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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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Installing the Metal Roof

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We've decided to go with a metal roof for these reasons - cheap, doesn't leak, and long-lasting [the roof comes with a 40 year warranty]. It's also the choice most compatible with rainwater harvesting and a cistern, which will be placed on the NW side of the cabin.

Everyone in Tennessee, from builders to the actual metal roof vendors themselves, had told me I could use purlins to attach the metal to. These are basically boards [often 1x] laid horizontally across the rafters every 2', and they're what the metal sheets are screwed to. It sounded easy, cheap, and practical - I could actually install the sheets from the comfort of the loft because I could stand and reach through the rafters between the purlins.

We'd actually ordered all the 1x material for the purlins and had it delivered. But literally the day before I put the purlins in, my wife did some research on how metal roofs should be installed, and told me to STOP! Every single authority on the internet, sites like This Old House, contractor sites, metal roof sites - all recommended going with a conventional roof approach - which means sheathing, tarpaper [30lb roofing felt], then metal. The reason? Sheathing makes the roof stable and strong, it won't dent if something falls on it or someone walks on it, it's a must if you plan on insulating the roof, and the tarpaper stops condensation. Apparently a metal roof drips underneath from condensation when only purlins are used. My next door neighbor has installed a metal roof over his barn, with only purlins, and he says it drips all the time from condensation.

I called back the metal roof people I'd ordered my sheets from, and asked if you could use sheathing and roofing felt. They said that you could, that that was the best way to do it . . . and I wondered, why didn't you tell me the best way in the first place? Apparently for the average owner-builder, what's cheapest and easiest is what they do, especially in a land of no codes. I'm happy there're no codes, but . . . things should be done the right way, especially by the 'experts'. They shouldn't be giving out half-baked advice.

So now that I know my roof is going to be much heavier with all that sheathing, I first beef up the frame. I do a little preliminary wall framing, essentially a picture frame with 2x6's to create a lower and upper story all around the building - I don't want to be putting in 13' studs.

So I put in 2x6's up against the posts on the lower story, to support a top plate [to be doubled later] of 2x6's at 7.5' in height - where the bottom of the loft joists is. And all the 1x4's I now have no use for, I attach to the building as a temporary diagonal bracing until the wall sheathing goes in. Here's a pic:

The thick dark horizontal boards are old roughsawn 2x4's from the barn - they are also temporary.


The first step in installing the 7/16ths sheathing is to straighten the rafters across the middle with furring strips. Once this is done I nail up bumpers to the tails of the rafters, so that when I set the sheathing up there, it won't slide off the roof. I put in sheathing at the outside first, then move towards the peak, staggering the joints on different rafters.

On the first row of sheathing, I measure from the peak down to get the exact location for the sheets. I clamp the sheet and bump it around with a mallet a little to get it right where it needs to be. I then tighten the clamps and hammer in ringshank nails, which have a great permanent hold, but can be somewhat of a pain to get in, as they want to bend.

Here's me working on the first sheets:

Here's a shot of the barn (a.k.a. Tent City), where we're living as we build:

And a shot of the fireplace. I've removed that horrible ramshackle wall I'd put up last year with old boards to keep the gales from destroying our screened-in tent. The screened-in tent is now in the barn as you can see above. The fireplace is actually usable again!

Here half of the sheathing is in:

The most daunting prospect at first was how I was going to get the sheathing up there in the first place. But it was actually easy. I shoved it up on to the loft, then from the loft shoved it halfway through the rafters, then got up on the roof and pulled it through the rafters. The 7/16ths is very strong with a lot of flex - none of the sheets snapped.

Here are the girls with the stray dog Annie that showed up and we've been feeding. She keeps me up all night barking at shadows - I'm not too thrilled about her company. She's also got a game leg. A lot of people dump off dogs back here:

Here's the garden, with many plants taking off:

Here most of the sheathing is in - you can see the stakes I'd used as bumpers attached to the rafter tails:


Here's a shot from below:

Another:

After almost all the sheathing is in (I leave a little 'manhole' space at the peak for me to go through and to bring up materials), I roll out the felt. I start at the bottom, and do a large overlap for each successive layer going up towards the peak. I attach the felt with a staplegun till it jams up, then use buttoncap nails.

It's only a few hours to put in the felt. Here're a couple shots of it in:


The next step is the metal itself. It took us a while to decide on the color, but ultimately we went with crimson. We wanted something that really stood out and popped. If over time we hate it we can always paint it - in fact it's recommended to paint your metal roof every 5 years to increase its lifespan. It's only the paint finish that keeps the metal from rusting and decaying.
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The sheets come in standard 3' widths. It's the length that is cut to order. I measure down from the peak, substract 3" for ventilation at the top, then add 3" for covering the fascia and overhanging it - I come up with a length of 9'4". The metal roof installers typically order the metal for the length of the rafter, because the overhang and ventilation gap are equal.
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I get the sheets up to the roof by rolling them up and attaching a bungee cord. I then shove this up through the rafters, and pull it through from above.
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I have to remove my bumpers because the metal overhangs the rafters. So when I get the first sheet in place I have to hold it with quick-grip clamps.
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I'd previously run a line from one edge of the peak to the other, then measured down 3" for where my metal should start. The gap allows for ventilation out the ridge cap.
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As far as laying down successive sheets, I find that if I run sealant tape (really a sticky putty) down the rib which will be overlapped with the next sheet, the sheet I'm laying down sort of sticks to the putty and doesn't want to slide down and off the roof. The sealant tape also guarantees water won't wick up under the rib and leak in - it's recommended on any pitch shallower than 1/3.
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Once the metal sheet is right where it needs to be, I predrill and fasten with screws. The screws I got from the metal manufacturer - they are painted and come with rubber gaskets. I'd had to buy a drill with a clutch for this step [Hitachi/corded/$50/awesome], so the screws don't get overdriven and cut the gasket. They have to seat just right . . . as soon as the gasket begins to flatten out, you stop driving. When the drill's got a clutch it does this automatically.
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I predrill with a 1/8" bit every 2' down a rib - this was recommended by the manufacturer. Every bit I have breaks except the short double-tipped bit the metal guy had given me. It just barely sticks out of the drill, so the bit won't snap. The bit just sticks out enough to punch a hole in the metal - and that's all I need.
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Here one side of the roof is done:
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I then lay down 'gutter guard' (a plastic mesh) to keep critters from getting in through the ventilation gap at the peak:

This is what the metal roof installers use.
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I'd forgotten to mention that before I even put the sheathing in, I put blocking between all the rafters above the ridge beams. The blocking at the eaves is a little short, made with 2x4's, so there's a gap above it before the sheathing. This is for ventilation up through the soffits and out the ridge cap. Here's a pic:

Since my 'manhole' between the rafters must now be closed to roof the other side of the building, I put in boards to get up to the roof for the final sheets. I first shove the last materials up through the hole, then seal it with sheathing and felt. For my improvised ladder up to the top, I cantilever 16' boards out the side of the building. They work great:

The last metal sheet on the first side I'd put in incorrectly. I actually have to remove it one dewy morning, and the roof is so slippery I begin tying myself in. I quadruple up some rope, and tie it from my waist to the frame inside the building. It's somewhat of a nuissance avoiding stepping on the rope, but it gives me a great sense of security, that if I fall, at least I won't go off the roof - I'll have the rope to hold on to. At one point I make the very dumb error of trying to move one sheet over a little with my foot, and I start skiiing down the roof on the sheet. But I jump off and the metal stops and everything's okay.
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The final hours of installing the metal roof are brutal. It's a hot day, and the metal magnifies that a thousand times. I've basically locked myself up on the roof with the last of the materials to get it done. After the last sheets, there's the ridge cap to put in, 3 lengths of 10' each, somewhat overlapped. I use a longer screw for the ridge cap so that the screw actually catches the sheathing and bites in. It is brutal, endless, and when I get off I drink a quart of water straight, and go throw myself in the pool. But it's now finished, we have a roof! That's something to celebrate:

Here's a look at it from inside:

We get a heavy rain, and I notice a drip drip drip on the loft floor. I calm down when I realize rain is collecting on the cantilevered boards, flowing down them and dripping off. The roof is watertight. The roof does pop though, when it gets extremely hot. The metal actually expands and contracts (that's why rubber gaskets are used with the screws), and when it does it pops just like a metal can. Bong! But it's not that often, and it's something you get used to.
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A final shot of the roof in:
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3 comments:

Gabrielle Jeromy said...

Well, that looks nice, indeed. Good choice in using the metal roof. It's durable and easier to install than shingles. But you must also exercise safety. A fall from that height can be nasty.

Allyson Sunde said...

I agree with the advantages you said about metal roof. It can, indeed, last for a long time. I’ve even read somewhere that it can last up to 50 and 100 years! The bonus is it requires little maintenance, which is certainly a plus for busy homeowners. Good thing you found out the best way to install it; it will be a mess if you installed it improperly because your efforts might just give you a leaking roof in the end. Anyway, you did a great job. :) More than two years have already passed. How is the roof holding up?

Allyson Sunde

Sam Gerrard said...

Thanks for sharing that information to everyone, especially to those who have roof concerns. I know that, through your expertise and experience, many roofs will be strengthened in your area.


Iko shingles

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.