I grew up on a ranch in Wyoming full of wide open spaces with only 2 television channels and no phone. I never would have believed I would be happy living in town. I went from a 7 acre homestead with horses, Jersey milk cows, and Shetland sheep to a small cottage only two blocks from the town square, with a two year stop off-grid in the woods in between. Despite my present location, I am determined to be as self reliant as possible. I believe it is thinking small that will save our world.
After nearly two years of living off grid in the woods, I came to the conclusion that it is definitely not an energy efficient or sustainable way to live. Everything had to be brought in and I was completely dependent on having a truck in good repair and enough money to fill its tank with fuel and put tires on if from the daily 100 mile drive I made to get to work. Having my vehicle break down would have been a disaster. As I watched fuel prices begin to rise after New Years and listened to predictions of 5 dollars a gallon by summer, I came to realize that I was actuall less self-sufficient out there than I would be in town.
So I began my search for a new home and WeeHavyn came into my life. She is a 488 square foot older cottage that was newly moved to a three lot property. I get the charm of an old house with the advantages of new foundation, wiring, and plumbing. The price was right and I belong to her now. She has given me
independence from my vehicle, a snug home, and the means to
pursue many of my dreams. I no longer work just to put fuel in the truck.
My dream is to take all of the things I learned from my life on the land and apply them to an urban setting. I still want to be self reliant. I still want fresh eggs, vegetables, milk, and cheese. I just need to learn to do it on a much smaller scale. My time out in the woods made me realize that living sustainably does not mean carving a homestead out of the little wilderness left to us. Rather, it is living within your means wherever you are.