• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
  • Leigh Tate
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
  • Mike Haasl
master gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • Beau Davidson
  • Nancy Reading
  • Jay Angler
  • L. Johnson
  • thomas rubino
  • S Rogers

Is a decent guide to off-the-grid-living needed?

Posts: 1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Hello permaculture community,

I am new here so go easy on me if I am mistakenly asking something inappropriate or off topic.

I have found off the grid living/homesteading fascinating because of the freedom and peace of mind
it potentially gives to those who can't stand being part of the rat race of society that comes with being tied
to the grid and your dependency on your employer. I have went to sites like motherearthnews.com and offthegridnews.com,
which are known websites b.t.w., and they have lots of content all over the place; the content is mostly 'tips' and 'tricks'.
There is no easy-to-find guide as to how to make an off-the-grid property/homestead.

For example:
-the guide would start with selecting what kind of land you should buy first, the types of property deeds, mineral/water rights, etc..
-then the guide would then cover options of housing AFTER getting the land as well as raising the issue of zoning codes
-after going though guides on different farming options, energy options, etc.. it would finally come down to aguidelines as to
how to make a business and make your own income(i'd even bring up the necessary tax forms.).

I seen sites/blogs with LOTS of content but no clear guide as to how to make an off the grid property/homestead from A-Z.
I think some people have failed to go off grid because of this issue. I want to know if a guide(like in the example) is
made, would it be beneficial to others. I'm thinking of starting an off-the-grid/homestead blog that uses such a guide
as a focal point. I'd like to get feedback if such a thing is beneficial to others within this niche.

I hope to have some replies.
Posts: 3535
Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
forest garden trees woodworking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
William, my thinking is that it would be tough to do a guide that takes into account variations in local conditions.

Off-grid typically means rural, usually *DEEP* rural.

But once you're off grid, everything you do depends on where you are and what local resources are available.

My off-grid experience was in rural sub-arctic Alaska. You wanted heat, you cut softwood. You wanted food, you hunted big and small game. Gardening effectively was very difficult with an 80-day growing season. Solar energy in those days was a laugh anywhere, but an impossible dream that far north. Family income opportunities might well be limited to fur trapping or gold mining.

Somewhere else it might all be about water sourcing and excess heat management through home design, with long growing seasons and endless solar or wind power available.

In a third place, there might be abundant hardwoods for heating, plenty of rain for crops, and lots of tumbling streams for small scale hydro power.

Just a ton of variables. Getting off the grids (water grid, electric grid, transportation grid, food distribution grid, communications grid) is a different challenge in each place where it is attempted. I'm uncertain how much use a general guide could really be.

I guess what I'm saying is that appropriate technology is intensely regional.
Posts: 6440
Location: United States
transportation forest garden tiny house books urban greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Welcome to permies William!

I have heard good things about The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery.
Posts: 567
Location: Mid-Michigan
duck forest garden trees hunting books food preservation bee solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi William,
Welcome to Permies!

There are a handful of books that I'd say do a pretty great job of tackling the "A-Z" of homesteading.

Toward the top of my list are:
Ben Falk's The Resilient Farm and Homestead
Ten Acres Enough, one that's very old but still remarkably relevant. (You won't believe what he says about strawberries. (I can internet!))

And in terms of non-books, Permies.com is a pretty fantastic resource for:
-wood heat
-growing stuff, especially food

I've spent a little time at Homesteadingtoday.com, which I would say is the place to find out about:
-tractors, ATVs, chainsaws, fencing, and the rest of your mainline homesteading equipment (Permies, by contrast, will tend to point you toward low-fossil-fuel alternatives)
-Hybrid/commercial livestock, vegetables, seed, and chemicals
-Living cheap

Dan's point about the different focuses of homesteaders in AK, AZ, AR, and AL is pretty important. That's the strength of a forum- hundreds of viewpoints make it likely that ALL the approaches will get covered sooner or later. And the flipside is, that's awful hard for a solo blogger or newsletter writer to achieve.

But with all that said, there's always room for good information. You don't NEED to be the alpha and omega of off-grid living. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you're doing market research here, right? You hate your job and and you're trying to see if you can make a go of it blogging on something you love? I can relate. So for THAT question, even though you didn't ask it, here's two people you might love:

First, Seth Godin.
To start with, how about this quick, pithy post from Dec 27?
Is your niche too small?
There's no such thing as a niche that's too small if the people care enough.
If you think you need a bigger market, you're actually saying that the market you already have doesn't need you/depend on you/talk about you enough.
You might not need a bigger niche. You might only need to produce more value for those you already serve.

Again, you don't NEED to be the alpha and omega.

Second, Amy Hoy.
She writes about selling information products. In a nutshell, her approach is:
1. Lurk around the internet to find a group of people that you already belong to (such as baristas, car salesmen, or homesteaders).
2. Find out what they need
3. Create it and sell it to them.
Her language is salty, so watch out.
She offers lots of great advice, but one that relates to the question at hand is her insistence that everyone should Do A Tiny Product First. It makes a lot of sense; give it a read.

Recap: Don't try to give us all the information. Instead, give us a little bit of great information.
The permaculture playing cards make great stocking stuffers: http://richsoil.com/cards
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic