You haven’t, but, if you want to, you can read a few blogs down about how my heart’s desire is to eventually go off grid. WAY easier said than done. Way easier to dream than to actually jump. The absolute first step is to get out of debt. That is a whole other plan. This here is a list I hope some of you who are planning on going off the grid will find helpful, and I hope that those of you who are already there will leave comments about what I’m planning wrong, with advice about things I’m forgetting, and encouragement where I’m thinking right. I promised myself I’d keep working on this even if the possibility of it becoming a reality is very low. So here are my plans so far:
Homesteading Tips n Tricks
A List of Tips, Tricks, Advice, Ideas and Resources
ATV – $500-$800
ATV Trailer – $150
ATV plow attachment – $400
Underground water catchment tanks ??? Maybe $600??
2 inch stainless steel pipes – 4 ft long, up to 40 ft of them with threads. $60 each?
Well pump – $150
2 shotguns, 2 rifles, 2 handguns – $1000
Bullets – tons of ‘em – $1500
Wood stove for cooking and main room heat $3000
Possibly 3 more small wood stove heaters $600 each
Go pro $300
Google glass $1200
Video editing software – $60
5 longbows of varying draw and accessories – $200/each
Heavy-duty wood chipper – $500
Chainsaw – $100
Good ax, wedge and sledge hammer – $100
Gas generator $150
MIG wirefeed welder, gloves and mask – $100
Brushcutter – $200
Come-along – $50
2 ton pullys – $30/each
Steel Cable – $50
Router – $200
Table saw – $200
Drill driver – $100
Mill saw – $3000
Miter saw – $200
Composting toilet – $1000
Tankless water heater – $200
Solar panel system – $3000
Wind turbine – $300 ???
Hydro power system – ???
Hole saw drill attachments – $60
Build our own beehives – plans on internet
Beekeeping equipment like hoods, smokers, brushes and scrapers – $100
Portable Manual Washers. Two of them with modified cranks so they can be placed on either side of a stationary bike like pedals. $55 each.
REGULAR MONETARY COSTS THAT CAN’T BE AVOIDED:
Insurance – auto, property, medical, life
Savings – should have $5000 to start and put $50-$200 away/month
Groceries – for the first two or three years actually MOST of our food and the animals food.
Once we start producing we’ll need:
flour, sugar, rice, pasta, peroxide, rubbing alcohol, alcohol for consumption and tinctures/extracts and cooking, spices that can’t be grown, natural ingredients for personal care products, feminine products, supplemental animal feed and small things to supplement our diet.
Cloth or clothing
Vehicle and equipment maintenance
IDEAS ABOUT HOW THE HOMESTEAD WOULD BE RUN:
Two to four acres of land, with a spring or stream and water rights. Hopefully on higher ground. $150,000 WITH TREES!!!! Preferably in mountains.
Try to purchase and close in late winter- early spring
1st order of business is water and shelter. Maybe have a trailer or two or a yurt or two that are fit to winter over in and can be lived in for two to three years.
dig well, or install water filtration system or both, figure out transport, pumps, pipes etc
2nd food storage for first two years and plan for getting and storing perishables. Safe from animals and elements.
3rd storage of critical equipment
4th plan out the land – where will permanent dwelling be? What will it be and how will it be designed for the most self sustaining and efficient use of resources? What are our biggest advantages/disadvantages? How much can we do to be as comfortable as possible before next winter hits? Where will garden be? Chickens? Goats? What needs to be done to protect all those from elements and predators?
Clear spaces for each aspect.
Build temporary shelter if that’s needed.
Build permanent animal enclosures.
Clear land for garden
Start composting right away.
Clear a road (defensible space) all the way around property. Plant hedges and berry bushes around perimeter inside the road. Regular barbed wire fencing around perimeter and once a week/month (as we determine it’s needed), drive around whole property with trailer full of fencing supplies to inspect and repair fencing and irrigation system supplies to repair irrigation to shrubbery.
Clear defensible space around dwelling, garden and animals, leaving as many trees as we can and still feel safe from fire and have enough sun for the garden while keeping the forest feel.
Yurt or travel trailers for first three years while working on real house.
About ¾- 1 acre for garden and animals, let the rest be wild but taken care of.
Plan for power. Solar, wind, and hydro are preferable, to be supplemented with propane and gas as little as possible. City power, maybe for the first two or three years.
Composting toilets only.
Goats and chickens only for the first three years. Maybe ducks and quail. Consider rabbits, a dwarf cow, and maybe a pig or two later on.
Spring is for planting and building, summer is for maintaining/cultivating, building, and selling arts, crafts and homestead products off property, fall is for harvesting and winter prep, winter is for maintaining animals and household, resting, planning, schooling and creating arts n crafts.
Early mornings are for animals, late mornings and early afternoons are for building and maintaining, late afternoons and early evenings are for cleaning and food prep, evenings are for family time. Not sure how to fit school in there yet, or if the kids would go to public schools. I want them involved on the homestead, but not at the expense of their education.
Beginning of each year is a family planning session where we try to map out our yearly goals in a realistic timeline. At the start of each season we go over the goals that must be reached in the next three months to help us stay on track. Break those down into weekly goals, and break those into daily goals.
Trip to urban area every other weekend for shopping and for kid’s sanity. Visit family once every season. Those can be combined if needed.
School would be reading, comprehension, history, science and writing (which could all be combined), computers, archery/shooting, physical fitness, Homesteading/sustainable living practices/home economics.
Kids get two hours of screen time/day if chores/schooling is done.
We each will have minimal necessities:
One fork, spoon, cup, bowl, plate each and everyone washes their own. And we take turns on the pots, pans and serving dishes.
Two pairs of jeans, shorts, sweatshirts, long sleeves, short sleeves each. Two to three bras, five pairs of undies and socks. One heavy jacket and one light jacket each. One set of nice clothes and we will maybe buy nice outfits to go to events, but donate them after. This will cut down drastically on laundry.
I want to rely on fossil fuels as little as possible, but I have reservations about wood heat as well. I want our permanent dwelling to be a treehouse, so a wood burning cook stove would be ideal, but I don’t want to use too much wood either. It is too much work, and it pollutes as well. A rocket Mass Heater seems ideal, but I fear it may be too heavy for a treehouse and too difficult to construct up in a tree.
- Butchering Poultry, Rabbit, Lamb, Goat, and Pork: The Comprehensive Photographic Guide to Humane Slaughtering and Butchering by Adam Danforth
- The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking Wild Game: Volume 2: Small Game and Fowl by Steven Rinella
- The Practical Beekeeper Volume I Beginning Beekeeping Naturally by Michael Bush
- The Beekeeper’s Handbook by Diana Sammataro
- Off-Grid Power: Build Your Own Solar And Wind Power Generating System: (Off-Grid Living, Survival Guide) by Michael Fair
- The Rocket Mass Heater Builder’s Guide: Complete Step-by-Step Construction, Maintenance and Troubleshooting by Erica Wisner
- The Humanure Handbook: A Guide to Composting Human Manure, Third Edition by Joseph C. Jenkins
- The New Create an Oasis with Greywater 6th Ed: Integrated Design for Water Conservation, Reuse, Rainwater Harvesting, and Sustainable Landscaping by Art Ludwig
- Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1, 2nd Edition: Guiding Principles to Welcome Rain into Your Life and Landscape by Brad Lancaster
- Water Storage: Tanks, Cisterns, Aquifers, and Ponds for Domestic Supply, Fire and Emergency Use–Includes How to Make Ferrocement Water Tanks by Art Ludwig
- Farming the Woods: An Integrated Permaculture Approach to Growing Food and Medicinals in Temperate Forests by Ken Mudge
- Woman-Powered Farm: Manual for a Self-Sufficient Lifestyle from Homestead to Field by Audrey Levatino
- How to Make Money Homesteading: So You Can Enjoy a Secure, Self-Sufficient Life by Tim Young
- The Backyard Homestead Book of Kitchen Know-How: Field-to-Table Cooking Skills by Andrea Chesman
- The Backyard Homestead Book of Building Projects: 76 Useful Things You Can Build to Create Customized Working Spaces and Storage Facilities, Equip the … Animals, and Make Practical Outdoor Furniture by Spike Carlsen
- The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals: Choose the Best Breeds for Small-Space Farming, Produce Your Own Grass-Fed Meat, Gather Fresh … Rabbits, Goats, Sheep, Pigs, Cattle, & Bees by Gail Damerow
- The Woodland Homestead: How to Make Your Land More Productive and Live More Self-Sufficiently in the Woods by Brett McLeod
- Treehouses: The Art and Craft of Living Out on a Limb by Peter Nelson
- A Treehouse of Your Own: A Step-by-Step Guide to Building an Amazing Treetop Retreat by John Harris
- Home Tree Home: Principles of Treehouse Construction and Other Tall Tales by Peter N. Nelson
- Be in a Treehouse: Design / Construction / Inspiration by Pete Nelson
- The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 40th Anniversary Edition: The Original Manual of Living Off the Land & Doing It Yourself by Carla Emery