do for sunchokes. Our favorite is to chop 'em up and fry 'em with onions in bacon grease or butter, depending on availability. But they're great roasted, baked, in soups, etc. Just be aware that some folks nickname them "fartichokes" for good reason.
If people want some to taste or for seed, I bought ONE pound of sunchokes at Whole Foods in San Jose last spring, and planted them. When we moved out here (Stevensville) in November, I dug them all at once, and put 'em in buckets of sand, where they've been storing most happily in our garage. That one pound of sunchokes gave us at LEAST 75 pounds when I dug them up--and, much as we love "fartichokes", I can spare a few pounds. Once you've planted them the first time, unless you get every last crumb of root out of the ground (which takes pigs), they'll be back in the spring.
Does anyone happen to know what the course schedule is for this shindig? We'd love to attend some of these, but I can't find any mention of what is being held when. I emailed the address at the conference web page, but it's been a week and no reply. We live in Stevensville, and are buying land near Drummond, with plans to build a straw bale house, so a lot of this conference is certainly timely for us.
If people are still looking for sunchokes, I bought one, ONE, pound at Whole Foods last spring in San Jose, cut them up, planted them, halfway kept them watered, and had to dig them all at once because we were moving. They store nicely in buckets of sand in my garage...but we have about 75 pounds. I can spare a few pounds to get people going, without anyone around here missing too many farts. I'm in the Bitterroot Valley, in MT.
What time is the market, and how do those of us who are new to the area find the Missoula County Fairgrounds? (I've been past some fairgrounds in Missoula, but that's not what they were called?) Thanks!
Tim, you didn't just buy an old dairy farm near Corvallis, did you? If so, congrats! That looked like a nice place. (I'm in Stevensville, and we've been looking at places, but we've settled on one near Drummond)
We may well use some slipform masonry, as the notion makes my husband happy. It'll depend on what's available on our land for stones. We will be using some cob, at least enough for a rocket mass heater, but likely more, as well.
We are in the process of buying land, too, so are trying to come up with a master plan. The land we are buying has on it an old 5th wheel RV and a shed, so we're thinking the first order of business is to find some sort of house trailer that can at least be a "hard tent" while we build a straw bale house. We are planning a shop/garage made of shipping containers and a barn made of some combo of containers and straw bales. The problem is the overwhelming urge to find a way to do it all at once!