Hello, and welcome to Moosicorn’s website, an experiment in sustainable living hosted by Scott and Alexandra Mueller. We hope you enjoy your visit and please get in touch with any questions or comments.
So, originally, we were interested in planning out a life that would provide us with the most opportunities and freedoms we could manage. We felt that moving to a place where we could reliably produce our own power, food, and shelter, minimize water use, and undertake our individual artistic endeavors – all in a sustainable manner, while keeping costs low – would give us the freedom to pursue work when necessary and to live life on terms more or less of our choosing.
We had saved a bit of money over time and began looking for a place to call home. Alex found us a 44 acre parcel outside of Spokane, Washington that fit the bill for everything. It was relatively inexpensive, had an abundant aquifer, plenty of sunshine, easy access to a decent size airport (a necessary evil for Scott’s consulting work) and a heaping load of natural beauty to boot; thus Moosicorn Ranch was born.
Our first step in this journey is to build a Barn/House structure that will house a large shop downstairs for woodworking, welding, arts and crafts, etc. (launching pad for various ideas/projects/experiments), and a two bedroom apartment upstairs (for us to live in as things develop). We chose to build the barn as a variation of a stick-built production home. This allowed us to operate close to our comfort zone (Scott was formerly in the production home building industry), while allowing the structure itself to become a lesson in how buildings can evolve. We will be making several very affordable product and construction choices that are going to combine to create a very robustly green structure (per some definitions), that’s not too far removed from the homes Scott helped build and sell as his contribution to urban sprawl in a former life (transparency, you will see, is to be a hallmark of the entire Moosicorn endeavor).
The real meat of this here disclaimer: In an attempt to stem off a barrage of criticisms from uber eco-minded zealots, we will warn you that we use the terms “green” and “sustainable” as we interpret them. If our views don’t live up to your version that’s okay by us, but we don’t need to hear about it. We are, however, completely willing to accept helpful ideas and critiques, and solicit input from as many folks as we can that know more about this stuff than we do. But if you plan on lampooning us for pulling the trigger well short of Ed Begley Jr.’s interpretations… please don’t bother. The Internet is full of places for mudslinging; this website and project in general are locales where creativity, progress, earnestness, work, and fun are welcome and encouraged.
Eventually we plan on developing 3 cottages for hosting seminars, get-a-ways, and supporting artists and start-ups for 2-6 month stints with free room and board so they can pursue their dreams. Along with organic gardens, bees, wokshops, studio space, a barnyard menagerie, we plan on raising a family somewhere in there. We have no idea how long this vision will take to come to fruition… we’re in no rush.
This is an experiment in life and living for us. We want to treat the earth responsibly but there will be compromises and balance in the path we seek. We are beginning modestly with the Barn/House. And as our first structure, it is what it is: a hybrid between production building techniques coupled with some ideas for what we believe make it a fairly ecologically responsible building. As the experiment progresses, we will embark on developing cottages for others to share in this experiment with us, that will fit much tighter standards for sustainable/green building. We will then be planting organic gardens (once we learn how), installing solar panels and wind turbines (once we can afford them), and hosting visitors (once we have learned enough to share). We want to show the practicality and pragmatism of the life we’re going for, so we’re going to try and make this experiment as transparent as possible. This means we are going to publish everything we learn along the way, and fortunately we’re gaining help from a myriad of wonderful people we’re meeting along this journey. We hope you enjoy your visit.
Scott and Alexandra Mueller