Would You Go Off Grid if You Could?
The thought of going completely off-grid may intrigue you. Would you be able to survive, without some amount of complaining, if you didn’t have city water, a tether to the electric grid, and an indoor bathroom? For each of us, the answer is different, but I know someone who does just that.
I first met Teri at Homestead Honey when I ran across her post about building a solar powered system to run her homestead. I use my freezer heavily for my food storage plan and I’m always worried about losing all our hard work if the power goes out. Wouldn’t solar it be a fantastic backup system for any homeowner?
Recently Teri published her eBook Creating Your Off Grid Homestead and I just had to take a look.
There are basic necessities that we all need for any amount of comfort. Shelter, water, and electricity some to mind. The Page family moved to their property in NE Missouri without any of these things. I call that brave and prepared.
In fact, I learned that the Page’s had already accomplished 14 years of homesteading in the Willamette Valley of Oregon before they decided to take this big move. They practiced their self-reliance skills every day before taking this big jump to off-grid.
Off Grid Shelter
Tiny houses are all the rage and Teri Page lives in one. If you are considering this option yourself you’ll learn
- The actual cost of building a tiny house and how much money you can save if you can do some of it yourself.
- How to store all you need in small spaces.
- Heating and cooling ideas for off grid living.
- What to do if you don’t have a kitchen in your home (hint – I might just create an outdoor kitchen in my yard right now!)
Off Grid Water
Can you imagine having to move your water by the bucketful from the pond to the house and outbuildings? That’s how it was done in olden times and how the Page family does it today. I think this is perhaps the one thing that keeps me from really embracing an off-grid life. What about the bathroom! I must say Teri makes it seem completely doable as she discusses all the ways that they catch, filter, purify and use water around their property.
We were blessed to move onto a piece of land that already had a one-acre pond within walking distance to our homesite. Teri Page
One of the things I would really like to do on my property is to install a series of rain barrels. Even if I don’t plan on being off grid, this is one thing I can do to become more self-reliant where I live. In Creating Your Off-Grid Homestead I learned how to choose barrels, set up a system, and how the Page family uses it daily.
Off Grid Electricity
“Overall, our PV system has far exceeded our expectations. In the summer months, when the days were long and the sun was plentiful, we were making far more electricity than we could use. There have only been two times when our batteries have dipped below 50%.” Teri Page
I learned quite a bit about installing a solar PV system and their decisions to go solar. They also use a generator as a backup system.
Other topics covered in Creating Your Off Grid Homestead e-book include:
- Composting toilets
- Laundry without electricity
- Off grid with kids
- Animal care
- Gardening with an eye on permaculture principles
Each chapter has “questions for thought” at the end, so you can customize the things that are important to you, and also make sure you aren’t’ forgetting something during the planning process. I’ll take the advice of someone who has already accomplished homesteading off-grid any time!
I highly recommend this new book to anyone that would like to live a more self-reliant life. While you will not find all the “how to’s” in this volume, you will certainly gain an appreciation for the possibilities of homesteading and inspiration to jump in and try it yourself.
Sherry in Idaho says
I was country, when country wasn’t cool. I have copies of Mother Earth dating clear back for eons of time. Having lived as close to off the grid as possible, I am all in favor of teaching more people how to be more self-reliant. Go for it!
Book sounds great.
Anita Goodman says
water would be the first priority
You asked: If you were planning an off-grid homestead what would be your first priority?
My first priority would be an off-grid water well and storage tank.
Terri L Metzger says
Jason Hutchins says
Ideally I’d like to move toward this life.
After an inhabitable shelter is in place, if I’m not close to a creek, river, etc. then installing a rainwater harvesting system would be number 1 priority.
Getting the land, the right property for off grid life
Sounds like a very nice book. Subscribe to Mother Earth myself, get lots of great info. Hope to go partially off grid soon.
Rita Ortiz says
water would be my first priority, where to get it and how to purify it.
Janice Brooks says
I too have Mother Earth, dating all the way back to it’s beginnings, along with original Organic Gardening. I have been “Organic” AND “Sustainable” since I could walk and talk. Going “Off-Grid” has always seemed just a natural extension, if you will, of that lifestyle. And NO, I was NOT a “Hippie”….LOL!!!
My thoughts, as to what would be my priorities in setting up an off-grid homestead, would certainly revolve around having drinking water, and some sort of power. I might want to be off-grid, but reading & working by candlelight would be like reverting back to the prehistoric caveman era. My brain NEEDS the connection to the universe, ie: internet, phone, power tools, communication, and weather reports. So, besides having life-sustaining fresh water available, as my first priority, some means of modern power, would be my second priority choice.
My first priority in an off-grid homestead would be proximity to resources. Water, food (those that grow in the ground and the kind that walk on it) and natural resources such as wood, stones, etc would all need to be in close proximity to me. A smartly defendable location would be a close second
John R says
My biggest concern would be refrigeration. Next would be water.
Solar. Would be first
I am 74 years old–at this age probably will not move off the grid. However, we do have a back up generator and I garden, can, freeze and dry a lot of our food–also bake my own bread weekly. I wish I had been able to start when I was younger, but didn’t have all the info needed. I haven’t given up dreaming though.
I’m 64 and you are an AWESOME inspiration!
D Webb says
I’ve got a small start , but still in town. Every little thing helps get me there.
Water would be my #1 priority , then placement of garden, house and livestock.
This book sounds like it will be a big help in helping with a lot of off grid questions and answers.
Looking forward to reading this. 🙂
The first thing I would do is install a solar electric system, with a backup whole house generator. There is no point in freezing scads of produce, and meals in advance if you are just going to loose it from a power outage ( I just lost over $600. of homemade food, bone broth, meals and 6 home grown chickens and some farm raised goat meat from a power outage!)
Thank you for this opportunity to win this book, it truly sounds interesting.
mike justice says
A good clean water source
My husband and I have been trying to become more self reliant. We have chickens and goats and a garden in the summer. We plan to build a greenhouse to have produce all year round. We live on five acres and plan on getting a couple of horses and a wagon. Cuz you never know when you might need one! We live in the Panhandle of Texas so water off the grid is an issue for us. No electricity, no water! I would love to learn more ways to be able to live off the grid!
As a former Texan who know lives in the tropics on 2 acres – I recently completed a truly AWESOME permaculture design course. Use permaculture to learn how to capture and store water in your soil. Teaches how to map and use your land contours for higher water storage, use gravity, build swales, keyline terrace, check dams, and ponds. It is the only low carbon / low fossil fuel sustainable agriculture. Also, rainwater catchment, aquaculture, and grey water systems (what you can grow in grey water). I have a friend who manages 30 acres with 2 people! Also consider a Ferrocement Water Tank which can be above or underground – Build a cage of steel reinforcement bars, covered with chicken wire mesh or start with an inner form of metal sheets, which is later removed. Once this structure is established, a cement mixture is applied. As ferrocement is much stronger than masonry, the thickness of the walls is in the range of 10-30mm. During curing (at least 10 days, although 30 is better) the cement is kept wet and wrapped in plastic sheet. Can survive a hurricane. Fill’r up and enjoy. Estimated Cost: $650.00 for 10,000 liter tank. Continued good luck!
Ann Cluck says
I would sell my houses and move further into the country so I could truly live off-grid.
shelter first, with water catchment from the roof.
My first priority would be shelter and the a way to get water fairly easily.
Water would be our first priority.
Mark Henry says
Nice article and thanks for sharing 🙂
How does one handle a Northern climate where temps in the winter get to zero or below? We have/had a greenhouse from a converted chicken coup, but heating it our first year of use produced $500 a plate salads…so we do not heat it during the winter months.