Norman family micro homestead

A month ago we became home owners, signing life away for the next 30 years to the tune of 300,000$ for a third of an acre in a tiny mountain town for a 2 bedroom 1 bath ranch style house. We spent a week and a half moving all the necessities in and getting some what settled in. This place is now 135 miles round trip to work, hence the geo metro purchase for extreme fuel econony. Work has yet to get back up to speed, so my wood supply was dwindling and needed another option for long range driving 4 hours a day, something nimble enough to bob and weave around deer and elk for half my drive. Very rich hunting grounds, looking forward to those benefits later. Very happy to see our sons elementary school logo still carrys a fishing pole and rifle!

So the work has begun. We are backed up to private timbèr company land, and a good chunk of it we have access to, one being about a 1/4 acre below us that has been used many years as a veggie garden, kindly neighbor up the hill has been the one to rototill it with his tractor free of charge for the last 2 owners whenever needed. Ill be delving into the gardening hard next year, only have potatoes going right now which are all burried up to the max of their bags already and still growing like crazy.

Lots of seed starter trays getting planted today along with multitude of other projects.

The morning dew is just about dried from the sun, the side of the road rescue mower will get another work out shortly. We have a large hill behind that provides lots of morning shade, and across the valley is Peterman hill, owned in the 1930’s by the founder of peterbuilt trucks.

Neat piece of town history in 1939 the first ever peterbuilt log truck was built right here in town, 16 of them the first year. Chain driven! The hill covers 30,000 acres of timberland now and beautiful full of huckle berrys salmon berries and thimble berries. Wild edible goodies flowing in the next few weeks.

I wont be on the level of Kristijan farm wise dont have the ground for it. But i did mamage to scrounge up a broken down chicken coop from my brother. Resheeted the roof and need to lay on new shingles and rebuilt the nesting box area. Chickens on the way soon!


Need to move the coop into position into the back yard, kind of in the middle of the driveway right now. Limited flat working space the yesterday and this morning project on the front porch
has been the next meat production piece, a rabbit hutch

The current cages are prodution made 24x24x18, a gift from my father who for years used them as chicken quarentine and rooster isolation cages. He does not show his birds anymore as they were massacred by a band of racoons a few months ago, predation is always a concern. Now i am further into the mountains i have not only raccoons to co tend with but bobcat cougar and bear as well. Under those thoughts i could not justify colony style raising. The cages were free, the wood is that of i have been scarballing and hoarding for years hoping some day to get to projects like this. The roofing paper was free from work, it comes wrapping pallets for water proofing good quality synthetic underlayment very expensive if had to be bought. I am acrewing shingles as they get tossed in the dumpsters as work (broken bundles or corner damaged is a wright off and shitcanned, blows me away) to finish both coop and hutch. Total investment on both meat production pieces has been 0$, just time and a little power with a skill saw. Not interested in winning beauty contest, but should hold my critters in and unwanted critters out. Still have another several cages and another hutch to build for grow outs, these will be placed in the back yard as well with the most available shade. 5 cages in this one, 3 larger cages at least in the next for the kits and does. Front yard we have one massive apple tree (bonus) and back yard and behind we have several native wild cherry trees. This once i learn proper procedure for pruning i intended to utilize for smoking meats wood and as chew sticks for the rabbits. Local feed store carrys a good known 16% pellet for the buns and the same layer feed my dad has used and trusted many years for his show winning chickens. Supporting small ma and pa buisness is something of importance to me in rural towns so extra bonus i can support them by buying my feed 2 miles from home.

Still have much to do a very long list. Last weekend my brother called and wanted to get his boat out for a shake down run before the fishing bite gets hot, it was blocked in by several chords of firewood. Mixed cherry, doug fir, hemlock and alder. He lent me his trailer and said load everything you can so i can get my boat out

Some wood was left by the previose owners, coupled with this from my brother i have about 2 chords on sight now a good start. The house is just over 1000sq ft, and a lovely little wood stove in the living room. We use this as our sole source of heat to save on power bill.

During the move i used my brothers same trailer and this illustrates exactly why i did the mitered corner flatbed on the dodge. Even when you borrow a trailer with a stupid short tongue, you can nearly jack knife it into position with a bed like this


Cool Marcus, congrats. Cant wait to see your projects :grinning:. Finally your own place. Patient has been rewarded.


I have a 10x12 metal shed to put up, it will once again house my small solar battery bank and onsight tool storage. Then to set up the panels. A carport still to come home for a little covered area work space. A antique troybilt horse rototiller to make some repairs on for garden work next year, a wood shed to construct, and the wife and i agreed on a covered cement back patio addition for a outdoor kitchen. Her traeger smoker, my black stone griddle, and i woukd like to make a stone oven wood fired as well. Many things to do


Have you got a workshop for your wife? I remember she has that craft business with tumblers and cups.


Ha! Ha! When it IS your own home-place never a lack of things to do. Things you want to do. No need or later wanting to travel too much away to places.

Marcus left out the part where he is ~five miles distance between two big reservoir lakes.
Boat. Canoe. Fish and swim.
Bit of a full day-trip now to salty water harvesting though.


Yes indeed there is a attached shed on the side of the house i gave up for her cup buisness, it needs insulated yet but she is already set uo and working

Power to her shop, the shed and carporcarport will all be on the solar again, along with some small fans in the rabbit hutches for hot weather days to keep the rabbits cool and fertile


Congratulations Marcus !
No wonder you’ve been quiet lately. I don’t envy you the moving business, but what a reward when it’s finally done.
Don’t hurry when it comes to building extensions or whatever. New ideas will pop up as you go along. Prioritize things that will save you time and money and in turn valuable time with your family.


Congratulations to you and your family mr Norman, good to see you got your own place :smiley: :+1:


Yes riffe lake and mayfield lake just beyond and to the side of peterman hill, some of the largest west side freshwater i know of. Resident rainbow trout, kokanee (landlock silver salmon) migratory steelhead, small mouth and largemouth bass, bull head catfish and crawdads. Tilton river 2 miles away with 3 specues of salmon, trout and crawdads as well. And a pleasant drive over to Steves house too!!


Been busy busy busy! It was quit painfull actually not getting to go to argos, but when this all started i knew it would not pan out i would be far to busy. And not much time to spare just trying to get settled into somewhat of a routine, this coop and rabbit hutch have been heavy on my mind, and im basically a newbie at gardening. We have some pretty poor brown clay soil here that is very rocky, not the best for gardening. Though i really like steves new raised beds, i think i will be going that direction next year so as not to have to do so much soil amendments to get the native soil producing


As everyone has told me now the fun begins :rofl: think i may need 2 separate wood sheds, one for the house heating wood and one for chunks! The dodge will be used primarily for off road hunting and boat hauling now on weekends, and she eats through the bags like a starving pig!

And i did forget, i do have just the cutest little year round trickle spring fed crick along the back of the property!

Gardening? Chill off pool? Hydro electric experiments…shhhhhhhh…no one needs to know but us


Separate woodsheds sounds like a good idea, i believe it was in summer 2011 i chunked up ALL the wood i stored for the winters house-heating :grimacing: ok, it was only wood for supplementary heating, my main heating source was wood pellets, so we stayed warm that winter, but it cost us more…


That water supply makes me real jealous, just as you say, almost endles possibilities, a fish pond, duck pond, hydroelectric, or a crawfish pond, i don’t know over there, but we swedes like to eat them bottom crawlers, with dill (?) and salt :yum:


I belive it was a win. Nothing beats replacing gasoline with wood.


Congratulations Marcus, glad you got something of your own, it’s a bit more fun to arrange for yourself and the family.


Congratulations to you and your family Marcus, it looks like there are quite a few options what to do and where to do it. Both protein and veggie supply seems to be planned already, more firewood for winter soon I guess and then some buildings to erect. It seems like you guys have a lot to do but it is all for yourselves :blush:
I am happy for you, there is nothing like having your own homestead. Best thing we ever decided on and no regrets about that.
Is also looks like you have quite a view from there, beautiful.


The view is pretty great! Also have a log yard just across the street and 2 sawmills right in town the actual life blood of this town so i always get fresh sawn fir and cedar wafting on the air its lovely


Im a big fan of just boiled or steamed then dipped in melted butter. But if i ever find the time to catch some real numbers of them i have a lot of recipes i would like to try. But has been many years since i had more then maybe 2 dozen at a time. I have a slew of traps, just need the time to really run them see if i can catch enough for a proper boil up


Its even more fun knowing i dont have a land lord or home owners association watching my every move! Now i just have the county to contend with and as long as i dont break any building codes on a new structure that wont be a big problem. Thats one reason i was so picky to find a house with a wood stove already installed full legal. Steve has duscussed the many problems with getting one into a house that does not have one. I believe the living room was an addition to the original house but it is so well done the only way i could tell is the main house has a foundation while the living room is slab on grade, which being that the woodstove is in there it is a giant amount of thermal mass to warm up that concrete slab and it appears to hold the heat pretty well. Looking forward to winter time wood stove performance testing. My only gripe is the fire box is very small, 4-5 hours reload times from what i have seen so far. But house is still warm in the morning