An off the grid homestead is something many people wonder about. I have been asked many times over the years, what it is like to live “off-the-grid.” In the beginning, to be honest, it was like being on vacation. I remember our first morning waking up in the forest, hearing the birds singing, it was all so new to us. The house had a gas stove, so we made our coffee and walked around outside.
At that time the house was surrounded by thick brush, mostly blackberry bushes and other such things. Then the thick forest surrounded that. Our driveway had woods right up to it. There was no cleared land where the barn and paddock stand now. The side yard also was thick, thick berry bushes and small trees. At first, we were a little nervous about what kind of wild animals were out there. Hearing the coyotes howling as they run along the creek at night, didn’t help! I figured to make this our off the grid homestead, I had to overcome all those fears.
We ate a lot of meals cooked on our charcoal grill or campfire, as well as the little propane gas stove. We used our kerosene lamps for light in the evenings and loved them. Our food was stored in the propane refrigerator that came with the house. Pumping the water from our pitcher pump seemed like fun. Our house has an outhouse, still does, but my stepdaughter, Hollie, and I didn’t relish going out to it in the middle of the night. We had bought a SunMar composting toilet before we moved here, and my husband hurried to get it installed for us.
That first year I planted a pitiful garden in the front yard since there was no area cleared. The year before at our other house, we had an awesome garden that produced a lot of food. I can’t even tell you how many jars of food I had to carry downstairs to our root cellar. It was all food produced from our garden. I picked blackberries like crazy! Making desserts and muffins almost daily. I canned jars of blackberry juice, jelly and jam. That is not even counting the ones we ate fresh in cream. Back then, there was not as many birds here as now, probably because it was not opened up. Now we have many, many birds. Changes have taken place since then. Our off the grid homestead was a good choice for us and we are happy here.
Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole