living off grid





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5/2/2016
When we built our current home in 1992, there were very few rules and codes that could damage or destroy our dream of doing most of the work in building our cabin ourselves. Times like that are rapidly disappearing and those who build now must endure permits, inspections, delays and forced compliance. The dream of building your own home could be more complicated than just knowing construction techniques nowadays. Read our story.
4/29/2016
Our first salad is a big deal for us, considering we were hitting -20 degrees Fahrenheit two weeks ago, and we still have patches of snow on the ground.
4/28/2016
The answer to “What off-grid water system should I use?” is not always obvious. Here is what we’re considering for our newly purchased off-grid land.
4/20/2016
Living remotely is wonderful but it does force us to evaluate our actions knowing that we are ultimately responsible for our own safety. Taking the precautions outlined here is just one example of how we try to cover all the bases. Safety is paramount and slush on a lake can become a safety concern.
4/11/2016
Ron Melchiore shares his unconventional lifestyle with readers. Together with his wife, Johanna, they have carved out an off-grid homestead so deep in the Canadian wilderness that a float plane is the only way to reach them.
4/8/2016
When was the last time you thought of the food you ate as medicine to feed both your body but also your well being? Modern medicine has recently started to focus on preventative care but historically has only been a way of last resort or once things have already gone bad. There needs to be a balance.
4/7/2016
For the same cost as one more indoor waterer, we built an outdoor system with 10 times the capacity that won’t require much extra work from us to keep up.
4/5/2016
People think building is difficult. It’s not. And in the hope of encouraging a few more wannabe natural builders, I’ve compiled the following list. Because in my experience, there are far harder things in life than building a house.
3/2/2016
Can you have mental well being while living off-grid? Yes, because the benefits of off-grid living are numerous: fewer bills, living simply, and better health.
3/2/2016
The first year fair in Belton, Texas was a huge event and by all accounts, a success. I was super busy at the DIY Showcase the entire fair and had over 300 people attend my presentation on the GRIT Stage.
2/25/2016
When we started our off grid homesteading adventure, we had all sorts of elaborate plans as to what we would accomplish our first year. Six months into our journey, it seems that we underestimated our workload, by a long shot!
2/8/2016
Aur Beck, who has lived off-grid with solar electricity as his main power source for 18 years, shares some of his personal experiences with renewable resources throughout his life.
2/4/2016
A short video of the highlights of our first winter on our off-grid homestead in the Pacific Northwest. In short, we are hunkering down and trying to survive!
1/11/2016
This young couple quit their lives in the city to start a homestead in the country 100% from scratch. They are documenting their expenses every step of the way in hopes of helping others that wish to embark on a similar adventure.
12/3/2015
Winter weather presents challenges for anyone raising poultry in northern climates. Here are a few tips for getting your turkeys through the winter.
12/3/2015
This young couple moved from the city to start a homestead, and they decided to build an off-grid cabin using reclaimed materials to keep warm their first winter.
12/1/2015
This is the final article in a series on how I made the transition to off grid homestead living by combining appropriate modern technology and reliable techniques practiced for thousands of years of human history. Currently I’m entering the first winter of full-time off grid living at my mountain homestead after completing the construction of my small house.
11/17/2015
This is part three in a series of articles on how I made the transition to off grid homestead living by combining appropriate modern technology and reliable techniques practiced for thousands of years. Currently I’m entering the first winter of full-time off grid living at my mountain homestead after completing the construction of my small house.
11/12/2015
The past week we had the opportunity to collect thousands of dollars in reclaimed construction materials by being available when opportunity knocks. The best part is… there are many more opportunities like this to be taken advantage of by most anyone!
11/9/2015
This is Part 2 in a series of articles on how I made the transition to off-grid homestead living by combining appropriate modern technology and reliable techniques practiced for thousands of years of human history. The author is currently entering the first winter of full-time off-grid living at his mountain homestead after completing the construction of a small house.
11/4/2015
This is the first of a series of articles on how I made the transition to off-grid homestead living by combining appropriate modern technology and reliable old-school techniques practiced for thousands of years of human history. Currently I’m entering the first winter of full-time off-grid living at my mountain homestead after completing the construction of my small home.
10/28/2015
Dream big, build a small house or make home improvements, and enjoy the benefit of every task when you tap into your Zen of Building.
10/26/2015
A young couple left behind their corporate jobs and purchased land in Idaho. They’re living on their homestead in a travel trailer while they build their home.
10/13/2015
A young couple from Oregon leaves behind their corporate jobs and life in the city to move to a remote location in Idaho and start an off-grid homestead.
10/8/2015
Energy storage technology is moving closer to mass-market adoption. As solar batteries become cheaper and more accessible for homeowners, more people are wondering, “Can I use solar batteries to go off the grid with my solar panel system?”
5/11/2015
In our first installment, we covered the basics of electricity generation and the process by which a wind turbine creates power. This time, we’ll look at the benefits of adding a wind turbine as a source of clean power for your home.
4/24/2015
In this blog series, we look at how a small wind turbine works, while exploring the concept of the smart home microgrid.
1/14/2015
In this blog post we describe the choices we made in producing and editing our film, "Life Off Grid."
11/15/2014
This initial blog post tells the story of how Phillip Vannini became interested in off-grid living and how he began — together with Jonathan Taggart — to do research on the off-grid lifestyle in Canada.
11/14/2014
Being a homesteader and living off the land often means being subjected to natural conditions beyond our control, sometimes predictable changes of seasons and temperatures, other times curve balls such as unseen pest pressure, hard frosts in late May or heavy snow in early November. A lifestyle where these natural circumstances is the main determining factor for what gets done when is getting increasingly rarer – humans have gained what some consider an advantage by manipulating the world into a state where we, in many ways, can remain unaffected from the forces of nature.
10/24/2014
Expense checklist for anyone wanting to plan a new homestead.
9/10/2014
How to go from buying everything at Wally World to growing organic vegetables, raising livestock, building an efficient home, and a Do-It-Yourself, self-sufficient lifestyle.
9/7/2014
At the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Wash, I listened to lecturers cover topics from re-newable energy, small-scale farming, green building, organic gardening, simple living, and citizen solidarity building. While I listened, I pondered ways to weave these powerful themes into our children's lives.
5/8/2014
How to cope mentally with living in a remote location.
4/8/2014
Unforgettable Fire's Kimberly and Katydid wood stoves are heating solutions for any and all spaces.
3/20/2014
Two homesteaders discuss their experience with the weather applicable to their mountain homesteads in Washington and Colorado.
2/19/2014
Ed and Bruce compare the weather and its impact on their mountain homesteads at different elevations and mountain ranges.
1/31/2014
Tips to help you get started planning your very own homestead. With proper planning you don't have to be experienced to do it right.
1/29/2014
It takes commitment and determination to live remotely in the mountains.
1/9/2014
Mountain homesteading in a remote area.
1/3/2014
Outside of a few rare equipment failures, we’ve never had a power outage in the past 20 years that wasn’t our own fault — usually caused by not paying attention to power use or proper battery charging. Weather failures, on the other hand, are starting to become noticeable.
12/31/2013
Using snowshoes to keep our paths and trails open as the snow piles up.
12/5/2013
Learning to appreciate seasonal differences.
9/9/2013
Each year we learn more and more about living off grid and homesteading. These are just a few of the third-year experiences we wanted to share.
7/10/2013
Instead of throwing out that empty feedbag, get creative and turn it into something new! Homesteader Ed Essex shares ideas for finding new uses for old objects.
6/26/2013
How did Victoria Redhed Miller and husband David end up living on an off-grid homestead in the foothills of Washington State's Olympic mountains? Grid? What grid? Electricity was something one took for granted; it came from those outlets on the walls. I was hardly aware of it except during one of the infrequent power outages.
6/3/2013
An upcoming inspirational documentary, “Beyond Off-Grid,” that strives to motivate people to return to the old paths, includes self-sufficiency experts from around the country. A MOTHER EARTH NEWS blog prompted the producer to contact us.
4/22/2013
An article about when the best time is to start a new homestead.
3/22/2013
Our experiences in learning to pressure can and use reusable canning lids.
3/1/2013
How both we and the chickens have gotten better at surviving the cold winters where we live.
2/22/2013
Sharing our first experience with an indoor/outdoor vertical hydroponic garden.
2/13/2013
How we stay busy in the winter even though we live at 4200', three miles off the road, and somewhat isolated.
2/6/2013
How we avoid most clutter but manage to keep good leftover products for future use.
1/30/2013
A description about something unique - a wood burning masonry kitchen stove.
1/16/2013
In this blog we share someone else's story about old fashioned home made ingenuity concerning deep well pumps that operate without electricity.
1/9/2013
A brief description of our experiences with solar tubes in our off grid home.
1/4/2013
Blog post number 17: Jeff solves the problem of how to use higher-efficiency D/C power for long run-time loads, while using some A/C appliances as well.
1/3/2013
A brief description of how we grow fresh vegetables in our long cold winters.
12/28/2012
Announcing an opportunity to get Anna's new Ebook for free today at Amazon on the subject of homesteading in a mobile home otherwise known as a trailer.
12/26/2012
The thrill continues living in our handmade house.
12/19/2012
Fun facts about our first year of blogging for Mother Earth News.
12/13/2012
A snapshot of winter life living remote and off grid.
12/5/2012
The cost to install and operate our solar electrical system.
11/21/2012
Things we have done to earn an income from home in a down economy.
11/14/2012
Costs associated with providing your own water.
11/7/2012
Things we did to make our new home more sustainable.
10/31/2012
Design features we incorporated into our new off grid home.
10/17/2012
Things that occur when switching from summer to winter mode. Fall is almost non existent.
10/3/2012
Some of the downside of free ranging your chickens.
9/19/2012
How we have adapted from salt water fishing to freshwater and what we do with our catch.
9/12/2012
When we moved into the country, we had no idea that small critters would be such a nuisance.
9/7/2012
We bring power from the array inside the building and put it to work.
9/5/2012
Success at growing food at the 4200' elevation and some of the challenges.
8/29/2012
A comparison of costs between on grid and off grid utilities for our circumstances.
8/22/2012
A typical day of activity on a modern homestead and off grid.
8/16/2012
A description and pictures of a tornado force winds in Washington State in 2012.
8/9/2012
This is the hands on portion of how a solar power system operates.
8/1/2012
Short description of our solar system and the everyday things we do to operate them.
7/25/2012
How and why we chose to have a livestock guardian dog and what they are like.
7/18/2012
What it is like to live higher up.
7/12/2012
Things to look for in your soil before you break ground on your new home or cabin.
7/6/2012
Our power system begins to take shape.
6/27/2012
How to make your OWN insulated window coverings.
6/20/2012
How to make insulated shades at home.
6/11/2012
Our first experience as a vendor or spectator at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, WA
6/6/2012
Our humble abode begins to take shape.
5/31/2012
A short history of my own horse riding adventures.
5/24/2012
After the snow leaves to do list for us.
5/17/2012
Short stories about our chicken experiences
5/10/2012
Tips on how to keep water away from your home and water damage prevention.
5/3/2012
The generators we use for living off the grid and a multitude of other tasks.
4/27/2012
Tips for snow removal around your house and down the road.
4/20/2012
An article about how we learned to double our growing season and have home grown fresh veggies almost all year long.
4/13/2012
Where we have chosen to draw the line between convenience and sustainability - for now.
4/6/2012
If you want to live independently, it's always good to have backup because no one else is coming to the rescue. This is how we did it.
3/30/2012
Our take on the positive and negative points of insulated concrete forms.
3/23/2012
Options for phone service if you live in a remote location that doesn't have cell service or landlines available to you.
3/16/2012
A simple explanation of our solar power generating system and cost.
3/9/2012
A short simple explanation of how to project your electrical needs in order to size your electrical off grid system.
3/2/2012
Two easy steps to reduce your electrical use whether you live off grid or not.
2/24/2012
A quick look at different ways to be sustainable whether you are off grid or not.
2/17/2012
A brief description of our experience with a masonry heater.
2/13/2012
Instead of learning new tricks, we devise new ways to do the same old tricks.
2/10/2012
This post is about our water cisterns and what we use them for. It also contains a caution that many local governments would like to tell you what you can and can't do with rainwater.
2/3/2012
Things you can do to prevent fire damage to your home from an external source.
2/2/2012
We settle in for a long winter's work.
1/27/2012
This is the last of a series in home and energy options available to us. It is a short summary of all of the choices we have when designing a new home on or off grid that will benefit your energy use.
1/19/2012
This part of the series deals with window size and location, ceiling heights, eave length, and other design and passive design choices you can make for your new home. These choices apply whether you are on or off the grid.
1/15/2012
We finally see walls and a loft floor.
1/12/2012
This blog is about all of the choices we have for the type of home we want for off grid living and some of the construction materials involved. It turns out there are a multitude of options we have to choose from.
1/5/2012
These are the first steps we took to make the change from city living to off grid living. It describes the questions you should ask before you buy property and the research required to make sure you can do want you want with your property.
12/29/2011
Has the "magic" energy solution been discovered?
12/28/2011
This blog is an introduction to how we went from a condominium lifestyle to off grid modern homesteading in the mountains. It also includes an explanation of the meaning of "off grid".
11/18/2011
At last, we construct the foundation.
11/3/2011
An amazing, off-the-grid Welsh hobbit house was built in less than four months and for less than $5,000.
10/25/2011
We finally build somthing!
10/11/2011
We look for materials bargains while devising a way to pay for it all.
8/29/2011
Let's stop for a minute and think about what we are doing!
7/31/2011
Jeff and wife Kathy have lived off-grid since 2002. They strive to inform the public about ways to live inexpensively, and to further the principle of sustainability. Visit their website to learn more: www.naturalpower.weebly.com
7/26/2011
Sue McKay Miller divested herself of nearly everything she owned and moved into a yurt in the wilderness to determine how much she really needs to live a satisfying life. Turns out, she really doesn't need much.
7/15/2011
Cam describes the benefits of writing this blog and his recent book.
6/14/2011
After a wildfire destroyed their off-the-grid compound in Colorado, Betty and Rolland rebuilt—better than before—following Rolland’s creed: no plywood, no plastic and nothing that smells bad when it burns. The wildlife around their home approve.
5/31/2011
When a fire destroyed their home and office near San Luis Obispo, Ken Haggard and Polly Cooper seized the opportunity to build the off-the-grid straw bale home of their dreams. Their comfortable compound now houses two other families as well.
5/27/2011
Since they built their solar- and wind-powered cordwood home in Desboro, Ontario, Lisa and Ray Racicot have never looked back. The only thing they'll do differently next time is install the renewable energy systems first, to power the construction.
5/12/2011
Deb and Tommy have spent just $7,500 to set up their off-the-grid homestead in Oklahoma's Kiamichi Mountains, which relies on one 80-watt solar panel for power. As they learn more, they will continue to build their systems.
5/6/2011
Michael Funk's 6,000-square-foot off-the-grid home and retreat center on 1,200 acres in the Sierra Nevadas is an heirloom, handbuilt with reverence for the spectacle that surrounds it. He hopes it will inspire every visitor to preserve the paradise.
5/4/2011
Cyndee and Tony love being in control of their own power and never having to worry about rate increases and outages in south-central Colorado. Solar panels, a wind turbine and a wood-fired boiler keep them plenty warm and happy.
5/2/2011
These seasoned off-the-grid veterans have found that hefty batteries make for a happy home.
4/27/2011
Liza Fleischer was a suburbanite through and through when she met her husband, Ted, who she says was "born 100 years too late." Now they live in a solar- and hydro-powered hand-built home on 160 acres in Vermont--and she loves it.
4/25/2011
Kate and Jeff are building their off-the-grid dream near Taos, New Mexico. As they build themselves a small straw bale house and make do with a few solar panels, they're realizing how little they really need.
4/20/2011
When Paula and Matt learned that running a utility line to their rural Vermont home would cost the same as buying solar panels, they never hesitated. Now they're living the good life, off the grid.


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