Monday, April 23, 2012

Better Things to Do

Part of my decision to walk away from a 40 year old social experiment was motivated by the opportunity to start my own experiment. My mom purchased 30 acres of forested hillside right around the time all the "tyrant drama" was going down. So my choice was pretty obvious. Lets see....stay at the Farm and try to work through drama so I can keep putting in 60 hour weeks of unpaid garden managing, OR seize the opportunity to build - from the ground up - a site that makes sense, is energy efficient, and I can invite only those people I WANT to live with. Duh.
At N. edge of clearing facing south. The Land aka "Eagle's Nest" has a cleared house site of about 2 acres on a southeast facing slope. The clearing was done about 10 years ago on a natural bench or flattish area about 150' above the valley floor. A well built driveway winds up about 400' away from the "main road" which is gravel and has only 4 neighbors upstream/up the road. From the clearing we cannot see the road or any neighbors, though we can hear their chickens and cows. It is difficult to get permission to build a house in the "impacted F2 forest zone" but most of that hoop jumping was completed by the previous owner (our neighbor) so the Land came with site/septic approval which is worth about 2 years of process and 5K in fees. There is a conservation easement on the Land, which basically means we cannot log it for commercial purposes. We're OK with that. We can harvest trees for firewood/building purposes, and the Forest consists mainly of 40-50 year old alder and maple with a few nice stands of fir about the same age with a sprinkling of cedar. Our neighbor had some equipment building a road for him, so for pretty cheap these guys came out and dug us a hole, using the fill to add some more flat land on the downhill side of the clearing.
"Dig here." The hole is the start of our house. Bottom story: daylight basement, 3 sides concrete, south facing framed window wall with french doors to (eventually) an attached greenhouse. Wood stove and laundry/utility room go here. Top story: straw bale on 3 sides, framed south window wall. Kitchen, 1 bath, bedroom and dining room go here. Plans include an enclose "mud porch" entry on bottom floor, east wall, and small deck/porch over entry to 2nd story, east wall. We meet with the County tomorrow to turn in our plans and have a "permit review meeting". Mom is acting as the general contractor, with admin support, "bad cop role" and inspector approval incentive via the power of cleavage supplied by yours truly. I can be very persuasive. Winter found us installing our gravity feed water system, clearing brush for a fire break, building a compost shed, digging septic test pits, and gathering re-purposed/free materials. There is plenty more to tell, but I should finish my birthday breakfast beer (yep, 37 years ago today, I fell to earth) and start looking over permit forms, blueprints, engineering and site plan to get ready for our meeting tomorrow. Already got a tight sweater picked out..... Blogger changed my dashboard and is messing with my style....I don't like the cluttered single paragraph look, but haven't figured out how to fix it.


  1. Blogger always gave me hell with post formatting, if it didn't eat my post altogether.

    Beautiful spot, I feel good things will come to you there. Yep, cleavage will get you far : ) Throw in a little lace to seal the deal! What the hell, might as well utilize the assets the Creator gave ya...

  2. If you are worrying about the blogger dashboard, does that mean you are going to post more than twice a year? LOL

    So is your Eagle Nest near where you were recently?