Welcome! We are a small family living on 85 acres in an underground, passive solar house in central North Carolina. We focus on ways to be self-sufficient and live off the land, with a big emphasis on “old time” or “lost” skills that were used by previous generations. We grow our own food, practice seed saving, food preservation and general frugality. While we now cook and bake solely in a wood cook stove, we do still use and enjoy some modern conveniences. We have several things left that we are still working on implementing sustainable substitutions for which are a little more complicated but we just keep plugging away at them. It has been enlightening to find that sometimes retrofitting a household to be simpler is harder than just conforming to the “norm”. Going simple isn’t always simple, unfortunately. Another big focus of ours is the use of native plant medicine, specifically using only plants and herbs that are natural to our area. We like being able to substitute nature’s remedies in place of store-bought whenever we can. I am extremely blessed to come from a family that practiced many of these ways and then to have to been able to continue my studies with some of the best herbalists and foraging experts in the Southeast. Now, I enjoy sharing this knowledge with others. We host groups of 3 to 5 for on-site classes and also have a couple e-courses under construction. I’m also a Senior Instructor for American Survival Guide Magazine’s University Program where you can take courses from world renowned experts on everything from food preservation to how to survive in the wilderness or a grid-down society.
How we got here… Almost a decade ago, before our adventure out here began, we had moved back inside the city limits of our small southern town as was dictated by care needs of elderly family members. I wouldn’t change a single thing about the decision to live in town to take care of family, but once those obligations sadly came to an end, my husband and I made the decision to move back out and get as close as we could to “pulling the plug”. We literally drew a circle on a map of our area that represented the farthest boundary that my husband could reasonably commute as he would continue to work in town. After some looking, we finally found a secluded subterranean house just a few towns away on a beautiful, wooded 20 acre piece of land with an almost 3/4 mile, two rut driveway that snaked its way through the woods. The property had no official road access, only an old fashioned handshake easement with our mile-a-way neighbor. “Landlocked”, so it came at a great price. We had told our realtor that we wanted to be far enough out that the house wouldn’t be visible from the road. His response was “well, you’ll like this one because you can’t even see the DRIVEWAY from the road!”. It was perfect. We bought the house and 20 and then a couple of years later, took a risk and purchased a second wooded 20 acre tract that took us closer to the main road, still landlocked, so still at a great price. Shortly after that, we negotiated the purchase of enough land to connect us to the road, then another 40 acres beside us to ensure all that wooded area stayed intact. We keep chickens, ducks, turkeys and rabbits for meat and goats for milk, soft cheese and soap. We hunt deer and turkeys on our land as our main sources of meat and the wood we burn in our cook stove is harvested solely from dead fall on our own land. A second free standing wood stove is the only wintertime heat source in our underground home. Thanks to the cool earth behind our walls in the summer, we can get away with open doors and air circulation even in the hottest months. We enjoy growing and raising our own food, practice spring, summer and fall planting rotations and are continuously adding to our own seed saving bank so that we aren’t dependent on anyone else for what we need to grow from year to year. My dear husband is a US Marine Veteran and is proficient at all things survival and hunting and has a totally weird but comforting knack for being prepared in any situation. After all these years I’m still not sure how he does it. This lifestyle is hard work and worth every minute of it. We hope you will enjoy our blog about how we do things and that you will learn something along the way as well. We are always learning and will still be learning for decades to come. I’m no literary major, so I’m sure my grammar and punctuation will sometimes be “off”. I’ll do my best but won’t make any promises, we have WAY more important things to worry about. 🙂
I sincerely hope you find value in what you read here and will return as often as you can. Thanks for spending some time with us!