10 October 2014

It seems incredible, but it's been nearly two years since I posted on here.  I was recently contacted by a fellow blogger, Patrice Lewis, who maintains her own blog called Rural Revolution ( http://www.rural-revolution.com/  If you haven't checked it out, I suggest you do so.). One of her readers who had also followed this blog had inquired as to my whereabouts!  I'm actually flattered that anyone noticed that I was missing! As you can see, it's been just shy of two years since I've posted.  But I've been busy, honest!!

In the time since my last post, I've retired from my career as an Indiana Conservation Officer (37+ yrs.); made two trips out west, including a backpacking trip in the Wind River Range of Wyoming.  We traveled to Williamsburg, VA and to the Ozarks in Missouri.  I still work two part time jobs, one as a security officer at a nearby hospital and I help an Amish friend (he doesn't drive) with his 'portable building' construction business, hauling him around to his display sites and assisting on a few setups.  I volunteer as a Reserve Deputy on the local County Sheriff Department.  In early '14, I took a Purdue University Master Gardener Course and have been putting in hours with that.  We added more raspberry and blueberry bushes to our place here, and did some canning and freezing of garden produce.  Of course, there's the other normal life stuff, but those are the biggies!
Our current project, which I'll write about here is an off-grid cabin we're building over on our 30 acres (our old place).  We have a good start on it and hope to finish it before winter.
Thanks to my 'follower' and to Patrice for checking up on me and shaking my chain.  It is past time to get back to work!!!
Our latest project is a 16 x 20 ft. off-grid cabin.  Here you can see the base that is nearly completed.

Back in the spring, we planted 85 or so spruce trees in three widely spaced rows.

I will post more photos of the cabin project as it progresses.  We have some ideas that I'll document such as a solar shower, gravity fed water supply, 12v lights, etc.  We're excited about the project!

Although it's hard to see here, there are small apple trees inside the cages.

We planted spruce trees, and added six disease resistant apple trees, three each of Redfree and Liberty.  It wasn't long before the deer had sampled them and in doing so, had gotten their antlers tangled in the small cages I had placed around the trees.  After I straightened and re-set the small cages, I made larger cages from regular woven field fence wire and place them around the trees as well.  I've used that method before, and figure it will work again.

Today was a rainy, cool day and I picked a big bucket of pears to give to a friend, then picked up a gallon of persimmons.  There is a bumper crop of both this year.

A few persimmons in the bucket and more in the background to be gathered.

Persimmons aren't really good until they fall off the tree.  
Use the sweet, gooey ones and don't pick the hard, bitter ones!
I guess these shots of persimmons takes me back to where I left off nearly 24 months ago. Now, I look forward to sharing photos and information about our building project and other goings on.  Thanks for looking and please stay tuned.


  1. Glad your back!!! Looks like you've been busy!

  2. I am so glad to see and hear you are okay. It was I that contacted Patrice recently because I couldn't figure out how to get in contact with you. Your book was one of my very first self-reliant books when I started this journey several years ago. I have always found your book and posts very helpful. Therefore, I had become concerned that there had been no new posts. But wow you have been busy. I certainly understand how easily time can get away from us. With all of that being said I mostly want to say WELCOME BACK! I am sure that I am not the only that has missed you. Rebekah

    1. Thank you very much! Life has taken us in many directions it seems, but the grounding thread is that of homesteading and the small place! Thanks again and God bless.

  3. I'm also glad to see you back, Charles. I learned of your site from Patrice Lewis, started visiting it, and away you went. As you can see by this date I haven't been back in a while, so I was glad to see new material. I thank you for your blog, enjoy it, and learn from it.

    We're basically next door... I live in Martin County... so your projects are well suited to my environment.