The idea of “home” means a lot of things to different people. It’s where you sleep. It’s where you take your pants off at the end of the day. It’s where the heart is. But it’s also an idea — a place that’s sacred because it’s where you exist in your most authentic habitat, whether in the middle of a crowded urban environment or wayyyyy out in the middle of the wilderness, where there’s nothing but quiet and thoughts to yourself amongst the wind in the pines.
This awesome home belongs to Mollie and Sean Busby. For the last three years they’ve created a homestead called the Busby Hive that includes a yurt and a sizable chicken coop. It’s way out in the middle of no where in rural Montana. Their incredible story of mountain culture and building a kickass home is captured over at Teton Gravity. It’s one of the coolest things you’ll read today…
Sean was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 19. The process was awful, consisting of a misdiagnosis and a lot of ‘sick days’. He almost quit his snowboarding career all together. But he read stories of kids much younger than him living with type 1 and they inspired him to soldier on. He refocused his snowboarding career on splitboarding and expeditions.
In 2004, Sean began developing ski/snowboarding camps for kids with type 1 (or T1D). Kids could come to the camp and learn how to snowboard while still managing life as a T1D. He called the program “Riding On Insulin.” And because of the program, six years later, he met Mollie.
The yurt and mountain property they’ve developed in Montana is an escapist’s dream home. Definitely go throw Sean a follow on Instagram to see how this work in progress develops.
When we built our home, @montanamollie and I wanted to take our two years of living in our off grid yurt one step further. That meant that we needed to collect and reuse/repurpose building materials from homes being torn down across Montana. In addition we used logs from our own property and used a chainsaw mill to make other building materials too. With our focus shifting to permaculture we wanted our systems to do most of the work for us and continue to benefit our 10 acre homestead once we were done using them. Thus, one part of this process was how we would look at water differently then from how it is set up at our yurt. We have been living in a dry home (yurt) for two years and knew we could make the process easier and less time consuming rather then hauling up 5 gallons jugs of water all the time with our new build. In the winter our only access is via snowmobile so we wanted to make stages of water storage to ad some easement to this lifestyle with the home . We would love to put in a well, but at this time it is very unaffordable. So we focused on making sure we could collect large amounts of rain water for non potable use. Our rainwater goes through a first flush diverter as it comes off the roof and filters out most of the debris. It is then stored in a giant storage tank that we painted to block algae growth from the sun. Next, we use part of our solar power to transfer the rain water through a filter into our home tanks for showers and such, to an outside black painted tank (seen in this photo) for outdoor solar heated gravity fed showers, our upper garden, and for our chickens/ducks. We also use our rain water to fill our wood fired cedar hot tub. We use no chemicals in the hot tub and drain it at least every two weeks giving it a nice deep scrub cleaning between uses. The water then goes through a set of heavy duty filters and into the garden for a beneficial cycle to continue the reuse theme. We have even started collecting water off our yurt and now run 200' of hose down part of the property for more water needs such as for our water fowl or fire danger needs. If the sun is out for an outside shower –then our moto is "Suns out – buns out 🍑"
*Yawnnnnn-stretchhhh*…..Looking out the bedroom window to what appears to be a beautiful autumn blue bird morning while slightly confused from the hail and thunder that rocked our cabin hours earlier while we tried to sleep. This Friday morning called for a wood fired hot tub soak followed by a cold outdoor shower to jump start the day.
A quick look into our tiny off grid kitchen. A shallow well hand pump pumps water from a holding tank to either the kitchen sink or to our homemade thermosiphon hot water heater that is wrapped around our wood stove. A car siphon foot pump pumps water via foot power to the sink for pressurized dish washing without wasting any water. We pump as we need water from the holding tank. Solar power operates our D.C. powered chest fridge where we used velcro to attach a chop block to the top for more counter space. One of our solar powered lights sits in an old chicken egg wire basket as a light holder. Propane gas lights for those many days of winter darkness when solar can be unreliable and a propane range/oven. Our off grid propane utilities are hooked up to little BBQ propane tanks for easy snowmobiling and handling in winter. A pantry is built into the back of the log that holds our cast iron cooking pans. That pretty much sums up this mini cooking space. 🍳🍽