Tag Archive: Land

Like turtles, we’re sure to win with steady progress!

It was FREEZING out there! I’m drinking “pudding cocoa” which is chocolate pudding melted into almond milk.

Our friend Jacob looks over a map of Washington County with Ryan before we all head out to search for land.

Despite a never-ending upper respiratory infection and recovering from surgery, I’ve been putting time into searching for land for Ripples.  Check out what it’s like to look for land for sustainability purposes in the latest Making Ripples in The Free Weekly!  This column was a rare rant for me; I don’t like to be so negative about describing a process, but it certainly has been a challenge to even find an acre for sale.  Hopefully, as with most things in our life, when we’re ready and it’s the right time, land will become available. :)

Check out this week’s issue of The Free Weekly for a concept design of one acre for Making Ripples!

Ryan & I have been thinking hard since August 2011 about how to make the most ripples on a small piece of land.  There are so many wonders to be created on just one acre for Ripples, if it’s healthy, protected and sustainable: native pollinators, trees, and wildlife; rainwater harvesting systems; technology that makes a difference globally; alternative power sources like solar panels; fresh organic vegetables and herbs; healing pathways through the forest, and much more!  These are just ideas, but some of them are already alive and well: technology help for non-profits, our blog and column, a rain barrel, bicycles, and more.  But we can’t make a more tangible difference in Northwest Arkansas without the land.  Have you seen this acre?  If so, let us know by emailing MakeSomeRipples@Gmail.com

Thanks! :)

Uncovering rocks in the garden’s former pathway is like an archaeological dig!

Yesterday was my first day in the garden.  After a passionate Dig In! festival Saturday to inspire me to grow, I wanted to get started right away and hopefully plant some peas. View full article »

The first step to buying land is knowing what you want.

Winter Views

But when everything seems great and you’re just trying to live sustainably, it’s a bit harder to be picky.  “Sure, I guess that tree is good for protecting,” “Yeah I suppose this big empty lot would need protection,” “Oh, of course, we could protect this rocky  hillside.”  And yes, we dream of having a spring on the land, but I worry it will cost half a million dollars for such land.  And a view? Priceless.

Did you notice the birdhouse? I can’t wait to be able to put up birdhouses and nest boxes and hummingbird feeders!

But lately, despite looking at properties online, I am just home-hugging. Today I sat on the windowseat in our apartment, enjoying our last week here.  Drinking some fair trade tea, I reflected on just how “city girl” I was.  Yep, I like cushions and comforts.  It’s never made me deeply happy, but I’m accustomed to pavement and sidewalk, to bridges, restaurants and book shops.  Moving will be a huge experience for me because our location will be closer to trees than sushi. I will miss being one block away from a delicious burrito, and being able to easily walk through the rain or snow to get a hot chocolate and watch the birds at Nightbird Books.

I’m going to try and be away from the computer as much as possible this last week in the apartment, so I can soak up this location, the nice weather,  and the privacy we have in our little space.  Eventually, I’ll come to realize that the noise of cars is not worth the proximity to french fries.  When we’re settled into our new home, and I get to see a fox or owl for the first time outside of a book or movie, I will hunger for being indoors much less.

Here is a photo of the box I found for storing cool things I find in nature! :)

Nature Treasure Box

After receiving our eviction notice, we’re getting ready to move.

We have two lovely wood bookshelves, tall and inexpensive, that need a new home.  Anyone interested in taking them?  We’ll either barter, swap, trade etc or you can have both for $20.

Now a little bit about where we’re headed, as promised last week.  Sorry about the delay in writing this post; I’ve been soaking up the time we have here and spending some days cuddling, crying, and planning with Ryan, Solo and Boca. As it should be.

The new living space isn’t quite ready yet – it’s currently being used as storage and the kitchen isn’t finished.  It’s in a type of basement with a door at ground level in back leading outside.  And that part is what I’m excited about – the outside.  Just like the secret garden, this place needs some loving kindness bestowed upon it, and major hard work.  Have you heard of WWOOFing? Willing Workers on Organic Farms reminds me of the frame I’m using to psychologically adapt to this transition, followed by our big move into the new homestead in 2013.

WWOOFing involves living with someone else in a work exchange agreement, wearby you farm a lot and learn a lot and the person benefits from your labor.  This is similar to our situation, living in someone else’s house as a sort of “homestead test drive” if you will.  We’ll be learning a lot about starting an organic garden, keeping up a yard, trail maintenance and habitat creation.  I’ve been told the place has lots of wildlife, including many types of birds, deer, raccoon, possum, fox, etc.  Not to mention…the owner has two great cats that live upstairs and outside, one of which is very soft with the cutest meow in the world!

Well, if there are animals, then I’ll be ok. :)

Because I want to respect the privacy of the owner, I’m not going to tell you where it’s located or the address.  But there will be pictures coming soon of our moving process and the land around the house, especially the garden as it takes on new life, and photos of the wildlife we hope to encounter.

We must vacate our home as soon as possible so they can destroy it. View full article »

Have you ever had a chicken eat out of your hand?

I now aspire to become a chicken whisperer and make effective chicken noises.  I love the sound; it’s almost like the cats’ snoring.  Ahhh…to hear chickens every day!  When we visited Quinn’s friends Ron & Lisa, they introduced us to their chickens and let me feed them by hand!!  It was an intense experience – I have never been that close to a chicken or felt anything peck food from the palm of my hand before.  At first, I thought Dang! This is about to hurt, I wonder how much? View full article »

A field trip to Madison County, Arkansas introduces us to new faces!

Slowly, we’re learning to put the puzzle pieces together and create a homestead.  Last Monday, our friend Quinn took us out to Madison County to introduce us to her friends and show us around.  Yay field trip! View full article »

What happens to a dream deferred? You mail it to yourself for next year.

Ryan & I just had a heavy conversation about our timeline to break ground on the homestead.  It does involve bunnies, I’m getting to that soon.

It dawned on us that building this Fall 2012 would be too soon in terms of finances and research.  We still haven’t found (or even started looking at) land, and need time to understand water systems, electrical wiring, roofing, green building with earth bags, passive solar, and all the less daunting homesteading skills like candle making, growing organic produce, and knowing what to do when facing a wild bear. View full article »

A glimpse of our temporary home:

Our apartment complex may be leveled sometime soon and we’ll have to move out within 30 days’ notice, at worst.  We don’t know when this is happening, so I thought I’d preserve our beautiful sanctuary forever.  Here’s a video of our apartment the way it is now, to always remember how good a life we lived here.

Do you know of a place we could call home?

This is the description we have so far of the land we hope to live on and protect for native wildlife:

Property located in Washington or Madison County, Arkansas, in unincorporated rural areas on undeveloped land 3-10 acres in size bordering or close proximity to a national or state park, or protected conservation area or within a Northwest Arkansas green migration corridor.  We don’t need an existing home, electric or water hookup.  We prefer no easements on the property that may allow for roads and damage to the habitat.  A spring or stream would be nice, with woods and hills, benched or mountainous terrain.  Ideally, property on the south side of a hill to build a small house approximately 600 sq ft.  We can’t spend more than $1,000/acre and intend to pay outright in cash.

In memory of our apartment home –

“In Daylights – In Sunsets
In Midnights – In Cups Of Coffee
In Inches – In Miles
In Laughter – In Strife
In – Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand
Six Hundred Minutes
How Do You Measure
A Year In The Life?” ~ Seasons of Love, RENT

More lyrics: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/r/rent/#share