Right now, I’m feeling incredibly proud of myself. I had this moment earlier, when I realized what I’d accomplished. Less than a year ago, this was bare vacant land. There was nothing here, but completely untouched wilderness, save for a single dirt road. Today, I have a hut, a garden, solar-generated electricity, refrigeration, enough water and food to last me a while, and all the tools and assorted materials to build most things. I am comfortable enough, that I can spend my days laying in my hammock reading, and stay up here for months if I wanted to. I’ve done it. I’m living in the woods.
Granted, there’s a lot more work to do, but most of it is non-essential, at least for the time being. One of the bigger construction projects on my list is to build a water tower so that I can setup an automated irrigation system, but that’s mostly so that I can leave my property without depending on my neighbor to water my garden. The other big project is obviously the hut extension, but it’s not something I really need during the summer. It’ll be nice to have an insulated, clean, bug-screened structure to stay in, but I’m actually doing ok without it for now. The hut will become essential when it gets cooler, but I have 3 or 4 months to prepare for that.
I don’t want to call this homesteading yet, though. It’s probably more like pre-homesteading. I still consider it an experiment, and the objective is still to learn. What I’m doing now is also not sustainable in the long run. I’m living off of savings, and burning through cash way too fast. In the fall, I’m probably going to have to find a job again, and this time, I’ll probably take the plunge and get a full time job so that I can pay off all my loans, save enough money for a well, and then some. Once my debts are paid, and I have the bigger comfier hut, and a well, I think I’ll be ready to actually homestead. Without loan payments to make, and big construction projects to pay for, the cost of living will be ridiculously low. The well is also crucial. Right now, it’s not practical to haul in enough water for a garden much larger than the one I have now. But if I have access to virtually unlimited water right here on my property, I can grow a garden large enough to actually become self sufficient, and maybe grow a surplus that I can sell. I’d also be able to raise livestock; the area around my property is an open range for cattle, after all. Even then, I don’t know if it’ll be possible to be completely self sufficient, or make enough money to be cash-flow neutral or better. But I guess I’ll find out, and I’ll let you know when I get there.