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10 tips for building a homestead from scratch

We faced a medical release from the Canadian Military in 2018 and decided that we needed to cut a new trail for our lives. We did so by starting a homestead from scratch. Here are 10 tips we have for you if you are looking to do the same. 

  1. Life doesn’t wait for anybody and we have to deal with the hand we are dealt. Don’t wait for everything to line up perfectly, you only live once and if it is something you are passionate about or something you feel you need to do, go for it. The circumstances will never be perfect. 
  2. Buy land, look for land that will cover your needs. Water, how far from a town, zoning (which will indicate what you can build on your land, etc). Take all things into consideration that you will need. 
  3. Shelter. Have a trailer or a tent, something you can live in while you build your permanent home. 
  4. Learn some skills if you don’t have any, the internet is a beautiful thing and you can learn darn near anything on it. Also remember, experience is the best teacher, if you don’t have any, you will have plenty once you take the leap, so go for, don’t be afraid to try. 
  5. Save up money so you can build your home. 
  6. Build your home in steps so you don’t need to do everything all at once. Save up, build the foundation. Save again, build the walls. Save again, roof. You get the point. 
  7. Make money. Find a way to begin to make money from your homestead. We personally share our story online to help sustain our efforts. We also produce maple syrup and have acres of blueberries if we need to make money that way. In the mean time they are sources that save us money as we consume those resources. 
  8. Be on the same page. If you are alone, then stay on the same page with yourself and don’t let other deter you from what you know you need to do. If you are with others, you need to have the same vision or it will never work. Don’t expect every day to be perfect but be on the same page. 
  9. Work, its going to take work to do this, so don’t give up, because you may want to at times, it isn’t easy, but it is worth it. Think Freedom from others. 
  10. Reach out to others who have done it for inspiration and motivation as well as tips, ideas, etc. There are lots of other people out there doing it and pretty much everyone is willing to help out. Subscribe to our email list for this very thing and get out there and do it!

As a Bonus, here are 10 things that may help you out once you first start out on your new land:

1. We lived off grid for nearly the first three years, I can’t recommend this battery operated shower head enough, you just need to heat your water and drop this in a bucket and have a normal shower head tied above you, which this has. It is a great value https://amzn.to/3qwou4Q

2. Buckets! We used these to collect water from the spring, poop in, you name it. Don’t use the same bucket you poop in to collect water 😉 On the poop thing, we used wood shavings, peat moss, dirt, etc to cover the mess and would say the peat moss and dirt worked the best. Anyways, you will need buckets for a ton of applications. Get some here https://amzn.to/37cDbmg

3. Hatchet. You will need to cut kindling for fires, etc. This is a must have tool on your new homestead. https://amzn.to/3d9jAHd

4. Matches. To start those fires, camping stoves, you name it. Matches are a must. https://amzn.to/37dTwa7

5. Machete. Awesome for cutting brush, clearing paths, this has really come in handy for us, especially starting out. https://amzn.to/3tX7Ihx

6. Generator. This one here is a beast but it will power anything you want it too, we built our whole house, running power tools with this one and it still is working great after being used and abused over the last 5 years. https://amzn.to/2ODapEX

7. A smaller power supply at 500 watts but very handy! We have been using this little unit for a couple of years and it gets used every day. It can charge or run your computer, phone, tv, etc. Great product without having to run the generator. https://amzn.to/3b0ShfO

8. An easy way to make coffee! This little pour over coffee unit is awesome! Very simple to use and makes your favourite coffee no matter where you are. https://amzn.to/2N81pae

9. Trail Cam. It’s nice to get to know what lives on your land and this camera will give you good video or pictures for a very affordable price. This is still the trail cam we use on the property many years later. https://amzn.to/3u0hGiq

10. A hammer. You need to build. https://amzn.to/3d6eThw

One Potential Pitfall of living Remote

One must think of some pitfalls that may arise while living in a remote location. I am just going to share one that we have dealt with and continue to deal with on a day to day basis.

Appointments– If someone is sick, gets physio, sees a chiropractor or anything the like, these could become an issue with constant travelling etc. which could cause for some issues to arise. One must consider how to combat this, we are still working on it.

Suggestions below!

About us.

2019 On the Horizon

So 2018 was our first year here on Mapleberry Homestead. We accomplished quite a bit this year. We built our cabin, got out of the trailer that felt like the walls were coming in on us and are ready to usher in the new year! Looking ahead, we plan on closing in the deck this coming year and getting a well. These are the top priorities as of right now for the homestead. Having said that, here is a current shot of our cabin in the woods.

IMG_3385

The Jerk Bear

Sitting here watching something on the computer when I hear something outside on the porch. I look out and its the white faced black bear that has been getting into our garbage and he’s making his way over to our water jugs. First thing I was thinking is should I grab a gun or a camera. I opted for the gun, no intensions of hurting or killing him, just as a security measure and to scare him away if he didn’t listen to me. Well, told him to leave and he is obedient, like most are but he only jogged about 20-30 feet and stopped at the driveway. So I fired a shot in the air, just a small .22 round, something to scare him and he was gone…..Life in the woods I guess 😉

Here is a clip of the bear caught on my trail cam early this month….(There is a smaller bear in this clip too, it is the bigger bear that showed up tonight.

DAILY LIFE OFF GRID (Challenges)

So we have been living Off Grid since 21 March 2018 permanently. It hasn’t been all that long, but has been an adjustment nonetheless.

First thing to mention would be building your home while living with a family in a travel trailer. Key point would be ‘family’. As doing this with two adults or solo, it could be done in a tent, haha. The travel trailer we have is quite large but the walls and ceiling seem to be shrinking in on us these days. It really does become a challenge at times living in here. Lugging water, composting waste, etc is extremely easy compared to just day to day life in small quarters with a family. Not to make it sound completely horrible, as it is not, and is very doable, just to give you a bit of a reality check 😉 . Another thing is showers when it is sweltering hot out. The convenience of showering at any point when on grid is a blessing we most certainly miss, especially on work days. But again, we have a pretty decent setup and make it work.

Well, just wanted to drop a quick note here on some things we deal (currently) with on a daily basis, any questions can be put below in the comments or by emailing us. Thanks 🙂

moneyballhomestead2

About us.