I thought I’d share this story about a Florida woman who was living completely off grid. She harvested rain water, had solar power, etc and was completely unconnected from the utilities and was evicted from the home she owned because of it. Lately I have been hearing about states that are trying to make illegal to not be “connected”. If someone has solar power, they must use the power company for backup instead of batteries. How stupid is that? I believe, however, all the states now permit harvesting rain water. Here in the US, each state has its own rules and regulations. Evicted for Living Off Grid
LIVING OFF GRID:
We have been 100% off grid since moving here last October. No electricity, no running water, etc. If we cannot produce what we need, we do without. We don’t let the generator run 7/24 as it is a waste of fuel to have it running during the night just for the fridge, so we time it so it will run out around mid-night. Then Nick fuels it before he leaves for “the office” in the morning, about 8 hours later.
The generator gives us power for lighting, the computer, the little RV fridge, the microwave and electric appliances such as the water kettle, electric skillet and slow cooker. We also have two propane camp stoves, each with two burners, and I have a camp oven which requires only that is rest upon one of the gas burners to operate. I can bake anything in it that I would normally bake in my “big” oven…. only smaller. It can hold a pie, loaf pan, 6 muffin tin, etc.
Back in the old days when I had my wood cooking stove I used one on top of that. I haven’t yet tried it on a camp fire.
So far we haven’t built an outhouse or gotten a composting toilet, though both are on the list. We have a bathroom in the motor-home and Nick empties the holding tank to a “special” composting bin. There is an excellent book available that is probably the best resource out there regarding how to gather, compost and use humanure and is one of my “go to” books. The Scoop on Poop
For now we have a bored well, about 20 feet deep, from which we, that is Nick pulls up water in a bucket. We boil around 10 gallons for safety, every day, for watering the livestock and for bathing and cleaning. We buy water for drinking and cooking…. just because….
Laundry is done either by hand with a wash tub and plunger/agitator; or Nick takes it to the laundrette while he is in town. He can work anywhere as long as his mobile hotspot has a signal. I still struggle with him to at least bring home the wet wash so I can line dry it, but more often than not, he doesn’t.
This is the first year in many that I don’t have any food from my garden to preserve. Thankfully, I thought ahead last year anticipating this, and there is plenty of food still on the shelves inside the house.
The old farmhouse has become a storage facility for our household goods which are all in boxes and plastic crates. We still have all the furniture to move from the house in CT.
Living here, without pubic utilities, has given us ample time to learn what works and what doesn’t, especially when it comes to the old farmhouse. We had intended to restore it, but the red tape in doing that has gotten out of hand. So we are now planning to build a new cabin, further back on the property, for our home.
Recently I discovered a Canadian television video series about two couples who went to live in rural Ottowa, Canada for an entire year as pioneer settlers of the 1870’s. They had very little with them, we actually have more tools than they had, with which to build their homes and farm. There were also faced with the wettest spring and coldest winter in 120 years. I learned quite a bit from watching how they managed to live, totally off grid, and recommend to anyone wanting to live off grid to view it. Both for what can be learned, and for its entertainment value. It is a good show. Pioneer Quest
For now, we rely on the food I preserved and stocked last year. Except for chicken, we are running low on beef and so must get some things from the market. Now that the farm stands are open I will be getting fresh produce from the community farmstand nearby, and we found a place that sells local meat, and the goats will be kidding soon and we will have our own milk. And though they won’t be laying for a few months, our new flock of laying chicks will be arriving in about ten days, along with a dozen meat chicks. We will need two dozen meat chickens to put up for the coming year.
I would love to be able to build a cabin from the trees on our land, but at our age it isn’t a project for us. We are looking at “kits” and “build on site” cabins for our new home. Once the shell of the home is constructed and finished by professionals, we intend to do the interior work ourselves.
For my first birthday with DH, many years ago, he surprised me with a wonderful gift. The box was about the size of a shoebox and was quite heavy. When opened I found a little jewel box with a beautiful ruby and diamond ring…. but what gave the box its weight was the special gift… a brick with a note reading that this would be the first brick laid in our new home. It’s taken 16 years to get there, but it looks like we will finally get to lay that brick this year.
Now the question is how “connected” this new home will be to the grid. I would love it to be 0%… but until we can afford to get the wind turbine………
Are you living off grid? How do you manage? I’d love to know.