So often people who dream of the “off grid” life are lured there but stunning images of a little cabin next to a creek or a lake. While beautiful such sites are normally a summer vacation home. You can get away with this in warmer climates but here in Montana this is a bad idea.
One of the most important things you can do in a sustainable space is have a garden
and while it might seem wise to put it near a water source this often leads to seasons too short.
While it feels wonderful in a hot dry summer to be near the water for the same reason it will frost late in the spring and frost early in the fall. This can lead to a great deal of disappointment and frustration.
A standard rule is that from any water you need to be at very least 50 feet away and elevation does count. Cool air will follow the shape of the land.
It is always ALWAYS a good idea to take a full season to watch the land, to learn how it moves with sun, wind and water. Before you put in a long term garden (and that is very important) using pots for the first year is a good idea. It allows you to move your garden much easier than digging it up and remaking it.
Gardens will be dealt with this spring as I put in new beds.
(the picture of the frozen creek is from early Nov. While frozen and frosted out about 100 feet from the creek itself just past that point it was my tomatoes were still producing with minimal protection.)