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Living off-grid; income?  RSS feed

 
Miranda Hebert
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It has always been my dream to live off-grid in a natural home I've built myself. In my fantasy land I do plenty of homesteading. I would love to own a horse someday. But the biggest question on my mind comes up, if you're living off-grid possibly in a more remote area (I live in Fraser Valley BC and would love to own property in the Kooteneys one day), what are income ideas once you make the move away from your inner-city job? I'm next to completely new at this. I can't imagine being able to ever be self-sustainable when it comes to food, especially in the winter seasons, or can I? Is it even possible? What do others do? Is it feasible for a couple to make a living working on a small farm they're built up themselves? My goal would be to own around 20 acres of property in a remote area. So many questions. Any help on this income front would be much appreciated.
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1359
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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If you store enough nuts, meat, and a few root veggies, dehydrated fruits you can have enough food to last the winter.
And it is quite possible to provide all your heat (passive house), solar electric, water, sewer, etc
However you are going to need to pay for some transportation, communication and the likes.
You could sell summer/fall veggies in a CSA $500/person times 50 ppl, and make $25,000
You
 
R Scott
Posts: 3351
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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A surprising number are web designers. Wireless internet and enough solar to run a good laptop.

Most seem to have a small craft-like something they make and sell. If they sell online, they hire someone else for fulfillment or only ship one day a week.

Some write. Some fully finance their lives with their youtube channel and/or blog/website.

You really have to unwrap your mind from the consumer society we are in. When you have no debt, own your home/land, and don't need the newest stuff--you don't need much money. Enough to pay taxes and buy the food you can't grow.
 
Terri Matthews
Posts: 469
Location: Eastern Kansas
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I spend a lot of time at www.homesteadingtoday.com, where a few of the posters are doing just that.

One thing is for sure, you will need a cash crop, because the tax man does not take barter and there will be some things that you need, like gasoline and shoes and such. The cash crop may be flowers or cattle or whatever, but you will need to be able to sell something! And, as one person already mentioned, writing works too. One man in a magazine many years ago stated that "If you can provide yourself with food and housing, you can work at McDonald's and live like a king"! While I think that is an exageration, he does have a point! Our mortgage plus the grocery bill takes up almost half of our income.

At any rate, back to self sufficiency.

Folks in North Korea are often paid only pennies for their work, and while the government will house them what are they to eat? The government used to distribute food but now they mostly do not.

Many of the North Koreans have gardens, raise rabbits, and buy grain. The sale of some vegetables brings them the money for grain. It is a meager existence but they are surviving. I personally like to have oranges in the winter and such, but a person can live without it!

The thing about rabbits is, you do not need refrigeration. You can eat rabbit one day and eat the leftovers the next day, and the food has not had a chance to spoil.

 
Chris Badgett
pollinator
Posts: 289
Location: Whitefish, Montana
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I don't live off the grid, but have created location independent income for myself and family. Our goal is to live 100% off the grid in the future.

My freelance income comes from web design. Check me out here: Badgett Web Design

I also partner with permaculture experts to create and sell online permaculture video courses: Organic Life Guru
I'm currently working on cocreating a full length 100 hour permaculture design course in Costa Rica with an internationally known expert. We're currently living on a dairy farm down here in Costa Rica in the mountains with our 2 daughters while we organize this project.

If you're curious about our lifestyle choices and other writings on location independent entrepreneurship, check out our home on the web for entrepreneurial conscious parents: Unconventional Parents



 
John Elliott
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Terri Matthews wrote:
Folks in North Korea are often paid only pennies for their work, and while the government will house them what are they to eat? The government used to distribute food but now they mostly do not.

Many of the North Koreans have gardens, raise rabbits, and buy grain. The sale of some vegetables brings them the money for grain. It is a meager existence but they are surviving. I personally like to have oranges in the winter and such, but a person can live without it!

The thing about rabbits is, you do not need refrigeration. You can eat rabbit one day and eat the leftovers the next day, and the food has not had a chance to spoil.


If a North Korean family can eat one rabbit a week, they are doing better than average.

The situation there, the breakdown of a modern society with amenities, has meant that people have had to revert to survival mode -- which has also included hunting and gathering whatever edibles they can find. Unfortunately, there are other places that have reverted to survival mode, like Syria. Wherever conflict ratchets up and destroys the mechanisms of modern society, people are forced to live in survival mode.

But they have forgotten how to do as they did 3 or 4 generations back, since they became dependent on the market economy for their food (or in the case of North Korea, the Public Distribution System). It amazes me how quickly people forget where their food comes from, how to harvest what is growing in the garden, prepare it, and preserve it for storage. If you know how to do those things, there will always be an income available to you.

 
Angelika Maier
pollinator
Posts: 985
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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I would say that it is difficult to make an income as a webdesigner or a writer if you are not already one. That means you will have to start that business some time (years before you move out. You could learn a decent craft and sell on markets, shops etc too, but that is equally difficult as you have to learn it.
If you are not producing your food now you won't be able to produce vegetables ect for sale. I think this is very difficult and you must grow everything on time in sufficient quantity and it must look good. Dairy and everything meat is even worse there are hundreds of laws.
I would take out a piece of paper and write down as many possibilities to earn income that occur you and then really research a hand full. Many people start in the country and fail.
 
Mujahid Aprovecho
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Hi Miranda,

It's a beautiful dream. What kind of natural home do you envision?

If you are living off-grid, possibly in a remote area, your income ideas should be practical and proven for that place. Learn all you can about that place and the land you intend to purchase. The more you know about these two things, you will be much better prepared to discern what opportunities you have to earn an income while living off-grid.

You certainly can achieve a high level of self-sufficiency with good planning and good systems. I would recommend you take an introduction to permaculture workshop and possibly attend a permaculture design program. The best thing you can do at this point is to continue learning and permaculture not only addresses every question and concern you have raised but empowers you to create a plan, design your systems, and earn your livelihood from them.
 
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