For the first article of the year I thought it would be good to look at what we were up to in 2016 and reflect on the goals we had set for the caravan.
I would like to start by saying that 2016 was a great year. Despite all the negative garbage that government and the media puked out into the masses, I can say that these passed 12 months mark once again the best year yet. We decided back in the summer of 2015 that we were splitting off from Catalyst community to do our own smaller thing and that made 2016 the “year of the land” for us.
January was mostly a work month. We decided to stay in New York that winter to work and save some cash to buy land. At that time we started looking online heavily for a property but the travel bug was itching. And we thought about traveling:
In February we found really really cheap tickets to Florida so we went for a long week… the itch was going to catch up sooner or later anyway and it was good to get out of the cold. We ended up in Key West to visit a good friend and met up more good friends in Key Largo. The rest of the month was spent mostly working (mostly outside) in and around New York City and searching for properties. There wasn’t much physical looking, it was too cold and dark by the time we’d get home from work, but we researched what towns within 2 hours on NYC had the least restrictions possible for our dream.
March marked the time when we got caught up in that political circus and wasted entirely too much time reading and watching the propaganda fabricated in red and blue… it consumed us but we managed to keep focused on our land search.
There is only so many parcels available for sale online and after reviewing the ones we liked so many times we finally decided to make some calls and make appointments for land walks.
April was a busy month. On weekends, we walked land parcels. We decided to get realtors involved to save time looking through listings with information sometimes too old or inaccurate. We were interested in a few things:
- Little regulations
- Commercial or Agriculture Zoning
- Water source
- The right to be 100% oof the grid
- Being close to town but still secluded
- Neighbors far enough we could have small festivals from time to time.
- Making this multifamily Homestead within 2 hours on NYC
We made our first loaf of bread!
That month we found a podcast we can relate to called The Survival Podcast, we were learning again! Jack Spirko is a prepper, but not so much in the sense of that dooms day stuff. He is a homesteader, something of an anarchist redneck hippie type with heavy permaculture tendencies. Have a listen next time you can spare an hour, he’s been very inspiring to us.
The month of May was a new beginning for us. It was warm, we had signed up for a cob building workshop earlier in the year and there it was. We were finally going to get our hands dirty! The work season was over for a couple months so we get our little motor-home ready to go and on we went to the Mud Dauber School of Natural Building in North Carolina. We spent 8 days building a 10ft x 10ft building mad of cob and straw-bales.
Our baby boy grew up a whole bunch running through the woods with a 4 year old that was there. The teacher was an excellent instructor. We learned so much all we wanted to do was find land and build our home. On the way back to New York we stopped near Raleigh to visit a friend and explored the Outer Banks of NC. Those beaches are some of the top beaches on the planet. How did I never go there before then???
In June we found the land we are buying right now!!! It seemed too good to be true, but it was the perfect parcel for the homestead community we’ve been talking about building. So we walked the land, fell in love with it, started our due diligence and put in an offer. We got to build a bit of a friend’s art-car for Burning Man.
We went to Freeform Arts to start off the festival season.
In mid July we started a facebook group called North East Natural Builders to network with other builders in the area. And it was back to work…
August was for Alaska. On the way we visited friends in Seattle and Portland. We got a counter offer for the land and signed a binder when we got to the Kenai Peninsula. This was exciting, we could see our dream come true!!!!
Nothing like having family in Alaska, we saw things only locals see. It truly is the land of homesteads. We even managed to squeeze in Salmon Fest.
Later that month we started fundraising to buy the land. And we went back to work.
September Manu turned 2 and we took full advantage of our community garden to through a small people party.
October we were able to find another festival: Nomadico. We also raised some of the money we needed for the land!
November was mostly a work month.
December was over quickly, the last day of work was on the 16th and we left shortly after to spend Christmas with Jessica’s family in Ohio.
We still haven’t closed on the land. Everything is ready to go, all we need is a closing date. Work should start in February. We will be building an igloo to start with!