Clearing The Land For Our Solar Homestead

I was excited to find some video footage of our property when we were in the process of clearing it. I had completely forgotten about recording the videos which were taken on January 4, 2016. It’s fun to look back and see how far we’ve come. I’ll just post the videos, and a few current pictures, and you can see for yourself the many changes.

After we purchased our property, it took us several months to decide on a roadway. It was our goal to leave as many oaks and Texas madrones as possible. This was no simple task as we walked the property evaluating every foot. The roadway needed to wind up to the house, avoid low lying areas, keeping oaks and madrones, and follow the natural lay of the land as close as possible. We wanted to clear a lot of the cedar trees- cedars drink up huge quantities of water which leaves little water for the surrounding trees. Cedars can also shade the other trees and keep them from growing to their potential. We also wanted to keep a certain amount of cedars to avoid causing run off down the hill during rainstorms and provide shade to prevent scorched earth during the heat of the Texas Summers. One unique aspect our our land clearing is that we did it all by hand-meaning no large machinery. Crazy right?! Haha! I’ll discuss more on that in my next post.

Clearing our land -2016

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Walking the cleared path

January 4, 2016

shiner marker

Finding my way-beer markers

The beer markers are still there today

Joe and tyler clearing small cedars

Joe and tyler clearing small cedars



Joe using a winch to pull stumps-this is where the house was eventually built

Joe using a winch to pull stumps-this is where the house was eventually built

The road in 2016-the water tank will eventually be placed on the left, with the power building on the right

The road in 2016-the water tank will eventually be placed on the left, with the power building on the right

Working in the rain

Workin’ in the rain

The work never ends!

One of many burn days  THE BARN WILL EVENTUALLY GO ON THE RIGHT, WITH WITH HOUSE AND CARPORT IN FRONT OF JOE ON THE LEFT

One of many burn days

THE BARN WILL EVENTUALLY GO ON THE RIGHT, WITH WITH HOUSE AND CARPORT IN FRONT OF JOE ON THE LEFT

How our Texas hill country property looks as of October 2018.

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Ending a long day’s work

The top of the hill

As of today, October 2018, we still have a lot to do-but we’ve come so far! There has been a lot of planning involved in clearing our land, long hard days and frustration at times because we feel there is more work than we can accomplish on just weekends, but looking back it was all worth it! We love working outdoors with our hands and seeing the progress. We feel our homestead is something to pass on to our children and grandchildren, and that makes me smile.

To learn more about solar, off grid life, and what the Solar Cottage looks like today, visit our YouTube Channel by CLICKING HERE!