When you move to a city there are many options for housing. None of them are necessarily affordable for a New Farmer whose wallet is slowly hemorrhaging from all the expenses and the low pay, but there are options: basement apartments, friend’s couches, rooming houses, etc.
When you decide to farm on borrowed land, and desire to live on that land, the options become a bit more limited. While farming in Florida I stayed in a small tent, in Mexico it was a cabin. In Ontario, our wall-tent and a trailer.
In Grey County there is a yearly fee starting this January I think, of 1000 dollars for a trailer. In Wellington County I don’t think it is the same, but there are bylaws preventing permanent structures from being built. Other similar rules and fees complicate things a bit.
It seems our options are: trailer, yurt, wall tent… or yome?
We’ve lived all seasons in a wall tent- a 9×11 canvas structure held up by cedar poles. It holds none of it’s heat, is quite a cramped living quarters once you have a stove and a bed set up, and we’ve never gone to the trouble of building a proper floor (which we have vowed to do at our next living situation). I tried to do some research on insulating your own wall tent with straw or felt, but came out feeling like it would be a total adventure- which is the opposite of what I crave these days with a living space.
For about a month Seb and I found ourselves drooling and dreaming of spacious yurt living. A yurt is a round structure, usually insulated, that is used traditionally in Mongolia as nomadic housing. There are many variations of the yurt- from Mongolian yak-felt insulated, to Colorado yurts which use a lot of vinyl (very unsustainable material that off-gasses and may not be considered safe to live in). Yurts are in the 7000-10000 range, which for us is just a bit too steep considering that on top of that you will have to purchase lumber to build a platform, and also buy a stove (though compared to city-living this is very affordable!).
After visiting someone who was selling a yurt on Kijiji and not being impressed by it’s condition or price, we found ourselves back at step one. What will we live in?
Another factor is that we will be living off grid, in a forest- so the obvious thing we’d like to use for heating is wood. We will use a borrowed trailer from my parents for cooking and hang-out space in the warm seasons, but for the shoulder seasons we’d like to have a warm space to come to at the end of a cold day in the field. Our farming partners are currently building their own yurt using mostly local materials- and we’d like a similar space, but will be keeping our building projects for the winter to chicken tractors, bee hives, garden carts, and maybe a platform and frame for a … yome.
A yome is a cross between a yurt and a geodesic dome offered by a company called Red Sky Shelters. We have emailed a number of folks in cold climates like ours to get information of their experience of living in a Yome. It seems to be a more affordable option than a yurt, and the materials Peter of Red Sky Shelters uses to build them seem to be modern but lasting and mostly ecologically sound.
Anyone else ever heard of a Yome?