Update 1: Our Move to Missouri

We did it! We finally made our move to Missouri. I wanted to provide an update so our friends and family back home can keep tabs on us : ) but also to be transparent for those interested in learning from our experience. A common curiosity we encounter is the logistics of what we’re doing, mainly how we’re making it work. I’ve tried to give a short outline on how we’re making our dream a reality – from how our plans have evolved, to how we’re “getting by” in a rural area, to the very first step of the build.

We set up camp along a bordering easement road.
HQ for our first week of construction in March, 2016.
Neal with our good buddy, Eric, who purchased some acreage about 20 minutes from us.
Neal with our good friend, Eric, who purchased some land in the neighboring town!

Before we moved we made a trip out to Missouri for some land prep and to search for an apartment. During our “March trip”, we cleared a pathway and a portion of the land with an excavator so we’d have a level area for our greenhouse tent which would store all of our supplies. We also collected a ton of free sawdust and pallets, which made a great mud-proof floor in the storage area.

Our dog Stevie sat on patrol every morning. This is what the land looked like before we started clearing.
Pickaxes, saws, chainsaws, axes, shovels, and weeders could not compete with the speed of heavy machinery!
By the end of the week we had cleared a pathway and the location of our future camp site.
While the beat up ones were free, we found some beautiful pallets in great condition for $1 each.


Having the compost toilet on the build site is a nice luxury to have! As an added bonus, we will be using the waste in our humanure compost piles – an important part of our soil rebuilding efforts. (Don’t worry, we aren’t using our waste on our edible plants – though it is  completely safe and a widely used practice).

compost toilet collage
DIY compost toilet!
Checking out the worksite’s new bathroom! 🙂

The storage area we set up will house all of the building supplies, equipment, and tools. Since we’re trying to build as cheaply as possible, we didn’t want to spend hundreds (or thousands) of dollars on a pre-built storage unit. So we used what we had: a greenhouse tent, sawdust, and pallets.



We’re now (mostly) all moved in to a townhome in Osage Beach, MO, about an hour drive away from our land. I was fortunate enough to find a digital marketing position working from home, so it seems everything is falling into place.


For those of you who need to work while simultaneously building your home, a work from home job is not necessary! There are tons of different solutions and approaches others have taken, a little research may inspire a workable solution. If you need to depend on the local economy, at least out here the cost of living is absurdly cheap. Even at Walmart, some of the goods we purchase are literally 50% cheaper than Houston. Not to mention the rent in more rural areas is substantially less expensive – even some of the apartments on the lake were as low as $400. Regardless of the situation you’re in, where there’s a will there’s a way.

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