Hi my name is Mike, I used the username Thunder5Ranch just because I always use that username. I am new here but very far removed from new to this life. I started this adventure 48 years ago when I was born into a family of very independent and self sufficient people, I only got worse from then on. I spent some time in the army and some more time living in the rat race as a wage slave saving enough to finally buy my own piece of dirt 16 years ago, and the Thunder 5 Ranch was born. While I don't consider myself to be a prepper or a survivalist specifically, as those are just parts of the whole. When you live and work in a very rural location 40 miles North of the middle of nowhere, you have to be prepared for various things and well sometimes those things require some survival skills. I produce, hunt or forage 90% of our food. I do like things like coffee, sugar, corn starch and black pepper. I dinked around with growing wheat and making flour but honestly found it not worth the effort. I do grow blue dent corn and multi color corn for cornmeal though. I raise Irish Dexter Cattle, Pigs, a layer flock of chickens, a meat flock of chickens and turkeys and grow 3-4 acres of veggies and grow cool season veggies year round in a high tunnel and greenhouse. I mill my own lumber from our woods on a portable band mill and build with that lumber. I started two farmers markets in towns 25 and 40 miles away from the T5R for others shunned by the market status quo in this area and of course to sell my own products. I have a on farm store for the locals and people who want to come from the bigger towns 40-50 miles away. That is how I earn my living and support my modest lifestyle. Overall most folks look at me as backwards and uneducated, and I let them believe that. Even though I am well educated and hold a couple of bigger degrees than most looking down their nose at me. Seems like people in general either would love to live like I do or consider living independent of society and being self sustaining and sufficient is unacceptable. The last several years I have been kicking around the idea of opening the farm up and making it a homesteader type community of 6-7 other individuals or families that want to live more freely and independently. Without investing a small fortune to find out if this life is right for them. Lets face it, there is no cheap way to get up and running and be self sufficient, good land than you can actually grow something on is not cheap, tractors, tools and gizmos are not cheap, start up livestock is not cheap. There are less expensive ways to get set up none of which are cheap anymore. So I figure, I have everything I want or need. The farm is well established and making enough to support me and it. Plus feeding 150+ people regularly and in part another 300 folks that are fairly regular shoppers at our markets. Why not open the farm up and share that and my experience and knowledge with other folks and share my equipment and land in a affordable lease system and use the money from the lease for improvements for the community. I have been thinking about doing something like this for the last 8-10 years and kind of rough planning it out. Over the last four years I have became a big fan of the portable buildings. At $10,000 give or take for a 14x46 shell they make a darn solid cabin and are easy to add a wing or two onto with a post frame add on. The first one I bought in 2012 I was leery of but it was a used one with a few flaws and the price was right, so I got a 12x32 cabin model and finished it out with drywall and put a industrial vinyl floor on it for the on farm store and have been quite happy with it. When I bought this land and relocated the farm to a much more rural area 8 years ago, I bought a old 1974 mobile home that was serviceable for $500 as temp housing for a year or maybe two.... Yeah you know how that goes it has turned into 8 years and it gets a little less serviceable every year. So this summer I splurged and bough a 14x46 lofted cabin portable building and am working on finishing the inside of it and going to call it home, hopefully before first snow. Debating on pulling the old mobile home over by the shop and gutting it and putting a truss roof on it, new plywood on the floors and in general refurbishing it and converting it to the kitchen/store. We are partially off the electric grid, from 2008-2012 we used a small solar system for our modest power needs. It was enough with the battery bank to power lights, computers, a tv and a refrigerator. When the solar could not keep up we used a back up generator and in a pinch I could jump my truck or tractor batteries to the battery bank and bring them up to full charge. When I decided to start selling packaged cuts of meats, we had to run electric and rural water down to the farm. Water to meet the state and health dept requirements and electric to power the freezers that often had 10,000-15,000 pounds of pork, beef and poultry in them. Gotta admit it was nice to not have to lug a generator to the welder everytime I needed to weld something as well. LOL I found very fast that you could make about a 1 inch weld before the dozen 310 amp hour batteries were drained. So I ran a 200amp electric service and a rural water line back to where I envisioned a community of cabins being. I figure 50 amps per cabin will work and with that service box my electrician tell me we can put disconnect boxes for 400amps before having to have the electric co-op put in a bigger box. Past the breaker box I will wire. Those big cables to the breaker box I won't mess with Well not sure if this is a introduction or a story of past, present and future. But figure its time to stop typing now.