A home for the family behind Dogwood Hollow Homestead- A real life drama

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It has been a long hard journey on our quest to live self sufficient, sustainable off grid. Almost 5 years ago, my family and I decided we have had enough of present day society and the way of life associated with it. We sought out off grid land where we were planning to start our journey and were prepared, mentally, at least, to face the challenges that lay ahead. Little did we know that some times would be hard and then there would be times that were harder. It makes it harder when there are people that do not care about you or what happens to you. So here starts the story of one family, the Shikata Homestead and what it has come too, recently.

So here we are, just the 3 of us, my wife, my daughter and myself before we went off grid visiting an old 1800’s homestead in western Kentucky. Today we are known as Dogwood Hollow Homestead, been off grid and roughing it for almost 5 years. Some of you may have read about the struggles we have dealt with in the beginning of our quest, how we were done so wrong on land purchases and homes on those land pieces. How we have dealt with pain and suffering, injury and illness, thankfully not so much on illness. Living as we do, getting back to the land where we grow, forage, hunt and raise all our food, illness has become something we do not have to deal with often.

Baby flip flops

You’ve seen us up, some of you have seen us down, but no one has seen us give up and you won’t. This brings us to the present day. We live on 5 acres of off grid forest land that we pay for ourselves, using any means available to us. We have ran an Eco-village and workshops, gatherings and just been good friends to many that have called us family. However, there are always those that just do not care one way or another about you or what happens to you, especially when those feelings can get in the way of their MONEY. In 2012, or about, we purchased our first Derksen Building Cabin, from a local company that calls themselves Woodward Rentals. It was a small cabin, here it is:


The company seemed ok. A few years went by, we paid our cabin payment on time. Then we got into a good place in life, we felt we could upgrade our living space, so we did. We did not want to let the little cabin go because in 3 years we own it. So we purchased a 12X24 building from the same company. We moved into this new place this past March.


We were doing ok. Then life happened and we were struck down hard financially. My wife lost her job, my book and writing sales tanked and things just got bad. We got far behind on cabin payments. We were putting all the extra money we had into the land because we figured we can live without the cabins, if it came to that, we would just build us a log cabin or such. We could not lose the land because it is all we have, we would be homeless. So we got 6 mths behind on the cabin payments. The company sent out a repossession person. This was right at the time where things in our life started looking up some. We were at least back in a position where we could afford to pay for the cabins and land, which is all we really have to pay for living as we do, life as we have made it.

We called the cabin company and proceeded to tell them of our hardships, apologizing for the lateness of our payments and assured them that we were not planning on giving the cabins up and that we were going to be restarting our payments come that Monday. This was just 72 hrs away. The receptionist told my wife she would not accept our payment unless we sent them 6 mths payment, on both cabins, in total. That’s almost $3000.00. Who in our position can afford such money?! We informed her that we had a child and we lived in one of the cabins. She told us she did not care and it was not her concern for our safety or our child’s. This is Woodward Rentals of Lowes, Kentucky for those of you that want to make sure never to deal with these people.

So we are now in the eve of winter, it is 7 degree’s tonight and we could be within 30-60 days of having our cabin, our home, taken from us. We have denied the first attempt at repossession and now yesterday we received a letter from the company lawyer. They tell us we have 30 days to dispute the amount we owe, and to allow repossession of our home or they will go to court to get the cabins. We will then be liable for more fees and such, as the story goes. We have been harassed, denied being worked with, told we do not matter, endured trespassing from their repo driver, and now lies, threats.


Apparently, either the repo. man or the company lied to the lawyers to make us sound like trolls. In the letter we were told they were told that we had refused to pay for the cabins, refused to try and work with the company and that we threatened their driver with a firearm. All lies. However, from this point on, we will be meeting trespassers with lead, believe that, do not like a liar, we are peaceful people, but we will not be walked on. Most people know us that reads this blog. We have been there with knowledge and wisdom and not asked for much. However, all things must change and we must roll with the punches. Hence the blog has lately been filled with the new cabin build. We are forced to try and build us a place to call home as fast as we can and as it is becoming winter.


We are finding it harder and slower than we expected to get the wood for the job. So today, thanks to one subscriber and friend, we were able to use some donated monies to purchase our floor boards as well as some of our roof boards. You know who you are, I will not mention names to protect you 🙂 But we love you with all our hearts. So here is what we are asking. We can not do this without help. We have friends that have helped the homestead and our cause in the past by sending donations and we have stayed true and used those funds to purchase what the monies were sent for. We have taken pictures so people can see we can be trusted. We do what we say. We are eternally thankful to those that have made donations to our cause in the past. Without you, none of this could be possible.

We are at the mercy of life, as we stand now. We are asking for donations to the cabin build project so we may have a home for our small family before we lose these Derksen cabins we are live in now. we do not have long. We are very capable of speed and dedication and will get this done, fast, you will see if you stay current with the blog here. We are documenting every part of the cabin build so you can see just what your donations can do to help one desperate family.


Some of you have walked the path of peace at the homestead with us. We walk this path in reality as well as life and still, we will not turn those away from the homestead that want to come join our quest to live a better, more peaceful way of life, even if it is as hard as it gets. If you can donate to the cabin build, we can use your help. If you can not donate monies to purchase materials, then, maybe you can donate time to help build, or materials you may have just lying around. We will accept all donations with a warm heart. If you want to help us, please contact us through our email dogwoodhollow15@yahoo.com We do not use phones, please communicate with us via email, on our Facebook page, or in person if you happen to live close to us or know us. We can also use skype, just ask for our name to contact there. If you can not help, we would love it if you just leave a comment saying you are at least thinking of us. 🙂 We love you all! Namaste.


5 thoughts on “A home for the family behind Dogwood Hollow Homestead- A real life drama

  1. I’m a bit out o f your area but as someone who has a VERY similar little cabin and lifestyle know that I will be thinking of you and hoping all you need arrives in time, from material to extra hands to raise the walls. Good Luck!

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