Putting feelers out for anybody who has an interest in helping us out on our five-acre "homestead" on Whidbey Island in Washington..
We have been creating an off-grid farm for the last couple of years. It's been an experience! We live in a 30ft diameter yurt, powered by the sun (and a stationary bicycle during the dark season). We also have a vintage travel trailer (also off-grid).
(WE is me, my wife, and our beautiful daughter, as well as the animals. We are young and enthusiastic, set on building ourselves a place that can take care of us)
Our land consists of an "upper" pasture, which has the yurt, our vegetable garden, chicken and duck coops, greenhouse, and orchard. The "lower" pasture (about 1-2 acres) could be home to a flock of sheep, a native tree planting, or whatever else we can collaborate on.
Water supply has been our biggest challenge since living here (we lived on the rainy side of the Big Island before moving to WA, so got a little spoiled with the ample water). We have a catchment tank, as well as a pond to store water through dry periods. Still, by the time late summer hits we are in full-on water conservation mode. Obviously, creating more water storage is high on our priority list.
The person we are looking for is (in order of importance) honest, kind, communicative, willing to learn/cope, hard-working... We don't run on a time-based schedule, but we'd probably ask for something like 10-15 hours a week. We DON'T clock in and clock out, we LIVE here (This is not a job offer, but more of an opportunity to join us on our mission)
We are open to a few different arrangements - here are a couple of examples:
You could live full time in our cute travel trailer, take care of ducks and chickens, help with cooking...
OR, you could park your [off-grid] trailer, put up some fencing and be the shepherd of the land...
OR, you could design a new project with us, show your excitement, and go for it.
The key is that this would become a mutually beneficial relationship. We are nice people, willing to share what we have with the right person.
We have a thousand gallon water tank, plus the pond which helps with irrigation (probably another 1,200-1,500 gallons).
The intention would be to store as much as we can with another storage tank(maybe 5,000 gallon), as well as building ponds (2 or 3 at a couple thousand gallons each). Ideally, we'd like to have at least 10,000 gallons on hand at the beginning of the dry season.
The topography of the property would be great for some kind of keyline design, but we aren't quite there yet. (We could be ready for that with the right helper!)
Hey Alex ! I'd love to pick your brain because we are really looking to buy land on Whidbey we've fallen in love with the people & community. We are a couple in our mid 20-30s with our 7 year old daughter 2 dogs a cat and currently chickens ! What has your experience been like off grid on Whidbey / does island county have a strict process for being fully off grid ?
It's been a productive season on the homestead. We found a sweet couple to stay with us, acquired a few sheep, added a couple of water storage units, got some meat birds, and gather about 14 chicken eggs a day. Spring was mild and wet, so the vegetable garden is green and lush.
That said, we aren't exactly in "search mode" right now. Still, anyone interested in being a part of our project can send me a PM. Who knows what the future holds..
Willie Smits: Village Based Permaculture Approaches in Indonesia (video)