My Yurt Project on Whidbey Island

Guest post by Eric

I recently bought a 1/3 acre on Whidbey Island in Washington. It was raw land, I cleared a driveway, put gravel down, and built a 16′ yurt. I did all of this myself, with help from generous friends! This is an off the grid, weekend getaway. I have a vintage ice box for refrigerator, sink with 5 gallon tank and valve (drains in a bucket), futon, recliner chair and a 12 volt lighting led strip which uses a 12 volt battery.

This is the first part of a three section of my yurt build. This is the 12,000 square foot lot, approximately cleared 3000 square foot for the yurt. This is the clearing process, all done by myself and two other friends.

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This is the yurt building job. 16′ yurt, 200 square feet, no building permit required as long as it doesn’t have a permanent heat source. $7,750 cost of yurt from Pacific Yurts in Oregon. Approximately $2,500 for cost of building materials and tools. included is the cost of generator, as there is no power on the property. Free labor from myself and gracious friends!

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Complete yurt….has a futon for sleeping, chair, vintage ice box, stainless sink and countertop with a five gallon container, drains into bucket, 12 volt LED lighting ran from AGM 12 battery (I charge it at home). As for facilities, a five gallon bucket, compostable bag lining, with toilet lid outside, enclosed in a 4′x4′ pop up tent. Uses sawdust, then is disposed of after the weekend.

This is mainly an overnight/weekend getaway….perfectly located one hour from Seattle!

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My Year In A Yurt – Book Review

My Year In A Yurt, God’s Blessings While Living in 450 Not-So-Square Feet! Is Jen McGeehan’s true story of how she and her husband, Pat, made some very drastic changes in their life to free themselves from debt. Facing foreclosure and bankruptcy they left a beautiful home in Big Bear, California and followed a dream to live on the big island Hawaii.

yurt exterior

Having made friends on previous trips to the islands they were offered a chance to caretake some land with very low rent if they were willing to live in a 450 square foot canvas yurt. Jen and Pat took up the offer and agreed to live in the yurt for a year.

bedroom

Jen, being a horse and goat lover, insisted on bringing her pets with her and thus opened up even more challenges. She learned that moving animals via plane is very challenging. Facing the challenge of the move with the animals Jen’s close relationship with God is stressed throughout the book.

Smoke the horse

When they arrive and get settled they have to remodel the outside bathroom, get to know there neighbors, and find someone to watch the animals as Jen’s father has a stroke and she has to go back to the mainland several times.

Heidi & Girdie

Learning to live in the round in such small quarters took some getting used to. The yurt is one large room and Jen’s work requires that she be on the phone at early hours and Pat sleeps late because his back pain does not allow him good rest in the earlier hours of the night. Pat and Jen are both snorers and each partner figures out unique ways to deal with this annoyance.

The Kitchen

There are many other challenges along the way, and I believe you will enjoy sharing them with Jen and Pat as you read the book.

If you are looking for a spiritual and inspirational book about living in Hawaii in a yurt Jen’s book is for you.

It will be available on Amazon April 29th, but Jen have a link through her publisher whereby it can be ordered immediately. That link is:
www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=9781628548808

Jen has developed a three-way partnership with Habitat For Humanity (West Hawaii) and Yurts of Hawaii (Volcano, HI). They are introducing the yurt to the HFH family of dwellings, and the very first one will be on the Big Island. It is “all in the book.” Folks can get on board in a variety of ways – volunteer, donate, etc. Check out: www.yurtsofhawaii.com

The book

walking the goats

the outside bathroom

 

The Map of Enough – Book Review

I have had the privilege of reviewing a new book entitled The Map of Enough by Molly Caro May. I really enjoyed this book and wanted to share it with you.

The Map of EnoughMolly grew up in a nomadic family, moving from one foreign country to another. She developed her identity from this nomadic life and in her mind never wanted to settle down.

However, things changed when she was nearing the age of 30. In 2009, Molly and her fiancé Chris had the opportunity to move onto 107 acres in the Gallatin Valley in Montana. Initially living in a cabin her folks owned they both dreamed of building a Mongolian yurt and staying on the land for a year and than taking their home and moving on.

Molly and Chris

Thinking it would only take a couple of months to build the yurt the couple immediately set forth to transforming an old garage into a wood shop and then started collecting and constructing the materials. As Molly soon found out construction takes much longer than planned. The actual time to build ended up being around five months instead of two.

They took on some real challenges as the yurt site is far up on a hill and they had to move all the materials up by hand, including a very heavy wood stove. Getting help from their neighbors and new friends they accomplished these tasks and move on to others.

Yurt in Summer

Living among the tall grass, deep woods, and wild animals opened up new challenges for Molly and she started feeling a real connection to the land and place. Her book shares this experience and the changes she goes through as she adjusts to her new surroundings. Once the yurt is completed and assembled she heads off to New York in a snow storm to complete the plans for the wedding. Molly soon finds out how anxious she is to get back to her simpler life in the yurt.

yurt and mountains

When Molly returns she turns to exploring the 107 acres and getting even more acquainted with her surroundings. She spends her days exploring and writing and figuring out how they can afford to extend their stay past the first year. She puts in a garden. Chris is developing his woodworking business and she is writing.

Join Molly on her journey and transformation as she embraces the land and living in one place.

yurt and stove

Five years later Molly and Chris still live in their yurt in Montana. They now have a beautiful daughter and are hoping to stay on “the land” many more years.

You can purchase the book here at Amazon and follow Molly’s blog here.

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