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Lumberjack News

Filtering by Category: Homestead

The Cherry on Top

Aaron Mills

One last step. Add the cupola on top. We want to keep heat in, and we're not going to be reducing sugar to syrup, so we didn't get a working one. It still looks pretty nice.

Special Delivery

Aaron Mills

Our plan is to have 3 buildings. We want to have one ready to go so we had it delivered pre-built. We got it from Jamaica Cottage Shop ( They were super easy to work with, but at times their communication was a bit lacking. After a couple hours it made it to the foundation we built.

We had it built with no windows. Once we figure out our floor plan we'll get some energy efficient windows. We'll have to seal, insulate, electric, and plumbing. Solar, rocket mass wood stove, and tons of other fun adventures.

A Solid Foundation

Aaron Mills

Once the holes were dug, the tubes inserted, and concrete poured it was time to finish up the foundation. We added a plastic barrier, and covered it with gravel. This is really just to keep it dry for when I have to crawl under the building to work.

The concrete was still a bit fresh, so we blocked it up to support the weight of the building for delivery. It was quite an undertaking, but with plenty of teamwork it all came together.

Holey Moley

Aaron Mills

Here are a few photos from when we started the foundation for our first building. We rented a big ol 2 person auger to dig 6 holes for sonotubes. It wasn't too rocky, but was still challenging to get to 48" to be below the frost line. We considered trying to figure out how to mount it to the Kubota so we wouldn't have to muscle it, but it turned out to require more brain power than it was worth to dig just 6 holes. We got it done pretty quickly.

The Driveway

Aaron Mills

The driveway was a big step. We couldn't really get on or off the property without it. Fortunately, our fantastic neighbors allowed us to drive through their yard until we got it finished.

We had to dig out a ditch, put in the culvert, back fill, compact, grade, and cleanup. There's a bit more work of grading to direct water to it, cementing the ends to stop erosion, and a couple other things. But it's a driveway, and most of the heavy lifting is done.


Aaron Mills

Acres of uncut brush to deal with. First thing was to clear away all the overgrowth. Between weed whacking, mowing, and the brush hog, I spent hours and hours just clearing a place to start.

It actually looks like land now, versus a field in the woods.

Camping in comfort

Aaron Mills

We built platforms for tents, and a solar shower. It's nice when the ground is smooth and level. These platforms are a permanent addition, and anyone interested in camping is welcome to use them when visiting.

And who doesn't want a toasty warm shower to wrap up a long day of hard work? Black buckets in the sun did a great job at heating the water. Or a big metal pot on the camp fire for the not so sunny days.

And then there was dirt

Aaron Mills

Last week we made the first real trip to our land in Vermont. 10 acres of woods and shrubs to manage. It was a tough week, but it's an amazing feeling to be working for ourselves. We had so much help from family and neighbors. We wouldn't have gotten as far as we did without their help.