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going off the grid...anyone done it?
June 23, 2010
6:09 pm
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BAREFOOTGIRL
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I am not planning on it anytime soon...but I would like to learn about it and how you do it...the pros and cons of it all..

I have heard of at least one person here who considered it...not sure who...but if anyone knows how to get off the grid...I like to know....I find it intetesting!

Thanks!

June 23, 2010
6:19 pm
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risingfromtheashes
st regis falls, ny
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I live in an area where many people live off grid.

it's ALOT of HARD work.

Many of my neighbors live part time here, off grid, and they rely on gas fired generators (so there is SOME reliance on civilization)....but if you are going to go COMPLETELY off grid, prepare for HARD work - and make sure it's in a climate hospitable enough to grow your own crops and not to have to spend your summer cutting firewood (which you will have to make sure your property has enough hardwood trees to burn.

like I said, alot of work....I also have alot of amish neighbors, who live without any modern conveniences....it can be done...but it's a difficult existence, with no time for anything other than working to prepare for the next day/next season.

June 23, 2010
6:29 pm
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BAREFOOTGIRL
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Thanks for your input...in 20 yrs we will have enough money to live for about 25 yrs...if we stay frugal...I would not be planting anything!

I still plan on shopping! Lol!

June 23, 2010
6:35 pm
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BAREFOOTGIRL
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I would like to check out solar powered window panes
....maybe move to a mild climate maybe...
A home built in an wooded area with a fireplace for winter...
A few large pets for protection...
But close enough to the grocery stores and etc...
I live in the city suburb now and I like it but I do not think it will be as nice here in 20 yrs...crime mostly.

June 23, 2010
6:57 pm
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risingfromtheashes
st regis falls, ny
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other than the mild climate, you describe my situation...I am the last house on our street that has power running to it....my neighbors past me are off grid, but usually seasonal...many people here heat with wood...but shopping IS close by....all depends on HOW off grid you want to be...also remember when shopping for that home - SMALLER is BETTER - to heat, keep clean, etc...the bigger you go, the more it will take to maintain.

June 23, 2010
7:06 pm
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BAREFOOTGIRL
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Thank you rising...sounds like you live out in the country...I think this is ideal and leaves a very unstressed peaceful life...when we are old...I want peace and safety and to have limited reliance on others...as much as possible.
I believe that will be necessary in the future to survive:)

June 23, 2010
7:34 pm
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_anonymous
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I have. My community is a homestead community. Most people have about 5 acres of land. Many with rustic cabins. There are expenses involved.
1. Cost of land and structure
2. Property taxes
3. Water bill if there is no well
4. Food for the farm animals
5. Gas to go to town to buy food for the animals or to run a tractor
6. Cost of wood to burn for heat
7. A vehicle that can haul wood, hay, etc.
8. Cost of a generator
9. Fuel for the generator

When I was younger and had a partner it was fine. Now that I am older and single it is a lot of work. The cost of feed has gone up. Then there is work involved with cleaning up after the animals. Also attracts flies during the summer.

Its easy enough to stay warm, but when it gets hot it can be very uncomfortable.

You can only grow so many different kinds of fruit and veggies. Then they have to be canned. People get tired of eating the same old thing.

Might want to try it out for a winter and a summer in a rented place then see what you think.

June 23, 2010
7:38 pm
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risingfromtheashes
st regis falls, ny
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wasn't even thinking about the need for a tractor and such...but yeah, if you are gonna have a garden and livestock...it's a requirement.

around here, everyone drives a four wheeler...more economical to drive and it's a smaller work-horse than a full sized tractor.

June 23, 2010
7:41 pm
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_anonymous
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A garden and livestock also attract critters. A wild pack of dogs came and bit the head off of my nubian goat in front of my son. A green mojave bit my pregnant chow. A bobcat came after one of my chickens in a cage. Wild animals can easily climb and jump over fences, as well as dig their way under. Too expensive and difficult to control 5 acres. Bunnies love the garden. Cant control the environment when the frost comes and kills or the sun burns the crops. My kids were raised in this environment and dont ever want to move away or live any different cause this is all they know. On the other hand if I could sell I would gladly move to civilization. Running this kind of operation is labor intensive. We have also had a snake and occasionally a rat enter the house.

June 23, 2010
8:00 pm
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_anonymous
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rising- sounds like your a country girl just like me:)

June 23, 2010
8:10 pm
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risingfromtheashes
st regis falls, ny
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I am for the moment...lol...my husband's home is very "rustic" in that they used to farm alot...now they have stables for horses....and we have a garden going....for which the tractor, truck and four wheeler have been invaluable.

If I had my choice, I would be in a suburban area, but with enough backyard to have some raised beds and that's IT!

June 23, 2010
8:15 pm
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rising- I am living in a wilderness area. When I look out my front door there is nothing in sight. Literally. There was a time this was fine. I am kind of stuck cause I cant sell the house.

June 23, 2010
8:34 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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I do have some neighbors...originally this property was 48 acres, and their friends bought ten and built on the otherside of the driveway...so there is a neighbor up there, but out of sight...(not always out of earshot, but that's ok - the silence would kill me)....I have neighbors down the road....it's a small community...only 350 kids in K-12th grade...in one building...one set of busses, one schoolday schedule for all ages....etc....there is some small mom and pop eateries here, a bank, gas station/mini mart, post office, churches, etc...but that's about it....our only grocery stores, besides mom and pop's is walmart and price chopper and aldi's.

it's ok for now...I am stuck..getting my college degree (cost of living is cheap here) and I am trying to be decent and share custody of my son with his father...but once I have my degree, I am OUT OF HERE...and back to civilization.

I am in a handbuilt log cabin style house that is all rough lumber inside and fighting ants and other critters every day...it's exhausting...oh and we have dogs to protect us too!

June 23, 2010
10:46 pm
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_anonymous
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rising- that sounds really rural. I am very proud of you for doing so well in school. I cant wait to hear about your nursing program. Anything I can help you with let me know.

June 24, 2010
2:17 am
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bevdee
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You might can go off the grid, but they can still watch you on satellite.

June 27, 2010
4:32 pm
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formerly
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I was just reading some stuff on line about living off the grid. I watched some things on Youtube too. The people I saw looked as if they were really roughing it -- well some of them anyway. I want to do the same thing. I have always been relatively poor, by American standards, and I believe that we shouldn't need to pay and pay and pay. I worked hard at things I hated just to get survival money in the hope of then doing what I care about and then making my avocation my vocation. I never earned enough to survive beyond the minimum. To keep my somewhat nice appartment in a nice complex, I had no car and would buy only from clearance, etc. I am going to school for something I don't care about just to be able to work..and now Florida is trashed by the oil crisis and I can't get a part time waitress job even when the season starts (in september). I was going to panhandle, seriously! I was going to join the front yard flea market accross the street. But I can't do either of those because they just outlawed any street vending. The paper sellers, the artists, the musicians, the hot dog carts,even the fire departments semi-annual fund raising drive, all went down with the panhandlers. You can't do any of it in this city any more. You can't get a job either.

June 27, 2010
5:51 pm
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risingfromtheashes
st regis falls, ny
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I would imagine going off grid would be hard in florida - the heat is blistering and short of having a generator to run air or fans - it could get unbearable....you wouldn't have to worry about winters like we do in the north...but you do have storms, so your shelter has to be sturdy.

I saw a place in oregon once that had such temperate climate and lack of bugs that they could life in shanties and not suffer on any level...going off grid is a great idea if you want to dabble in self-sufficiency, but can be very difficult in some climates.

June 27, 2010
5:59 pm
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_anonymous
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rising- what was the name of the town in oregon? sounds interesting.

June 27, 2010
6:04 pm
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_anonymous
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formerly- Your situation sounds rough. I lived in Florida 8 years ago. Bad job market then so I can imagine what it must be like now. Is there anyway you can do some research and relocate to an area where their would be more jobs? I remember all the rain, heat and mosquitoes in FL. I liked it there.

What upsets me is when I see people with motor homes, minding their own business trying to live in them and cities with ordinances against them, ticketing them, trying to arrest them, just cause they dont have anywhere else to go. If they live in a motor home at least they are not leaning on the government for housing. Even if you own land most towns wont let you live on the land unless you have an inhabitable structure. I hope things change so that the government can make it easier for people to help themselves.

June 27, 2010
6:30 pm
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risingfromtheashes
st regis falls, ny
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I was in grant's pass, oregon.

Many people had "squatter's rights" and had "riverside" land, one was even an old school bus....but they say the weather stays nice, and even when it does get cold, it doesn't get below freezing very often....I am sure a small wood stove would keep things toasty (most did have a chimney of some sort peeking thru the wall or roof).

any climate that has extremes would be a difficult place to go off grid!

June 27, 2010
6:32 pm
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_anonymous
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rising- I have heard good things about grants pass OR, have you been there?

June 27, 2010
6:42 pm
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risingfromtheashes
st regis falls, ny
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only for a vacation...doesn't seem like there is alot to do there.

June 27, 2010
7:00 pm
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rising- when you find affordable real estate, that type of situation goes hand in hand. I have lived in a remote isolated area for going on 12 years. At first it was great. Now it has worn thin on me. As one gets older the ability to be doing labor intensive stuff decreases. Its also hard if you have a job and have to commute far and buy gas.

June 27, 2010
8:06 pm
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risingfromtheashes
st regis falls, ny
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that is the situation I am in...it's 35 minutes to the nearest "civilization" and shopping and jobs.

I used to think I wouldn't mind it, but I have learned from experience that it's not the life for me....lol.

I think my ideal would be a suburban neighborhood with enough land to garden in, kids to play in, etc...and yet be local to the "hub" of a small city where I can do my shopping and stuff.

I find that I don't go out as much because it's so far - which is good, it saves gas....if I get home and forgot something, I REFUSE to go out again...just don't have the energy. I try to consolidate all my running to one day.

I like being around people too - if I was working maybe I would feel different about my living situation though - but at this point - I am isolated, no family or friends, and awfully BORED! (finances hinder any kind of hobbies that would otherwise keep me occupied).

June 27, 2010
8:11 pm
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rising- the worse part about my location was the limitations it placed on my children s social life. Can you imagine if they want to go visit someone, go to the park I would have to drive 15 miles there drop them off, 15 miles back home, then 15 miles to get them 15 to bring them back home. Not to mention shopping, etc. It got to the point where in town driving was costing me $300 in gas. For a while I was cool with it. But, I was working then. Probably didnt matter where I laid my head. Wish I would have bought something with land but in town.

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