Before I begin I would like to take a moment to express our gratitude to Dan Swords and his blog for giving us the opportunity to share with you our adventure. For those who may not be familiar, Cimarron Ranch is an off-grid ranching and homesteading experiment. Three years ago we moved to a piece of land in the wilderness and started building a tiny house with the hopes of starting an apiary to breed queen bees and ranch sheep. The wilderness in which I speak of is located 2 hours from the nearest paved road and over 8 miles from our nearest neighbor. The Grand Canyon National Park is a very close friend. With this as our backdrop, we slowly began to carve a homestead and way of life from what the land has given us. The experiment part was really nothing more than a look within ourselves to see what we were capable of in the face of hard work, long bouts of solitude, extremely harsh weather and the dangerous predators that call this area home.
1. How long have you been blogging?
The blogging adventure began roughly at the first of the year of 2018. Due to our remoteness, we have trouble receiving internet. The satellite dish internet providers we contacted were very reluctant to come to our ranch for fear of getting lost or stuck. As a result, our only option was a Verizon Hot Spot Jetpack that allows us only 20GB per month and is somewhat expensive. Due to the cost, we kept internet usage to a minimum and as such, blogging was a luxury, to say the least. We’ve since figured out how to adjust our bandwidth usage and can slip in a blog entry now in then or wait until we do our monthly trip to town to upload files.
2. Are you a full-time blogger or do you also have another job/career?
At this point, we are ranchers and off-grid homesteaders first. Until technology becomes either more available or less expensive blogging will probably remain a hobby. We kind of like it this way because, in my mind, a good blog requires good content and this content is derived from life experiences. It would be akin to my favorite authors who have done amazing things in their life and brought that experience to the pages of their books.
3. What got you started into blogging?
Our blogging adventure started because of guilt if you will. During the nights when we were first here we lived out of our old sheep wagon during cold weather and slept in the back of our truck under the stars at night. Before we would retire at night I would research how to do the next days tasks or jobs. This information provided the basis to build our house, duck and chicken coops, horse corrals and start our bee apiary. Because of the unselfish time and experience given by others, I felt guilty that I was utilizing the resource and decided that I need to give back to the community and a blog was one of the venues in which we chose to do it.
4. What is your blog about and how does it help others?
The blog is basically a “How to” blog in that when I have to do a homesteading project I would like to document it so that others may, at least, see how we did it. Perhaps provide another angle on a project that someone else may be tackling or feels overwhelmed by. Through collective minds, a daunting job may be made much easier. If the blog helps others I feel I did my job.
5. What is working for you and your blog? Why?
The thing that works best for us is probably the fact that we may be somewhat of an oddity. There are not a lot of people who want to live such a lifestyle so the curiosity factor may be appealing to some. The blog itself isn’t very flashy and needs to be rearranged. This is one of our upcoming projects. Unfortunately, Mother Nature pretty much dictates the work schedule here so when the days are good it’s usually filled with hours working outside. Last year we were snowed in for 8 days and during our monsoon season, we spent a lot more time indoors so I’m planning to get it sorted then. Hopefully!
6. What did not work out so well for your blog? Why?
Our hardest issues with blogging are time constraints and content. I’ve heard this from other bloggers as well. Depending on the time of year our workday can lead to some very long hours. On top of this sometimes I feel the content is not worthy. I often am faced with an internal conundrum. Is this subject worth writing about? Does anyone care? or am I just writing because I feel guilty because it’s been a few days?
7. What tools are you using that you can introduce my readers to?
We use WordPress for the blog. Not because I think it’s the best but it was what we had been most comfortable with in the past. We also use the audio program audacity for our podcasts on iTunes as well as Lightworks and Shotcut for video editing on Youtube. However, due to our bandwidth issues, we have been relegated to uploading videos about once a month when we go to town for supplies.
8. What piece of advice would you give to someone who is interested in starting a blog?
Everyone has something to offer. Only through the collection and the dissemination of information can you help make the world a better place for yourself and others. What you may perceive to be mundane and boring others may perceive to be fascinating. Don’t sell yourself short. Blog. Blog not only for others but for yourself as well. When you look back on it in a few months or years you’ll remember and relive the things you’ve done and accomplished. If you tell the world your story they will listen.
9. Where can everyone find you?
It has been a pleasure writing our thoughts and we thank you for the opportunity to do so. If anyone is in the neighborhood on the web and would like to stop by and say “Hi” we can be found on;
Twitter- Cimarron Ranch https://twitter.com/Cimarron_Ranch
Youtube Channel – Cimarron Ranch https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-ndoUP7i1YskFeLQMVX3NQ
iTunes – Cimarron Ranch Off Grid Homestead https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/cimarron-ranch-off-grid-homestead-podcasts/id1342976615?mt=2
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