Time moves slowly, and yet so fast.
It seems like we’ve been redesigning careers, working, saving money, and browsing properties for sale for an eternity, yet at the same time it feels like it was just yesterday that we even seriously set goals and began this journey to building an off-grid homestead from scratch.
If you follow this blog, you’ve watched as we setup completely new career paths, finally made the big move to this wilderness we love so dearly, and you know we’ve just been plugging away - working a lot and saving as much money as possible.
Now, a big step has been made in this overall process - WE BOUGHT LAND!
This is a big accomplishment and we’re so happy to finally meet and begin to get acquainted with the land we’ll build out our dream homestead on over the course of many years. Now we have a canvas for all of our imaginings to play out on and it’s such an exciting new dynamic!
I wanted to make a post here to document this pivotal moment and introduce you to our land.
In time, many more pictures will be shared, videos too I’m sure, so be sure to follow us on Instagram if you’re interested in a more intimate look into the process.
In early Spring, we’ll begin building a small cabin to live in, so this winter will be spent brainstorming, designing, and gathering materials. There’s a lot to learn and a lot to do and we’ll share what we glean with you as we go.
Welcome to our beautiful piece of the earth…
Where is it?
Situated about one hour northeast of where we currently live is an area we fell in love with earlier this year - the Okanogan Highlands.
This area is desolate and beautiful, so very peaceful and inspiring. Once you emerge into the Highlands, it feels like you’re in a dream and like you’ve gone back in time simultaneously. Some combination of golden light on rolling highlands, the vast spaciousness, old abandoned pioneer cabins tucked in the landscape like a memory, the crisp cool air, the snow-capped Cascades far in the distance… all combine to create a place that we both feel is altogether unique and distinct from anywhere else we’ve ever been.
How much land?
We purchased 20 acres, mostly wooded, with open area at the bottom.
Aspen trees line their way down the property spilling out into a grove at the bottom, pointing to the strong possibility of water being not too far below the surface, while the majority of the property is coated in Larches, Pines, Douglas Firs, and even a few Maple varieties.
We have already found fresh scat of black bear, elk, moose, coyotes, and a single cougar (who might even live on the property in a cave we’ve yet to explore, we’ll know more once we get a trail cam set up in January).
We’re also really looking forward to exploring the geology around the property…
What will you do for water?
This will certainly involve a lot of trial and error.
We have a few different ideas in mind:
First - we are going to try to catch rainwater, despite the minute amounts of rainfall this area gets. We’ll see how it goes.
Second - we will likely try to dig a well if water is determined to be close enough to the surface. As mentioned above, the Aspen trees seem to be a good indicator that we do have water close to the surface.
Third - over time we will purchase cisterns, which we’ll bury, fill with water, and gravity-feed to the home and other areas as needed.
I plan to utilize permaculture strategies for growing food that create the need for less water, such as hügelkultur and other solutions.
What about electricity?
We plan to be off-grid, and will likely start off with just the essentials - a wood stove, oil lamps, and lots of beeswax candles.
Over time, as we save more money, we’ll begin to incorporate more substantial off-grid power systems such as wind and solar. Fortunately, our climate gets over 300 days a year of sunshine!
How will you work online?
One of the reasons we ended up deciding on this property is because it’s in view of a rare satellite. The way Internet works out here is usually: if you have visible line of sight to a satellite (which are usually placed on high peaks), you can probably get Internet. Otherwise, it’s doubtful.
We shouldn’t run into an issue accessing Internet once we’ve built the necessary infrastructure for a company to come out. Of course, we’ll be without power for a while as we save to afford off-grid power setups. So, there will certainly be a transition period where I may have to find other Internet solutions for a while. (Another reason I’m working hard now to establish passive income!).
When will you be living on the property?
Our plan is to begin building in early Spring (2019). We plan to build a small cabin - just 14x14 to begin with - which will eventually become an Airbnb one day after we finish our larger cabin.
We’re deriving inspiration from older Nordic home designs, but with modern touches (wooden cabin, painted black, big windows, large platform deck, etc.). Over time, we plan to build a sauna, several studios and work spaces, more small cabins for family to stay in… so we should end up with a proper Scandinavian village in the forest sort of feeling :)
(And you’ll be able to come stay and enjoy it yourself if you wish, thanks to the Airbnb platform).
I hope these pictures and questions answered have been enjoyable to read or inspiring in some way on your own journey.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below!
And if you’re interested in this sort of thing, we hope you’ll subscribe to the blog and follow the journey as we build an off-grid homestead… from scratch… slowly… with cash!
Until next time ~
OTHER POSTS YOU MIGHT ENJOY:
My husband and I left the rat race and moved to the Washington wilderness to build an off-grid homestead from scratch. You can follow our journey here!
I write about:
our homesteading journey
health & wellness
wild food foraging
DIY & craft projects
making a living online from home (or anywhere)
my own recipes from scratch
and much more