Off grid living. A lot of you have asked me questions about it. Some of you told me to do a piece / this "mytake". Here you go. It's my first so hopefully it is good .. .
If this doesn't interest you just leave! no need to read it if you're not curious and then leave at bunch of crap in the comments. And yea - we have #chicken and they have a great life, - heavenly compared to the ones at KFC and chickfile and whatever mcdonal.
If you have questions on the chickens besides eggs and sleep and eat please pm because people are apparently really sensitive on this. I can assure you my animals have a great life. THEY DON'T SUFFER AT ALL.
Now, the questions I get most, right after chicken and rooster, are internet heat , a/c, water, power.
Internet is a satellite/cellular connection. It's kinda unstable, and it's not very fast. No sane internet provider would offer a line I think, at least not without me paying for it.
My power comes from #solar cells. We have different kinds, but most importantly the big wide heavy duty ones. They supply a big battery bank in a building outside. This particular circuit takes care of itself but we have to be sure it's charged because it runs ie fridge so if it drops below a certain point we have to recharge with generators either battery or motorpower. We use small power blocks for the phones and the iPad which is also the tv most days. And then we have real battery generators which we charge either solar or on the generator. We have a dual fuel genny that runs on gas or propane, and several different solar panels big and small. We are looking into wind and water power at the moment.
Water is siphoned from the river that runs through the back of the property. We have a big tank that goes on the bed of my truck and an electric pump that runs off the truck battery. Also we have a lot of snow and rain which we use for cooking and coffee after it's distilled and filtered. We have a cistern under the house with a pump for shower. Water is heated with propane or wood. In the summer we have solar shower. Outside is a cast iron tub with a fire pit underneath. Sitting in steam hot water when it's way below freezing is an incredible feeling.
Which brings me to heat. We have a big Woodland fireplace in the livingroom and it has a hotplate on the front. We boil stuff like water and potatoes here. I also have a kettle for chicken water on, to thaw it out, so they can drink, even in below freezing weather . It's way below freezing in the winter. Sometimes it gets below zero (approximately-20 Celsius) In the back mudroom is a smaller fire, that has hot air ducts for those rooms and a water circulation that heats the hot water tank. It's only used occasionally like once or twice a day.
A/C is non existent. We sweat the hot days. The livingroom has a big big fan under the ceiling and in the winter it reverses the hot air down. In the summer it runs the other way and blows air down. It just runs continuously on low speed, which uses almost no power.
I think it's possible to get a real big solar power system and maybe run a portable unit. We are looking at that right now. Also looking at a windmill but we're currently on solar only. Another option we have been told about, is to dig pex pipe down underground, and have a fan blow air through. Apparently it will be chill at the other end.
We have chickens and they have a very good life. They have two very big runs. They use the inner run in "bad weather " because it's covered. Also if we're not home. The outer run is open in good weather, and around sundown I sometimes let them run free all over the property. I'm outside with them at this time, because of predators, and I have a rifle with me. In my area we have animals like bobcats. When the sun sets they go back in the run and into their "house" which is a really really well insulated tool shed of sorts. I close the doors and lock it before it gets completely dark and after making sure they are all inside. They have boxes with hay and branches to sit on. They cuddle up if they feel cool and warm each other as they would in nature, but they still have a warm air duct lead to the house just in case. They in turn provide us with all the eggs we can use, and even more. We use the surplus to bargain with people who have ie honey like one of our neighbors do. A guy I know works at the jail. He sometimes throws a load of used pallets off, and gets a couple dozen eggs in return, and sometimes leftover dinner. I cook and bake all my own food and I'm taking online culinary lessons so some of the stuff is really yum for the guy who works 40 to 50 hour week and spend another ten behind the wheel. I then saw the pallets and burn it.
Lights. We have low voltage solar power lights all over the place. If we're low on power, we have kerosene lamps too.
A question is often do I miss the city/town/suburbs. Will I return to civilization one day. Am I happy.
I won't deny there are times when I think it would be nice with a "normal " home. Some nights we get like -4 degrees farenheit (-20 celcius) and I wake up to a died down fireplace, or when I run out of power and have to choose between running the generator or wait for sunshine.
But on a 60 degree morning when my rooster wakes me up at sunrise and the day is 70 to 85 clear blue sky and a light breeze, my garden green with potatoes and lettuce and carrots etc .... I wouldn't change it for nothing..
Do I think this is for everyone? Definitely not. It's a lot of hard work. Just the heat needs us to cut up something like 180 trees a year. Now before I get a lot of hate: we choose the best trees to cut
We always get a big old tree that's thrown shade on at least two new young trees so the new trees can grow up and become big. Also we're looking at botany to figure out how to plant even more.
Anyway let me know what you think. Did you like this? Do you want to know more? Do you live off grid? Thought about it? Whatever you want to tell me or ask.