Tiny Shiny Home Blog 2020-11-25T17:09:53-05:00 /feed Tiny Shiny Home hello@tinyshinyhome.com https://tinyshinyhome.com/animal-paddock-upgrades-feed-shed-pig-paddock-new-animals-coming-soon Animal Paddock Upgrades - Feed Shed & Pig Paddock + New Animals Coming Soon! 2020-11-24T00:00:00-05:00 2020-11-24T14:15:21-05:00 Jonathan Longnecker https://tinyshinyhome.com/
This post may contain affiliate links or compensated reviews. Please read our disclosure for more info.

Guess what? There are NEW animals coming to the Tiny Shiny Homestead! And in preparation we had several things we needed to upgrade in our paddock.

But first, can you believe we're coming up on 7 months here on the homestead?!  Sometimes it feels like we haven't gotten anything done out here. But then we look back and see all the projects we've completed and feel a little bit better :)

Anyhow, onto the animal paddock!

Shelter Logic Feed Shed

Our Shelter Logic Garage-in-a-box has been a lifesaver out here, but it was quickly filling up with tools and animal feed. Plus it was too long of a walk over to the paddock carrying all the food and water.

So when we noticed the 3-in-1 Multi-Purpose Shelter was on sale at Tractor Supply we knew it was time to add another tent to our arsenal.

This 10'x15' shelter would be the perfect size to store all our animal feed, hay, and alfalfa inside the animal paddock for easy access.

Like our larger Garage-in-a-box, setup was pretty straightforward, which is amazing considering you're adding a good sized enclosed "building" in about 4 hours. We're big fans :)

Shelter Logic Feed Shed

Adding a Pig Paddock

With the new animals incoming and a new tent full of food that the pigs could sneak into, it was time to put the Kune Kune's in their own sectioned off area. We still had corner posts, bracing postsTimeless T-Posts, and high tensile wire left from our fencing project so we created a new electrified smaller area for the pigs to stay in.

Our pigs are still so small that we needed to add an extra strand to keep them from jumping through, but once they get bigger it shouldn't be a problem.

Pig Paddock Nine Strand Electric Fence

New Animals Coming Soon!

And with that we're ready to welcome some new animals to the Tiny Shiny Homestead. What will they be? You'll just have to wait to find out :)

https://tinyshinyhome.com/solar-shed-office-part-4-laying-the-first-course-of-hyperadobe-bags Solar Shed Office Part 4: Laying the First Course of Hyperadobe Bags 2020-11-16T00:00:00-05:00 2020-11-17T11:09:27-05:00 Ashley Longnecker https://tinyshinyhome.com/
This post may contain affiliate links or compensated reviews. Please read our disclosure for more info.

Hey, hey! Look who's laying bags for our solar shed office!

We're so excited about this phase. We worked so hard to get the foundation right and leveled, we've planned and researched, and now it's time to get to work! But first, let's talk about setting up a system so that laying the bags will go as smooth as possible.

Store Your Dirt Far Enough Away

When we dug the trench for the foundation, we thought it would be helpful to keep the earth near the building site, turns out...you don't want to do that. 

It's really in the way so now we've had to move the piles several times. Once to dig our buttresses, and once to put up our string line, and now we need to move it again to sift it. Save some time and hassle by not doing what we did. Put all the earth that you dig up into one large pile about 20-30 feet from where you're building. 

We're still moving piles!

Gorilla Cart Dirt Sifter

Filter Your Dirt Before Filling Bags

We built a simple sifter that fits directly on our Gorilla Cart using scrap 2x4s and 1/4" hardware cloth. This way we can sift the earth and get out all the big rocks. You don't want those in your bags! Just make a pile of rocks nearby to use on your next rubble trench foundation.

Kids Using Cement Mixer

Use a Cement Mixer to Speed Things Up

For us, we knew we'd be needing to add a bit of cement to our native earth for these first several courses so having a cement mixer next to the pile of earth was a good idea. Though the cement mixer was a huge pain to put together, it works, and it's a huge time saver when you're working with this much earth and cement.

Have Access to Water Nearby

Lucky for us, the location we wanted to put our solar shed was near our water tank so we're able to just run a hose from our solar pump house to our cement mixer. 

When we're working some other place that's not near the water tank, we'll likely invest in another IBC tote to refill nearby the job site so we can just use gravity to add water to the soil.

Having all of these things close together and near the building site was really smart. That's one thing we did right!

Hyperadobe Earthbag Bucket Delivery System in use.

Bucket Delivery System for Earthbags and Hyperadobe Bags

Some other things we did right were creating this bucket system that will eventually be on a hand cart once we're laying bags above ground level. 

We just cut two buckets and put them inside each other, added some duct tape and voila, we have a sweet delivery system for getting the soil into our bags. Having the extra length of the second bucket means that we are able to cinch around 45 feet of hyperadobe bags onto the buckets. That's a lot of bag!

Create a Plan & Process For How You'll Lay Your Bags

Assigning jobs to the kids was also a key to a smooth operation. We had two kids manning the cement mixer and mastering the art of a perfect mixture of water, earth and cement. Then one person holding the bucket and two people filling the bucket. 

If you're good at math, you'll realize that we still have one person unaccounted for. That person was in charge of watching the dog. Yeah, we have a 6 month old puppy that thinks it's cool to destroy anything inside, eat poop, dig in a compost pile and eat cement. So, yeah. One person had to watch the dog. 

But we all switched jobs so that everyone could learn each aspect of the job and now everyone knows how to get the right consistency of earth, fill the bags, and how to keep a puppy safe.

What We Did Wrong on our First Earthbag Layer

We knew we needed some type of elastic around the bucket, but all we could find were some bungie cords with the soft rubber hooks. Turns out, you DO NOT want to use these! We tried it on the first bag, and it worked great for sort period of time, until the hook got stuck in the bag and ripped it! We had to remove some of the soil from the bag, tie it off, and start another bag. Not a huge deal but we won't be using bungie cords again. 

Thankfully I remembered that we had a couple of extra exercise bands in the garage and that was just want we needed! We simply tied up the band to get the right size and pressure on the bags. Now we can simply add the soil through the bucket, and the weight releases the bags at the right time. 

Make Sure to Tamp as You Go

The biggest lesson we learned was you don't want to wait too long to tamp these bags. Because they are not the typical CalEarththat polypropylene bag, but are net bags the dirt is exposed to the air faster. We laid the dome bag first, and waited to tamp until the entire circle was laid. Big mistake. A lot of the soil was drying out and it made it really hard to tamp it down. Being that we're also adding a bit of cement to the mix, we need to be tamping these bags as we go. 

What worked really well was to tamp slightly as we went, then once we're a good 10 feet along go back and tamp the first part harder. Then, once the course is complete, go back for a final tamp on the bag. We used that system on the rectangular part of our building and it worked much better. 

I'm finding it really hard to explain exactly how we're doing this, so perhaps watching the video will help. Once you begin laying the bags, you'll get a feel for what is right and what isn't. 

I absolutely love this process. I love that we are touching every single part of this build. We dug the earth, we added the water, we filled the bags, we tamped them. Our hands are involved in every part of this build and that is a huge reason of why we're choosing to build this way. 

We hope that we can show you all we learn so that you too can feel confident building with hyperdobe bags. We are learning a lot, but there's still so much to figure out. We're excited that you're following along and part of our journey. Thanks for your support and love. We feel it.

https://tinyshinyhome.com/solar-shed-office-earthbag-foundation-prep-work Solar Shed Office Part 3 - Rubble Trench Foundation + Prep Work 2020-11-10T00:00:00-05:00 2020-11-17T11:05:12-05:00 Ashley Longnecker https://tinyshinyhome.com/
This post may contain affiliate links or compensated reviews. Please read our disclosure for more info.

We are finally getting started on our off-grid solar shed office here on the Tiny Shiny Homestead! After the initial shock of finding out that lumber has more than doubled, we quickly pivoted and have switched our solar shed strawbale build to an earthbag construction. Not only will this save us money, it will give us more practice working with this incredibly sustainable way of building.

Sourcing Gear & Appliances to Help with our Earthbag Solar Shed Office

We’ve read the books, watched videos, and talked to several people who are actually working on similar builds in the area, and we feel like we have a really good handle on the process. But like most things - until you actually do the work yourself - it’s hard to feel comfortable doing it.

Through our research, we found several things that will aid in this building process, first of witch is a cement mixer. After an initial soil test, we found that our earth actually has quite a bit of clay in it and once wet, it holds together quite nicely. We’ll be hauling SO MUCH EARTH so having a machine that can turn our soil a bit faster with some water will be a huge time saver, if we can figure out how to put the dang thing together. I mean, is it that hard to create instructions that actually tell you which hardware is which and instructions that don't skip important steps? Come on people!

Cement Mixer

Another aspect of building with earth bags, or hyperadobe bags, is you typically see someone holding a bucket (that the bags are scrunched up on) to transfer the earth into the earth bags. This works nicely, but what if we could attach the bucket to something else so that all people could be hauling the earth into the bags? We’ve seen it only a few times, and couldn’t ever find a good video of how to put it together, so we’re working on that now! After much trial and lots of errors, we finally got it set up and we are excited to make the video to show you exactly how you too can build the same setup. (Video coming soon)

A good laser level is pretty necessary on this type of building. The last thing you want is a crooked home, so invest in a good laser level and take your time to get that foundation right before anything else.

Leveling the Rubble Trench

After the trench was dug, and properly leveled, we could finally begin our rubble trench. The first layer we used once screened gravel. This has several large rocks, as well as smaller rocks in the mix. Next up we used 3/4” gravel for the final layer. Using the laser level again, and a good tamp, we leveled the heck out of that trench!

Lastly, if you’re building a dome, you’ll need a compass to keep your dome perfectly round and level. We choose to use a simple chain level, mostly because our local hardware store didn’t have the parts needed for a pole compass 🤦‍♂️. 

We’ll experiment with another type of compass in the future to see which one we like better, but I think we’ll figure out rather quickly if this was a good idea or not.

With the prep work complete, we are finally ready to start laying the bags! There were days that felt like we would never get to this step, but I'm so happy that we're here and we took the time to get the foundation right.

If you’d like to keep up with our earth bag construction of our solar shed office, make sure you’re subscribed to our YouTube channel and turn on that notification bell! We’ll see you next week!

https://tinyshinyhome.com/cooking-off-grid-for-a-family-of-six Cooking Off-Grid for a Family of Six 2020-11-03T00:00:00-05:00 2020-11-05T11:17:02-05:00 Ashley Longnecker https://tinyshinyhome.com/
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Sometimes it’s hard to believe we’ve been traveling and living in RV’s for over 5 years now. Often we get asked about food - how do we cook and prepare food for 6 people in a tiny space? Add boondocking and living off-grid to the equation and things get even trickier! Without power hookups, we’re limited in the types of energy we can use.

The good news is, we are still able to make delicious, homemade food all while living off-grid. Let’s dig in and see how it works!


Airstream Kitchen Stove

The obvious first choice is propane. It’s cheap, easy to find, and super efficient. Like uses zero power efficient. Many RV’s use it extensively, and we specifically installed a propane stove/oven combo during our renovation to take advantage of it. We know some people don’t like propane, but we’ve found it to be indispensable for living off-grid - not just for cooking, but for heating our water and the trailer, too.

When the temperatures rise, we often opt to use a table top propane stove so we can heat things up outside the trailer.

Sun Oven

Cooking with Sun Oven

Recently we came across the Sun Oven - a really cool invention that uses the power of the sun to funnel it’s energy into a mini oven. This also uses zero power, and while it cooks slower than a traditional oven, it’s impressive how warm it can get and how evenly it cooks. I mean, you can cook just about anything in this thing. And you don't HAVE to be off-grid to use it! Anyone can cook with the sun. Use this link to get a discount on your own Sun Oven!

Pellet Smoker Grill

Green Mountain Davy Crockett

Oh how we love our little Davy Crockett Green Mountain Grill! It runs on 12v and wood pellets, making it very efficient, but extra delicious with all the smokey good flavor it adds to everything we cook in it. Our particular model folds up and fits in the bed of our truck. We’ve traveled full-time with a Davey Crockett grill for years, and have never regretted it. Not only does it act as an oven with it’s digital temperature sensor, but there’s even a wifi antenna and app to check the temperature of your food, preset cooking patterns, and the ability to program your own. Perfect for all those long pork butt smoking days.

These are the main ways we use to cook off-grid and save power. If you’d like to see the recipes for the amazing food in the video, keep reading.


I come from a line of great cooks. I remember helping my Grandma with her catering business many times throughout my childhood. Everyone always raved about her cooking and she loved it. Still to this day, I remember her saying, “always leave some of the silks from your corn on the cob in the pan so that people will know it was shucked and didn’t come from a can.” Ah, I miss her.

My mom spends so much time in the kitchen. We were taught to cook from an early age and it’s one of the things I cherish most. There’s nothing better than walking into a home with the scent of homemade bread just out of the oven, or freshly baked cookies on the counter when we came home from school. I hope that our kids learn to love cooking as much as I do. I think they’re on their way!

The recipes made in the video are not my recipes, but I do change them every time I use them. Sometimes I use honey instead of sugar, sometimes I add whole wheat to our bread instead of white flour, etc. Have fun with the recipes and enjoy them!

Happy Cooking Friends!

https://tinyshinyhome.com/solar-shed-office-part-2-switching-to-earthbag-digging-the-foundation Solar Shed Office Part 2 - Switching to Earthbag & Digging the Foundation 2020-11-03T00:00:00-05:00 2020-11-17T11:06:47-05:00 Jonathan Longnecker https://tinyshinyhome.com/
This post may contain affiliate links or compensated reviews. Please read our disclosure for more info.

Sometimes the best laid plans need to be flexible! After settling on a strawbale solar shed, we had to change things up when the cost of lumber doubled over the last month! 

Switching our Solar Shed Office to Hyperadobe

The California wildfires and COVID-19 pandemic created a huge constraint on lumber, and our deck foundation alone would have cost over $3,000. We decided we wanted to build this office more economically so it was back to the drawing board.

Our endgame was always earthbag housing, but with the solar shed office we were hoping to get something up faster and...um...more square 😂. 

But after doing more research and visiting with other people in the area already in the middle of their own projects, we realized it was possible to build a rectangle "hyperadobe" building.

So we changed our plans completely. Instead of a passive solar rectangle strawbale building , we pivoted to a "rectangle intersected with a dome" earthbag building. This would allow us to experiment with both types (domes & vertical walls) at once.

We even sourced a different type of bag that was a fraction of the cost of the CalEarth ones. We're excited to try them out!

Solar Shed Office Round 2

Solar Shed Office Hyperadobe Floorplan

The new floorplan still comes it at under 200 square feet (so we don't have to get a permit in Cochise County), but includes a 9'x14' rectangle and a 10' dome. 

The West end will still include the desks for computers, the North wall will house the batteries + inverter, and the dome will be our hangout room with a convertible couch/bed & TV. Over in the SE corner we'll put a fridge or freezer for food storage.

What's cool about this design is that the dome can be closed off and become a guest room for anyone visiting.

Digging the Foundation

The first step was to dig the rubble trench foundation. After lots of research, and realizing some people dig down 5 feet and other just put the bags directly on the ground, we decided to split the difference. We would dig the trench wide enough for our 16' bags, and deep enough (about 18")  to get a good layer of gravel in and at least one layer of bags at the lowest point.

This meant we had to dig much deeper on the West end because of the way the land sloped, but with all the kids and Nine Nine helping, we finished our first past in one weekend! Pro tip: get a pick axe, and thank me later 😂.

Earthbag Solar Shed Office Foundation

Next Steps

Turns out we still have a lot to do. We need a proper laser level to check if our trench digging is complete, a crap ton of gravel, our earthbags, a faster way to mix the dirt, and a better bucket delivery system. Lots of planning and trips to the hardware store.

But we're excited to finally get moving on our first building on the property! 

If you’d like to keep up with our earthbag construction of our solar shed, make sure you’re subscribed to our YouTube channel and turn on that notification bell! We’ll see you next week!

https://tinyshinyhome.com/solar-shed-office-part-1-planning-research Solar Shed Office Part 1 - Planning & Research 2020-10-13T00:00:00-05:00 2020-11-17T11:08:16-05:00 Jonathan Longnecker https://tinyshinyhome.com/
This post may contain affiliate links or compensated reviews. Please read our disclosure for more info.

It’s official, we are finally in the early planning stages of building our first structure on the homestead! But as with any off-grid project, there’s an enormous amount of research we need to do first. Let’s dig in.

Why a Solar Shed Office First?

Great question. Since we aren’t contractors by trade, and we are going to be using alternative building methods like straw bale and earth bag, we definitely didn’t want to start with our main house.

There will be lots of mistakes made on these early structures, so let’s work that out on non-residences 😂.

Besides that, a solar shed office is a great logical next step. While we have a good amount of solar and lithium batteries on the Airstream, we know that long term we’ll need a much larger 48 volt system for our house. That in itself will be a huge investment in terms of time, money, and research - but we can’t move forward on any of that until we have a climate controlled place to store the batteries and electronics.

Solar shed floorplan

Multi Functional Space

If there’s anything our Airstream renovation taught us - it’s that you should make the most out of small spaces. What else could we use a small building for out here? So many things!

Solar Wall

Obviously the main reason for this building is a place to store solar electronics. So our lithium batteries, inverter, charge controller, etc… will be mounted to the back wall for easy access.


One of the first ideas we had was to use part of the space as an office. I’ve been working in 2-3 square feet with my tiny standing desk for years, but with the addition of a certain rapidly growing puppy, it’s getting harder and harder for me to fit - let alone focus.

Plus, with Ashley doing incredible work editing our YouTube videos - and managing it all on an outdated, tiny 13” laptop screen - we really need an editing bay for her as well.

Fridge & Freezer Storage

We just added our first meat animals to the homestead! But when it comes time to butcher them next year we currently have nowhere to store it. The solar shed office will be a great place to put a deep freeze. And while we’re at it, let’s put in a fridge, too. We’ve been managing food for 6 in a 7.5 cubic food marine fridge the last 4 years. I think we’ve earned it ☺️.

Couch + Bed

Did you know we have nowhere to like sit and relax? Sure, we have our dinette and a few camping chairs. But we haven’t been able to like lean back and chill in years. A couch sounds great. And while we’re at it, let’s make sure it can turn into a bed for guests that might want to come visit. It’s not like there are any hotels close by.


Finally, we thought we should ask the kids if there’s anything they wanted from the solar shed. “A TV!” they all practically shouted at us. Ok ok, we get it. If we have room on a wall we’ll add a TV, too.

Solar shed office floorplan walls

Planning and Materials

For this structure, we’re going to try straw bale construction. It’s super insualtive, quick to put up, and the square, flat walls will work well for the types of furniture and appliances we’re going to put in it.

We can source the straw bales and lumber locally, and use the dirt from our own property for cobbing the sides. This way we can be as eco friendly and low impact as possible.

We’ve settled on 12’x16’ interior dimensions which should put us right under the 200 square foot limit for outbuildings here. Based on our research so far, this should be big enough to fit all the stuff we want.

For the foundation, we looked into railroad ties and earthbags filled with gravel - but right now have settled on a raised deck similar to our floating Airstream deck. We want to make sure we’re up high enough in case of a freak flood.

Tiny Shiny Solar Shed Illustration

Passive Solar

While we’re at it, we may as well look at building the solar shed to take advantage of passive solar cooling and heating. The walls will already be very thick so we would just need to face the long side south, add windows, and an overhang to cast shade in the summer over them.

That’s a really simple explanation, and we’re still doing a lot of research here. But living off-grid in the desert, you need to do all you can to work with the environment. In the event that we have another crazy summer like we did this year, we’ll probably leave some space for a mini-split air conditioner, too.

One thing that’s puzzling us at the moment is that in order to get that overhang, that means our roof is slanted down towards North so it will make it hard to put any solar panels on top. If you have any ideas let us know!

Additional Uses

Besides having extra solar panels on the roof, we will definitely be using that roof to catch rain water! We may pipe it into our existing tank or into smaller tanks - but either way we’re going to use that roof.

We’ll also create a covered deck area on one (or two) sides. Any shade we can create out here is a win for sure.

What's Next?

As you can see we have our work cut out for us. So many decisions to make, things to think about, and plans to draw up.

Once the plans are finalized, it's time to start ordering materials and prepping the ground. Whoo!


Friends, this is our first step in building our little homestead exactly how we want it - and we couldn’t be more excited! 

Thank you so much for being part of our journey!

https://tinyshinyhome.com/new-animals-on-the-tiny-shiny-homestead New Animals on the Tiny Shiny Homestead 2020-10-06T00:00:00-05:00 2020-10-23T19:27:07-05:00 Ashley Longnecker https://tinyshinyhome.com/
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Give us all the baby animals!

In last weeks YouTube video we left you hanging as to what animals we ended up with, but we’re finally ready to share the cuteness with you all!

A big part of having a homestead for us is to grow our own food. Both plants and animals. And what better time to get started than right now? After lots, and lots of research, we knew we wanted to invest in KuneKune pigs. It just so happens that our friends down the road had their first littler of piglets so we bought two! One for breeding and one for bacon :)

KuneKune pigs are a slow growing heritage breed that are good for their fat content and their meat. We wanted a slow growing pig since we still don’t have a building, enough solar power, or a freezer…yet! 

With these pigs, it will be a good year before they’re ready to process. We have a barrow and a guilt. The barrow will be our freezer pig, and the guilt we hope to breed in a year. Their names are Jake and Gina. 

Gina and Jake

Jake is the one with black spots and Gina has the reddish head. Yes, we’re sticking with our Brooklyn Nine Nine theme for our first round of animals here on the homestead :)

We picked these piglets up on the Saturday we got back from our little get away. And then Sunday I may have come home unexpectedly with the most adorable little barn kittens you’ve ever seen! Meet Captain (gray kitten) and Tiny Terry (black and white kitten).

Tiny Terry and Captain

They’ll be our mousers here on the homestead and will earn their keep by catching all the packrats, mice, and kangaroo rats! At least, that's the plan.

The kids have never been happier than cuddling all the baby animals.

Adali and Tiny Terry Ada and Captain

Our days have drastically changed with the early morning chores, feeding the piglets several times a day, watching the kittens, and making sure everyone's healthy each day.

Though it’s definitely more work, we are so happy with our choice of incorporating animals here on the homestead. We actually feel like homesteaders now, not just land owners.

If you’d like to catch more fun videos of our quickly growing homestead, make sure you subscribe and hit the notification bell on our YouTube channel so you don’t miss the next videos!

Thank you for following along on our new adventures. We’re glad you’re part of our journey.

https://tinyshinyhome.com/leaving-the-homestead-for-an-adventure Leaving the Homestead for an Adventure 2020-09-28T00:00:00-05:00 2020-10-23T19:27:27-05:00 Ashley Longnecker https://tinyshinyhome.com/
This post may contain affiliate links or compensated reviews. Please read our disclosure for more info.

Turns out that when you are constantly doing projects for 4.5 straight months you get a little burned out. So, we left the homestead.

Last week we took off and headed north to Prescott, AZ in search of cooler weather, good hiking, and some time to relax a bit and enjoy spending time together without any project deadlines for the week. It. Was. Nice.

Camping in Prescott, AZ

This was Nine Nine's first ever camping trip AND first hikes! He was in his element and it was so fun to see him enjoying climbing over boulders around Watson Lake. 

Watson Lake Hike Lynx Lake Trail Watson Lake

He is most definitely an adventure dog and couldn't be a better fit for our little family. Cheers to many more hikes with our little guy!

But as always, we couldn’t wait to get home and begin the next phase of homesteading. We have some exciting news to share with you soon!

Let’s just say, it’s a really, really cute phase!

https://tinyshinyhome.com/fencing-cost-breakdown Fencing Cost Breakdown 2020-09-21T00:00:00-05:00 2020-11-03T17:57:28-05:00 Jonathan Longnecker https://tinyshinyhome.com/
This post may contain affiliate links or compensated reviews. Please read our disclosure for more info.

In case you didn't know, we just finished up a big 6 acre fencing project here on our Tiny Shiny Homestead. Lots of people have asked what it cost, so we rolled up our sleeves, pulled out our our calculators, and got to work.

Fence 1

The Fence

After lots of research, we opted to install a 9 strand, high tensile electric fence using wooden corner posts and Timeless Fence System T-Posts. This allowed us to close off the property to the cows that free roam close by, but also use the lower electrified lines to keep out predators like coyotes and mountain lions.

We plan to have our own animals soon, and wanted to prepare for that.

The system also uses Gripples for ease of maintenance and repair, and a simple solar electric fence charger since we're off-grid and don't have standard power available. 

Keep in mind that our fencing project is 6 acres, and is an irregular shape so we had roughly double the corners most people would have. That definitely inflated the cost a bit.

The Process

This project took our family (and some friends) about 5 weeks start to finish. It was definitely the hardest physical labor we've ever done in the hottest part of the year in the high desert of Arizona. But we're so proud of what we were able to accomplish! Here's the process.

  1. Fencing Part 1 - Clearing Lines and Setting Corner Posts
  2. Fencing Part 2 - Closing in the Timeless Fence System!
  3. Fencing Part 3 - Connecting Electric, Securing Gates, & Cleaning Up
Corner post with insulators

Fencing Materials

These are the basic materials we used for our fence. Wood posts for the corners, Timeless Fence System insulated T-posts, high tensile wire, plastic insulators, and Gripples.



6/7 Wooden Posts, 8ft x 27 ($18.99 ea)$512.73

5/6 Wooden Posts, 8ft x 26 ($14.99 ea)

Quickcrete 80# Concrete Bags x 53 ($4.20 ea)$222.60
High Tensile Wire x 6 (4000' rolls, $119.99 ea)$719.94
High Strain Corner Post Insulators x 24 (Bags of 10, $8.99 ea)$215.76
1.5" Timeless Fence System T-Post, 5.5ft x 110 ($7.25 ea)$797.50
Medium Gripples x 160 ($1.23 ea)$196.80

8" Timberlock Lag Screws x 50


U-nails x 300


Asphalt Emulsion, 5 Gallon x 2 ($40.00 ea)


Barbless Cable, 80 Rod




Electra Solar Fence Charger

Electric Fence & Gate Installation Materials

In addition to the base materials, we had additional costs for electrifying the fence, hanging the gates and securing them with paneling and latches.



2 Joule 12 volt Solar Electric Fence Charger


16' Tube Gates x 2 ($129.99 ea)

4' Tube Gates x 1 ($79.99 ea)$79.99
Best Gate Latch x 2 ($39.20 ea)$78.40
Hog Panel Fencing x 3 ($25 ea)$75.00
100ah Marine Battery$120.00
Waterproof Battery Box$20.00

Insulated Copper Wire, 500ft




Jonathan with Auger & Fence Posts

Fencing Tools

Thankfully not a ton of specific tools are needed for installing high tensile fencing. Many of them you may already have lying around. Coming off 5 years on the road, we had to purchase some of these.





Gas Powered Auger


Bolt Cutters


Gripple Tensioning Tool


Lineman Pliers


4lb Sledge Hammer


T-Post Driver


Spinning Jenny


Circular Saw




Cordless Drill and Impact Driver


Wire Twisting Tool




Bonus Animal Paddock

Fencing Grand Total - $4,301.42

So, the grand total of our hight tensile electric fence install on 6 acres came to about $4,300 not including tools.

Would we do it again?

Yes! In fact, we plan to fence in the other 5 acres of our property at some point. The only thing we will probably do different is we will most likely NEVER do another fencing project in the dead of summer. Woah. It was hot. But the cost, maintainability, and flexibility of the Timeless T-Post system has totally won us over.

Onward to more fun homesteading projects!

https://tinyshinyhome.com/deep-cleaning-our-vintage-airstream Deep Cleaning our Vintage Airstream 2020-09-15T00:00:00-05:00 2020-09-16T10:26:06-05:00 Ashley Longnecker https://tinyshinyhome.com/
This post may contain affiliate links or compensated reviews. Please read our disclosure for more info.

Twenty weeks!

It’s hard to believe we’ve been here that long! We’ve knocked out some pretty fun projects, but with dedicating so much time to building our homestead, something had to give. And for us, it was the care of our home.

I don’t think it’s ever been this cluttered and dirty. I couldn’t take it another day so we took the weekend off of homestead projects to give this place a proper cleaning.

First, we took EVERYTHING out of our Airstream. I mean, everything! It took us right at an hour and a half to get it all out on the deck. 

Can we just pause for a minute and marvel at how much stuff we were able to store in here? Along with 6 people and a puppy!? Sometimes we forget how much planning and care went into renovating our Airstream, and it's cool to see how well it's still working for our family all these years later.

Ok. Then came the dirty work.

You can tell how serious we are about cleaning this place up because we even bought a vacuum! We had to. A broom and dust pan was not going to cut it any longer! Living in the desert, you can literally wipe you counters, turn to put away the cleaner, and they’re dusty again. Part of me is looking forward to winter so we can once again close our windows and perhaps not have so much dust in here.

This little shop vac was a beast while still running on our 2000w Inverter! It really helped us get this place spic and span. Then we all wiped down everything we could. The kids were a huge help getting it cleaned up and looking nice in here.

That was the easy part! The hard part was going through all our stuff and deciding what stays and what goes, reorganizing, and putting it all back before dark. Think it can be done? You'll have to watch the video to find out!

Through the cleaning and organizing our home, we’ve rediscovered some of our favorite things about living tiny. We may not have much, but what we do have we love and treasure. Here are a few of our favorite things.

Ashley’s Favorite Things

Berkey Water Filter 

I’ve talked about it many times so you can read about it here if you don’t know, but we will never be without our Berkey.

Bird Hooks 

Sometimes they get covered up with dish towels or other random things throughout the week and I tend to forget about them, but these bird hooks are on of my favorite things in here! Pretty and functional which is a rare find these days :)


These curtains have been with us for nearly 10 years! They were in our home before we began traveling, we had them in our 5th wheel, and now we have them here with us in our tiny, shiny home. They are well loved and treasured by us all. They came from World Market


We bought these Camomile London quilts last winter and the colors still make me smile. I love, love, love them. Though they are light weight, they pair well with another warmer blanket for winter and keep us smiling year round.


I get asked often about this rug from World Market. They have THE BEST rugs and reasonably priced.

Vista Windows

Okay, this is not something many will or can replicate, but this is one of my most favorite things about our tiny home. My dad made these custom for us and the way the light streams through is so dreamy, plus we get to see the stars through them at night!

Packing Cubes

Sometimes I forget that most people don’t store their clothes in packing cubes. For us, it keeps our closet tidy and we’re able to fit everyone’s clothes in a tiny little closet in the bathroom. For traveling families, packing cubes are a game changer!

Jonathan’s Favorite Things

Note, Jonathan did not write these, see copious amounts of sarcasm.

Book Arc 

I highly recommend this Book Arc for holding my MacBook Pro. It keeps my tiny desk super tidy and my computer safe from a certain dog that likes to jump up on everything.

Fantastic Fans 

I’m so glad we installed three of these Fantastic Fans in here! The one in the bathroom we use often when taking showers to direct any steam outside. The one in the kitchen is right near the stove so that we can turn it on when we cook inside to direct the propane fumes out. And the third is above the master suite ;) This allows me to freeze my wife out while I sleep comfortably in the crisp evening breeze.

Nature’s Head Composting Toilet 

What’s not to love? I no longer have to deal with a black tank and I love lugging my families urine out to dump each day. But seriously, we do love our Nature's Head Composting Toilet.

Kids Favorite Things


For (4) kids who are constantly reading, getting each of them their own iPad has been the perfect solution for not towing hundreds of books around. Not only do we not have room for many books, but they add way too much weight to safely tow around for years on end. They do their school work on them and each have some games that they like to play.

Nintendo Switch 

Though we are minimalists, we don't live under a rock. Our kids still enjoy video games and the Switch makes it easy for them to get their fill of entertainment while not taking up a bunch of space. Easily can be taken in the car, connected to TV's at hotels and friends houses, and has a sweet little charging rack that stays out of the way!

Nine Nine 

While brining a puppy on board has had it’s challenges, we love this little guy. Though we’re still working through a few behavioral issues, we’ve been extremely happy with adding Nine Nine to our family. He’s a bernadoodle (part Bernese Mountain Dog, part Poodle) and we got him from @StrongDoodles in New Mexico.

Nine Nine's Favorite Things

Bully Sticks 

Everyone with a dog should have dried bull pizzels right? He loves them and it keeps him busy for hours!

Living Space Not Storage Space

Why was this so important to us? Well, honestly I just can't handle the clutter. I think it's super important to take a look around you regularly and see what is being used and what isn't. We don't need half of what we think we do to live a comfortable life. 

With less stuff comes less to clean and less to break and less to have to replace. Less really is more. And why you start treating your home as a living place instead of a storage unit, you'll have more room to breathe and could lead to a much more productive and happy life.

What do you think? Are you team "Less is More"?

https://tinyshinyhome.com/fencing-part-3-electric-gates-cleanup Fencing Part 3 - Connecting Electric, Securing Gates, & Cleaning Up 2020-09-07T00:00:00-05:00 2020-10-23T19:28:31-05:00 Jonathan Longnecker https://tinyshinyhome.com/
This post may contain affiliate links or compensated reviews. Please read our disclosure for more info.

Well friends, we've finally made it to the end of our fencing saga! It's been a long 5 weeks of back breaking work in the punishing Arizona summer sun. But we are so excited to be wrapping this one up.

We started by running strings at each corner post and clearing any trees, bushes or grass that would get in the way of the fence. Then we prepped and set all our corner posts in preparation for our fencing workshop.

Finally, we had to finish installing the corner braces, running the high tensile wire, and hanging the gates to get everything closed in to keep those dang cows out.

Which brings us to the final few steps in the process. Connecting the electric, finishing the gates, tying off the Gripples, and cleaning everything up.

Like I said, it's been a long 5 weeks! Let's take a look at how we finished up.

Electra Solar Fence Charger

Connecting the Solar Electric Fence Charger

Moses from High Desert Homestead recommended this 2 Joule 12 volt Solar electric fence charger from Electra Mfg. It's a super simple, no frills system that only provides a shock if both the hot and ground wire are touched at the same time.

All you have to do is connect the hot lines together and the ground lines together - then hook it up to a 12v marine battery. Your fence is energized!

Well - almost. Because we chose to use wooden corner posts and insulators, that meant that we needed to make sure the current continued past those corners and gates and energized the fence all the way down the line.

IMG 8766

So at each corner we used 12 gauge insulated copper wire to jump from the live part of each line on both sides of the insulator.

For gates, we connected underground Romex to a hot and ground on one side, dug a trench for the wire, and reconnected on the other side of the gate. Then we had to jumper all the hots and grounds together again so that all 9 wires would be energized.

Gripple Tied Off

Tying off Gripples

Another important part of the electrifying process was to clean up our Gripple connections. Once you pull the high-tensile wire through each end and use the tool to tighten it up, you're left with a bunch of loose wires.

These could easily touch each other, ground out the system, and make the whole electric part not work very well.

Plus it looks bad and can poke your eye out!

So we went about trimming and wrapping on each side of the Gripple. This ended up being a huge pain, and we highly recommend using locking pliers (channel locks) to grab the wire to keep it from twisting while you wrap it.

Gate with Hog Panel Attached

Finishing the Gates

Now that we were electrified, it was time to add some more security to our wide open tube gates. We grabbed some hog panel and hung it so that smaller animals couldn't sneak through.

Then we found these super handy one-handed latches and installed them for the main gates. So much easier for the kids to open and close them now!

Finished Gate

Cleaning Up the Fence Line

As you can imagine, we left behind a huge mess of concrete bags, cut wire, chainsawed wood, and more at each major corner. It took several trips, but we finally got it all cleaned up.

We also chopped off the tops of our corner posts as they were too tall at nearly 6' above ground. This created a more finished look, and we love how it turned out.

Bonus Animal Paddock

Bonus Fence Project - Adding an Animal Paddock!

Just when I thought we were finished fencing, Ashley talked me into one last project. There was a section on the property that would be perfect to fence in some animals - and if we did it right could use part of the existing fence line.

So we did some planning and were able to install a 9,000 square foot fenced area using two existing fence lines and adding to it over the weekend.

This is where the Timeless Fence System really starts to shine in it's versatility and flexibility. 

We pulled up a few of the t-posts and pushed the whole line back to auger and install a corner post to run the new fence line perpendicular to the existing one. Then we slid the t-post down to mount right to the face of the new wood post we just put in.

It was crazy how fast we were able to put up and enclose the area now that we (kind of) know what we're doing.

What's Next?

First up, we're finalizing a full fencing cost breakdown that we'll share in detail soon.

But more importantly, finishing this fence is a huge step forward for us. 

Up to this point, all our work on the property has been preparation. The driveway was added for deliveries and easy access. The water storage tank and solar powered pump house was installed so we could have quick access to water without every day. The shade sails were put up to keep us cool during the summer. And the floating shou sugih ban deck was built for additional hangout space and to keep us up above monsoon mud and critters.

And this fence - it's the final major prep project. 

Now that we've secured the perimeter, it's time to start creating our dream property. There are going to be so many fun projects coming soon. And we can't wait to share all of them with you.

If you're not already subscribed, make sure to sign up below so you don't miss anything!

https://tinyshinyhome.com/fencing-progress-closing-in-the-timeless-fence-system Fencing Part 2 - Closing in the Timeless Fence System! 2020-08-25T00:00:00-05:00 2020-10-23T19:28:57-05:00 Jonathan Longnecker https://tinyshinyhome.com/
This post may contain affiliate links or compensated reviews. Please read our disclosure for more info.

The last two weeks may be the hardest we've ever worked! As the fencing workshop came to a close, we had a sobering revelation: there was still about 2/3 left of this fence to build - and it was all up to us!

Thankfully, we had great teachers in Moses & Polly from High Desert Homestead, and felt like we had a good handle on the process. That doesn't mean it wasn't hard, though! We spent two weeks working around the clock installing posts, running wire, and hanging gates. One of those weeks I took off work so we had more time, and the kids helped in rotating shifts (someone had to keep an eye on the puppy).

It was a gargantuan task, and looking back I couldn't be more proud of our little family, and how we pulled together to make it happen.

So what was the process exactly? Read on to find out.

Timeless fence post and high tensile wire

Timeless Fence System

Oh wait, we should probably tell you what kind of fence we're building! 

We have an irregular shaped 6 acre parcel that has 8 corners, so our fence project will likely be a little more complicated than most. That being said, we opted for a nine strand high tensile electric fence. This will allow us to keep out large animals like cows, but also smaller ones like coyotes or javelina.

Usually electric fencing can get expensive, but since the Timeless T-Posts act as insulators, we actually ended up saving money over a traditional barbed wire fence. We're working on a full cost breakdown, and will be sharing soon.

Corner post with insulators

Corner Posts, Triangular Bracing, Timeless T-Posts, & Gates

The first major step in finishing our fence was to install all the corner posts and t-posts. This was pretty back breaking work, even with our gas powered auger and 8" auger bit.

Triangular or "A" Bracing

Each vertical corner post also needed bracing. Moses highly recommended we go with a triangular or "A" brace style instead of "H" bracing. Turns out you use less wood and create a much stronger corner anchor so that sounded good to us!

Here's a quick overview of the process:

  1. Install your corner post 2-3 feet down using 1 bag of concrete
  2. Take a small piece of Timeless t-post, cut into the hole, mount to the face of the vertical post, and run a string from corner to corner
  3. Put your brace post at a 45 degree angle with the top about 44" from the ground
  4. Stand it up straight and move it back a bit to know where to dig your hole
  5. Make sure you use your string line to dig the hole in the right direction
  6. Auger down 4-5", then auger at a 45 degree angle
  7. Put the post in the hole and mark where you need to cut the end near the corner post also at a 45 degree
  8. Use a chainsaw to trim the angle on the post, finesse as needed until it matches up
  9. Use an 8" Timberlock lag screw to connect the "A" brace post to the corner post
  10. Take several feet of wire, using staple to secure, and wrap around the two posts completing the triangle
  11. Use a metal rod to twist the wire until tight
  12. Finally, put a bag of concrete in the angled hole and add water

You need a triangle or "A" brace post for each direction the wire will be running. This ensures you can tighten it, and the posts will stay in place.

Timeless T-Posts

Installing the Timeless posts was a breeze for us. Using that same string line, we just marked 12" on the bottom and pounded them in to the right height. Thankfully our soil was pretty sandy and didn't provide too much resistance.

Most of the time I'd get it started with a 4lb sledge hammer, and then we'd use a T-Post Driver the rest of the way.

We had one run that went right up against a tree that we didn't want to cut down. So we just cut the Timeless post with a circular saw and screwed it right to the tree. Pretty  cool!

Oh, and I almost forgot. For each triangle or "A" brace post you'll want to install a Timeless post here as well. Cut a few inches off and install at the same 45 degree angle - you'll use this to make sure your wire doesn't touch the wood once it's electrified.

16' entry gate

Hanging Gates

We decided we wanted three gates for our fence.

  1. Main driveway - 16' tube gate for majority of traffic
  2. Side utility - 16' tube gate for large equipment
  3. Small walkthrough - 4' tube gate for access to our other 5 acre parcel

For the two large drive through gates, we also decided to do "step-ins" which basically means the gate itself is inset from the main line. This is partly for function - large RV's, trailers, and delivery trucks can pull in off the main road while opening the gate - but also for aesthetics. Having an entry way just looks nicer.

We opted to use the wooden posts here to give it a more finished look and installed Timeless posts on the front of them to keep the wires insulated. Yes, we totally painted them black to match so they're invisible :)

Anyway, back to the gates! Hanging them was a lot easier than we thought, and the hardest part was really planning where the posts would go to allow for proper clearance. Here's the process:

  1. Make sure you corner post is properly secured (we put in two "A" braces with opposing forces so the gate wouldn't pull it out over time)
  2. Put your bottom gate anchor in and set the gate on it
  3. Lift the other end of the gate up until level and mark where to put the top anchor
  4. Install top anchor and adjust as necessary until it hangs level

Maybe one day we'll put in an automatic gate system, but for now we just make the kids open the gate when we want to get out :)

Insulator and Gripple

High Tensile Wire, Insulators, & Gripples

Somehow, the next phase was even more exhausting than the first. A lot of this was our fault - we went with decorative wooden corner posts instead of insulated Timeless corner posts. This meant we had to install insulators at every corner on every run for every wire.

Wrapping high tensile wire - even with a tool - is punishing. We did the math, and because of the insulators calculated 6 wraps for each wire x 9 wires x 13 runs = 702. Which basically meant our hands were limp sausages for a whole week.

An integral part of this system are Gripples. Weird name, but it actually comes from the fact that they "grip and pull" wire. Creative, I know!

You use Gripples and a Gripple Tensioning Tool to put tension on your wire after everything is wrapped and secure. These are really cool because if you ever need to maintain or repair your fence all you have to do is add some wire and Gripples, tighten, and you're good to go. No need to re-run hundreds of feet of wire.

Here's the process:

  1. Get yourself a Spinning Jenny. Otherwise you'll end up with a massive slinky situation trying to run the wire
  2. Install staples on your corner post at each interval you'll be running your wire. Ours were 9" - 9" - 9" - 6" - 6" - 6" - 3" - 3" - 3".
  3. Drill any additional holes necessary in your Timeless post - we had to create our last three holes as well as make sure the angled ones on the "A" brace were in line
  4. Run one wire at a time, threading through each Timeless T-Post
  5. When you get to the corner post, pull it through the staple and wrap it to secure it
  6. Cut and wrap in an insulator as close to the wooden corner post as you can
  7. Take the other end and wrap to the other connection in the insulator
  8. Go back down to the end where you pulled the line from, cut about 4' past the corner post and do the same thing (corner + insulator)
  9. Now you use that extra slack to cut the line and install a Gripple - pull it hand tight for now
  10. Repeat this for each line (in our case, nine)
  11. When all lines are run, you use the Gripple Tool to tighten the wire and create the tension evenly

Whew - do your hands hurt? My hands hurt just thinking about this. After two grueling weeks, we finally got the fence closed in. No more cows!!!

This a huge development and we're so excited not to have to worry about random bovines chewing things up or making ungodly sounds at 4 in the morning and waking us up.

Fence Post Sunset

Next Fencing Steps

Are we actually finished with our fence? Nope. No way. It's not electrified. Things are still a mess. And those dang tube gates are wide open for predators to sneak through. 

This next week we have to:

  • Pick up all our trash at each corner
  • Go to each Gripple, cut and wrap again to continue the circuit and clean it up so the hanging wire doesn't touch the one below or above it. (That's like 200 more wraps if you're doing the math 😩
  • Do some clean up clearing around the lines to make sure we won't have any limbs, grass, etc... touching the wire
  • Use insulated copper wire to re-connect all the corners around the insulators
  • Dig under the gates and run romex to continue the conductive electricity on the other side
  • Hook up our electric fence charger
  • Zap a few critters (joking - maybe)
  • Paint any timeless posts on wooden posts so they're invisible
  • Cut the tops off our wooden corner posts so they're all the same height 
  • Install hog panel on the tube gates to keep predators out
Gate and fence at sunset

A Huge Step Forward

Finishing this fence has got us super excited. Why? Up to this point, every project has been focused around making the property livable and comfortable while we build out the homestead. 

Basically it's all been prep work. The driveway was cut in so we could get deliveries and drive to our trailer easily. The water storage tank and solar powered pump house was installed so we could have easy access to water without transferring it every day. The shade sails were put up to give us shade and keep us cool during the summer. And the floating shou sugih ban deck was built for additional living space up off the ground during monsoon and snake season.

And this dang fence - well it's been the last huge piece of the puzzle. There are so many projects we haven't been able to move forward on until it was done. 

Now that the prep work is done, and we're closed off, we get to dig in start creating our dream property. So many ideas - so many fun projects coming up. And we can't wait to share all of them with you.

If you're not already subscribed, make sure to sign up below so you don't miss anything!

https://tinyshinyhome.com/fencing-workshop-with-moses-polly-from-high-desert-homestead Recap of our Fencing Workshop with Moses & Polly from High Desert Homestead 2020-08-11T00:00:00-05:00 2020-10-23T19:29:08-05:00 Ashley Longnecker https://tinyshinyhome.com/
This post may contain affiliate links or compensated reviews. Please read our disclosure for more info.

We did it! We hosted our first (of what we hope to be many) workshops here at the Tiny Shiny Homestead. We had 15 people here over the course of the 3 day weekend and we learned so much! 

A HUGE THANK YOU to Moses and Polly for driving all the way down here to teach us about the Timeless Fence System and being such wonderful teachers, and another huge thank you to all those who came out and pitched in.

With this new skill, we are confident that we can fence the rest of our property off and keep the dang cows out!!

There’s still a whole lot left for us to finish up, but we are confident in our ability to get this project finished, and for that, we are so thankful.

A more detailed post and video will be coming up once it’s complete, but for now, enjoy these highlights from our fencing workshop!

https://tinyshinyhome.com/lets-build-a-fence-together Fencing Part 1 - Clearing Lines and Setting Corner Posts 2020-08-04T00:00:00-05:00 2020-10-23T19:29:19-05:00 Ashley Longnecker https://tinyshinyhome.com/
This post may contain affiliate links or compensated reviews. Please read our disclosure for more info.

Last week we began clearing the line for our fence project and while we were really proud of how far we got, we still have so much to do. Turns out 6 acres is a lot to fence line to clear.

This week the sun has kicked our butts. it’s been exceptionally brutal with every day in the mid 90’s all the way up to 102 degrees and next to no wind. But despite the raging temperatures, we were able to push through and get more done. 

We have set all the corner posts and it went surprisingly fast! But let’s back up a bit. You may notice that these posts are black! 

Ashley pointing to fence post

We got treated posts from our local Tractor Supply. For the corners we went with a 6/7 x 8’ post. I originally wanted to use railroad ties for the corner posts, but after hearing what a pain they are to work with, we settled on these round posts. For added protection I thought for a moment about doing the Shou Sugi Ban treatment to them like we did on our deck, but that was a quick no when I remembered that these were actually treated posts. You don’t want to be breathing in those toxic fumes from burning treated wood.

Before we even started clearing the lines, I was out there painting these posts with asphalt emulsion for days. My initial plan was to just paint the 3’ section that was to go into the ground, but upon further research I found that it’s not always a good idea to do that. From what I read, it could cause the post to rot prematurely because even with the treated post and asphalt on the bottom, the post will get wet and then all that moisture has no where to go which could cause the post to rot at the point where the emulsion stops.

To play it safe, we just decided to go ahead and paint the entire post. Yeah, it’s an extra step, but I love the way it blends into the environment. Plus, they’re black! And I LOVE BLACK :)

We are continuing clearing the fence lines, trimming back trees and figuring out where our gates will be placed so that we will be ready to host the fencing workshop this weekend, August 7-9, 2020, here at the Tiny Shiny Homestead. If you’d like to come out a day or two and learn how to put up high tensile fencing, sign up below, or check out our last blog for more information!

Moses from High Desert Homestead is a fencing master and he will show us all his tips and tricks for putting up a hight tensile electric fence, PLUS it’s FREE! Yes, come hang out with us, learn how to install a fence, and meet new people here in the community. We hope to see you there!

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https://tinyshinyhome.com/fencing-workshop Fencing Workshop at the Tiny Shiny Homestead 2020-07-28T00:30:00-05:00 2020-10-23T19:29:33-05:00 Ashley Longnecker https://tinyshinyhome.com/
This post may contain affiliate links or compensated reviews. Please read our disclosure for more info.

We are stoked to be starting on our fencing project. It’s a job we’ve been needing to do since day one. For those of you who don’t know, Arizona is a free-range state which means ranchers let their cattle roam and it’s up to the land owner to keep the cattle out of their property. And they can really be destructive. So, needless to say, there’s been enough incidents since moving here that it’s high time we put up a fence!

When I first began researching fencing, I was drawn towards a high tensile fence. Not really sure why, maybe because you don’t see it much out here and we like to be different. Nearly everyone here has barbed wire or field (woven wire) fencing. But while driving around, I see that lots of that fencing has areas that have been breeched, need replacing, or that have been damaged...and it looks like a huge pain to fix.

I’ve said it a million times, but it’s true. The off-grid community is so incredibly helpful. We were contacted by Moses from High Desert Homestead and he confirmed my initial thoughts on high tensile fencing and even went as far as helping us figure out everything we would need for our project. AND he and his wife Polly are coming down to help us put on a workshop to show others how to properly install high tensile electric fencing. They are all about Homesteaders Helping Homesteaders.

That’s right, our first ever workshop here on the Tiny Shiny Homestead in Cochise county, AZ. We are stoked to open up our property to the community as a place to come together and learn such a valuable skill as fencing.


The workshop will be held August 7th, 8th, 9th. The event is free and lunch will be provided. But space is limited so you will need to let us know if you plan on attending (see below). We’ll be covering: 

  • Setting corner posts
  • High tensile wire tips and tricks
  • Electric fencing
  • Sustainable fencing

Things you will need:

  • We ask that all participants bring water to stay hydrated
  • Small hand tools, hammer, pliers, and short levels
  • A willingness to get your hands dirty in this hands-on experience


  • Hotels available in Benson, AZ
  • Campsites available on-site (no hookups) - more information provided at RSVP
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