Located near the Buffalo River (the nation’s first designated wild and scenic river) and built largely of native materials, this 1300 square-foot home is off grid and offers near-total self-reliance. The property is rich in natural resources: pure air, natural spring water, fertile organic soil.
Listing ID: 18117
|Annual Property Tax||$150|
|Annual Utility Cost||$600|
|Home Area||1,300 sq ft|
|Total Property Area||23 acres|
Deep Woods Sanctuary
Beautifully situated in a tranquil meadow in the deciduous forests of the Ozark Mountains, this property is a botanical paradise with natural springs, rich soil, deciduous trees, and a wealth of native plants and animals. We moved onto this land as a young family in 1980 and have worked through the years to build a comfortable, self-sustaining home and gardens. Now we find ourselves ready to scale back and let someone else continue the vision while we move on to the next adventure.
Off grid and with organic gardens already established, this home makes self-sufficiency truly attainable. It offers a safe, healthy country environment for raising a family, a comfortable base for travel, or an easy-to-maintain vacation home. And with some of the lowest property taxes in the country, inexpensive upkeep is a bonus benefit.
• 1300 square-foot home on 100 forested acres.
• Frame construction with native white oak board and batten siding.
• 4 BR, 1 bath, cathedral ceiling.
• Off grid, with modern comforts provided by solar, propane, and wood. Underground high speed DSL Internet.
• Gravity-flow water system from a year-round spring.
• Three-bay post and beam open parking shed.
• Three small spring-fed ponds with fish.
• 1/3-acre organic garden, plus two additional clearings (less than two acres total cleared).
• 25-year-old black walnut grove planted from select nutstock.
• Mature walnut, oak, hickory, and maple forest that has not been logged since at least the 1950s.
• Lovingly built over time, the house is unique.
• Great room with sitting area, dining area, and kitchen has a cathedral ceiling and a small loft; native Eastern red cedar posts and beams cut from storm-downed trees on property; and tongue ‘n groove pine ceiling.
• Living-dining area has tongue ‘n groove native red oak walls with cedar trim; native stone flue with woodstove; stained concrete floor; large picture window overlooking gardens.
• Kitchen has beautiful native stone floor; custom red oak cabinets, including large pantry cabinet; red oak trim and wide white ash windowsills; propane range and refrigerator; double porcelain sink; wood cookstove. A picture window above the sink frames a view of the kitchen garden.
• Two-story bedroom wing has four carpeted rooms, currently being used by empty-nest couple as master bedroom, two offices, and a TV/music room. Upstairs is accessed by wood staircase from great room. Eastern red cedar deck off upstairs TV room gives an elevated view of gardens.
• Utility room and full bathroom have ceramic tile floors.
• Utility room has ample storage space, a walk-in closet/pantry, propane water heater, and space for washer-dryer.
• Gravity-flow water system from a year-round spring includes 1200-gallon holding tank. The spring and tank overflow into a pond above the gardens.
• Septic system with separate gray water handles household wastes.
• Photovoltaic solar system provides most of the power needed for lights, music, computers, and light-duty appliances. A generator is used for some tools and appliances. If desired, the local electric cooperative has a plan on file to bring in grid electricity at a low cost.
• High-speed DSL Internet makes the world very accessible through online ordering, entertainment, and the possibility of working from home.
• A wood heater and wood cookstove provide heating. The forest supplies plenty of surplus wood for stocking the woodpile (about four cords per year needed). Propane is available for backup.
• 250-gallon propane tank supplies refrigerator, range, water heater, and bathroom heater. Propane is delivered as needed by a local company.
• Passive solar elements help moderate the temperature in the house year-round. The house is protected from cold winter winds by a mountain to the north and west, which also helps shade the house from the hot western sun in summer. Deciduous trees around the house, as well as roof overhangs, allow the sun to shine through in winter while shading the house in summer.
• The house is solid and in good condition. It could use a few finishing touches, but as is, it is a simple, comfortable and functional home for a small family. It could also serve as a great base for an addition or remodeling to accommodate a larger family or more luxurious lifestyle.
• Private, gated mile-long driveway assures peace and quiet. The driveway is steep but in overall good condition with ditches and culverts.
• Three-bay post and beam parking shed with metal roof provides ample storage for vehicles and garden equipment.
• Organic flower, vegetable, and herb gardens have never (ever) been treated with petrochemicals. Rich, deep topsoil grows a variety of healthy plants.
• Near the house a year-round spring flows through stone retaining walls into a small pond with fish. A stately sycamore leans above the pond, altogether creating a picturesque and tranquil setting.
• The gardens are situated below the pond, which allows them to be irrigated from the pond. Outdoor faucets are also conveniently located near the gardens.
• Several mature black walnut trees stand near the house, plus there’s a grove of twenty-five-year-old black walnuts we planted from nuts off a prime yard tree. Two Persian (English) walnut trees planted from select Canadian nuts drop thin-shelled nuts right in the yard.
• Large red oak, white oak, burr oak, maple, sycamore, hickory, walnut, and other mature trees are nearby in the forest.
• The property has predominantly eastern and southern exposures.
• A mile-long woods road loops through the property, providing easy access to the land by foot or vehicle.
• Two clearings in the forest, accessed by the woods road, are really small meadows with grasses and wildflowers, and two small spring-fed ponds with fish provide watering holes for wildlife. These habitats offer fine opportunities for bird-watching and wildlife photography. If you have horses or other livestock, these clearings can easily be converted to pasture by fencing.
• Special things are all around: goldenseal, morel mushrooms, ferns, red raspberries, and other native flora; moss-covered boulders; springs, wet-weather streams and seeps; ancient stone fences; elderly cedar trees, majestic oaks. Bluffs and rock outcroppings add drama. Many varieties of wildflowers come and go through three seasons.
• This cove is truly a private wildlife preserve. Wild animals are often seen from the house, some on a daily basis. Songbirds and hummingbirds along with butterflies frequent the gardens.
Though only two miles from pavement and less than fifteen miles from town, this is still a remote location, making good health and an independent spirit useful traits. We often refer to our home as “Botanica” because it is surrounded by nature’s bounty. Living in the middle of a forest puts one constantly in touch with marvelous sights and sounds that enrich every sense, creating a fulfilling, healthy lifestyle for those who seek it.
This home’s tranquil setting in a small clearing surrounded by native deciduous forest could not be more green, healthy and natural. The house is well-situated in a forested cove and is out of sight of all neighbors. The woods have been preserved in their natural state. The forest supplies plenty of surplus wood to warm the winter hearth. The gardens have been organic since the beginning and are cultivated primarily by hand or small machinery; and cover crops, compost and mulch are used for fertilization.
Conservation and responsible use of energy and materials were primary considerations during construction of the house. Native oak that was locally milled, cedar posts and beams cut from our own standing dead trees, and stones gathered on site were primarily used during the initial construction phase. Additions (five years later) utilized more standard construction, including use of drywall and carpeting, but ecological concern has been ongoing, and low VOC waterbased products were used almost exclusively. Ventilating wood windows were locally made, and picture windows were constructed on site using recycled glass. Cabinets were custom built of native red oak by a local cabinetmaker. Siding is white oak board and batten, locally milled and left natural (untreated).
A small solar system supplies most of our power, though propane appliances and wood heat are also utilized. We have found that opening windows as often as possible, even in winter, helps the interior of the house stay healthy the old-fashioned way. Passive solar elements inherent to the house and environment help moderate temperature extremes.
Living here, you can enjoy daily tranquility out of sight of all neighbors, but this is also a place where family and community are important.
• This property is located on the eastern slope of Shiloh Mountain near the quiet communities of Low Gap and Shiloh. Most neighbors share a belief in environmental responsibility and a love of country living. They include PhD biologists, an organic farmer with a masters in horticulture, public school teachers, the head librarian of the Jasper public library, and an off-grid couple with a geodesic dome home. Many lead independent lifestyles that include organic gardening, shopping locally, and working from home or in the immediate community when possible.
• Within five miles, the Buffalo National River is a beautiful free-flowing stream set aside as the first designated national wild and scenic river. Buffalo River National Park encompasses the watershed of the Buffalo River and is a prime area for outdoor adventure. (See www.nps.gov/buff/ for photos.) Within its system are wilderness areas, waterfalls, bluffs and overlooks, caves, hiking trails, rustic camping grounds, and many access points for picnics, swimming, canoeing and kayaking, spelunking, fishing, bird-watching, etc. One of the best places to view the local elk herd is about five miles away on the upper Buffalo River in scenic Boxley Valley.
• Newton County is one of the sparsest populated and most mountainous counties in Arkansas. No railroad, interstate highway, nor traffic light exists in the entire county. Beauty is everywhere, from picturesque farms and small towns to bluffs, waterfalls, and caves. Roadsides add to the pleasure of an outing by their ever-changing display of wildflowers, spring-flowering trees, vibrant autumn colors, and breathtaking views. (See http://theozarkmountains.com/ for photos.)
• Farms are small family operations exclusively: no corporate agriculture or industry in the area. The Buffalo National Park monitors the Buffalo River watershed to assure it stays pristine. Homes are well spaced and out of sight of each other, usually situated on 20 acres or more, and in general are lovely country homes with gardens in pastoral settings.
• Snuggled between a tall mountain and the Little Buffalo River, the charming town of Jasper, 14 miles away, is the county seat. It has good restaurants and shopping, a medical clinic, nursing home, post office, pharmacy, public library and churches. Jasper (population 500) has a true town square with a historic stone courthouse and a gazebo and benches for visiting under the old shade trees. A fine K-12 school serves the town and surrounding rural area. A city park along the Little Buffalo River provides a place for picnics, ball games, and family reunions. Festivals and fairs provide country entertainment.
• Newton County businesses, besides those which supply groceries and household/farm needs, are largely devoted to tourism associated with the Buffalo National River: canoe rentals, B&B cottages and cabins, restaurants, artists and photographers, crafts (especially in cedar and oak), etc. Additionally, with high speed internet available the area is drawing more and more people who work from home.
• About 35 miles away, Harrison (population 12,000) serves as the center of business, employment, medical, entertainment and shopping needs for a large rural area. It boasts a historic courthouse square, North Arkansas College, and an airport.
• Lakes for fishing and water sports are about 45 miles away.
• The White River, a trout stream well known to fishing enthusiasts across the country, is 50-60 miles away. It wraps around Newton County from west to north and east, so it is easily accessed from here in several diverse places.
• The cities of Fayetteville and Springdale are about 70 miles away, with good malls, bookstores, and virtually all stores and conveniences offered in larger cities.
• Fayetteville offers a famous town square with a legendary Farmers’ Market; a large well-stocked natural foods store; the University of Arkansas with its sports, music and academic events; excellent restaurants, nightspots, and boutiques; as well as the concerts, art displays, seminars, etc. of the Walton Arts Center.
• Branson, Missouri, is about 70 miles away. Nationally famous for its music and entertainment, excellent shopping is also available there.
• Two spa cities, historically famous for their healing spring water, are nearby. Both are tourism destinations. You can travel to Eureka Springs, take in all the sights, and return home in a relaxing, easy day. Hot Springs, located in the Ouachita Mountains of west-central Arkansas, is close enough for an easy overnight trip. Both offer charming downtowns with art studios, boutiques, bookstores, restaurants, and fabulous old hotels and spas.
• Springfield MO, Little Rock AR, Memphis TN, Tulsa OK, and many other interesting cities are located within a half-day’s drive.
Newton County has proven to be the best home imaginable for those of us who crave independence, privacy, and beautiful natural surroundings, while allowing access to city-oriented things when needed or desired.
Single Family - Split Level
|Agriculture in Area||Yes|
|Industry in Area||No|
|Air Pollution in Area||No|
|Cleaned with Green Products||Yes|
|Whole House Filtration||
|Whole House Vacuum||No|
Off the Grid
Solar - Photovoltaic
Wood Framing: 2x4, 2x6, etc.
Gypsum Board - Sheet Rock
Wood - Solid
Asphalt Composition Shingle
Wood Single Glazed
|Garage / Carport||Yes|
|Garage Type||Carport Detached|
|Number of Cars||3|
|Garage Area||0 sqft|