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Old 08-07-2016, 11:46 AM   #151
wiper
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AMA living off the grid

more questions, sorry AMA living off the grid

are there fruits/berries/etc. around? if so, do you just take what you can eat in a day or two?

and I know this won't be your first winter (maybe your first full winter? can't remember), but shoveling that stretch down to the road is gonna be a big pain in the ass if you're going to keep going to town as much as you do now...if you end up staying, what are your plans to winterize everything in the next few months?

edit to add: where do you get mail? in town? I feel like knowing amazon prime could have anything I'd need there in 2 days would be a huge, huge relief, whether that's mason jars or freeze dried food, whatever...
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Old 08-07-2016, 11:47 AM   #152
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Re: AMA living off the grid

Breaking it down:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElSapo View Post
Works for me as posted:square space img link

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElSapo View Post
Doesn't work for me as posted: wall of letters non-jpg img link

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElSapo View Post
working wall of letters non-jpg image link

Quote:
non-working wall of letters non-jpg image link

No ****ing clue at this point.

Last edited by diddy!; 08-07-2016 at 12:07 PM. Reason: resizaments failure
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Old 08-07-2016, 11:49 AM   #153
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Re: AMA living off the grid

^^^

#'s 1 and 3 work for me on tapatalk, 2/4 are the gray squiggly line icon.
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Old 08-07-2016, 12:26 PM   #154
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Re: AMA living off the grid

Obviously those photos are off the grid.
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Old 08-07-2016, 12:35 PM   #155
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Re: AMA living off the grid

Quote:
Originally Posted by wiper View Post
not to pile on, but me neither using tapatalk...

Sapo, I found myself wondering about food storage, how's that go? maybe you addressed it and I missed it or maybe it was in a pic I can't see, if not, as someone who got into preservation/canning a little (for the zombies, you know) and also has a decent-sized garden (300 sqft or so) that's starting to pump out a ton of vegetables, I found myself wondering how I would do out there.

you don't have a fridge obv, correct? I know you said you hit the town often, how much food do you have on hand at any given time?

also, how's the garden coming? I read your post on your blog about clearing out all the shallow roots (those are the WORST, ugh) and saw the first pics of the drainage trenches but I don't think there was a follow up post?
I'm not a prepper, so it's not like I try and have months of food on hand. Though, I suppose I could. It really varies. There's enough food here for a week, probably, but that's just because I've been making egg sandwiches and pancakes like it's my job.

There are some apple and cherry trees I've found on the back of the property, but because it's all overgrown they don't seem to bear fruit the way the should. And it's hard to access.

I'd like to thin it out, down to the largest pines and the hardwoods, but that's a long process. But down the line I can see it being much more accessible.

The story the neighbor told me, is that this was a Christmas tree farm many decades ago, and to keep people from stealing the trees the owner ringed it in rosebushes. That's where the ridiculous scrub comes from. I've definitely made a lot of progress (you can see an open field in one of the pictures). But I'd like to keep a lot of it wooded.

As for the land, it eventually dried out but whether that was the drainage trenches or just summer, I don't know. The real estate agent stopped by once* and said hey, and he's into this kind of stuff, he said they looked right to him. Apparently it's just very wet here in spring, and the large commercial farms all have real drainage built into them to get a jump on the season.

*Whenever someone pulls up the drive it scares the crap out of me because it's only happened a half dozen times since I've been here, not counting my brother.

Last edited by ElSapo; 08-07-2016 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 08-07-2016, 12:37 PM   #156
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Re: AMA living off the grid

Do the Squarespace images work for everyone? If so, I'll just go that route.
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Old 08-07-2016, 12:43 PM   #157
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Re: AMA living off the grid

Quote:
Originally Posted by wiper View Post
more questions, sorry AMA living off the grid

are there fruits/berries/etc. around? if so, do you just take what you can eat in a day or two?

and I know this won't be your first winter (maybe your first full winter? can't remember), but shoveling that stretch down to the road is gonna be a big pain in the ass if you're going to keep going to town as much as you do now...if you end up staying, what are your plans to winterize everything in the next few months?

edit to add: where do you get mail? in town? I feel like knowing amazon prime could have anything I'd need there in 2 days would be a huge, huge relief, whether that's mason jars or freeze dried food, whatever...
I don't live off the land, though I could definitely hunt and grow a ton of food here. Maybe I'll be there in a few years.

I get mail in town, though there is a mailbox at my place. When I first started setting all this up, I didn't have an address. The plot of land was subdivided off of a larger lot, and then the two pieces were sold.

(The other piece, about 8 acres, had a concrete pad and well on it, and sold for about $30k, I believe).

Anyway, before I knew if I could even get an address set up out there, I got a PO Box in town just to get moving on stuff. That ended up on my license, which is weird.

I trade zines and other indy pubs with people, and so it's kind of fun to go in town, pick up some weird mail and sit at the bar and read it with beer and a whiskey.
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Old 08-07-2016, 02:04 PM   #158
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Re: AMA living off the grid

I'm on desktop now, same issues.
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Old 08-08-2016, 01:30 AM   #159
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Re: AMA living off the grid

Quote:
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you can see an open field in one of the pictures
fyp
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Old 08-08-2016, 05:27 AM   #160
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Re: AMA living off the grid

Alright, gonna try and re-post the majority of the photos I've put up so far. I'm linking these from the Squarespace blog, which it seemed most people could see. I hope these work. Sorry if you're looking at the same images over and over.



This is the cabin as it looks now.



This is the field I cleared on the east side of the land. Was going to be a large garden, but it's turned into a much longer project than I anticipated.



The map I mentioned. My cabin is about in the middle of it.



From the pasture hike I mentioned the other day.



Cows. Also from the hike.



It got super foggy earlier this summer.



The neighbor's farm, from the edge of my property. He's grazing his horses there now.



I lived in the cabin since the day the frame was delivered.



Before the cabin was delivered, I stayed on the land like this.



I had to hire an excavator to lay down the gravel road and the pad, after I'd cleared the land. He was never sure when he could start work, and then one day I came home and found a bulldozer on the land.



Before the excavator guy could come on, I had to get the Town to put in a culvert pipe. You pay for the pipe $220~ish, and they give you a load of gravel and install it.
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Old 08-08-2016, 05:29 AM   #161
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Re: AMA living off the grid

They're working for me
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Old 08-08-2016, 05:29 AM   #162
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Re: AMA living off the grid

I'm hoping other pictures I posted from the blog - the wood oven - people can see.
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Old 08-08-2016, 05:38 AM   #163
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Re: AMA living off the grid

The cabin frame I bought from a company called WoodTex. They gave very specific instructions for what they needed for installation -- 8-inch pad of unwashed gravel, specific dimensions, how much space they'd need to make any turns bringing it on.

I put it to go between two large maple trees, and they were able to bring it on by just a few inches. Two guys did it in 30 minutes, at one point they had to lean on small trees to scrape the cabin by. Just made it.





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Old 08-08-2016, 05:39 AM   #164
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Re: AMA living off the grid

If I could do one thing differently, I'd have faced the cabin into the woods as opposed to towards the drive. Can't undo that.
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Old 08-08-2016, 06:40 AM   #165
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Re: AMA living off the grid

Latest round of pics working! Very nice.
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Old 08-08-2016, 06:53 AM   #166
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Re: AMA living off the grid

Pictures confirmed working.
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Old 08-08-2016, 06:58 AM   #167
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Re: AMA living off the grid

pics are sick

cabin is not at all what I was expecting though
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Old 08-08-2016, 09:32 AM   #168
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Re: AMA living off the grid

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElSapo View Post
If I could do one thing differently, I'd have faced the cabin into the woods as opposed to towards the drive. Can't undo that.
Could you replace back window with a door and put another little deck/patio on that end?
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Old 08-08-2016, 10:52 AM   #169
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Re: AMA living off the grid

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I survived last winter. The walls could use more insulation, but the roof is R-50 or so, I jammed as much insulation up there as I could.
I hope you didn't literally shove as much as you could fit into the space. Insulation doesn't work that way.
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Old 08-08-2016, 12:30 PM   #170
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Re: AMA living off the grid

El Sapo,

The issue is the Google account is privileged and only people who are authenticated against your account can see it. It may work if people are in your Google+ circles, but generally that isn't the way you want to host images.
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Old 08-08-2016, 03:13 PM   #171
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Re: AMA living off the grid

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Could you replace back window with a door and put another little deck/patio on that end?
I've thought about it, but it seems like a huge amount of work right now for a tiny gain. But yeah, that's a good idea.
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Old 08-08-2016, 03:17 PM   #172
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Re: AMA living off the grid

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I hope you didn't literally shove as much as you could fit into the space. Insulation doesn't work that way.
I know it doesn't exactly work that way, but to be honest yes, that's basically what I did. I put up plywood across the lower portion and then laid the insulation down into that, bracing with some lumber in the crook of the beam supports.

Took R-30 fiberglass rolls, the pink stuff. Basically, two sheets overlaps side by side, because I believe most homes use 18-inches between studs but the cabin is 24-inches.

The walls are some reflective thin insulation, but fortunately heat rises.

EDIT: My instinct is that more comfort this coming winter will come from closing up some gaps and adding thermal mass to the stove. The gaps: the stovepipe gaps where it exits the wall, and the cat door is pretty useless.

Re:thermal mass: the first winter, the small stove had about 30 or so heat bricks on it and around it. These store up the heat your stove puts out, and then when the fire dies continues to put off heat. In a "rocket mass heater" this action keeps heating for quite some time. I'm looking to triple or more, the mass I had. Will use 1/4 inch steel to create supports to basically wrap the stovepipe and stove in heat bricks.

Around April or May, when I built the outdoor brick oven, I took all the heat bricks I had on the stove and used them, thinking winter was done. We hit a cold snap (or three), and I was shocked at the difference the bricks made. I was left with a stove with wild fluctuations. Just 30 or so bricks had really been evening it out.

Last edited by ElSapo; 08-08-2016 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 08-08-2016, 03:24 PM   #173
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Re: AMA living off the grid

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El Sapo,

The issue is the Google account is privileged and only people who are authenticated against your account can see it. It may work if people are in your Google+ circles, but generally that isn't the way you want to host images.
But it was so easy!

Thanks. Makes sense. I've started hosting them on a blog.
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Old 08-08-2016, 05:43 PM   #174
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Re: AMA living off the grid

Quote:
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I know it doesn't exactly work that way, but to be honest yes, that's basically what I did. I put up plywood across the lower portion and then laid the insulation down into that, bracing with some lumber in the crook of the beam supports.

Took R-30 fiberglass rolls, the pink stuff. Basically, two sheets overlaps side by side, because I believe most homes use 18-inches between studs but the cabin is 24-inches.

The walls are some reflective thin insulation, but fortunately heat rises.
This may or may not be OK, but I'm not sure based on your description. If it's just laying up there on the plywood, you're good. If you compressed it to fit into a smaller space than what it expands to, that's bad. The amount of insulating you can accomplish is limited by the depth of available space. Shoving in moar will reduce your R-value, not increase it.
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Old 08-08-2016, 09:44 PM   #175
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Re: AMA living off the grid

I'm curious about your decision to buy a prefab cottage.

•Will you go that route if you do decide you want more?
•What was the rationale for not building from scratch or say a garage kit?
•Would you build a new home for yourself and abandon your current home to renters as sort of a practice run?

•Is that really all the firewood you need for an entire winter in your small space, or is that a job for fall?
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