Young Couple Starts an Off-Grid Homestead from Scratch, Part 2


In part 1 of this story, I explained the first part of our journey of starting an off grid homestead from scratch. The first part included how Jesse and I came to the realization that we were unhappy with our busy city lives, our  work, and that we ultimately wanted to buy land and start an off grid homestead. Here is where the story resumes.

After a year of searching, we found the perfect piece of property that made our hearts sing. It was $45,000 for 5 acres, it had a great building site already laid out, the owner was willing to carry the contract with $5,000 down which worked well for us, it met all of our criteria (including having a south-facing view for solar and the ability to receive a strong wifi signal), and it looked like we would be able to close on the property within days of the date we had to be out of our rental!

 couple starts off grid homestead from scratch

Putting Things Into Motion

We knew that to make the transition work we were going to have to reduce our standard of living even further, start small, and get in the mindset that we would be doing some extended camping for a few months. While we could rent an apartment while developing our land, we were tired of being renters and knew that we would never see that money again. We decided that the best route to take would be to buy a small 19’ travel trailer to live in while we got settled and developed the property.

Making the Move to Our Property

We arrived on our property the first week of September 2015. We have been living in a travel trailer where we limit ourselves to about 5 gallons of water each day, we run our generator for an hour every night for our power needs, we dump the septic once a week or so, we assembled a carport for our trailer to protect it from the weather, and couldn’t be happier! We could try to build a permanent home quickly, but we want time to get to know our land, source our materials wisely rather than running down to Home Depot. One of the reasons we moved up here was simply to find a slower pace of life so we didn’t want to burn the midnight oil like we were in Oregon to make the transition happen!

The reason we are able to slow down and have the time to build our homestead is because we’ve worked hard to reduce our overhead so that our financial needs are few. While we have had to make many sacrifices such as having internet at our home, shopping for new clothes and selling our brand new car, at the end of the day if our basic needs are met we are happy. So long as we have a roof over our head, a warm place to sleep, healthy food to eat and some fresh water, life really is okay and enjoyable.

11/6/2015 12:16:51 PM

My new husband and I are in the same boat as you guys! We loathe this life, the "American Dream". We have done MONTHS of research and checking out people like you guys. We have so much information and building blocks of knowledge we don't know what to do with it yet lol! Have you guys started any perennial seedlings? Before we decide to buy land we want to be cautious to have starters. We have already started with our fruit trees and greening our thumbs. We are also touring other homesteads and farms to gather more knowledge. I think we are about ready to buy some land if we can ever get out of the planning stage and put our knowledge to work! Would love to keep up to date on yalls progress! Good luck guys!

10/29/2015 8:33:46 AM

Alyssa and Jesse, Please let me know if you have any questions about solar / battery / generator system for your new off-grid homestead. I am the owner of a small business, Iron Edison, and we help people all the time with off-grid system design. We also work closely with Mother Earth News, and we have spoken with hundreds (if not thousands) of Mother Earth News readers! Please check out or send us an email at info @ We wish you all the best on your project!!! - Brandon and Maggie W.

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