Being above the 56th parallel, we are in Zone 0, the harshest zone per Ag Canada. We're faced with a short, fickle growing season where frost can occur at any time during the summer months. We were faced with the daunting task of improving the poor boreal forest soil. Here is how we transformed the shallow, poor soils of the Precambrian Shield of our wilderness homestead into a rich garden loam.
Growing vegetables at a high elevation can be very challenging. Over the years we have had to be flexible and creative in order to manage a small garden. We grow enough for our needs but not enough to put any vegetables up for future use. This blog post outlines some of the challenges we have faced and how we overcame them.
A summer update from our wilderness homestead with an emphasis on how we get an early seasonal start to our gardens.
Homesteading is an exciting life choice regardless of age, and one of the benefits is the remoteness. Seniors can be homesteaders, but just be prepared for hard physical work and be open to adjustment and change.
We give the reader a better sense of the obstacles we were faced with when we decided to homestead in the Canadian wilderness.
When we arrived on our off-grid property, one of our first plans of action was to build our own cedar wood-fired hot tub. Here's how we did it.
What's it like to be a woman off the grid? Dirty? Chore-filled? Sacrificial? Modern day off-grid homesteading is a wonderful, empowering lifestyle for those women who choose to take this path. Yet, finding practical, reality-based feedback is getting harder! Media and networks are often misleading in their depiction of off-grid life, because they need to feed a audience who is thirsting for excitement. Here is on woman's reality check.
Living off the grid doesn't mean that you need to sacrifice the womanly comforts you may be accustomed to — you just need to provide for them slightly differently.
Seniors like myself are coping today on many levels of homesteading and life is good for us even if a little more difficult. Learn how homesteading and self-sufficiency have become more difficult as we grow older but is far from being over.
Gas range or induction cooking? The speed and efficiency revealed. Because I’m off-grid, induction will be my go-to cooking method when sunshine is ample, offering an option for fossil-free cooking!
Water is the liquid-gold standard for off-grid sustainability. However, how does a new off-grid homesteader prepare for their water needs? Here are some simple tips from seasoned veterans on how to successfully have a backup plan for water.
They're back. The wolves. During breakfast one morning this past week, we heard a chorus of howling. Racing down to the shoreline, we saw 3 wolves in the center of the lake about a mile away. The wolves are a symbol of our wilderness location. Learn how we live with them and stay in touch with civilization.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Solar PV installations surpassed natural gas installations for the first time in 2015.
Winter weather presents challenges for anyone raising poultry in northern climates. Here are a few tips for getting your turkeys through the winter.
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.
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.
This is part four 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A 150-mile transmission line project proposed in 2012 costing up to $1.3 billon is a “dinosaur” that is still haunting the Hudson Valley. But rooftop solar energy, battery storage, and community microgrids can replace the ancient, costly, and vulnerable centralized generation and transmission electricity system that has dominated New York and the entire nation — and advanced little technologically — for over a century.
Cam shares his experience trying to fix a broken hot-water tank.
In this blog post we describe the choices we made in producing and editing our film, "Life Off Grid."
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.
Expense checklist for anyone wanting to plan a new homestead.
This article does not get into home biogas gas yields or what biogas can be used for, but it is a basic introduction to the five necessary conditions for how to make biogas at home to get you started.
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.
Unforgettable Fire's Kimberly and Katydid wood stoves are heating solutions for any and all spaces.
Darning socks is a simple thing to do - and a statement for self-sufficiency!
Two homesteaders discuss their experience with the weather applicable to their mountain homesteads in Washington and Colorado.
Ed and Bruce compare the weather and its impact on their mountain homesteads at different elevations and mountain ranges.
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.
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.
Cam looks back at the challenges of moving to his off-grid home.
Providing your own sewer, water and power can be more expensive and is certainly less convenient but that's not all there is to consider. This article takes a look at some of the other differences between public and private services.
Learning to appreciate seasonal differences.
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.
There are a lot of things you can do right now to experience the homestead lifestyle right in your backyard.
A look back at how we’ve become addicted to electricity and its conveniences since the Great Depression.
Our experiences in learning to pressure can and use reusable canning lids.
Sharing our first experience with an indoor/outdoor vertical hydroponic garden.
How we avoid most clutter but manage to keep good leftover products for future use.
A description about something unique - a wood burning masonry kitchen stove.
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.
The cost to install and operate our solar electrical system.
again, rushing to beat the weather as we close in our finishing our hand-built cabin
How we have adapted from salt water fishing to freshwater and what we do with our catch.
Success at growing food at the 4200' elevation and some of the challenges.
Cam contemplates the amount of energy that goes into our food production and shows how he prepared corn for freezing the zero carbon way!
A description and pictures of a tornado force winds in Washington State in 2012.
Things to look for in your soil before you break ground on your new home or cabin.
The generators we use for living off the grid and a multitude of other tasks.
Where we have chosen to draw the line between convenience and sustainability - for now.
Our take on the positive and negative points of insulated concrete forms.
Options for phone service if you live in a remote location that doesn't have cell service or landlines available to you.
A brief description of our experience with a masonry heater.
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.
An amazing, off-the-grid Welsh hobbit house was built in less than four months and for less than $5,000.
Let's stop for a minute and think about what we are doing!
Cam is handling this heatwave much better thanks to his solar-powered air conditioner!
Cam shares his experiences getting lost in the woods.
Tell us what you think. If you installed a wind turbine or solar-electric panels, would you want to be tied to the electric grid, or would you rather have a grid-independent system?
There's lots of good information on renewable energy in this new NPR series on electricity in America.
It's easy to find out what fuels your power comes from using this nifty tool from the EPA.