11.18.2010

Homestead Cabin (1st Update)





Started Dads Cabin!

I just want to say that my dad is unbelievable. You don't know this now but it will soon be very obvious why. He is seventy-three years old and the hardest working man that I know. When he sets his mind to something you can consider it done. He doesn't always take the easiest path. Actually, I am convinced he chooses the more difficult route just to show off. As much as it drives me crazy (in a good way) he is set in his ways and there is no point of trying to change him. He is going to do it his way regardless and as far as I am concerned that way is perfect. Check back often and see what he is up to and I am sure you will begin to agree with me. We started his cabin about mid November, 2010. This is a picture of him and I a few days after we started. The man wants to build him a house and a house is what he is going to build. I will keep you posted on our (mostly his) progress.



Bad Weather!  Snow Problem!

This picture of our future cabin was taken on February 7th, 2011. As you can see its going to take a little more then a snow storm to slow this guy down. During the storm my father lived in a small camper with an electric heater powered by a small generator. I am pretty sure he lived off heat, coffee, and hot dogs. Now keep in mind there is no running water on the property. No bathrooms which means no showers and no toilets. No electricity with the exception of a couple generators. During the snow storm temperatures dropped to minus ten degrees. With gas prices over three dollars a gallon he would turn the generator off at night and pile on several blankets to keep warm and to save money. The small camper he was living in was very small. So small that when you step in you pretty much have two options at this point. Go right and sit down at a very small table with two seats on each side. Or go left and crawl into a twin size bed. You could stay where your at and try to cook something on the small stove but it didn't work. He lived this way for about six weeks while he continued to work on his cabin six days a week.



Roof Or No Roof!

After a long debate we decided to go with a roof on the cabin. We would of went with the convertible approach if it wasn't for the mosquito's, rain, snow, wind, sun, spiders, ticks, and leaves! So this is a picture of my father and I starting on the roof. I would say he did 90 percent of the roof on his own without any help. I really don't know how he did it by himself but he did. I have said this before and I will say it again. He is an amazing person that can do just about anything he sets his mind to do.


He Is Going Green!

This is a picture of my father wrapping up the metal roof on his cabin. He makes it look easy but I am certain it was anything but that. Him and my mother have decided to move down to the property for a while. They are now living in the cabin with no shower, toilet or running water. The only electricity comes from a generator that can easily guzzle up 10 gallons of gasoline a day if not more. They have a coffee pot and a small counter top cook stove they use for all their cooking. They have a couple small space heaters they run off the generator to help kill the chill in the cabin. Using the generator for all the power tools needed for the construction of the cabin as well as using it for heat and cooking really added up. They were easily spending anywhere from $800 to $1000 in gasoline a month to keep the cabin project going. That was a difficult truth to swallow but it was the only way to get the job done.





Lets Go Bigger!

The original plan was to start off by building a couple small cabins to live in so we could all move down to the property as soon as possible. Of course things rarely go as planned and this is just another example of that. We were going to start off with a 16 by 20 cabin with intentions of extending it to a 16 by 40 later down the road. We found out from the electric company that a 16 by 20 was too small and they wouldn't be able to bring electric to the property until we reached the minimum square footage. So now we are going to extended the cabin so we can get the electricity hooked up as soon as possible.


No Fear Of Heights!

There he goes again! Showing off while he gives the rest of us a heart attack! As you can see he has made allot of progress with the second story. He put the floor in first and then started building the walls. Once he finished the walls on the second story he started on the roof. We will all be very thankful when the roof is finished so that we can relax again.




Safety First!

This is obviously a picture of my father and I working on the roof. What you really don't see in the picture is that he has a rope tied around his waist with the other end wrapped around my arm about ten times. I cant imagine this is how its suppose to be done but its definitely one way of doing it. To be clear I wouldn't recommend this way to anyone. I think it was more of an illusion of safety to make us feel better while we were working. I don't know how well it would of worked if he had slipped and I am very thankful that we never had to put it to the test.



Debt Free Cabin!

Our first house at the homestead. We have a long ways to go before its finished but the hard part is definitely behind us now. Its a pleasure to say that this house was built completely debt free. Not only did we not have to get a loan to build this house but we didn't put a single dime on a credit card. That's a wonderful feeling and something we are very proud of. We now want to start working on getting it wired, insulated and an air condition installed. Good times ahead!

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About This BLOG

The Zion Project is what my family is calling our journey into homesteading. Call it simple living, homesteading, self sufficient or even self reliant because its all the same to us. I wish that I could say that we are successful homesteaders with a lot of helpful advice to share with you but that's not the case. Not yet anyways. We are learning as we go and we invite you to stick around as we attempt to become more self reliant by living off the land.

The Zion Project

A family's desire to go from city to farm. From endless traffic lights to endless country dirt roads. A desire to walk in a garden instead of a grocery store. A choice to raise chickens instead of buying eggs. A dream to build a house instead of owning a thirty year mortgage. A place where family and friends are more important then careers. To create a homestead with the focus of becoming self reliant. To become dependent on the land we live on and not the society we created around it. The ability to thrive in world that appears to be falling apart in so many ways.

Why do we want a more self-reliant lifestyle?

My family was living in St. Augustine Florida when we first started thinking about becoming more self sufficient. I don't remember exactly when and where but I am sure it had to do with the rough economy, rising gas prices, and rising food prices when we realized the world we live in is far from stable. Add in five nights a week of Glenn Beck and a wake up call from Hurricane Katrina and we realized that our family wasn't prepared to survive a week without Wal-Mart. The truth makes you sick at first but also makes you stronger if you choose not to ignore it.We have a lot of reasons for choosing a more simple life. More then anything I think we want more options. We want to learn how to grow our own fruits and vegetables as well as raising our own dairy cow for the milk, cheese and butter. We also want to raise our own chickens so that we would have our own source of eggs and meat on our homestead. This way of living has always been around but we feel its becoming more and more important for people to at least know how to live off the land.

The Road Ahead

This is not a story about how we did it. We are a long ways from that. This is a story about how we are doing it. One sacrifice at a time. We are taking this opportunity to use this forum to document our experiences. We are calling it the Zion Project.