Some people may not know what off-the-grid or off-grid means, so here it is --- The term off-the-grid or off-grid refers to living in a self-sufficient manner without reliance on one or more public utilities.

Off-grid living is no longer a one room log cabin in the woods. It's energy independency. You don't have to rely on utility companies, you create your own power. Today, there are more than 180,000 off-grid homes in the US.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Questions and Answers...

46 degrees - 8:12 pm - raining...
Wow!  I have mentioned numerous times what our “living conditions” are while we are building off-grid.  But it wasn’t until these two posts {click here} and {click here}, that the comments and questions really started coming in.  We get a few comments and questions posted on our blog but for whatever reason we get way more that are emailed to us.  So I thought I would share a few of the questions and comments that we have gotten lately...

I LOVE your blog and am just fascinated by it.  I just don’t
understand why you only have 25 followers!  Where do you
blog from?  How are you able to connect to the internet?  If
you have internet, doesn’t that mean you’re on the grid?

We have 25 “official” blog followers and a whole lot more “unofficial” blog followers.  As of yesterday, our blog views were up to 24,253.  You have to have a gmail or yahoo email account to officially follow the blog.  For some, it’s just easier to add our blog to their “Favorite” list than open another email account.
I blog from my home.  Just because we live off-grid doesn’t mean that we cannot have internet.  {click here}  To us, the grid means the power, water, sewage, and waste grid.  We don’t have any of that.
Would you say that one’s first rural off-grid experience is
where you make all your mistakes, but learn a lot?

Yes, you make a lot of mistakes as you go.  We have had quite a few shoulda’, coulda’, woulda’s along the way.  But, mistakes are part of the process.  It has also been a very humbling process.  {click here} and {click here}

How do you do dishes? Or laundry? 
How do you take showers?
Our friends and family joke that we are camping or glamping (shorthand for glamourous camping or luxury camping) in our home because we live off-gird and still don’t have running water in the house. {click here} and {click here}

Do you have a well or water catchment?

We have a standard water well and an artesian well (which is our main source, it was horizontally bored into the mountain about 40 feet) with a cold water storage tank.  {click here}

Do you work or your husband? 
How did you get such a huge house without work?

My husband works for a local municipality while I stay home with the kids.  All the work that has been done and is being done on our home is done on week nights and weekends.  We are also funding this entire project out of pocket, which is the main reason why it is taking us so long.
We’re going the house in phases {click here} – phase 1 is the main house which is 2,592 sqft; phase 2 will be the garage with a second floor great room and enclosed breeze way connecting the two buildings, not sure on the sqft of that yet.
How much snow do you get up there on your
mountain?  How many months of the year do you
have snow on the ground?
Up here on the mountain, snow is on the ground for about five and a half months of the year.  As for how much of it we get…well that’s hard to say.  Several years back we had 14+ feet of snow at one time, which was also the most snow anyone could remember ever having up here.  But, honestly we don’t know.  Thanks to the wind, it’s pretty difficult to measure snowfall.  As the wind blows, snow drifts – so it can build up in places and diminish in others.  This year we are going to try to get a better idea by trying several snowfall measuring procedures (check back later this year – I’ll do a post on it).  In the meantime you can take a peek at some of our snow pictures from previous winters.  {click here} and {click here} and {click here}

You must have huge pantry if you live so far out. 
Do you grow all your own food?  Do you have a root cellar?

Our home isn’t completed yet, we’re still in the building process, so I currently only have about 12 feet of panty shelf space (3 shelves, 4’ wide).  When our home is completed, we’ll have a walk-in pantry which still isn’t nearly as big as I would have liked.  We don’t have a root cellar, but Tony has tossed around the idea of building one.  I told him I wanted the house done first though.
No we don’t grow our own food.  We have mapped out a garden (in several different areas – looking for the most sun), but our actual growing season is so short up here that we are now looking at building a smaller garden with a larger green house.  We would really like to be growing our own food, but we just haven’t gotten around to it yet.  Life keeps happening and the garden/green house keeps getting put on the back burner.  Even though we aren’t growing our own food yet, I do can a few things several times a year and Tony does go hunting to put meat in the freezer.  {click here} and {click here}
Keep the questions and comments coming, we love hearing from you!

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