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.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Winter Readiness...

3:02 pm - 54 degrees - scattered clouds, windy...

The first week of October, we were having 70 and 80 degree days, but according to the latest weather report that’s all over for the year.  Fall is finally here.  

The cooler temperatures and rainy days are on their way.  That means old man winter is just around the corner.  Literally, winter could be here in a month!

This summer and beginning of the school season, we have been swamped with project – unfortunately most of those have been off the mountain.  So we’re running behind on our winter prep.

We bought our property back in 2005, and every winter has been different.  We have had everything from little to no snow up to over 10’ deep snow with 14’ deep snow drifts.  It is hard to determine what type of winter will be in store for us this year.  Regardless of what Mother Nature brings our way, it is best to prepare for the worst. 

To get ready for winter we have been cutting and stacking firewood and kindling, which is a never ending project, and we are way behind on our firewood supply this year.

Our kids and my dad picked grapes so my mom, sister and I can make some more grape jelly.

We’re still working on getting our electrical system up and running.  This has been a slow process...but we’re getting very, very close!  Actually having a real fridge will be life changing! 

16 deep cycle batteries are in place and hooked up.

Power cord is installed that will run from the
batteries to the generator shed.

Building up a rock foundation for the generator shed.

Drainage ditches need to be cleaned out, so the yard and driveway won’t flood.

The freezer (which is in our storage unit) needs to be filled so Tony went out and shot an elk during muzzleloader season.

Yard debris after the latest wind storms needed to be picked up, but we waited to do this project until the burn ban was lifted so we could sit back at the end of a long day to enjoy a campfire and the gorgeous view.

Meat. It’s What’s For Dinner...

1:35 pm - 57 degrees - scattered clouds, light breeze...

It’s that time of year again... hunting season. 

Hunting wild animals for food used to be a part of everyday life – for some it still is.  Hunting may not be for everyone, but it’s a part of our lives.  Hunting is simply harvesting wild food, and we only harvest what our family will eat.

There are a lot of shocking things about meat.  Sometimes I find that the most shocking thing about meat to some people, is that meat is actually made of dead animals!  Crazy right?  Sorry for my sarcasm, but I do seriously think we maintain a cognitive dissonance between the animals we see and the meat we eat.

One of the problems with our current food system is that there is this real disconnect with where our food comes from.  The same person who would squeal if they saw a farmer shoot a cow can easily buy packages of ground beef at the grocery store...or a package of skinless, boneless chicken breasts...or fish fillets.  While we understand what meat is in a cerebral way, we don’t really understand what that means.  We don’t equate a dead, bleeding animal with this delicious looking meal on our plate.  We literally and figuratively remove the life from our food.

Tony hunts for deer and elk every year – one deer and one elk will put enough meat in the freezer to feed our family for a whole year and be able to share some with family and friends.

Shot a bull elk on the third day of
muzzleloader season.
Hunting for our own food also gives us peace of mind that the meat in our freezer has not been tainted by antibiotics, artificial hormones, pesticides, herbicides, or unnatural feeds that are not needed and are possibly harmful.

This is the most "organic", "free range" meat you can get!

Nutritional wise, Elk comes in pretty good.

To hunt and butcher an animal is to recognize that meat is not some abstract form of protein that springs into existence at the grocery store tightly wrapped in cellophane and styrofoam.  Meat is life.  It still astounds me how many people actually believe that the meat they buy at the grocery just meat at the grocery store.  They forget or choose to forget where it really came from – a living breathing animal.  In order to appreciate that slice of steak on your plate, I think you need to also know and appreciate where it came from.

Elk Steaks.  It's what's for dinner.


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