I just found this place via some of the excellent vids on YouTube. I am currently in the process of moving into a tiny off-grid house (an old sheep stable, about 150 sq ft) in a very rural area, but I will be working for a group accomodation guest house there and also have an office space in the main house (which is completely on-grid), so it is not quite as adventurous as it may sound (I mean, for example I could just lie out a long electric cable and connect to the grid from the main house, but where would be the fun in that?) Still, that is the reason that I am watching a lot of videos on tiny houses and off-grid solutions at the moment, to get some inspiration. I have been living car-free for more than seven years now, the first five years in the city, the past two years already in a pretty rural setup with a six mile commute to work (which I do by bicycle). Being car-free is very important to me, tremendously heightened my quality of life and I plan to stay car-free even in the very remote corner of Germany that I am going to life in now. I also don't have a tv, though I admit that I do watch a lot of video online and on dvd.
Originally a software developer by trade, I have travelled around a lot and done all kinds of odd jobs in the past few years, trying to acquire as many skills as possible for a more sustainable and more enjoyable lifestyle.
What else? I do have a vegetable garden and plan to have one in the new place as well. I would love to experiment with setting up a forest garden as well as a traditional German "Bauerngarten" (something like a cottage garden where flowers, veggies and medicinal plants grow together in beneficial mixed culture). I also plan to get chickens and dairy goats (actually the chance of having my own goats is one of the main advantages of the new place and job). I fell in love with goats when I worked as a WWOOFER on a Nova Scotian farm in 2008 for a few months. I am also interested in getting a mule or maybe donkeys in the future, but that is still in the early dreaming stage.
So, those are the topics I am most interested in at the moment. I don't know yet how much time I am going to have to really get involved in this forum, since there is a lot of stuff to be done and learned in real life at the moment, but I am looking forward to browse around.
Hello Jutta, good to have you on board. We're almost neighbours! Your plans sound great and I can totally understand why you fell in love with goats - we have a little herd here and I had no idea just how adorable they are. Most of our WWOOFers fall in love with them too. Well, drop in when you can and hopefully permies.com will become a useful place for you.
I live in the Wendland, a rural area in the north east of Niedersachsen, about 1 1/2 hrs from Hamburg, about the same distance from Hannover. It is actually the least densely populated area in former west Germany, pretty remote, but I like it that way.
Do you have any knowledge of how to navigate the law in Germany as far as building codes, etc? I have no idea what is allowed, but am interested in exploring some ecobuilding/natural building options. Also regarding things like Rocket Mass Heaters, in my experience, nearly everything is forbidden, or strictly regulated, but maybe that's just my own perception as a foreigner? Also, I'd be interested in networking with other Permaculture people in Germany, do you know of any groups or lists? German language is not a problem. Any help you could offer in these areas would be appreciated.