the tiny house : part 2

Joe is away at a two-week resident/camping Permaculture Design course in Vermont. I attended a Regenerative Cannabis course on the same farm two summers ago. The whole time I was there, I just kept thinking that Joe had to see it. With patchy service, I haven’t talked to him much, just enough to know he’s met some super cool folks and is having a really great time. He works so hard around here, I’m really glad he’s getting a break (even if it’s on another farm, ha!) and I’m excited to see what kind of knowledge he brings home to share + implement on the farm.

One of our hopes in building this first tiny house (and eventually a few more) is to create space here on the farm for visitors. We have dreams of offering nature/art/farm retreats. Being immersed in the wild is increasingly becoming a lost relationship for humans, and we want to share this little slice of wild with other folks. It’s easier to care for + protect this beautiful planet we live on if we fall in love with it.

So, back to the tiny house….. Joe scrambled to finish the interior and get most of the roof on before he left. Jade and her partner painted the walls, floor, and used an eco friendly oil to seal the loft, ceiling and windowsills. We wanted a soft palette of colors so the outdoors stayed the focal point. We also wanted to reflect as much light as possible with it being off grid and having limited solar lighting. We are all so thrilled with how it came out…….

We plan to build a covered porch next, and figure out a toilet setup of some sort (composting). For now, the new tenants have settled in nicely and they are enjoying the quiet + peaceful view over there.

~S

the tiny house : part 1

Last fall we started talking about some sort of structure to build on the farm that we could use as a guest house for visitors and rental income as a farmstay + air bnb. Forever ago, when we were young, we talked about buying an old bed + breakfast as a retirement gig. Our plans shifted, but we still loved the idea of creating + sharing some sort of space here on the farm. Initially we considered canvas tents/cabins. The ease of building only a deck and putting up a structure in a few hours sure seemed nice! But, after weighing options and thinking about it more, we decided a cabin was the way to go for our needs.

At the same time we were dreaming about cabins + tiny houses, our oldest daughter was thinking about her post college plans and we encouraged her to take some time off and live in the cabin. She and her partner (and their two cats!) have been here on the farm with us since late May, just after she graduated unceremoniously due to Covid, and the tiny house project started as soon as they arrived.

Joe looked at a whole lot of plans to come up with his own. 144 square feet is the largest structure you can build without a permit, the cabin is 14×10 with a 8×10 loft (loft space isn’t considered into the square footage). It’s a salt box inspired design, and the loft is six feet at the peak. It’s off the grid, but we have some plans for minimal solar power. We scored some really amazing secondhand items from local friends: a composting toilet, a propane heater, and those lovely 80 inch windows. The cabin is a short walk from our house, but is tucked into a private setting that is very hard to see from the road and overlooks the woods, it’s a really sweet little spot! Aside from the hit our savings account took due to lumber prices being at an all time high (thanks Covid), we are pretty excited about this project.

Here are a few pictures of the process over the last six weeks……..

I’ll be back here soon to share some interior photos with you……

~S

tap, tap, tap, is this thing on?

Porch_Steps copyphoto credit, Nekenasoa Wyble of FloraMore Photography

Well, hello.

Some months ago, I tried to start writing again on Shopify’s blog platform. I think they do online storefronts well, blogs though? Not so much.

I missed having a simple way to share a few words and stories. No ads, no clicking through to read posts, just a plain stream of full posts, like the pages of a journal. I wondered if I had the old password to my Typepad account, back when I blogged for a decade about moving around and raising kids and homeschooling and life (under the name Gypsy Forest).

Turns out, I did.

I got a little weepy at old photos of my babies and smiled at all those recipe + sewing + knitting posts. Plus summers in Alaska with the kids, oh Alaska…..

Typepad has aged and I’m not sure what the longevity of that platform is, so I downloaded the decade+ of blog posts I had there and uploaded them to WordPress. There will be some broken links, especially in the older posts, and I’m slowly making my way through them to fix what I can. It will take some time on this  s–l–o–w  satellite internet we have, but it feels worth it to bring our story all back together.

At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt connecting those older, sometimes vulnerable + rambling entries with my current audience now that I run a small business. After some thought though, it just felt right. I found so many kindred spirits in that old blog, I felt supported by other mamas out there figuring out how to do things differently: preserve food, homeschool kids, attachment parenting, growing a garden, knitting, sewing….. that blog taught me that no matter how much of an outcast you feel like you might be, you aren’t. There are folks out there that will believe in you and hold you up and community can be created in all kinds of ways. 

So, the mic is back on. I’ll be here sharing random bits of life here in this fresh space. I hope you swing by once in awhile and it feels like having a cup of tea with a friend.

xo,

Stephinie