Off-Grid and Free: Considerations When Selecting Your Homestead Site


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The Off-Grid and Free series recounts one homesteading couple's journey to build a new homestead in Nova Scotia. Read the full series here. Find the author's book, Off-Grid and Free: My Path to the Wilderness, at Moon Willow Press.

Years before our move from the bush, we contemplated exactly where we would make our last stand as homesteaders. We pondered the location for our 3rd and final homestead and we wanted to make it count. We knew we wanted to be close to or on the ocean but the question was where. We considered British Columbia but property values are well above what we could afford. We looked in New Brunswick, Labrador and Newfoundland but ultimately settled on Nova Scotia.

Labrador and Newfoundland were awesome but the climate was cooler than what we sought. We had done the hard, remote access homesteading and gained valuable experience growing a garden in a sub-arctic location; but we’re not getting any younger so it was time to head to a more favorable climate. Here in Nova Scotia we still go down to zero or a tad below in the winters, but that sure beats -40°F to -50°F every winter.

You may have an interest to live off-grid or a desire to become more self-reliant. How does one begin the process? I know when I started so long ago, it was a completely foreign lifestyle than what I was accustomed to and I remember being overwhelmed but at the same time, I felt like an explorer seeing a new world for the first time. So exciting! We’ve gone through the same process for each of our three homesteads and it does get easier knowing the exact traits we seek in a property. One of the first questions to address is where do you want to live to pursue a more self-sufficient life?

Although some of the following had no bearing on our recent Nova Scotia decision, they were certainly relevant shopping points for the previous two homesteads.

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