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.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Questions and Answers...

8:51 pm - 44 degrees - light breeze...


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 here is another round of Questions and Answers…

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I just found your blog through Facebook and I LOVE it!!! 
I ended up spending an entire afternoon reading every one
of your posts.  I have noticed that you have slowed down
on blog posts lately and I was just wondering why that is?


Thank you!  We have received numerous questions as to why my posts have slowed down and to be honest, we have just been really busy with life off the mountain.  Tony has been busy at work, working a lot of overtime and working on our rigs.  I have been busy with our kid’s school, Girl Scouts and other random things. 


Things are starting to slow down (for the time being at least) so we have been spending the last week and a half planning and researching.  We have a lot of work to do around here, on the house and in the yard and we want to get as much as we can accomplished.  We have to hook up the windmill, hook up the power system, do some work on the house, burn some huge brush piles, move several large piles of stumps, the garden area needs to be prepped, laid out and planted, and I really want to get honeybees and a new batch of chickens which will need a new chicken coop.  In order to get as much as we can accomplished in a very short window of nice weather, we are trying to get everything organized and make a plan of what needs to be done in what order.  In the meantime, I will try harder to write more blog posts.


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Generating your power through gas generators,
is it not more expensive to your pocket than
the electricity from your town? 


Over the last several months we have had several good wind and ice storms come through which caused numerous homes to lose power.  Since we’re not hooked up to the local power grid and we have our power system we never lost power.  It was nice.


Since our power system is not completed yet, we do burn through quite a bit of gas running the generator.  When we compare it to our friend’s electricity bills, our gas generator is still the cheaper route.


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You don’t have an electricity source in your locality? 
The administration of your town should take steps
on this matter.


The closest power lines are about 7 miles away.  It is too expensive to bring power lines out to our property, so that is why we’re creating our own power system.  We personally like it that way. 


We don’t want our town or county or state to take steps to connect us to the grid.  “The grid” is a common name for the power grid – the linked system that delivers electricity to the masses.  A typical house is connected to power, natural gas, water and telephone lines.  Going off the grid means going without these public utilities in favor of creating your own energy.  This is not a bad thing! 


It’s impossible to get an accurate count of exactly how many people in the United States live off-grid, but in 2006, Home Power magazine estimated that more than 180,000 homes were supplying their own power.  That estimate is 8 years old.  Every year more people go off-grid.  The back-to-the-land movement gets bigger every year, and more people in developed urban areas are looking to get off the grid as well.  For most, it’s a good way to be friendly to the environment.  For others (and ourselves), it’s a relief not to rely on overworked utility companies to meet their needs.


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Have you thought about making some videos of your
projects around your homestead?  I think you take
great pictures, but I would love to see some videos.


The thought has crossed out mind once or twice, maybe we’ll try to make a video and see how it turns out.  If it’s not too bad, we’ll post it on our blog.


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I’m truly enjoying your blog.  The design and layout of your
site, it’s very easy on the eyes which make it much more
enjoyable for me to come here and visit more often.  Did
you hire out a developer to create your theme?  Superb work!


Thank you very much!  Our blog is through Blogspot, which lets me create the theme, layout.  I wanted the overall look to be clean and simple.  Glad you like it!


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Your property looks strikingly similar to mine.  I am in the
initial stages of going off grid; just purchased 20 acres. 
Any tips for someone who just got land?


Congratulations on going off-grid!  As for tips... drainage, drainage, drainage – take care of it before you build.  Large swales work well and look better than ditches.  Even if you don’t normally get that much rain, strange things happen when 3 feet of snow melts.


When you’re ready to build we would suggest a full southern exposure for your home or at least no conifer trees to block winter sun.  Build small with quality, simple roof lines, lots of storage, a large pantry and place windows so you can get the optimum amount of natural light inside.


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Keep the questions and comments coming, we love hearing from you!

To see the other Q&A post {click here} and {click here}.

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