Living Off the Grid

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Re: Living Off the Grid

Post by blind drunk » Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:04 pm

Vinegar's a great idea. There seems to be a renewed interest in good/real vinegar these days.

Do you know what kind of bread they make down the road?
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Re: Living Off the Grid

Post by Prairiepiss » Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:17 pm

No they were closed the day we went down. So that means they will be closed tomorrow also. The sign out front said. Sourdough and Amish bread. I think? I just caught the sign out of the corner of my eye. As we flew by. It was in an old church. The wife and I both said. We need to check that out.
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Re: Living Off the Grid

Post by Truckinbutch » Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:50 pm

:) Eat the apple one bite at a time . Concentrate on looking at the ground first . Later tourism can assess what markets are available . The water issue is of concern to me . If you don't have a viable water supply you are screwed on the start .
This fella you are dealing with bought this large tract of land and then parceled it out in small holdings .
Now , he is going to sacrifice what he had reserved for himself to you because he took the profits from these sales and bought himself a more desirable piece of property ?
Desire can make pyrite look like gold . The final assay may reveal that it is just a sulphur compound .
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Don't drink water , fish fornicate in it .

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Re: Living Off the Grid

Post by goose eye » Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:08 pm

Gotta have water. Trucking it in an Putin in a big swimming pool
is a pain but do able. Some folk will have it fixed so
it the 1St floor and yall live above it. All gutters drain into it.
It is a pain. Been there done that.
If he like that you best look at that feed real good and check chain of title.
Ain't no telling what he ain't talkin yall.

As far as honey. Back awhile white suger was hard to come by
so folks used honey for all cookin. The use of honey is
dropping every year the honey council says.

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Re: Living Off the Grid

Post by Truckinbutch » Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:53 pm

Water rights and sub surface mineral rights are also a big concern . Consider ; having built your 'Utopia' with years of effort and spent wages and some feller with a hand full of papers waltzes in in front of a D-9 Cat dozer and explains to you that he has the right to tear up all you have done on the surface to recover the minerals he owns beneath that surface . These are things that really need to be considered .
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Don't drink water , fish fornicate in it .

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Re: Living Off the Grid

Post by Halfbaked » Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:07 pm

Wouldn't the mineral rights be taken care of by the attorney that does the closing in the title search. You will be doing a title search right?

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Re: Living Off the Grid

Post by Truckinbutch » Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:48 pm

halfbaked wrote:Wouldn't the mineral rights be taken care of by the attorney that does the closing in the title search. You will be doing a title search right?
Where I live in WV mineral rights below surface are so convoluted that even the lawyers can't figure it out . Original land owners conveyed surface to buyers while reserving subsurface mineral rights . Late they sold shallow subsurface mineral rights to other speculators . These mineral interests had free license to invade private property without compensation to recover the subsurface minerals they had bought the rights to maybe a hundred years ago for as little as 3 cents an acre .
I'm starting to ramble and RANT and am going to end this post . Forewarned is forearmed .
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Re: Living Off the Grid

Post by Halfbaked » Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:54 pm

WOW! Crazy.

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Re: Living Off the Grid

Post by Prairiepiss » Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:38 am

I know in some states water rights are getting ridiculous. Where they are even making collecting rain water illegal without proper permits from the state. Who seams to think they own the rain that falls on your property.

Luckily Missouri isn't one of those states. And the county we are looking at. Is one of the most laxed counties in the state. For everything else. It's probably one of the last counties in mo. That you don't need a permit for a septic install. And the land owner can do it themselves. There is only one incorporated city in the while county. And that where the county seat is.

Mineral rights will be a question. And something that will be addressed. As will wood rights. I've also seen where others have ran into problems of some company owning the wood rights on a piece of land. And later coming in to log it. Seeing how this patch of land had a sawmill on it. And was logged in the past. I will defiantly be checking that LME out.

As far as him not keeping it. I think there is a lot more to it then it not being a good patch of land. Not to go into deep details of his business. I think wife, business, and their long term plan of community. Plays a big roll in what land will be best for them. And I can't blame the guy if he buys a piece of land. And then another comes along that would be nicer. And he can afford it. It never fails. When we finally go with one thing. And commit to it. Another bigger and or better comes along. There is always going to be something better. But if you aren't in a position to get it. By the time you are. It's long gone. So going with you best option. Is what you end up doing. And this is by far our best option. And so far I really like it. After today I might change my mind. But we will see.
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Re: Living Off the Grid

Post by Prairiepiss » Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:31 am

Love the view.
IMAG2473-picsay.jpg
Well finally got home. Walk around the second time. And I now like it even more.

Some things made me feel more at easy about it. While we were walking it. We found 2 springs. They aren't flowing good. But there is surface water where it really shouldn't be. Will have to recheck them later. And confirm. The biggy was in the upper creek bed. The owner said he thought the creek went underground. Then popped up below the road. Well it was certainly coming out of the ground. A lot of it. It was a foot deep pool. With enough water coming up from the rock bottom. To see a noticeable rise of the water in the center of the pool. It looked like someone had stuck a garden hose under the rocks pointed up towards the surface. So I decided to follow the dry creek up stream. To see if I could find more water. I walked it about 200 yards. Couldn't find any signs of water. What I did find was. A very wide valley bottom. That had three distinct creek paths through it. With washed down brush everywhere. Telling me it has a lot of rain run off. Something else to check out later during a rain storm. I was losing light so I didn't go further. And didn't really think I needed to. I think its a spring coming from the other direction. Out of the hill behind it. Which is fine by me. Here is a crappy pic of it. It's coming out in front of the log in the bottom of the pic. And the water you see is what's flowing away out of it.
IMAG2481-picsay.jpg
The other creek wasn't dry. It was flowing. Not a hole bunch. But flowing. And the land up stream is flatter then I remember from the first trip. So where I was thinking I could have a 2 or 3 acre pond. Now I'm thinking more like 4 or 5 acre pond. That would be 75 foot below the new house build site. So the house would overlook it.

The owner pointed out a really nice build site for a house. That I had missed the first trip. Which has given me a hole new thought process. That I think will work even better then what I had thought. It would free up more space that could be planted. We also found another really nice spot. That has an awesome view. But its on the back 40. Without an improved road to it. But one of the small springs we found is right by it. I kinda wanted to leave the back 40 alone. Now I'm thinking it would be a really cool place for a little one room cabin.

I was walking the north property line. The owner had left and the wife was in the car. But I came up of an area that had more deer signs. Then I have ever seen in one place. It was probably a half acre section that had trails criss crossing all over it. Bedding spots everywhere and droppings gallor. We had seen a herd of 8 just to the west of this spot. When we came in. And they were headed over that way. But how the road was. We cut them off. And the turned the other way. Anyway I found this up in that area. Looks like a last years shed. It's about an inch and a half thick at the base. Something been chewing on it. Sory for the crappy pic.
IMAG2485-picsay.jpg
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Re: Living Off the Grid

Post by Prairiepiss » Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:35 am

Ok I need you alls help. I am horrible at tree identification. Especially in the winter. I don't know my barks. They all look the same to me. I'm better with grains and leaves. But still not great at that either. So let's play a little game.

Name that tree?
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Re: Living Off the Grid

Post by rtalbigr » Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:07 am

shagbark hickory?

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Re: Living Off the Grid

Post by MadMasher » Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:50 am

Very nice... My guess on the tree is some type of oak(bur maybe??) but hard to tell without the leaves
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Re: Living Off the Grid

Post by jedneck » Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:02 am

Its not shagbark hickery. But it might be another kind of hickory. Are there any nuts on the ground. I will look in the foxfire books I think that there are pics of the different hickory.
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Re: Living Off the Grid

Post by Prairiepiss » Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:35 pm

I didn't see any nuts.
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Re: Living Off the Grid

Post by Jimbo » Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:06 pm

Prairiepiss wrote:I didn't see any nuts.
Female tree? :mrgreen:
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Re: Living Off the Grid

Post by goose eye » Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:27 pm

Next time you there tote you a clean jug with new
Ring and lid and get some water to have it tested.
Just cause you got water don't mean it drinkin water.
Ole boys got cousin that got a orchard been in that side of family
For over 100 years. They was gonna cut a section out and Sal it.
It had lead level along with a list of chemicals where
they couldn't even turn the soil over. They would have to
truck all the contaminated soil out and clean brung in.

All these chemical came about by following the govermint
recommendations for spraying a orchard back in the 30s and up.

Not sayin any of this is going on but it good to know what in
the water.

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Re: Living Off the Grid

Post by Prairiepiss » Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:48 pm

Good idea goose. I doubt it would be contaminated from anything man made. But you never know. Not to mention. Don't know what's in the soil to begin with.

Missouri was a large lead mining state.

Where its at. Would make using it for drinking a little difficult. Unless I wanted to cart it. It's at one of the lowest points on the property. And a good 1000 foot from where we would build. But that doesn't mean it couldn't be used. I will just have to exploring my options.

I'm still planning on rainwater collection. Being my main water source to the house.
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Re: Living Off the Grid

Post by Truckinbutch » Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:01 pm

You got a hard , long struggle ahead of you , friend . I am so behind you and supportive .
50 years ago last month my Mom and Dad sat me down at the kitchen table for a conference . We were living on 20 acres that we owned and helping on my Grandfather's 100 acres . Dad had a chance to buy an adjoining 135 acres if I was committed enough to stay on the farm until it was up and running . Hell of a commitment to ask of a 13 year old and I was dumb enough to shake hands with my Daddy on the deal .
In April he signed his name to a $13,000 debt while making $6 an hour and we set out on a brutal journey . That ground layed well but was covered with crab apple , white thorn , and multiflora rose to the point that you couldn't follow a rabbit dog across it .
He and I set in with double bitted axes and grubbing hoes to clear the ground . All his friends came to help as did Grandpa with a team of horses to skid and help burn brush . Only tractor we had was a TO-30 Ferguson.
By fall we had things cleaned and fenced well enough for Dad to sign his name to another note for 30 head of bred cows and buy enough hay to winter them . None of it was easy or made us affluent . We stuck it out and it is all paid for .
To date ; 5 generations of the family have enjoyed the rewards of that effort .
I should add that I was 38 when we got it all paid out of debt . It was a long haul .
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Re: Living Off the Grid

Post by Prairiepiss » Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:57 pm

I applaud you and your family. I can only hope I get so lucky.

My youngest son is on board. Middle son is undecided at this point. Thinks we are nutz. I think he's right. But hey its what we want to do. My oldest son wants to be part of it. But he has just started a great job. And needs to stay here for a while. But might be able to transfer down there. Later on.

At this point. Even if we can't make the farm endeavors work. We will still be able to stay there. I will still have my job. And my wife is good at finding jobs.

We still haven't came up with a plan to make money. Or fist priority is to get it to where we don't have to spend $1000 a month on food. For us. And that's skimping. Really skimping.
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Re: Living Off the Grid

Post by Truckinbutch » Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:23 pm

You got the means to save a good portion of that grand a month food bill right where you are heading . Will not happen over night . Judicious use of the resources becoming available with this land purchase will enable you to feed your family for much less . That will free up cash for further improvements and increased revenue from the land . Think 'butter and egg money' and hogs being called mortgage lifters .
I ain't much of a fan of pullin goat or cow teats for that butter and cheese . Some folks do right well by it . Chickens are pretty low maintenance as are pigs . Eat about whatever you offer them and survive well . Require no rigid maintenance schedule .
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Re: Living Off the Grid

Post by goose eye » Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:35 pm

Hogs you best Becareful you can put alot of money
into a hog you ain't careful. Think id be hunting hogs
instead of tryin to raise em if you ain't got no free
Feed to give em.
Id be checkin into getting land use for tax purposes.
Id put the farm in your wife name. It makes a different


IRS publication 225


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Re: Living Off the Grid

Post by SoMo » Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:47 am

PP, I can add this, I just sent 2 barrow hogs to process at over 300# it cost me 200$ to buy and feed one to that size at 50$ for feeder pigs. I pay a little more for a good cross I like Gloucester old spot and Duroc cross a long barrel round hog. These two hung at 184# and 173#, that's clean carcass hanging weights. I have it processed by an Amish processor for 100$. That's 300$ for a pig in the freezer, all cuts are bone in if possible and you get hams, bacon the whole shebang for that money. Do the math and its reasonable to do for a freezer full of fresh meats, process your self and save that extra cash, but it's labor intensive to do. Pigs are a great disposal of backset and spent grains, they will eat a lb of food per day equal to their months of age, of course being pigs feed them more and they will eat it. It cost more to keep a sow and have pigs than it does to buy raise and process one your self, in the end the budget must balance and you must put out the money to reap the reward down the road. Not having to buy bacon for 5-8$ a lb is big reward and chops are 3-5$ a lb retail. I still raise 3 a year for my family, with electric fence on 110v it's about a nickle a day in power, with solar chargers its just initial fee of purchase. Takes 5 minutes a day to care for them and its minimal work. We used to raise 15,000 a year for market sale now just for use, the value is there and I hope this helps in your decisions as you can't beat others experiences to learn from, good luck.
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Re: Living Off the Grid

Post by Jimbo » Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:53 am

P, why not start a distillery and hog farm out there? Raise as many hogs as spent grain allows? As you get settled and ramp production on the hooch, you ramp up production on the hogs in parallel.
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Re: Living Off the Grid

Post by Prairiepiss » Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:16 am

I haven't seen any signs of hogs. On the land yet. But I haven't spent enough time on it yet. So far just deer, rabbit, turkey, and bobcat.

I want to at least raise a hog or two. Eventualy. But will stick to the rabbits and goats to start with. Until we get a handle on things. And get the land all figured out. What will work best where and all that. But who knows. My wife might bring one home earlier. LOL

I love beef. My grandma raised them. I grew up on beef. But I have no interest in trying to keep cows. Not at this point anyway.

First things first. Getting shelter for us. And utilities for that shelter. We will be toughing it out at first. Staying in the motorhome and trailer at first. Basically camping when we go down. Will get the rainwater collection system up and going for water. A solar pv system for electric. With a generator backup for now. Looks like we are leaning towards composting toilet to start with. And a simple greywater setup. Bulk of this will happen in June. Once we get that finished we will move one to an actual hard shelter for us. I think we have decided that. We will be building a main house. That will have a larger kitchen gathering area. And each son will build their own tiny house. They are all old enough that they won't really be wanting to live under our roof. They are already researching tiny homes. I haven't decided what kind of build we will do. Every day I come up with another new build plan. And im sure it will change many times before we actually start building. We are very interested in all the alternative building methods. From earthbag to log building. Deciding on one is our problem. But I think until we spend a good amount of time down there. And get to know it. We won't know what will work best. I'm really considering buying a sawmill come June. But I know a tractor is more important. So we will have to stretch it out somehow. I've decided the tractor has to have at least a front end loader and a brush hog. At first. A box blade would be really nice. I have a lot of material to get moved around. And the loader will be needed for that. And the amount of rocks on the land. The box blade would be very helpful. But not total necessary. As we aren't going to be planting a great deal of land. So it doesn't need to be that clean. Just a nice sized garden plot for now. Plan to prep it this year. So its ready for next year. Will have a tun of rabbit pellets and sawdust compost by the time next years growing season comes around. I do need to source a large amount of manure. So I can get the sawdust compost heaps going. And so I can get the sawdust moved. I don't think I posted a pic of the sawdust mountain. Here is one. It shows a small portion of it. On the other side its twice as tall as you can see in this pic. And covers probably a good 100'x100' area. Yes we will have sawdust coming out out ears. But I already have many many plans for its use.
IMAG2461-picsay.jpg
After our shelter has been sorted out. We will need to focus on animal shelters. And confinement. Actually this will probably happen before we build any shelters for us. While we stay in the motorhome. A barn and fencing. Need some protection for them. Since I know there is at least one bobcat there. I will assume there are more. I have a good idea of how to do this. That will work as double duty until we actually more down there. Shelter for HD until we move down. Then shelter for them.

Jimbo I'm looking at a distillery. Just not one for alcohol. And I'm not financially ready to take on an alcohol distillery. But it has been thought of many times. Or should I say dreamed of.


This all will be a huge undertaking. With a very small budget. That we made even smaller going with a larger chunk of land. But I think in the long run. It will work out much better. And we will be much happier on a bigger piece of land. If anything. I won't run out of fire wood any time soon. LOL

Sory I'm babbling as normal. :crazy:
I do appreciate all the input and ideas you guys are giving me. It's gona be a ling hard road. Just need to take it one step at a time. We will eventualy get there.
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Re: Living Off the Grid

Post by Halfbaked » Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:21 am

I have raised a few hogs. The best way to get food for them is to get in good with a farmer that raise corn. After the farmer cuts corn ask if its ok to go in and pick up corn that they knock over in the field. I usually used metal barrels with removable lids with a ring. If mice or rats get in they will eat your corn. Pigs will clean every scrap of corn off the cob and leave the cob. Every scrap of food you don't eat on your table went in their mouth. I have known people to dumpster dive and take everything eatable from grocery stores and feed it to their pigs. Another thing I have seen people do is buy out of date bread and feed it. That fattens realllllly quick. I have found that bread fattens on the outside of the meat not the inside so quality of hams are not as good. I always thought that canned sausage, tenderloin strait meat is fit for a king. It is lots of work but is worth every penny. I see you have deer on the land I canned deer is the best way to eat deer ever. I like me some deer jerky also. It is realllllly easy to drop to much money in pigs than you can buy them for. Pigs will eat anything. If you have wild hogs they will tear up everything they come in contact with. They will wipe out your turkey population. You might trap bobcat for fur. Good money in that. They will scare the hell out of the wife. They sound like a baby crying and send cold chillls up your back at night

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Re: Living Off the Grid

Post by goose eye » Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:05 pm

Small cabin forum dot somethin

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Re: Living Off the Grid

Post by Prairiepiss » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:24 pm

Thanks goose. Some good ideas on that site. I bookmarked it for future reference.
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Re: Living Off the Grid

Post by Infraction » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:45 pm

In the socialistic society the USA has become, living off the grid seems like the logical thing to do...
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Re: Living Off the Grid

Post by goose eye » Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:20 pm

Cheapest is stock yard on the hoof. Try to get free range not
hot house. Round Thanksgiving and Christmas there always someone
with hogs needing money.
alot of hogs round here. 75 cent a pound on the hoof last year.
Can't raise em for that you ain't get free feed.
Rule of thum you ain't got big scales it 15 x the weight of head.
Make sure you worm em once a month you raising em.
Got alot of em dieing off this year for unknown reason.
we killed 20 last year. Vacuum pack sausage won't get freezer burn
Sooner than a year.
Joke round here is only thing we don't use is the oink.
Slinging chitlins is about like startin out dippin water.
Dam sure ain't no fun but you need them for caseing

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