Pursue the simple life immersed in nature’s beauty with this gorgeous homestead on 2.7 acres in beautiful New Mexico. The property comes with a caretaker who knows how to garden and take care of small animals (we’ve had goats, turkeys, ducks, chickens, and a goose). It’s an ideal situation for permanent residents, for seasonal visitors, or as a weekend getaway. It is located on the aptly named Box Canyon Road, about two miles from the box canyon marking the southern entry into the first designated Wilderness Area in the world.
The homestead includes a well-insulated, straw-bale, off-grid duplex, with the two sides of the duplex separated by a 450-square-foot breezeway. Each of the two sides of the duplex tallies 700 square feet of living space in a stunning setting. The east side has an evaporative cooler and crushed-quartz countertops, along with 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom. The cooler west side has 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. Each bathroom has a composting toilet. Each bedroom and living room has a ceiling fan.
The duplex is served by a 3.15-kilowatt photovoltaic solar system and solar water heaters. Energy storage is provided by 24, 2-volt, deep-cycle marine batteries that can be trickled-charged from the grid by flipping a switch on the breaker box in the breezeway (no noisy generator needed). Large, south-facing windows and an acid-stained concrete floor provide passive solar heating. The structure was designed and built with durability in mind, from faucets and light switches to Jötul wood stoves.
A 1,500-square-foot mobile home, built in 1995, has grid-tied electricity and offers abundant storage and living quarters. It contains 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms as well as relatively new appliances (electric stove, upright refrigerator, deep-chest freezer, and high-efficiency washing machine). The mobile home has an open floor plan with large living room/dining room/kitchen heated by a very large wood stove.
The combined indoor living space totals 2,900 square feet with 7 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. Several cords of split firewood will keep the structures heated for many years to come.
The homestead includes an extensive orchard, several large gardens (several of which are underlain by hardware cloth to protect against gophers), 2 cold frames (each 45 square feet and similarly protected from gophers), 2 greenhouses, 2 root cellars (320 square feet and 100 square feet), a chicken coop (has housed 27 chickens, with room to spare), duck house (has housed 13 ducks, with room to spare), and goat paddock and shed (which have contained up to 3 adults and 8 kids, and harbor are complete milking accommodations indoors and outdoors; goat milk has served as a source of revenue for the property). The entire homestead is served by a drip-irrigation system, 2 solar-powered wells and a hand pump with extremely high-quality water, and a lovingly crafted outdoor kitchen. In addition to water pumped from the shallow water table, 3,000 gallons of rainwater are harvested from each of the 2 homes.
Also onsite is a large biochar kiln with which we create charcoal as a soil amendment. An extensive stand of bamboo serves as feedstock for the kiln, as well as producing edible and ultimately structural bamboo. This permacultural haven has additional features too numerous to list.
The homestead is located near the sole remaining free-flowing river in the state of New Mexico (the Gila River). It is surrounded by National Forests and designated Wilderness Areas, including the Gila Wilderness, largest Wilderness Area in the Lower 48 states. The views from the homestead are beautiful in all directions, with mountains, forests, a riverine corridor, and spectacular sunsets. The abundance of wildlife is stunning, and includes Sandhill cranes and numerous other waterfowl species during winter. Silver City, the nearest town of more than 10,000 people, is 30 miles away. It is the hub of commerce for Grant County, and it harbors a state university and a significant historical district.
Monetary investment to date exceeds $700,000, not including thousands of hours of labor over a span of 8 years. It’s ready for immediate occupancy, including friendly neighbors who “know the ropes” about living in a rural area. One of the two root cellars is a 40-foot cargo container filled with a few tons of food, including beans, canned goods, pasta, honey, and wheat berries (food mills are onsite).