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Fences, Coops, and Heat

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So, we’ve made incredible progress and we are getting all things ready to move in very soon.  One of the main things we had to do before we could move in was prepare a temporary shelter for our little piggies and chickens.  Making our homestead in the part of Louisiana we have chosen means learning to live with definite wet and dry seasons.  Our land is somewhat low and once the rainy season starts in late October, we are limited to what and where we can build, especially if we need heavy equipment for the project.

Over the past couple of weeks, Nathan and I, with the help of my father-in-law, fenced in a nice portion for the pigs and chickens to be in until Spring.  We were also able to build our new temporary chicken coop out of old shipping pallets and left over wood and other materials from the house build.  Next step for the pigs and chickens is figuring out how to move them to their new home.  We’ve decided NOT to think too much about it and stress ourselves out until the time comes.

The other thing that is getting done, hopefully this weekend, is the wood stove installation.  It has been incredibly difficult to find someone who can help install our wood stove.  Of course, there is safety to consider, but the roof penetration is my main concern.  We certainly don’t want a leaky roof after we install our wood stove.  We chose a Vogelzang Defender wood stove.  It is rated for 1200 square feet and we don’t have near that amount of space.  We are very excited to get the stove in place, it is one of the final pieces to the puzzle to allow us move in.

Of course, the final inspection has to happen before we can actually move in.  The solar panels are installed and producing beautifully green electricity.  There were some manufacturer defects in the system, but the parts have been replaced and the system is working as expected.  There are 32 solar panels, 2 inverters and charge controllers, and 16 FLA batteries.  Living off-grid will definitely be a challenge and lifestyle change for the two of us.  Learning to live with the cycle of the seasons and with the weather patterns will be very interesting and enlightening.  Learning that we MUST be aware of the electricity we are using to the point that we shouldn’t attempt to use the electric stove/oven at the same time we are using the clothes washer might take a week or two.  Remembering that it would be better to schedule heavy electrical load tasks during beautiful sunny weather will take some getting accustomed to, but we are definitely up for the challenge.

The next blog post will be coming soon.  It we be MOVING DAY!  If all installations go well and we can get our final inspection scheduled next week, we will be moving in NEXT WEEKEND!

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One thought on “Fences, Coops, and Heat

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  1. I must say that I admire the two of you tremendously for this venture! I’ve been following your progress, and I can’t wait to see the day you MOVE IN! Good luck Cousins!

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