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938 Views 15 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  carolexan

Eastern half of the wilderness clearing; solar house to the left and "root cellar" (under construction) in foreground at right.
Picture was taken from the edge of one of 6 large gardens on homestead.
Picture of pasture below taken in opposite direction.

Construction of combination "root cellar" - storm/fallout shelter.
An insulated tar-coated railroad car was buried by digging a long pond on each side.
The idea for this came from the Viking sod house at L'anse au Medeaux in Newfoundland.

- Basey​
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We have been at this for 35 years now.

I bought the 32 acres way back in the woods for $10K back in '75 when we first "dropped out" and decided to go for off-grid and self-sufficiency.

When I got here in '75, I made friends with the Nearings and Colemans, and learned quickly from them about living from the land and its stewardship.

I was an industrial engineer for years, designing and constructing wind, solar and hydroelectric facilities, and now I've retired to pursue the farm full-time again.

My current project is a large parabolic mirror solar steam generator (10 ft. diameter) to generate power and hot water for the house.

Last summer we built a large solar dryer for the veggies we were harvesting from the gardens. Saves a lot on freezeng and canning... Just like this one, but we recycled 3 old upright freezers for the drying compartments...

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:welcome: to the forums!
WELCOME, :welcome:BasecampUSA from a long time preparer and fellow off-gridder. Look forward to your replies and posts
Welcome to the forum, please share your knowledge with us.
Thank you...

It has always paid to stay prepared...

Hope to learn some new stuff here, a lot of times you get on a "track" and forget to think outside the box ;)

- Basey
Welcome to the forum! Glad to have you with us!

The Nearings were neat people.

:welcome: Very nice pictures! Lots of great info, thanks!
Yes, the Nearings were an inspiration to many generations of homesteaders. They had "visiting hours" at their farm down in Harborside, and I would go down and hear Scott speak on various homesteading subjects.

Elliot Coleman was one of their early disciples and went on to produce many videos and books.

Elliot gave me some comfrey root cuttings on one visit and he warned me "don't let them get away".



I didn't realize what he meant and spent 10 years trying to eradicate them after they literally took over the farm. The only way to get rid of them is to smother them for a whole year (black nursery ground plastic), tilling just chops up the roots and creates hundreds more plants. Deer love it and rabbits can be raised on it. Good for many ailments --except frustration :D

- Basey

PS... the Nearing's Forest Farm in Harborside is still a "school" of sorts, but is struggling with finances like everything else in this pre-depression period.
Good Life Center :: Home
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OMGOODNESS! I love it! And I am just green with envy that you have gotten to meet, not only the Nearings but Elliot Coleman! I have his book Four Season Harvest on my wish list and I have read his wife/girlfriend's book about gardening!
Thanks for sharing all this with us here! Can't wait to read more,,, and More pictures! Please!:D
The one main thing that I liked about the Nearings and Coleman, is that they only had genuine respect for people with a strong work ethic. Back then in the mid to late 70's when I would go to thier "schooling" there were a lot of "long hairs" like myself that were dropping out to live off the land. Most of them lasted a year or two because of the intense hard work of establishing a homestead on almost nothing.

Most would start in a tent or tipi, plant a garden that just went to the weeds, built a simple shack, cut a half cord of firewood and sat around tokin' playing pioneer waiting for things to "happen". Many went scurrying back to the cities and comfort when old man winter came a knockin'. I saw a LOT of people on the homesteader scene come and go this way. That's how I got a lot of my tools cheap, as they would sell-out. Sad but true!

A genuine "homesteader" were people that would "do without" if they couldn't afford something. The Nearings warned against going into debt, Scott rightly said that credit immdiately made you a slave to the Corporate State. Most of us that "survived" the first critical year or two would usually discover each other again attending more evenings at the Nearings and at thrift stores, auctions, yard sales and flea markets to save money. We all started a farmer's market, but it took years before that took off. It was all hard, bone crunching work!

Besides building the homestead and farm in the early years, I fixed Volkwagens and farm tractors for extra cash, occasionally I'd get a job fixing heavy construction equipment like dozers and excavators. As I had an engineering degree, I later got a job in the local paper mill until the whole Maine paper industry took a dive during the late 80's, so I went to Germany (I speak it well) to work for 10 years making pretty good money to save up.

Not being one who likes to help the banking business and risky stockmarkets, I put most of my savings in gold and silver - which was a wise decision, as those metals values have multiplied by leaps and bounds now that I am retired.

STILL, you will find me wearing hand-me-downs from Goodwill, driving used VW diesel 50mpg cars under $500 I can fix myself and convert to free restaurant fry-grease, buying and growing bulk foods to store.

I am always helping new homesteaders get a foot-hold to survive, but many only listen to what they want to hear and not the important stuff. Watch carefully what you spend your money on. Don't go into debt, climb out ASAP if you are! Learn how to do everything possible for yourself. SAVE save and save some more!

"Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." -is what we say in New England

There are "Survivalists" and there are "Homesteaders" -- well folks, most Survivalists ain't a-gonna make it, blowing all thier money on guns and ammo as you can see from all their posts on those kind of forums in the net. They will no doubt turn into looters and scavengers WTSHTF, and even may have to resort to cannibalism! That's also a warning to us homesteaders to have just enough "firepower" on hand to keep them away.

I grew up in a gun shop, my dad was chief gunsmith at Stoeger's at one time. I'm an NRA expert match marksman and "lifer". Get a good caliber handgun and semi-auto rifle or two in a caliber that the ammunition is relative plentiful, reloadable and cheap, and that you can hunt with also. For instance 9mm (Glock, Baretta, P-38) is plentiful/cheap and packs enough whollop to stop most thugs, and the same goes for a 7.62 x 39 (Mini-30, AK or SKS) for keeping them at a safe distance. A 12 ga shotgun is awesome to own for security if you have no other gun experience! - but get educated in handling and safety. No need to have a full blown arsenal. Along with that, it is important to have alternative communications besides phones, so a CB and/or a 2 meter Ham radio would be good (a Ham Technician license is easy to get... google "ARRL"). You can call for help in more than one way then.

Just a few thoughts today... I sure most people here are well-along on the highway to self-sufficiency by the looks of the posts.

Gotta get to work - the Nearings always said "6 hours of honest, hard work every day on the homestead, and you'll make it" :D ;)

- Basey

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OMGosh ... I have so many questions about your house I don't even know where to start!!!!!!

I'm another who just picked up Eliot Coleman's Four Season Harvest book. One of the goals I have set for myself this year is to have the ability to grow some type of veggies all year long.

Sometimes I get overwhelmed with everything that I want to do my mind just races ... but then I stop and remind myself that Rome wasn't built in a day.

You are an inspiration. Thanks for being willing to share. Welcome!!
welcome to the forum. sounds like you can offer lots of suggestions.
welcome to the forum. sounds like you can offer lots of suggestions.
Heh... I came here to learn more than I know right now...

Lotsa good people and ideas here.

Good place to share experiences!

- Basey
Hello and welcome. Thank for sharing your information. I agree with you it's good to check with other preppers and "thinking outside the box"! We long time preppers need to expand our knowledge and stay up todate. Looking forward to more post and comments from you.
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