Win a copy of 5 Acres & a Dream this week in the Homestead forum!

Jeff Higdon

+ Follow
since Aug 21, 2012
Jeff likes ...
tiny house transportation wofati
Apples and Likes
Total received
In last 30 days
Total given
Total received
Received in last 30 days
Total given
Given in last 30 days
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand First Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by Jeff Higdon

My #1 pick would be WOFATI microdot, #2 would be skidable structures, #3 would be tour of 12 RMH.
1 year ago
Hi this is Mary, Jeff's wife, and just adding to his comments above of our tour to Wheaton Labs nestled in the beautiful mountains of Montana. The first words that come to mind would be "inspirational and informative". And did I say "beautiful"? We were taken along smooth, frequently trodden winding paths kicking aside a rock or two now and then. Thankfully it did not require the fitness level of a marathon runner to make one's way up the hills where we visited a variety of well built structures interspersed throughout the land. There were clean, cozy cabins made of cedar with neatly made bunkbeds that would pass the inspection of any drill sergeant. Homemade curtains and dried lavender tied with ribbon dispelled any looks of a barracks, though, and more reminiscent of light touches of romantic country decor I would say. Chic without the shabby. This city girl from New Orleans had no qualms using the bathroom facilities better known in these parts of the country as outhouses. Quite the upscale in outhouses I might say and I've been in a few since moving to the Pacific Northwest. You can even visit an outhouse with a picture of a pig doing a jig fashioned by a former artisan - "The Dancing Pig" facility. Although we brought our own lunch, we were treated to freshly baked pizza hand rolled by Erica and topped with fresh vegetables and mushrooms to name a few of the toppings. The pizzas were baked in a rocket mass heater which has nothing to do with the aerospace industry! You will have to see it for yourself as well as so many, many interesting sights and experiences as well as friendly people. Live entertainment was provided by Paul with his informative explanations and if you were having a particularly bad day he would throw in a few cuss words for you at no extra cost. I could go on and on here, but if you're thinking of a second honeymoon retreat, a walk in the woods to restore your health, or to try out your hand with various homesteading and permaculture projects, Paul graciously shares his land at a minimal cost with those who'd like to experience and experiment. So pack up your work ethic and integrity if you plan to do the latter and leave any delusions of grandeur at home with the chickens unless you have permission by the landowner to bring Henrietta along. Down South some people like to put fake pink flamingos in their yards and so maybe a plastic chicken could be your own personal imprint to leave with Paul as part of his next tour. Thanks Paul and company for the great time!        
We enjoyed the tour!  Thank you Paul for taking the time to show us all around, it’s quite impressive what you’ve accomplished!  I must say that I felt like I was walking with a walking encyclopedia!  Your depth of knowledge is quite impressive!
 Jocelyn, thank you for being a wonderful hostess. When I heard about your injury I was concerned that meant I wouldn’t get to meet you, but I’m glad you went on part of the tour with us.
 Erica Wisner, thank you also for being a wonderful hostess.  I was impressed with your humbleness and “down to earth” attitude.  My wife and I really enjoyed talking to you. I forgot to ask where Ernie was, I wish I could have met him as well. Our condolences on the loss of his mother.  Excellent well illustrated book by the way!  Nothing less than the quality I expected with y’all’s depth of knowledge. I’m glad you had a copy on hand I was able to purchase.
 Jeremy The Ant, it was a pleasure to meet you as well!  You’ve got a lot of work ahead of you but you have abundant natural resources there to do it with. Go get em!
 C.E. it was a pleasure to meet you!  I’m sure you’ll have Wheaton Labs on the list of eco vacation spots to go to before long. I know I wouldn’t mind spending a night in a WOFATI some time in the future. I often thought Mike Oehler should have done that.
 Phillip, I enjoyed our conversation afterwards. It was a pleasure to meet you.
 I reckon I could keep going down the line naming each of you and I don’t mean to leave anyone out but all in all an awesome tour and it was great to meet everyone.
 Now if y’all will excuse me, I’ve got to replace the axle on my skid steer today so I can get busy on some earthworks before the inspiration wears off!

Jeff (and Mary)
It was in my junk folder. Thank you!  We'll see you soon.

Sounds good, we’re looking forward to it. I haven’t seen an email with directions yet, I might need that before I get to Missoula.  Directions or not, I’ll be headed your way early in the morning. I trust I’ll get them before I arrive. Ha ha  
 I waited a bit late to pay, right when y’all are very busy, so sorry about that.  We look forward to seeing everyone.
 We’ll pack our own lunch.
i have been in Mike Oehler's original house as well as the rest of his experimental houses and the Ridge house he was still working on when he died.  His original house he used a home treatment, copper something or the other, and used fir and larch poles along with a few other species that he had cut two years earlier to use for building a log house.  He changed from log to underground and used the same wood.  He used his PSP: Post Shoring Polyethylene method.  He treated his post, wrapped it in two extra heavy duty trash bags and set it in the hole.  His property is all sand, so the post was packed in sand.  I forget what year he built it, maybe 1976?  Anyway, it is still standing and sound today.  In all those years he has only replaced a post or two.  He has very good drainage, so I think that is key.

 On his ridge house he used the same method, but he started the project around the year 2000 and ran out of funds.  The post set in the ground unprotected from the elements for several years (I think 6 years?) before he was able to continue construction.  On that house he had to replace several post, but that was 14 years with almost half of the time spent unprotected.

 I've seen articles where people charred the bottom of the post then painted used motor oil on that portion before setting it in gravel in a dug hole.  I think that would be a good option.
I’m waiting to see if my two friends want to go before I pay since I didn’t know if there was an option to add people to the party later.
 No, I haven’t been to Wheaton Labs before.  Though I know it’s not a requirement for this event, I have listened to almost every podcast with the exception of the one you have to pay for to find out Paul’s political viewpoints and a few others.
 I recently completed a Geoff Lawton PDC and my wife is doing her Master Gardener internship.
 We live off grid and hope to get a 700 sf yurt dried in this summer. Mike Oehler came out to my place and gave me some ideas, but I decided to go with the yurt (which originally was his) as I can get the materials for free from work to build the roof and the interior.
I plan to come for the tour Sunday and bring my wife and a friend or two. I knew Mike Oehler, so I’d like to see the WOFATIs along with all the other things.  
 Hopefully I’ll get the fiberglass yurt built this summer that I bought from Mike’s estate.