Apocalyptic Homesteading (Day 140-146)

By Jacob Peacock | Homesteading | 17 Apr 2021

A Chicken Coop Roof, An Outdoor Kitchen, Setting Up Irrigation, Breaking Ground On The Cabin & Recruiting Helpers

It is a little after six in the morning and I just woke up from a series of rather bizarre dreams that although were not all that stressful they were quite eventful. Honestly, I cannot even recall what they were at this point and all I remember is that I was very busy in them and per usual it was in some kind of post-apocalyptic setting where resources were limited and folks tended to be desperate for said resources. I guess that is a common theme not just for my dreams but also for most pieces of post-apocalyptic fiction that I have ever encountered so there is nothing really that odd about the dreams in that regard. If that had not been the over-arching theme of most of the dreams that I have had in my life then I would more than likely find it a bit alarming given the current scenario... but hell it is all just 'run of the mill' for me at this juncture and I would probably be more shocked if all of a sudden my dreams quit lacking that as their frequent backdrop.

I do not want to delve too deeply into that rabbit warren but I have been thinking a lot lately about 'fulfilling my dreams' and by that I mean my own personal life goals and not the aforementioned variety. By and large I get to fulfill my dreams each day (or attempt to) and just that doing so (or attempting to) is an option seems to be enough to keep me trucking along and feeling rather content as I toil my time away. There is assuredly the challenges of morale, maintaining a good attitude, coping with successes and failures, managing my time, doing my daily chores and all the various 'ins and outs' that are just a part of living but overall I still think that 'happiness' boils down to acceptance and making a clear choice to be happy because the alternative sucks. Saying it all like that might make it sound easy but after years of practice it has become if not exactly easy then at least it has become a bit easier which makes sense given all the damn repetition of doing it.

Anyway, things here are still progressing forward in a steady fashion and although that building material delivery never came the other day I have been staying busy nonetheless. The building supply company actually pushed the delivery date back two weeks after two 'no call, no show' delivery dates and after that the landowner canceled the order and found another supply company to work with that says they will do it cheaper and provide next day delivery. So, once all the new order is submitted and paid for then hopefully a big truckload of material will arrive and I can truly dive into the cabin building project.

I am actually not 'chomping at the bit' to get going on the cabin but I am pretty stoked about the project. I would probably be more excited about it all if the 'idea' had not been getting shoveled around for almost six months. In short, at this point the 'excitement' has simply worn off and it is just one more thing to do on a long list of things to do. A big contributor to my lack of excitement over the cabin is that this time of year the sun is directly overhead for much of the day and the place that I am going to build the cabin is quite sunny and sweltering hot to work in even during the early morning hours before noon. It is an awesome site for solar panels (well it is the best site in the woods for solar) so it better be sunny this time of year so no complaints there! The cabin site also gets a fair amount of sunlight during the winter months so it is well worth it even if it makes cooling the cabin in the summer challenging and the building process a sweltering sweaty prospect.

On that note. During the heat of the day the last few days I have taken a break by sitting under the shade of the solar shack and carving on some of the scraps from the oak lumber that I milled on the table saw. When I began doing this little routine I saw a piece of the scrap wood and was like 'whoa that would make a nice wooden cheese knife' and an hour or two later I had a nice wooden knife that I even sanded to a finish with my handheld belt sander. I have to still treat the wood with oil but by the end of that first session I was having all kinds of ideas for various utensils that (like the cheese knife) I actually need/want in my setup. I think that at this point I have made two more cheese knifes, a butter knife and a small scraper tool for cleaning my frying pan with. Ever since I made that wooden mallet a few days ago each time that I look at a piece of wood I see some shape in it or think of some tool or utensil that I can make with it and honestly it is so prevalent that it has gotten downright distracting. For now it is a neat little hobby that has the benefit of me getting in some practice with my amateur woodworking and carving skills. Like most things as long as I do not take it too seriously it will remain a fun past-time to enjoy while cooling off in the shade during my breaks from work.

Something that has been nagging at me for my entire stay here is that I wanted a good outdoor kitchen setup for the propane camping stove. I do not mean just a place to make coffee at either but an actual place to cook food at with some space for food preparation and whatnot. I learned in my last scenario that with the chickens roaming around that I would need to either fence off any outdoor kitchen (or stove area) or put it inside its own enclosure or something like that to keep the chickens away from it. Also anytime that the chickens see me with a bowl or pan in my hands they think it is feeding time so there is that also in regards to a cooking area. Long story short I used a bunch of the oak poles that I have (left overs from the original site clearing) to build a nice big outdoor counter just outside the dog yard on a flat shelf between the fence and the road. It was tricky designing it not to block too much of the path there but overall the placement came out quite well, it blends in nicely with the scenery and is not obtrusive. I even got the propane stove and its accessories from storage and got it all installed (with a propane tank) at the new outdoor kitchen area. I am considering building a shelf enclosure beneath the countertop and installing my small refrigerator there but am hesitant to do so until I put some kind of roof over it all to keep things dry.

Alright, it is getting on in the day and it has taken me a few hours to get this far along with this entry and I need to get on with my day. Before I do though, I have to say that all in all if this is what I have been working towards my entire life... then I am going to remain content in doing the things each day that need doing with as much of a smile on my face as possible and just leave it at that.

Well, it is now the next day and a little after five in the morning. I have been awake for a little less than an hour and am still sipping on my morning espresso while my brain slowly sheds the fog of sleep. I so enjoy these brief moments of quietude in the early morning hours and often wish that they would last longer than they do but nonetheless I am happy that they occur in the first place no matter how brief. It sure makes for a good time of the day to just observe what is rattling around in my head as I muse over whatever I can recall from my dreams. During these early hours is when I often have some of my best ideas and more often than not of late I have found myself either making lists or sketching things out in a notebook until the sun gets over the horizon and I start itching to begin doing stuff outdoors.

With all the ongoing construction projects and generally setting things up here I noticed a few days ago that things around the shelter site were looking a bit cluttered. Not cluttered with trash or scrap building material or anything like that but with stuff like my laundry buckets, water containers and various other odds and ends that are part of my setup and that I use in my day to day life. Since I dislike clutter and especially dislike a cluttered shelter site (homestead area) I tend to put away all the stuff (like tools) if I am not using them and only try to keep 'out in the open' the things that I need. All that said, I have to have places to store the stuff that I do have out and although I do my best to keep them remaining visually unobtrusive... it is a bit tricky just having the tent and deck to work with and I tend to clump most of the stuff around, in, on or under those two things. As you can imagine at some point things add up and when they do I take the time to re-organize, tidy up and make sure that I only have the things that I need laying about.

It had all been getting to me for the last week or so and yesterday I spent a bunch of time throughout the day tidying up around the place and doing my best to have the sort of environment that does not make me cringe inside when I look around. One of the things that was sort of doing that (making me cringe) was the way that I had wrapped a tarp around the back of the chicken coop and piled some small logs and sticks on it to hold it in place. The other thing that was bothering me way more was the PVC dog yard that was encircling the coop and creating a chicken run. Functionally that fence works super well but visually it clashed with everything else in the shelter site. I guess that you could say that it was 'fucking up the ambiance' for me... and well like most things that bother me I decided to do something about it instead of having it nag at me.

Over the last several weeks I had been thinking about using the PVC dog yard fence as a way to protect that garden that I made in the woods from the deer and other critters. I was also thinking that if the garden area there winds up getting enough sun then it would be a good place to put my potted black locust seedlings (and saplings once they get that big) because the deer will absolutely devour the little trees before they can form their thorns which even then will not necessarily protect the tender leaves from the deer. Anyway, I wound up removing the PVC dog yard from inside the shelter site and got it moved to where it now encircles most of that garden area. As always it was a bear moving that fence by myself but now that I have moved it so many times alone... I have a few tricks for doing it and the process is just a time consuming one and not all that hectic because I just move it a few feet at a time and eventually get it to where it is going. I cannot say that I like seeing it there in the woods (mainly because it is on a slope and looks wonky) but it sure beats having it inside the shelter site!

Although my initial plan was to make a new chicken run with some oak poles and some chicken wire around the coop... I later discarded that idea and decided to wait until I get some better fencing material because chicken wire fences always turn into a mess one way or another. Also the oak poles will not hold up all that well even if I de-bark them. I could probably get way more longevity out of the poles if I de-barked and fire treated them and although I considered doing just that I ultimately decided it would amount to more time being invested than what I am willing to give the project. Not wanting to wind up with a fence that I would have to continually maintenance I opted to have no fence and if I need to separate any of the chickens I can just put them in that cage that someone kindly gave me when I was moving last autumn. As a side note, both the hens are looking better now that I have been keeping them separated from the roosters the majority of the time and the feathers on their backs are starting to grow back in. Thankfully I had caught on to what was going on because otherwise I think the hens would not have lasted the summer with the way the environment is here.

Once I got all the stuff around (and on) the coop out of my way I finally caved to an idea that I had had when I was first building the chicken coop which was to put a very simple roof over the entire thing. The roof is not so much just to keep the coop dry but to also shed water to behind the coop where all the droppings that I wash from the coop wind up after I spray it out with the garden hose every few days. It is then only another meter's distance until all the water runoff flows downhill and is on the other side of the dog fence and providing water and nutrients for the Kentucky-31 grass, rye grass, grape vines, shrubs and trees that are growing there. The rain of course can still blow in from the sides and I will add walls later to stop that. As it was the coop already had a piece of pressure treated plywood for its top which made it mostly waterproof so I am not all that concerned at the moment about the walls.

I wound up using those oak poles (that I experimented with fire treating) to make some posts for a new roof and then added a lumber frame with a slight pitch that was a few inches larger than the coops original plywood roof. After the wooden frame construction was complete I stretched a piece of that heavy mil clear vinyl over the entire top of the frame and screwed it into place with some roofing metal screws that have a washer and rubber gasket. That vinyl sure is tricky to install when it is super hot outside and although I stretched it 'tight enough' to make a good roof I was also very careful not to put too much tension on it so that it can freely contract in the cooler temperatures. Overall it made for a really nice roof that did not cast more shade on my fledgling yard where I am still working to get the grass fully established.

I was really doubtful when I started to roll out the vinyl for the roofing but once I got it installed I realized what an awesome passive wood kiln that I could make between it and the top of the chicken coop. So, I of course loaded the entire top of the coop with a bunch of cherry and oak poles that I had stacked outside the dog yard in one of those piles of poles that I have left over from the original site clearing. I have to be careful not to poke the vinyl when I am loading and unloading poles from atop the coop but I have about a meter of room to work with and should be okay as long as I do what I usually do and take my sweet ass time while I am doing stuff.

The other thing that I am considering doing with that area atop the coop is using it as a small greenhouse if I have enough vinyl left from the solar shack project. What I am thinking is simply enclosing its walls in vinyl so the entire area can be a greenhouse which would be super handy for starting stuff from seeds in or just having a place to have some vegetation in during the colder months. We will see how it all works out but for now I am happy having a roof over the coop and a solar kiln to boot! I also stuck the spare cage atop the coop for now because I have yet to figure out a better place to put it.

Okay, it is now quite late into the evening here and having taken a very long nap towards the end of the day I have yet to wind down again so I may as well do some more writing. It was a rather long work day but by the end of it I had gotten several rows of lettuce and bell peppers planted. I also got another thirty-odd black locust seeds planted and some of them I planted directly in the ground in that garden that now has the PVC fence around it. Several of my seed packs had come apart inside the bag that I keep them in and I have no idea what many of the seeds that I planted today were because I did not want to see them go to waste. I even planted some of those random seeds in the corn patch across from the hydrant at the top of the shelter site and hopefully with how much I water that area something will grow.

Learning where the sun is at different parts of the day has been interesting and I have been watching it closer than usual of late. Doing so has caused me to shuffle around my potted plants several times over the last many weeks but today I realized that I had to move them to an entirely new spot if they were to have any hope of survival. The sun has shifted so far that the place that I had them all will just no longer do, so I arranged them on a gentle slope where they will at least get good sun for the first four or five hours of the day. I will more than likely move them again many times and I am already eyeing a few inconveniently located places that seem to get sun all day or much more of it than most areas near the shelter site do at least.

The site itself (especially inside the dog yard) gets really awesome sun and I have been tossing around the idea of doing a small garden inside of it if I can figure out how to keep the chickens out of it. After all much of the fenced area inside the dog yard is unused space just for the dogs to run in and whatnot and a small garden done well could be at the very minimum a good part of the dogs' obstacle course. Ideally I want to utilize whatever space that I can inside the fenced areas that are available for growing food items because even if I do not eat it all then I can feed it to the chickens. I like the idea of having an abundance of food growing as long as I do not create too much work for myself along the way. Honestly, I give more attention to growing erosion controlling grasses than I do to the gardens that I plant. Along the way, the wildlife gets some meals and occasionally I do as well and as always my goal is to at least grow enough to have seed stock so that I can plant it again the following year.

The farming thing really weighs on me and even now late into the evening I am daydreaming about having good soil, part of a south facing hill, plenty of sunlight and how to run irrigation to it all and terrace it for growing and on and on ad infinitum. Some part of my mind is devoted to growing food and if a day passes and I do not do something that involves the growing of food (even if it is just watering the corn and potato plants) then I put it at the top of my list for the following day. Lately though I have not missed any days aside from the ones it was pouring rain on but I tend to conveniently forget just how much stuff that I already have planted and/or growing and sort of mildly panic. I also then (even more belatedly) realize that it is only halfway through April and I am far ahead of the planting season that I was accustomed to in the mountains.

The weather here has been so nice for so long that I can only imagine what I could do with a greenhouse and be able to start all my plants in late February before moving them outdoors the following month. Even with the late freezes and cold snaps here, protecting a few plants for a night or two is not all that difficult of a task and could be well worth the added outdoor growing season. As with all things farming/gardening: It is an on-going experiment and we will see how it pans out.

It has been an interesting one hundred and forty-six days since my arrival here and I often have to just pause and sort of retrace my steps along the way to figure out how the heck all this homestead area around me came to be. Part of my mind goes directly to the brush clearing phase of things and then jumps to the fence installation, the deck building and moving the tent etcetera. Not to mention the water and electric hookups and the two hundred odd meters of trench. It seems like a nice and tidy progression but there is so much that went on between those larger projects that it all just gets slippery to recall and if it were not for pictures then some days would be an absolute blur.

What I am saying here is that every day I enjoy all these awesome conveniences like a stout fence, hot water, plenty of electricity and while I assuredly did not do it all alone... I have to remind myself 'Hey you created this and wow is it nice!' Then I promptly snap out of it and get back to doing whatever I was doing beforehand. Although it only lasts a few seconds it is this deep satisfaction mingled with an overwhelming sense of sheer accomplishment that I cannot adequately describe with words. You would think that living as I do surrounded by my own creations for so long that I would indulge myself in such feelings much more often but alas they are just as fleeting as the moments that I pat myself on the back and tell myself that I did a good job. There really are some advantages to doing projects right from the very start and letting the results become 'out of sight and out of mind' as they perform their function and facilitate me doing more projects.

I do not know what the heck I am always building towards besides having a nice little homestead but I always feel unsettled until I get that phase of things accomplished. There is of course the larger project of the land and I am always neglecting to include the stuff that I do around the land beyond the shelter site. A lot of the time it is just stuff that I do along the way while I am hiking (like picking up sticks or like the grass seed that I spread) but occasionally I give things a concerted effort and do stuff like trimming the canopy over the roads, or filling in holes in the roads, or removing thorny plants from the roads and well you get the idea... lots of minor road maintenance stuff along with the usual trimming of vegetation but nothing too taxing unless I get into felling trees. Now that most of the general site cleanup is done (thankfully during the winter) my main goal for the year is to just maintain the roads that get used often and full on maintenance all the rest of them as well as the trails. They sure do need it at this point even though there are plenty of others that do not need it but I will eventually get a handle on it all one way or another. As far as the larger project of the land goes an even measured approach is what is needed because by and large it is still raw land even though it has many water and electricity hookups placed in useful areas where folks camp.

Alright, it is another morning here and although I slept in until a bit after sunrise I am not in all that much of a hurry to get to working outdoors. Yesterday the bulk of the building materials for the cabin got delivered and we finally got all the cinder blocks for the foundation staged near the shelter site. There is nothing quite like moving a few thousand pounds of concrete block to wrap up the work day (we moved them at the end of the day) and whoa did it sap the last bit of energy that I had for the day and I fell fast asleep not long afterwards. It is a good feeling to finally have everything line up for the cabin building project because at this point in things I think that I am starting to be 'over' the whole camping thing.

I spent some time in the early portion of the day rifling around in the storage tent looking for some plumbing parts. Once I piled them (and all the irrigation tubing that I have) into my wagon and hauled it back to the shelter site I then got some water ran to that garden area that I put the PVC fence around the day before. Basically, I turned both the pieces of irrigation tubing (one about five meters long and the other around thirty-three meters long) into garden hoses with the aid of a few fittings and then ran it just downhill of and outside of the eastern fence line all the way to the garden area.

For now I am just swapping the hoses back and forth where they connect near the chicken coop (the other hose is for washing the chicken coop out with) but I am thinking to get a Y-splitter for use there so that I can have both the hoses hooked up simultaneously and eliminate the need to manually swap them out according to which one that I need to use. I am also thinking that I should get more of the irrigation tubing and setup all the various garden spots (and potted plants) to be watered from one system and preferably one that I only have to open one valve to do so. Like everything it is assuredly a work in progress but I could save myself a ton of time each day if I can simplify the irrigation process because as it stands I tend to stand around with one or another water hoses in my hand for too much time each day.

It all comes down to how much time that I have each day and how many calories that I have available to burn in that time-frame. The way I see it, anything that I can do to preserve one or another (or preferably both) of those things frees me up to do more stuff or to just give more attention to things that need it like doing my laundry or a million other domestic things that I just gloss right by each day whilst focusing on the larger projects. Which makes total sense while in camping mode because I should be (and am) focused on working towards getting myself setup well enough that I can leave all this camping horseshit behind me. In other words simply be done with camping and return to having the quality of life I am more accustomed to having with an actual shelter.

There are of course a bunch of factors involved with where I am at with things and one that really nags at me is how much of my stuff I still have in storage and how I perpetually need or want something and cannot find it. This especially gets to me if it involves hiking around looking for it and whether I find it or not the hassle along the way makes it not worth the endeavor more often than not. These kinds of inconveniences (and things that generally waste time) will hopefully begin to evaporate over the coming months as I finalize getting my personal setup sorted out. Do not get me wrong here because the setup that I have been using this whole time has been working quite well for what it is (a temporary solution) but hell it is now nearly seven months into use and at some point I have to ask myself if the temporary solution has become a permanent one or not.

It is not even that any one inconvenience or another is all that frustrating but the daily cumulative effects can build up over time and side swipe (surprise) me when one minor thing sets off a chain reaction of being reminded of other inconveniences and how they are interconnected and whoa I am glad that I can catch myself in time and realize that I just have to take a deep breath, re-calibrate my thinking and not let some minor thing turn into a major one out of frustration or aggravation. In those moments my go-to saying of 'not breathing anxiety into the world' sure helps but the real solution is to solve all those things that are causing the damn annoyances to begin with. It is a slow process and one that I am okay with given the nature of the times. The unavailability and over-priced nature of building supplies currently presents its own challenges and there is nothing that can be done about that. The work being done in a 'lets do it well' manner sure helps because even if the process is slower the quality level is higher and the durability is longer so that in itself is awesome because as much as I can scrap things together I prefer to build things that will endure.

Alright, I have devoted my entire morning to writing here and now the sun is well up in the sky and I have to get outside and start doing stuff. It is not often these days that I am willing to put this much time into writing early in the morning but today I feel like I could spend most of the day just clacking away and pecking out word after word. Not getting in any real downtime this winter sure has left me with an itch that I cannot scratch and at this point it is looking like by the summer perhaps I will have the time to do so but for now I have to keep plugging away at these projects so that I will have a comfortable space to take some time off in. Thankfully the prospect of that downtime somewhere in my future keeps me dutifully putting one foot in front of the other without too much hassle along the way.

It is now a little before dawn again and I just finished brewing some espresso. I did wake up a few hours ago but it was raining and a little chilly so I just curled up with the dogs and went back to sleep. I am a bit stiff after yesterday's activities so I will more than likely be getting off to a slow start today anyway and the few extra hours of sleep was quite nice. My mind is rather still this morning but I am going to try to churn out some words and hopefully get this entry edited and posted. It seems like I have had that goal with this entry a few times now but alas once the sun is actually up over the horizon I lose most of my motivation to write and just want to get to doing things outdoors.

Anyway, yesterday was super productive and I got six of the nine foundation holes dug and six of the cinder block piers installed. A few of the piers I am going to have to take apart and dig the hole deeper because otherwise I will wind up having to shim up the skids much more than I want to so that they sit level on the piers. Once I got the first three piers in place I used that pair of wheels (that are mounted on two pieces of lumber) to move one of the (six inch by six inch by four meter long) skids from the lumber staging area to atop the piers. After getting the skid in place and leveled I then used it to pull the rest of the layout measurements from and got three more piers installed (and another skid) before the sun got low on the horizon and it was time to wrap everything up for the day.

While I was digging the holes for the piers I once again used an axe to cut out the loamy layer as one big 'plug' then used a trenching shovel to slice beneath the loamy layer and free up the plug as one big piece. Since I am digging the foundation holes a few inches larger than they need to be (just so I have some wiggle room to make adjustments if need be) the plugs came out to be nearly two feet by two feet in size. I later took all the plugs and used them on a bare spot inside the dog yard to help get some topsoil established there and to stop the bare spot from spreading from erosion.

While I was digging the foundation holes I also shoveled all the dirt/clay into some plastic totes and later emptied some of the totes (the ones mostly comprised of topsoil) onto my compost mound and the rest of the dirt (with a high clay content) I used to fill in a bunch of holes that were in the dog yard between the new cabin site and the chicken coop. That area had been needing attention for quite sometime now and I am glad that the worst of that area's problems have now been addressed and I do not have to be so mindful when I walk there not to step in any holes. It was by far the worst area in the dog yard and it had been needing some attention for a while now so it is nice that I got it sorted out. There are still some tree stumps and one big hole that the chickens like scratching in but overall the terrain is much smoother in that area than it was before.

On an entirely different, I have been trying to recruit folks as helpers because after all I need some worker bees to get stuff done around here without grinding myself into dust along the way by doing everything myself. It is assuredly a difficult prospect finding folks that are a 'good fit' for the place and that are willing to drop their current life so that they can come live in the rough in the middle of nowhere with very little in the way of infrastructure or facilities. In other words finding folks that want to help build facilities and further the overall infrastructure and are willing to camp to do so is a tricky prospect at best. It is not that there are not some capable folks in the world, or folks willing to do some extended camping, or folks willing to learn new skills but finding folks that I do not mind actually living around... now that is the hard part and especially so since my inclination is to be alone in the woods. Like I have said many times before: I know what to expect from me but when it comes to other folks... who the hell knows what they might do!

So, with that in mind I reached out to a few folks that I have worked with in the past and previously vetted and although I got good responses only one of the folks jumped at the opportunity. If all goes well (and according to plan) they should be arriving here sometime during the second half of next month which is nice because it is still early enough in the year that we can get in some long productive days before the heat of summer arrives in full. I am still looking for more helpers but for now I am super stoked at the possibility of having just one dedicated helper. The very idea of not having to tackle two people projects by myself is awesome and the amount of time and calories that gets saved along the way is going to be epic.

Doing stuff just gets exhausting at some point when you do nearly everything yourself (no matter how well you pace yourself) and although I am personally very content toiling away on my own for all of eternity... I also know that the bigger project of the land requires more than just me and to do it (even somewhat efficiently or in a timely manner) I have to take the initiative and get some helpers. There is a lot that goes into all of that especially considering that I tend to do just fine on my own in the woods given all my past experience but dealing with anyone less experienced can grate on me because the little mistakes they make can have a drastic impact upon my well-being.

Just as a random example here if they have a hard time properly dealing with their own food waste then there will be more bugs and vermin, or if they do not handle their own waste well it could introduce pathogens that were previously absent. Or they could piss off the locals, burn the woods down, get snake-bit or any number of things and ultimately I will be impacted in one way or another and the thing is that for me it is not just me (and the dogs and chickens) lives on the line but also my livelihood. Finding folks that can treat a caretaking gig with the brevity and seriousness it deserves is a long shot at best and ones willing to do the work longer and even longer than that is finding folks that can appropriately delineate between their personal life and work life whilst living where they work.

If it sounds pretty damn convoluted... well, it is because it is. It amounts to being able to (having to) parse apart which stressors are personal and which are job related and remembering that the job related ones should not be made into some kind of emotional experience that is just going to muck things up one way or another. As I have said many times before over the previous several years, my way of dealing with it is to just let everything outside the door of my cabin/shelter be work related and keep all my personal stuff inside. To one extent or another that 'personal zone' generally extends to the dog yard also but just tentatively so because it is after all an open area where there the chance of encountering other humans. It all sounds a bit crazy now that I have spelled it out here but really these kinds of behaviors are second nature to me at this point and the longer that I do it the easier that it gets and the more that I do it the better I get at maintaining a clear perspective on both my work and personal life which yeah are so incredibly intertwined that they are practically indistinguishable from each other at face value as well as being mutually supportive of each other. In other words one would not exist without the other and that is just the admission price of being a good land steward.

Well, I should get to wrapping this up before I meander into another rabbit warren of things that have been on my mind of late and try to get this all edited and posted. It has been sprinkling rain on and off all morning which is awesome for all the vegetation that I have planted but the morning is dragging on and rain or no rain I have to get busy outdoors today installing the last of those foundation piers. Honestly I am not even all that jazzed up over the cabin building at this point in things and sort of just want to get it done so that it can finally be removed from my itinerary. Funny thing is that I will wind up with less square footage moving from the canvas tent into the cabin but will gain a hundred percent peace of mind having four solid walls and a real roof over my head. I hope that everyone is doing well and has a nice day/night.

IMG_20210412_162414_4.jpgThe beginnings of the outdoor kitchen.IMG_20210412_081706_7.jpgThese little mushrooms keep popping up in the compost mound.IMG_20210414_100205_3.jpgThe new roof over the chicken coop!IMG_20210414_100407_2.jpgThe laying boxes that I made for the hens.IMG_20210414_100433_9.jpgI made a few of these stout wooden troughs to feed the chickens in so they cannot flip them over.IMG_20210416_115911_9.jpgInstead of wasting a bunch of time on a layout I just pulled a few control lines to work from.IMG_20210416_144525_8.jpgThis is how I moved the skids by myself!IMG_20210416_190206_7.jpgSix foundation piers and two skids in place! for the cabin.

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Jacob Peacock
Jacob Peacock

I have been doing property caretaking (land stewardship) for many years (decades) and live a rather simple life with my dogs doing what most folks would consider to be an 'alternative minimalist lifestyle' and write about my adventures along the way.


A little over three years ago I began sharing the adventures (misadventures) of my homesteading lifestyle via writing, videos, pictures and the occasional podcasts and although my intention was to simply share my life with some friends it undoubtedly grew into much more than that over the years and now I find myself doing what equates to a full-time job just 'sharing my life' which is not even all that glamorous or anything but hey folks seem to enjoy it so I just keep doing it!

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