Friday, April 27, 2012

New somewhat furry Baby!

This cute little critter is a new addition at the Thomas Morgan Ranch, (also known as Dad's place). He was born on Tuesday, April 24th and was quickly dubbed "Atlantis Crossing". We call him "Andy" for short and he is apparently a bit of a ham! Tongue out at the camera! 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Research & Planning

This is the fun part! With probably at least two years of scrimping & saving to afford land, Heidi and I have lots of time to plan and research and dream! The simple picture above is a product of my thoughts lately. The layout and details are way off from what the likely end result will be, but some of the basic pieces are there. I really am getting into the idea of "Auquaponics"! Healthy, nummy fishies and organic vegetables from one efficient system, whats not to love?!! 

The dome greenhouse is another concept I have been digging into as I really think it is the perfect home for a nice AP system. That funny looking grid thingy on the right is an idea I have been wanting to experiment with for capturing the heat of compost to heat water. That isn't an original idea as many people are doing it successfully already, but it is something I want to try on a very small scale to see if it will work for helping heat the greenhouse in winter. We have many sources of compost here to experiment with, perhaps even this summer. Should be interesting!

Wind power is another topic that will likely see some "pre-land" experimenting. Dad's ranch may just end up a bit greener if he is up for it! Combined with solar(PV etc) and conservation, I really believe we can comfortably go without any connection to the grid on the future homestead. 

I realize I haven't mentioned much about the main living quarters & "docking station". Both are topics for future posts for sure! I will say that so far, cob construction is in the lead but nothing is decided yet of course.  I better also say that this post is mostly about some of my ideas, Heidi supports them but also has a ton of really great plans of her own for our future home.  

When it all comes down to it though, planning is fun, but none of us knows what will happen tomorrow. Having something to reach for is good for the spirit though! Now I really just need to get into shape!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Driving Change

Most folks that know Heidi and I well, know how much we enjoy Taj and the nomadic lifestyle. So why are we now, at least partially, changing direction? Coronal Mass Ejection? Peak Oil? The threat of economic meltdown? Angry Birds perhaps? 

Nah...None of the above. After facing our own dire health predictions for 40 some years, doomsday scenarios don't really get us too excited. Besides, we both believe "To live is Christ, to die is gain" 

Really, it is very much for the same reasons we both love VanTramping. We want to do as much as possible to live in simple, self sustainable ways but even a bit beyond that. We want to do whatever we can to help others in that same quest. We both believe that going for a complete and efficient off-grid style homestead will give us the best chance to accomplish those goals. 

This blog is still very much about VanTramping too. I expect at least half of what we blog about in the future to be very relevant to the nomadic lifestyle. From the tons of mods I still have planned for Taj to the ideas that can function in either mode(stationary or mobile), we will always share information relevant to life on the road. 

Realistically, it will likely take us two years or so to save enough to acquire the amount of land we want.(2.5 to 5 acres) In the meantime, lots of fun research and experimenting!. Solar & wind power generation, dome greenhouse, aquaponics, and a bunch more projects could get built ahead of time if things work out well. 

Perhaps one of the best reasons driving change is the overwhelming feeling that it is the right direction for us. The more we think about it, the more it just makes sense.