So, after about 4 years of dreaming, preparation, building, and waiting, we are finally moving into our new off-grid homestead. This has been the beginning of an adventurous journey for us and we are excited to get started. I won’t lie, it is daunting to scale back living in physical size, but even more so when you decide to go off-grid. Life changes and you have to learn to live a life scheduled around the weather and the seasons. Daunting though it may be, Nathan and I are up for the challenge and we can wait to see how our life is enriched by this experience.
It has taken a lot of preparation and planning to get to this point. One of the most difficult things to get done was the wood stove installation. In the end, it was as simple as asking family to lend a hand. Bryan Farnet, Randy Hennick, and Alex Dauterive went above and beyond helping us get this done. Though Nathan, Georgia, Randy, and I mostly supervised (as you can see from the picture above), we were somewhat helpful when Bryan or Alex needed something. In the end, the wood stove was installed, looks great, and keeps the house quite warm.
Other than learning to live with all solar power, living with wood heat as our sole source of heat will be another major adjustment. Making sure we have plenty of wood and kindling to start a fire every evening when we get home will be very important during the winter months.
When our moving weekend finally arrived it was somewhat overwhelming. Trying to figure out exactly what we NEEDED to take with us was more difficult that I imagined. Though Nathan and I have been preparing for this day for several years, we were still using more “items of convenience” and much more electricity than we are able to use now. We are having to go through every single thing in our old house as we pack to decide 1.) Do we absolutely need this item and 2.) Will this item fit in our new home?
As if trying to get ourselves moved wasn’t difficult enough, moving our pigs and chickens added a completely different layer of complexity to situation.
Nathan and I were very nervous about moving our beloved pigs and chickens. They are very docile, but none of them have ever been moved to the point that they needed to be loaded into a trailer or cage. We weren’t sure how they would act. Alex Dauterive volunteered to help us. He brought his trailer and 2 cages for the pigs. The morning of the move was tense for us, but all went very well. We were able to setup a chute for the pigs to walk through up into the trailer which held both cages. Led by Nathan and coaxed with delicious watermelon, Gumdrop, the smaller of the two, when into the smaller cage. Truffle, the larger, followed very quickly and walked into the larger cage. Watermelon is one of their favorite treats. We all had a nice sigh of relief and moment of gratitude. The trip was seemingly uneventful and we made it to the homestead without incident. However, when we opened the trailer door we had a surprise waiting. Somehow Gumdrop had ripped through the back of his cage and then pushed his way into the cage with Truffle. We started with each pig in their own cage and ended with both in a single cage. It was like a magic trick! Fortunately Gumdrop didn’t seem to be injured. We were able to get them out of the trailer and into their new temporary barnyard and home. So far, both the pigs and chickens seem to be liking their new home!
Of course, we are still in the “moving process” which means EVERYTHING is very disheveled and in a small space that can be very overwhelming. We have had our first “real dinner” in the house and Nathan used the wood stove to warm some pizza for us to have for lunch while we were burning in the stove. There will be many more pictures to come as we settle into our home and get things arranged like we want. I think you can see the general layout from the pictures above.
Stay tuned for more to come from The Hennick Homestead. We are excited to be finally living our dream and we can’t wait to share it with you! By the way, this post was the first post written from the homestead!