Frugal Homestead Series – Frugalwoods http://www.frugalwoods.com Financial independence and simple living Thu, 24 May 2018 10:00:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 City vs. Country: Which Is Cheaper? The Ultimate Cost Of Living Showdown http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/01/29/city-vs-country-which-is-cheaper-the-ultimate-cost-of-living-showdown/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/01/29/city-vs-country-which-is-cheaper-the-ultimate-cost-of-living-showdown/#comments Mon, 29 Jan 2018 11:00:43 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=15969 City vs. Country: Which Is Cheaper? The Ultimate Cost Of Living Showdown

“It must be so much cheaper for you to live in the country!” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this in the year and a half since Mr. Frugalwoods, Babywoods, and I made the move from ultra-urban Cambridge, MA to ultra-rural central Vermont. The thing is, it’s not true. Or at least, it’s not entirely true and it’s not true yet.

Why Did We Move To The Woods?

We didn’t make this move in order to save money and we didn’t make this move in pursuit of a lower cost of living. We moved out here to our 66-acre homestead because we wanted to. Because we wanted a slower pace of life, a life surrounded by nature, and the time and the space to pursue our hobbies and interests.

It’s our supposition that–in the long run–living rurally will be less expensive than living smack in the middle of a city, but there’s a long, slow slog of start-up costs before any savings can be realized.

Continue reading City vs. Country: Which Is Cheaper? The Ultimate Cost Of Living Showdown at Frugalwoods.

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The Best And Worst Moments Of Our First Year On The Homestead http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/06/28/the-best-and-worst-moments-of-our-first-year-on-the-homestead/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/06/28/the-best-and-worst-moments-of-our-first-year-on-the-homestead/#comments Wed, 28 Jun 2017 10:00:51 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=14397 The Best And Worst Moments Of Our First Year On The Homestead

We celebrated our first full year of life on our homestead in May! We left urban Cambridge, MA to chart a wholly different life out here on 66 acres in rural Vermont and the change this represents for us is nothing short of transformational, radical, and miraculous. Neither Mr. Frugalwoods nor I grew up–or ever lived–in a rural setting before moving here and so this year was one of constant learning and exploration (not to mention mistakes), a combination that suits us perfectly.

Why We’re Out Here

Mr. FW and I both crave adventure and diversity to our days and the opportunity to explore our land and uncover all the things we don’t know about homesteading invigorates us. One of the reasons we wanted to move out here is that after living in cities for ten years–NYC, Washington, DC, and Cambridge, MA twice–we felt tapped out. We were done with city life.

Continue reading The Best And Worst Moments Of Our First Year On The Homestead at Frugalwoods.

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This Month On The Homestead: Mud, Trellises, and The Land Trust http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/05/05/this-month-on-the-homestead-mud-trellises-and-the-land-trust/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/05/05/this-month-on-the-homestead-mud-trellises-and-the-land-trust/#comments Fri, 05 May 2017 10:00:05 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=13737 This Month On The Homestead: Mud, Trellises, and The Land Trust

If you’re just tuning in, this is a recurring series in which I document each month of our lives out here on our 66-acre Vermont homestead. After leaving urban Cambridge, MA in May 2016 to chart this wholly different life, we’re experiencing a constant learning curve of exploration (and plenty of stupid novice moments). Check out last month’s installment here.

April 2017

I’d forgotten what spring means. I’d forgotten how the grass greens itself and the plants reanimate from a dormancy that seemed so permanent, so fatal. I’ve forgotten the names of flowers and the way in which bulbs progress. I forgot how the buds on each individual branch of each individual tree sprout with a certainty that they’ll bloom. I’d forgotten, but fortunately they did not.

For months, all we’ve seen in every direction is white. Sedimentary layers of ice, snow, snow, and ice.

Continue reading This Month On The Homestead: Mud, Trellises, and The Land Trust at Frugalwoods.

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This Month On The Homestead: Town Meeting, Apple Tree Pruning, and a Pancake Supper http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/04/07/this-month-on-the-homestead-town-meeting-apple-tree-pruning-and-a-pancake-supper/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/04/07/this-month-on-the-homestead-town-meeting-apple-tree-pruning-and-a-pancake-supper/#comments Fri, 07 Apr 2017 10:00:24 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=13377 This Month On The Homestead: Town Meeting, Apple Tree Pruning, and a Pancake Supper

If you’re just tuning in, this is a recurring series in which I document each month of our lives out here on our 66-acre Vermont homestead. After leaving urban Cambridge, MA in May 2016 to chart this wholly different life, we’re experiencing a constant learning curve of exploration (and plenty of stupid novice moments). Check out last month’s installment here.

March in Vermont started off with a tease of spring. From the bay window in our living room, I could just barely make out a few tall, determined blades of grass poking their brown, sword-tipped heads above the blankets of white.

And then winter–a jealous master this year–roared back, dumping foot after foot of snow, suffocating those intrepid blades, tunneling us back into the depths of cold. I’m not organized enough or scientific enough to report on just how many inches of snow we accumulated this month, but I can tell you it was a lot.

Continue reading This Month On The Homestead: Town Meeting, Apple Tree Pruning, and a Pancake Supper at Frugalwoods.

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This Month On The Homestead: Half Your Wood and Half Your Hay http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/03/02/this-month-on-the-homestead-half-your-wood-and-half-your-hay/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/03/02/this-month-on-the-homestead-half-your-wood-and-half-your-hay/#comments Thu, 02 Mar 2017 14:08:23 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=13065 This Month On The Homestead: Half Your Wood and Half Your Hay

If you’re just tuning in, this is a recurring series in which I document each month of our lives out here on our 66-acre Vermont homestead. After leaving urban Cambridge, MA in May 2016 to chart this wholly different life, we’re experiencing a constant learning curve of exploration (and plenty of stupid novice moments). Check out last month’s installment here.

February shepherded our highest snowfall of the season. Snow poured down on us and stacked itself in great heaps and peaks throughout our property. Our elevation is such that, for every snowfall predicted, we err on the high side of the accumulation estimates. Mr. Frugalwoods and I both agreed that winter just might be our favorite season, which seems almost inconceivable after how glorious fall was. But the muted, still beauty of snow coated trees captivates us. And it’s so much easier to see creature tracks through fresh clouds of powder.

Continue reading This Month On The Homestead: Half Your Wood and Half Your Hay at Frugalwoods.

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This Month On The Homestead: Sunrises, Community, and Ice http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/02/13/this-month-on-the-homestead-sunrises-community-and-ice/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/02/13/this-month-on-the-homestead-sunrises-community-and-ice/#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2017 11:00:42 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=12765 This Month On The Homestead: Sunrises, Community, and Ice

If you’re just tuning in, this is a recurring series in which I document each month of our lives out here on our 66-acre Vermont homestead. After leaving urban Cambridge, MA in May 2016 to chart this wholly different life, we’re experiencing a constant learning curve of exploration (and plenty of stupid novice moments). Check out last month’s installment here.

January was icy and crisp. But mostly icy. The snow no longer melts and each new snowfall gently folds itself on top of the last. There’s no ground that isn’t white. Very few plants–other than trees–poke out of their snowy cocoons. And it’s gorgeous.

I’m sitting at our dining room table as I write this, looking out our gigantic picture window onto the yard, which is an unblemished field of rolling white. Trees jut at the perimeter, offering greens and browns, and in the case of one stubborn beech tree, a few loitering autumn leaves that missed their seasonal memo.

Continue reading This Month On The Homestead: Sunrises, Community, and Ice at Frugalwoods.

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This Month On The Homestead: Snow Removal, Snowshoeing, and… More Snow! http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/01/06/this-month-on-the-homestead-snow-removal-snowshoeing-and-more-snow/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/01/06/this-month-on-the-homestead-snow-removal-snowshoeing-and-more-snow/#comments Fri, 06 Jan 2017 14:08:42 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=12237 This Month On The Homestead: Snow Removal, Snowshoeing, and… More Snow!

If you’re just tuning in, this is a recurring series in which I document each month of our lives out here on our 66-acre Vermont homestead. After leaving urban Cambridge, MA in May 2016 to chart this wholly different life, we’re experiencing a constant learning curve of exploration (and plenty of stupid novice moments). Check out last month’s installment here.

We had a white Christmas! And a white New Year’s! And I think it’s going to be white until about May. We love winter and we love snow, which is a darn good thing because we have quite a lot of it right now.

Winter’s glory is muted. It’s an understated–but no less profound–beauty. One that you have to pause to enjoy. The overwhelming abundance of summer and the riotous colors of fall and the innocence of spring are all lacking in a wintertime landscape.

Continue reading This Month On The Homestead: Snow Removal, Snowshoeing, and… More Snow! at Frugalwoods.

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This Month On The Homestead: Local Food and Wood Transport Systems http://www.frugalwoods.com/2016/12/02/this-month-on-the-homestead-local-food-and-wood-transport-systems/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2016/12/02/this-month-on-the-homestead-local-food-and-wood-transport-systems/#comments Fri, 02 Dec 2016 13:34:02 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=11861 This Month On The Homestead: Local Food and Wood Transport Systems

If you’re just tuning in, this is a recurring series in which I document each month of our lives out here on our 66-acre Vermont homestead. After leaving urban Cambridge, MA in May 2016 to chart this wholly different life, we’re experiencing a constant learning curve of exploration (and plenty of stupid novice moments). Check out last month’s installment here.

November scuttled in with brisk wind, lost leaves, and a semi-frozen pond. We said goodbye to fall and cozied in for the cold. However, as we’re learning, weather is not linear and we had a number of sunny, warm days pop up throughout the month. And we now find ourselves in the depths of…

Stick Season

So named because the trees all look like… sticks! Except for the softwoods of course, who shimmer with pride this time of year, their effervescent needles poking through the otherwise dreary palette of browns and grays.

Continue reading This Month On The Homestead: Local Food and Wood Transport Systems at Frugalwoods.

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This Month On The Homestead: From Leaves to Snow http://www.frugalwoods.com/2016/11/02/this-month-on-the-homestead-from-leaves-to-snow/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2016/11/02/this-month-on-the-homestead-from-leaves-to-snow/#comments Wed, 02 Nov 2016 13:13:26 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=11579 This Month On The Homestead: From Leaves to Snow

If you’re just tuning in, this is a recurring series in which I document each month of our lives out here on our 66-acre Vermont homestead. After leaving urban Cambridge, MA in May 2016 to chart this wholly different life, we’re experiencing a constant learning curve of exploration (and plenty of stupid novice moments). Check out last month’s installment here.

October will always have special meaning for our family because it’s the anniversary of us seeing our homestead for the very first time. Last year, Mr. Frugalwoods and I trekked up here from Cambridge, while nine (yes, NINE) months pregnant with Babywoods because we’d seen this amazing property online and HAD to come see it in person.

We fell in love with the land and the rest is all shared right here. It was an emotional experience for us as last fall represented the fruition of two of our longest held, and most deeply desired, wishes: a child and a homestead.

Continue reading This Month On The Homestead: From Leaves to Snow at Frugalwoods.

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This Month On The Homestead: Moose and BTUs http://www.frugalwoods.com/2016/10/14/this-month-on-the-homestead-moose-and-btus/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2016/10/14/this-month-on-the-homestead-moose-and-btus/#comments Fri, 14 Oct 2016 10:00:21 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=11379 This Month On The Homestead: Moose and BTUs

If you’re just tuning in, this is a recurring series in which I document each month of our lives out here on our 66-acre Vermont homestead. After leaving urban Cambridge, MA in May 2016 to chart this wholly different life, we’re experiencing a constant learning curve of exploration (and plenty of stupid novice moments). Check out last month’s installment here.

Although I was mostly homesteading-in-absentia in September thanks to my travels, we were still able to squeeze in a fair number of farm-type things.

It’s also true that sometimes homestead life looks remarkably similar to life anywhere else–just with a lot more trees and a lot fewer people.

Biglegs Spotted

Since moving here, Mr. Frugalwoods and I have been on amateur wildlife spotting detail, bolstered by Frugal Hound’s incredibly worthless useful assistance. We’re learning to identify creature tracks in the mud and Frugal Hound helpfully tracked a wily beast’s prints through the yard with vigorous sniffing.

Continue reading This Month On The Homestead: Moose and BTUs at Frugalwoods.

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