Going, Going, Gone...Off-Grid

| 9/10/2014 1:06:00 PM

Tags: off-grid living, wind power, solar power, straw bale building, debt-free home, natural building, Texas, RD Copeland,

Off Grid Cabin 

I am taking the back roads to a sustainable lifestyle out here in rural Texas. What started with my love of the great outdoors has turned into an all-natural, less complicated way of living. Before long all my work and an assist from Mother Nature will provide for all my needs here at The Sunflower, my off-grid farm and outdoors retreat. 

In the current issue of Mother Earth News, Managing Editor Jennifer Kongs presents interviews of a whole host of off-grid, self-sustaining folks from Florida to Colorado. I'm not as far along in my quest as these awesome homesteaders but I applaud their efforts and have redoubled my own.  For five years I've been living off the grid, the last in a straw bale cabin, growing a huge garden, raising free range chickens and sharing my knowledge and experience with others. Now if I can just help convince all of you that you can and should do it too! Going off-grid and becoming self- sufficient won't happen overnight; I'm still working toward that 100 percent goal. There's so much to do... secure your food and water sources,  build housing and barns, produce electricity, but that's the fun of it---you never get bored!

Commence your journey into the homemade light like I did, by simply adding a solar panel, batteries, a charge controller and some lighting to an outbuilding or on your patio at your current residence. Kits are available but try to piece all the components together yourself; assembly instructions are found throughout Mother Earth News back issues, Real Goods and other catalogs, and all over the Google. It's a simple and inexpensive way to get experience with 12-volt/DC electricity. A couple of hundred bucks and you're in business! If you've ever worked on cars, boats or RV's it'll be really simple. Add to your system with a 12-volt fan, stereo, television, coffee pot, etc. All of these creature comforts can be found at your local truck stop, RV lot and on the Google. You may even locate a nearby manufacturer of solar panels or batteries...BONUS! Shopping local hurts no one. If it's windy in your locale, add this homemade wind generator to your battery pack to help keep your system charged up when it isn't sunny.

Solar Powered Cabin Interior 

9/12/2014 11:25:11 AM

I recall a poem I read once, about the passage of time, and all those pioneers/trailblazers that came before us - haven't been able to find it again - but, all you're doing reminds me of it: "What they dreamed, we live. What they lived, we dream." For me, that's alway kind of been "it", in a nutshell. Keep up the good work!

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