31 – The High Cost of Creating a Sustainable Arizona Farm

Now would be a good time to touch on the financial side of what we are doing.

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If you’ve made it this far through the story you have watched us lay out a lot of money and give up months of our life at a time, months that would have otherwise been spent producing income. At some point our original “Off Grid” dream changed to a “Off Grid, Small Carbon Footprint Sustainable Farm Where Earth Worms Dance with Honey Bees and Pigs Live in Harmony with Cows and Chickens Working Hard to Improve Grass Pasture for Each Other, Slapping High Fives in Passing from One Paddock to the Next”.

Turns out, that utopian dream comes with a hefty price tag. One that Amy and I are willing to sacrifice for and invest our life savings into.

I don’t want to discourage anyone from pursuing their own version of the “Off Grid Dream”. A small solar powered cabin, simple access road with a tidy garden and a water system large enough to raise chickens, meat rabbits and a few fruit trees could easily be built for less than the cost of the cheapest house on the market in Lake Havasu.

Reeducating ourselves regarding personal finances was hard, necessary and one of the most rewarding things we’ve done. Living life with a debit card and cash in your pocket is easier than I imagined but the road getting to that point was a bit tough. Dave Ramsey has great books on the subject that are worth considering if my words are connecting with something inside you.

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“Cutting the credit cord” forces you to deeply understand wants and needs, and nowhere is that more evident than our final set of house plans. The first set of plans was a fantastic passive solar design with everything we could dream up including a large basement. At 2,500 square feet, it was going to be great for entertaining but also came with a mortgage to tie us into an old lifestyle we were becoming less and less enthusiastic about.

After more than a year of discussion and hand drawings Amy and I had decided a simple house without a mortgage would mean more to us than anything else. She named it, “The Taj Mah-small”.

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