Back to the land...

This blog is an account of our experiences trying to homestead in Eastern Tennessee. We've bought almost ten acres with power and a well, and a small shed for the well pump. Half the land is already cleared.

This year we haul out 10 tons of trash from an old burned down home. We plant a large garden, and fruit trees, and build a compost bin specifically for humanure. We build a small pad for a gazebo up under the oaks, and begin building our house/barn, with grading, a stone foundation, a concrete stem wall, and the modified post and beam frame. Everything is done by hand. We also dig four thirty foot swales across the top of the clearing and plant the berms with blueberry. A lot of work, and a lot more to go . . .

I'll also cover the process of picking out a piece of land, the negotiation, and "where to begin?" phase, at least how it all went for us.

[YEAR 2] - We build the shell of a 16'x25' two story cabin from scratch . . . check out how it was built.

[YEAR 3] - We try to finish the cabin . . .

[YEAR 4] - I move up permanently to the property to homestead full-time . . .

[YEAR 5] - Rachel and I try to make it as homesteaders . . with a wood cook stove, dairy goats and a cow, finish the barn, expand the garden, fence pastures, plant more fruit trees, build a flock of healthy layers, grow our own animal food - in other words . . . WORK WORK WORK WORK WORK . . .

[YEAR 6]
'Homesteading in Tennessee' is now HOLDOUT FARM. Check out our new farm website. We produce premium quality raw dairy products from our fodder-fed goats, pastured eggs, organic fruits and vegetables, and offer a seasonal list of classes on Permaculture Homesteading.
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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Winter Trees

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Winter is a great time for learning your evergreens. The forest is open and without insects, and evergreens stand out strongly, especially in empty woods. In the south we have a lot of evergreens due to the latitude and mild climate.

Hollies are extremely common. Here's one right outside our apartment:

Here's a closer look at the berries and foliage:

It is the dahoon, I believe [ilex cassine], due to the warty trunk and shape of the leaves. However the leaves are small with a notched apex, and the tree has many spines - so it's some cultivated variety, or 'cultivar', I suppose.

Here's a shrubby holly with spiny leaves:


Another planted holly, without spiny leaves:

Here's a shot of a holly trunk, unmistakable:

9 times out of 10, any evergreen shrub or tree with lots of glossy foliage and red berries with a smooth trunk is holly. Especially if the leaves are spiny. There are many, many varieties of ilex planted throughout cities, both shrubs and trees.

Hollies often remind me of camping down in Florida - the Apalachicola south of Tallahassee. Hollies are everywhere . . . dahoon, winterberry, yaupon, american . . . there's an entire understory of a short shrubby ilex called gallberry. It's often the main ground cover in the pine flats.

If you wander through any woods in the East in winter, two trees simply dominate the understory because they're the only ones with leaves - American holly and beech. The beech's leaves are dead, but they hold on to them almost throughout the winter.

We camped one winter in the Uwharrie mountains of the Piedmont of North Carolina. We wandered miles throughout the forest searching for a home-site and there was never anyone around - just total silence. And in such silence the presence of the young beeches and holly with their full spread of leaves felt like almost company.

Here's a photo of a young beech out in January:

The nude beech trunk, that everybody likes to carve in:

And a close-up of the coppery-orange strongly-veined leaves:

If you look out into the forest as you go down any road in the East, what stands out most is the understory of orange beech foliage and the occasional evergreen holly.

Beeches are related to oaks, as they produce edible nuts. The squirrels seem to beat me to the nuts every time. When I try one it's either unripe or taken. But I haven't had enough experience. I've read settlers back in pioneer days depended on beech nuts . . . and as far as the forest goes, it's a major crop.

But what's great about the beech as far as edibility, and lesser known, is the leaves. They are probably the best spring green, and can be eaten in infinite quanities. We could pull whole salads off the trees for weeks in spring.

The leaves are excellent from when they first appear, all through their light green phase, even full-size . . . you can eat them all day. Usually after a month the leaves get plasticky and darken. Then you can't eat them at all. They secrete some substance to keep insects from devouring them.

But as far as edible tree leaves go, I'd put them up there in the top 5, with sassafras, linden, boxelder and sourwood. Many people don't realize you can live off tree leaves like a gorilla in the East all through the warm time of year, especially spring.

Boxelder leaves in the spring are excellent like beech (but boxelder never gets plasticky, the leaves just get a little stronger and tougher over the course of the summer). Sassafras (you know the leaves on little trees that are lobed like mittens) is excellent all spring and into the summer. Sourwood you can eat practically up through the fall when the leaves turn bright red.

And as far as linden [basswood] . . . its leaves are as big as your face, and so mild we use them as tortillas all through the summer. They have a slight down, which texture-wise gives them a little roughness. So we tried steaming them before we used them to wrap our beans. This worked, the leaves lost the roughness . . . but they became fragrant and tasted like tea.

Our best method was to steep them overnight in apple cider vinegar (I do the same thing with wild grape leaves when making dolmas). This not only gave them a great texture, but a nice acid flavor which went well with the beans. And the vinegar can be used over and over.

There are many shrubs and young winter trees in the understory covered in an evergreen greenbriar:

Here's a close-up of the oval to rounded leaf with its prominent curved veins that follow the leaf edge, just like dogwood:

Greenbriar is usually deciduous, but in the south, we've got a few that are green all winter.

Greenbriar is an easy vine to identify. If you see a briar-like vine (thorny), that's green, even the stems - greenbriar. It also has conspicuous tendrils that it uses to grab onto plants to climb.

These tendrils are excellent raw . . . I've tried many varieties and only one or two are strong - usually the tougher, more southerly ones, are not quite so mild. It's the same with grape. All forms of grape have excellent tendrils, and quite usable leaves, but the muscadine, the southern grape, has strong tendrils and leaves that are too strong unless fermented [you can pack strong wild greens into a glass jar, put a lid on, and leave it in the sun for a week - this will tenderize and sweeten them].

The first basket we ever made was from greenbriar vines, while canoeing the Suwanee River. The vine is rather stiff and brittle and an inferior basket material.

You'll notice greenbriar covered in berries in late summer. Most are blue-black and tasteless. The red have more flavor, and are slightly sweet . . . but I've found it only down canoeing in the Okefenokee Swamp in southeast Georgia. I'll eat the blue-black ones here and there - they're so common. You never know what nutrients they have, such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They may even have a few calories, a trace of starch or fat.

Here's a russian olive, related to the highly edible autumn olive:

The wood is speckled, just like autumn olives. And the undersides of the leaves are spotted with brown:

According to Couplan's "The Encyclopedia of Edible Plants of North America", the berries are edible, 'sweet and acid', but I haven't tried them.

Here is a row of cherries:

A close-up of the unmistakable cherry bark:

I believe these are sterile cherries, the double-flowered ones (they genetically train the stamens into petals).

Here's the ubiquitous ground cover of English ivy:

There are many beds of pansies, and guess what's growing along the back margin of them:

A closer shot:

Kale! The pansies are useless, but the kale is the same one everybody grows in their gardens. Good food . . . and nutritious.

Here's the common juniper:

Has small blue berries [actually fleshy cones] that are strong but edible. Sometimes the berries are sweet and not strong at all, with very little juniper resin taste. We'd gathered bags and bags of alligator juniper berries in the Southwest - which are big, syrupy sweet, and mealy - and it definitely surprised me to find that the little blue berries of common juniper are edible also . . . most guides say they're strictly for flavoring gin.

Here's a river birch:

Planted all over cities in the Southeast. It's native and I've seen it growing wild along the banks of the Suwanee River in Florida.

According to Tom Brown, birch bark makes a tinder that will burn even when soaking wet. This was something I had to try.

We were camped high up in a peak in the Smokies, near a spring, and a beautiful little field of bee balm. The Smokies are very wet and we'd just had another day of rain. The birch up there is the yellow birch. And he's right, the wet birch caught flame like a sheet of paper. It's something to keep in mind throughout the East.

I come across a tree with crabapple bark covered in rotten cherries, and still have no explanation:


The fruit is very sweet and similar to dried cherries, but overripe. For the moment I have no idea what this is. I'll have to go back with field guides to figure it out.

Here's an often planted little bush in the Southeast, Nandina:

It's a barberry, like Oregon grape (similar growth habit). However Nandina's berries are poisonous.

Look at these massive arborvitaes:

I've never seen them so big. Here's the foliage:

Here's the very common crape myrtle, planted all over cities in the Southeast:

It's from Asia.

Here's a young tree covered in shiny black berries:

The berries are bitter and remind me of tupelo. I'm not sure what it is yet (a young camphor tree maybe?)

We walked down to the railroad tracks. Railroad grades are often excellent habitats for plants. The only problem is they spray heavily with herbicides, and only the toughest weeds can stand it.

Here's a giant tulip tree down near the grade:

Mishka's got his 'gentle leader' on, so the girls can walk him (after so much country living he's tough to walk).

The tulip tree is a huge, fast-growing magnolia. There's a place in western North Carolina called Joyce Kilmer/Slickrock wilderness. It's old growth, the original southern Appalachian woodlands. It's worth a walk through. Some of the tulips are as big around as redwoods . . . they are truly massive. The ground was covered in edible partridge berries. But there were also a lot of gnats.

Here's an old withered pokeweed stalk:

A train comes along and I take a photo:


We read the weight limits on the cars as they pass by. The average train car weighs anywhere from 50,000 to 70,000 pounds. And as far as gross weight fully loaded - the box cars come in at around 150,000 pounds . . . and the open coal cars had a max weight limit of 240,000 pounds. That's over three times the weight of a loaded semi trailer. It must take serious muscle to get a mile-long chain of these cars moving.

I tried to get some photos of all the mistletoe on the hardwoods as we walked back. But with the overcast sky, it's difficult:


It's a bright green clump up in the hardwoods, a parasite - very common. Has white flowers in the spring. There's even a mistletoe on juniper which I've seen out in New Mexico.

I feel like I haven't even made a dent in the trees out. I'll have to continue in another post.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love the outdoors and this was a great insight for me as I am new to South Carolina!!! Thank You!!!

Blog Index

10/30/08

BUYING RAW LAND

11/8/08

TRASH CLEANUP

11/10/08

WINTER IN ATLANTA

11/12/08

SPRING IN TENNESSEE

11/14/08

STARTING A GARDEN

11/15/08

BUILDING THE COMPOST BIN

11/15/08

THE FROST

11/16/08

GRADING THE BARN

11/18/08

DIGGING SWALES

11/19/08

PLANTING FRUIT TREES

11/19/08

BUILDING A STONE FOUNDATION

11/20/08

THE CONCRETE STEM WALL

11/21/08

BUILDING A SMALL 12'x12' PAD

11/21/08

THE GARDEN

11/22/08

BUILDING A DRIVEWAY

11/23/08

INSTALLING THE SILL PLATES

11/23/08

THE MODIFIED POST AND BEAM FRAME

11/27/08

FRUIT IN THE GARDEN

11/28/08

THE BARN FRAME

11/29/08

AUGUST IN TENNESSEE

11/30/08

HANGING THE JOISTS

11/30/08

CLEARING THE LAND

11/30/08

COUNTRY NEIGHBORS

11/30/08

THE HARVEST

12/1/08

PLANS FOR A CABIN

12/14/08

THE LAND IN WINTER

12/22/08

BARN UPDATE

12/29/08

WINTER PLANTING

1/4/09

EDIBLE PLANTS

1/10/09

WINTER TREES

1/12/09

WINTER TREES II

1/21/09

CHATTAHOOCHEE RIVER

2/11/09

THE STRAW BALE CABIN

3/26/09

THE STRAW BALE CABIN II

4/2/09

1880 FARMHOUSE

5/6/09

HOMESTEADING / THE CABIN

8/13/09

THE POST AND BEAM CABIN

8/22/09

RETURN TO TENNESSEE

8/25/09

SITE WORK

8/30/09

DIGGING THE FOOTERS

9/4/09

THE PIER FOUNDATION

9/10/09

911

9/11/09

FINISHING THE PIER FOUNDATION

9/12/09

THE GIRDERS

9/13/09

FRAMING THE FLOOR

9/16/09

DECKING THE FLOOR

9/17/09

THE POST AND BEAM FRAME

9/19/09

THE RAFTERS

9/20/09

INSTALLING THE METAL ROOF

9/21/09

FRAMING THE WALLS

9/26/09

DOORS AND WINDOWS

9/27/09

TENNESSEE IN JULY - OUR LAST MONTH

10/2/09

TENNESSEE IN OCTOBER

10/10/09

THE BARN FLOOR

10/15/09

PIGEON MOUNTAIN

11/10/09

NOVEMBER

11/16/09

PERMACULTURE: ANOTHER ROUND OF FRUITING SHRUBS

11/22/09

DRIFTERS

11/30/09

THE BARN ROOF BEGINS

12/20/09

'DRIFTERS' PART I

12/30/09

WEATHER

1/1/10

NEW YEAR'S IN TENNESSEE

1/25/10

DRIFTERS: PART II

3/2/10

MY SISTER'S WEDDING

3/21/10

FERTILIZING WITH HUMANURE

3/28/10

THE ADDITION FLOOR

4/19/10

THE ADDITION

5/11/10

RUNAWAY

6/13/10

FINISHING THE ADDITION

.........................The Timeline.........................

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1992
-MAY . . . for Patty and I's first date, we skip school and go to the Pinnacle - a wooded overlook off the Susquehanna River.
-SEPTEMBER . . . I leave our hometown of Lancaster, PA for college - Penn State in Reading, 45 minutes away.

1993
-FEBRUARY . . . Patty and I both drop out of school, and camp in some woods behind a grocery store in Lancaster.
-MARCH . . . Patty steals her mother's credit card, and with it we take a train to Utah. We ultimately end up on the Northwest Coast, living in Port Orford, Oregon.
-APRIL - OCTOBER . . . We join a traveling carnival and work in it for 6 months. We sleep in the back of a Ryder truck, and go through California, Idaho, Washington and Oregon. I run the guns, and Patty does the goldfish. We save $9,000.
-NOVEMBER . . . We return to Lancaster and are arrested for stealing the credit card.

1995
-OCTOBER . . . We bike from Lancaster down to Charleston, South Carolina. Patty wrecks in North Carolina, and a friend drives us the rest of the way. We live in Charleston for 2 weeks.

1996
-JULY . . . Our first daughter June is born in Lancaster, PA.

1997
-MARCH . . . We sell everything in our apartment, and hike out of Lancaster with backpacks and our 9 month old daughter. We reach the Susquehanna River.
-APRIL - JUNE . . . We get a canoe and paddle 500 miles up the Susquehanna River to its source. We camp on islands. We get a ride to the Erie Barge Canal and paddle west.
-JULY . . . We are arrested in Little Falls, NY. Our daughter is taken, we're charged with neglect, and we fight the courts for months. We are cleared of all charges, but never get her back.
-SEPTEMBER . . . We take a bus out to Ruidoso, NM and camp in woods just out of town. We return to Lancaster and camp in the Brickyard for the rest of the month.
-OCTOBER - FEBRUARY . . . We live in an apartment in the Amish community of Strasburg, PA. Amish go by in their horse and buggies every day.

1998
-FEBRUARY . . . Our second daughter Rachael is born. We try to deliver her on our own at home and fail. Patty ends up in the hospital with a c-section.
-MARCH . . . We get a ride from a friend down to Covington, Virginia. We stay a week, and look for places to camp in the surrounding national forest. We find nothing, and go to New Mexico.
-MARCH - MAY . . . We camp in the Gila National Forest, north of Pinos Altos, a mile from the nearest trail. We camp above a spring with an infinite view west. We start building a hogan.
-JUNE - SEPTEMBER . . . We live downtown in Santa Fe, NM. Patty markets her paintings, and I get a N.Y. literary agent for my first book 'Flesh Aflame'.
-OCTOBER - DECEMBER . . . We rent a house in Crescent City, California, on the Northwest Coast, a mile from the ocean, on the edge of a bird sanctuary. It's great until the rains begin and we run out of money.

1999
-JANUARY - FEBRUARY . . . We camp in the Uwharrie mountains of central North Carolina, and look for a place to build a winter home.
-MARCH . . . We get a canoe and paddle the Holston River down towards Knoxville, Tennessee.
-APRIL . . . We get dropped off in the Smokies and paddle Fontana Lake. We stash our canoe at Chambers Creek and hike in to the Smokies for a secret camp. Patty paints the creek, and we stay 3 weeks.
-MAY . . . We live in a trailer just off the ocean in Myrtle Beach, SC. The sky is beautiful after storms and we love the pelicans.
-JUNE . . . We camp in the Brickyard back in Lancaster, PA, saving money for an apartment.
-JULY - DECEMBER . . . We live in Lancaster and save for our trip back out to New Mexico. We also buy the jeep.

2000
-JANUARY - JUNE . . . We camp and travel all over the Southwest, from the Gila, to Organ Pipe, to the Weminuche in Colorado. Brooke is born in February in a motel in Deming, NM.
-JULY . . . We stay in condos with a friend in Aspen, Colorado. I do concrete work. We then go to California, and look for a place to live in the Russian River area.
-AUGUST - OCTOBER . . . We rent a small house in Tesuque, NM, just outside of Santa Fe. We hike up into the Pecos Wilderness. We become vegetarians.
-NOVEMBER . . . We visit a friend in Tucson, AZ, then drive to Crescent City and the Northwest Coast. The beautiful weather is over, and the rains have begun. We don't stay long.
-DECEMBER . . . We return to Pennsylvania, and live out of our car in the Philidelphia area while Patty works at a restaurant. We sleep in parking lots and rest stops. It's the coldest December on record for the area, with the wind chill it's -10.



2001
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JANUARY . . . We head south for warmth, try the Chatooga area of South Carolina, then camp in the woods of northern Florida.
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FEBRUARY - JUNE . . . We live in Asheville, NC, in the middle of the Southern Appalachains. We spend nearly every day out on the trails, hiking, and learning plants.
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JULY . . . We get mountain bikes for touring, and bike the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Smokies.
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AUGUST . . . We camp in the Weminuche Wilderness of southwest Colorado, and do a 6 day fast.
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SEPTEMBER . . . We stay in Loveland, Colorado with a friend. We climb Long's Peak on the day after 9/11. We then drive to Vermont, and look for a place to live in the Burlington area.
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OCTOBER - DECEMBER . . . We rent a house in Tucson, AZ, and try to become raw fooders.

2002
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JANUARY . . . We hike in to Jordan Hot Springs in the Gila.
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FEBRUARY . . . We bike in to Turkey Creek Hot Springs. We stash our bikes near the mouth of the creek, and hike the rest of the way. Many of the pools have been ruined from floods.
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MARCH . . . We go to Vermont again, this time the Bennington area of southern Vermont. It's way too cold.
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APRIL - JULY . . . We rent a house in Asheville, NC again. This time we have a large garden, and become 100% raw fooders. Every day I'm out hiking the trails gathering wild edible plants.
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AUGUST . . . We cash out all our credit cards, and move up to Shining Rocks Wilderness in the Southern Appalachians, camping at over 5,000 feet. There are blueberry fields everywhere, and blackberry, and wild cherries. Not only are we mono-raw fooders now, much of our food is wild. I hike barefoot everywhere. We bathe in the pool below the falls.
-SEPTEMBER . . . We visit a friend in Atlanta, and on a night full of alcohol I break my foot in 3 places. I'm told I'll be crippled with arthritis, and ultimately never walk again.
-OCTOBER - DECEMBER . . . We rent a furnished condo in Tucson, AZ. I cut my cast off prematurely with tin snips.

2003
-JANUARY . . . We camp off the Gila River at Box Canyon, just up from the city of Gila. I'm still on crutches. We meet Jabber-Mike, and Vet-Mike, and Doug. We trade juniper berries for Doug's black walnuts. We're still 100% raw fooders, and Doug teaches me the local plants.
-FEBRUARY - MARCH . . . We return to Atlanta for free medical care so I can learn how to walk again. PT is hell.
-APRIL - MAY . . . We go back to the Gila and camp off the Gila River. We gather cattail, nettle, primrose flowers, and harvest prickly pear pads. We find the most perfect hot spring in all of the Gila, man-made, at Brock Canyon.
-JUNE . . . We fall off our raw food diet, and camp up at Black Balsam again off the Shining Rock Wilderness. We gather wild strawberries. We then camp above the Amicalola Falls in north Georgia for 2 weeks. We become committed to the idea of buying land.
-JULY - SEPTEMBER . . . We live in Woodstock, GA, just north of Atlanta. I do a 14 day water fast.
-OCTOBER . . . We paddle Fontana Lake in the Smokies, on our way to Nova Scotia. We find a great camp and gather wild persimmons, but ultimately abandon the trip.
-NOVEMBER . . . We go back to camping off the Gila River at Brock Canyon. I begin 'June'. We run totally out of money, and gather and clean 10lbs of desert willow seed to sell to a local guy in Gila. He gives us $20/lb, and we use the money to get back to Georgia.

2004
-JANUARY . . . We go to north Florida, and check out the sinks, and the aquifer springs, and paddle the Wacissa River.
-FEBRUARY . . . We paddle the Suwanee River in North Florida. Patty makes a basket out of greenbriar.
-MARCH . . . We camp in the pine flats of Apalachicola National Forest. We make baskets from grapevine, cordage from the retting of Spanish Moss, and a mat from palmetto. We camp here for 3 weeks with no money while we wait for our tax refund. We're 100% raw fooders again.
-APRIL . . . We camp off Owl Creek and paddle the river. There are free hot showers in a nearby campground. There's a great trail with wild blueberry, and we gather the new shoots of bracken. We later camp in Tate's Hell.
-MAY . . . We camp at Sand Creek in the Ocala National Forest, an hour east of Atlanta. I gather cattail in the Beaver Pond. I edit and type up the 'June' book at a nearby library for a literary agent.
-JUNE . . . We drive out to Oregon and camp off the Illinois River in the Siskiyous.
-JULY . . . We camp in the Adirondacks off Jones Pond.
-AUGUST . . . We camp in the Jemez Region of northern New Mexico. We gather wild mushrooms, and sell lobster mushrooms to chefs in Sante Fe. We camp at San Antonio Hot Springs for a week, and Big Tesuque Campground outside Sante Fe.
-SEPTEMBER . . . We go back to the Gila and camp at Brock Canyon. We gather desert willow seed again. We swim and play games in the river. We see tarantulas. I gather prickly pear fruit in baskets we've made from willow. We take a trip up to Turkey Creek Hot Springs.
-OCTOBER . . . We camp in the Oconee National Forest southeast of Atlanta, under persimmon trees in a field. We also camp up on Pigeon Mountain near Rocktown.
-NOVEMBER - JANUARY . . . We live in Atlanta.

2005
-FEBRUARY - MARCH . . . We move to Portland Oregon. We paddle the Wilamette River, and go to the nude beach at Sauvie Island, just after Mt. St. Helens erupted.
-APRIL . . . We return to north Florida looking for land to buy. Everywhere is flooded, and there's been a lot of damage from the previous hurricane.
-MAY . . . We camp up on Pigeon Mtn. The weather's perfect, and there's more wild food here than anywhere else.
-JUNE . . . We go to Arizona, and camp in the Hannigan area of Apache National Forest. We ultimately try to get back out to Oregon, but car problems make it not possible.
-JULY . . . We return to Pigeon Mtn in Georgia. The blackberries are in.
-AUGUST . . . We stay in a campground off the ocean in Jacksonville, Florida, while we look for jobs and a place to live.
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SEPTEMBER . . . We move back to Atlanta.
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OCTOBER . . . We abandon the jeep with 320,000 miles in a motel parking lot.

2006
-MARCH . . . the girls and I camp up at Pigeon Mtn, in a secret camp we've made.
-JUNE . . . the girls and I go back to Pigeon and camp longer, this time starting a wigwam from red maple saplings, muscadine vines, and grass I collect naked in the field with a small knife.
-AUGUST . . . the girls and I camp up at Graveyard Fields off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Every day we gather the wild blueberries and swim in the pool beneath the falls. We hike all the trails, and establish a secret camp in a grove of juneberries.


2007
-FEBRUARY . . . We look at property in north Florida.
-MARCH . . . We look at property in Asheville, NC.
-JUNE . . . We look at the 10 acres in Sunbright, and make an offer.
-AUGUST . . . We close on the Sunbright property, and take the kids to Disneyworld.
-OCTOBER . . . The girls and I camp up on the property in Sunbright, and clean up the trash from the fire. I build a fireplace out of old concrete blocks.

2008
-APRIL - SEPTEMBER . . . The girls and I camp up on the property. We clean out the rest of the trash, build a compost bin for humanure, plant the garden, and fruit trees, I dig the swales, do the stone foundation for the barn, and the stem wall, and the post and beam frame. We build a pad for the gazebo.

2009
-APRIL - JULY . . . The girls and I camp up on the property again. We build the 2 story cabin from scratch, plant another garden, and more fruiting trees and shrubs.
-OCTOBER . . . I put the upper story floor in the barn.
-NOVEMBER . . . The girls and I begin building the barn roof.