There’s a surprising amount of things you have to think about and plan for when you’re building an off-the-grid homestead from scratch. Especially when it’s not just us (R and I are pretty low-maintenance sort of folk), but we have animals that depend on us as well. Since there’s no hook ups to city water, we will have to haul our water in (wells are not really a feasible option in our area). We are responsible for the health and happiness of a duck, who obviously requires some water all to herself. So I’ve been trying to think outside the box and come up with ways to conserve our water usage when it comes to her. The dog and cat are a little less high-maintenance, however, we need to think about fencing with the dog, and little things such as a litter box with the cat. (Preferably, I want to teach Zep to do his business outside, or in the toilet… I really hate litter boxes. They take up space, they stink, dogs like to get in them…).
Since we have a few months before moving out there full-time, we have some time to really plan, make some phone calls, and get some basics set up. One of our first priorities is getting a driveway punched in. Can’t really accomplish much else if you can’t drive on to your property, or have a level, secure spot to put shelter. We have the area plotted out where we want the driveway and some nice rock laid out, then our focus will be getting a shelter of some sort. We’re looking into small “tiny house” sort of cabins. Eventually, we want to live in a yurt, but we can’t afford that quite yet. And of course since we have more stuff than will fit in a tiny cabin, we’ll be securing a storage unit in town until we can afford the yurt. Once we have those first two things, a driveway and shelter, the list of plans explodes in ALL directions. Wood stove, solar panels, water cistern, duck enclosure, fencing, gardens… the list goes on and on.
For now, until we can get back out there, we’ll be constantly researching (like we have been for months), making more plans, and I’ll be figuring out how to provide Amelia with a pond that doesn’t require electricity or a ton of water. Thinking outside the box, or outside the grid rather, is the way to be. As for right now, I’m enjoying a beer, R is reading about the best time of day to harvest your crops, and Loki and Zep are curled up sleeping next to us. All’s well in Southern Utah, but we can’t wait for SW Colorado.