My Earth Garden: The Next Chapter

by Michael Nolan on 12 May 2014 · 8 comments

in Articles, Homesteading

Late last year I took a big step toward realizing a lifelong dream.

Anyone who knows me knows that my beliefs and lifestyle have always veered a bit left of center. One of those beliefs that I haven’t spoken much about until now focuses on the concept of the retirement plan and all that such a plan entails. It will probably come as no big surprise that my ideas about a plan for retirement are far different from what is generally accepted. Those ideas are what lead me to the next chapter in my life.

My Earth Garden Homestead Site

Last year I purchased the 2 1/2 acre plot pictured above in an area of mostly undeveloped woodland in the Ozark Foothills of Missouri. As I open the book on my next chapter, I plan to carve a small, manageable homestead out of this land, putting into practice years of experience in sustainability, farming and agriculture while calling upon the expertise of friends and colleagues along the way.

The Big IdeaThe Big Idea: to create a largely sustainable, eco-responsible homestead that will be eventually become my retirement home.

My Earth Garden Homestead Site

My plan is to document the process of building My Earth Garden Homestead from the very beginning (so far, so good!) and to share the information here. When complete, the site will act not only as my home but also as an ongoing educational facility, not only for me but for visitors as well.

When completed, my homestead retirement plan will greatly reduce my need for an active income by providing for the majority of my needs for shelter, water, and food.

My Earth Garden Homestead Site


Without a reliable source of water I could not begin to install the fruit & nut trees or food gardens that will be the source of much of my food. Before my homesteading work can begin in earnest on the site, a well must first be drilled on the property at an estimated cost of $7,500.

In the interest of sustainability, rainwater collection will be implemented in the future, but not until permanent structures are in place to make it worthwhile.

My Earth Garden Rain Barrel


Electrical lines do not extend to the property and that’s just fine with me. I plan to minimize the need for power and to use only alternative energy sources at the homestead, including solar and wind and supplemented with propane.


One of the few deed restrictions on the property requires that a permanent home with a foundation be constructed of logs and/or stone. Mobile homes are not allowed. This was done in part to ensure that the land would maintain a natural appearance and to encourage the use of local, native materials for construction.

I have not made any final construction decisions about the home I will build on the homestead, because I want to spend time there getting to know the land to find out what will best fit in and work with the property.

None of this is going to happen overnight, and I have a lot of work to do before any construction will begin at all.

My Earth Garden Homestead Project

Want To Help?

Starting this homestead project from scratch isn’t going to be cheap. While I am making every effort to save the money necessary to get it off the ground, the amount is a bit prohibitive in the short term. In the meantime, if you would like to help defray the initial startup costs, please visit

I would love to talk with companies who might be interested in providing materials or other assistance for this project. Click the Contact Tab at the top of the page to reach me.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Hope May 12, 2014 at 8:49 am

Oh wow. That’s really cool. :) I can’t wait to see how it progresses!

Kindar May 12, 2014 at 10:45 am

That’s very cool.

I can’t wait to see how it unfolds, since I have similar plans for my retirement

Julie @ Garden Delights May 15, 2014 at 7:37 am

WOW. You are living my dream. Or, well, you’re working TOWARD living my dream! What a fabulous endeavor. Can’t wait to meet you at G2B and hear more about it! Congratulations on getting started.

Michael Nolan May 15, 2014 at 7:41 am

Thanks, Julie. It is going to be a huge undertaking for sure. See you in a few days!

P "Ennis" May 20, 2014 at 8:48 am

Beautiful property, amazing dream. The hills look like they could use a “Magic” touch.

Diane May 22, 2014 at 7:49 am

Best of luck on this project Michael. I will look forward to following this series. Have you considered Kickstarter for your funding?
Hope to meet someday. G2B14 appears to have been a blast! Take care. Diane

Michael Nolan May 22, 2014 at 8:44 am

Thanks, Diane.

I went with GoFundMe because I always saw Kickstarter more as a springboard for small business ideas.

Michael Nolan May 22, 2014 at 8:45 am

Greetings, Ennis,

I chose the hill of the Ozarks because of the magic they already contain. They will no doubt have much more in the years that come.

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