Friday, August 19, 2011

reconsidering off grid

Don't you love it when other bloggers inspire you to really re-think things? Amy's post got me thinking about what it really means to be off-grid. To some it may simply be getting away from the power company. Not being wired into the system, using a generator/battery system, solar, hydro or wind power instead. But what about really being free from big industry and "the man?" Here are some things that came to my mind to consider as my family and I think about off grid living...

Power. Spending $15,000-30,000 on a solar system is fine. After all, the sun isn't powered by man. But what would happen if there was a collapse of society and then sometime after, the solar panels broke or wore out? How would I fix or replace them? What if I needed a new inverter; where would it come from? Can we figure out a way to live simply without power?

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Food. This is really two part- growing and eating. First, growing: How can I save seed from my garden? How am I going to feed my animals (chickens, cows, hogs...) without the help of the feed store? (At this point, we buy all of our feed except for the grass and bugs that the animals eat.) Would I be able to grow all of their food too? Second, eating: How can I preserve food without a freezer or refrigeration? How much do I really know about curing, salting, smoking, fermenting, and drying?

Photo Credit

Money. How much debt do we have? How can we free ourselves from that? What if there was no work for my husband? Could we survive on just our land and what it produced?

Water. How will we get it? Do we know how to build a hand-dug well? What other systems could we use to store up water sources such as rain water?Photo Credit

Everything Else. What about toothbrushes, clothes, vehicles, gas, lumber, toilets, toilet paper!, writing instruments, lighting, and the list goes on and on...

Could we really prepare ourselves to truly be off grid and without the modern things of today? Have you considered any of these? What have your thoughts been?

P.S. Don't forget about the beekeeping giveaway a few posts down!

This post is linked to the Preparedness Challenge.


Unknown said...

That and MORE have been on my mind for months now. All I can say is, LORD willing, we will never have to know.

Here's a thought...HOW will we learn all of these things if "the grid" does collapse and we have no internet to research and connect with other like minded people? I've taken to printing more articles and "how to's" so I have a hard copy to refer to later if need be. :)

Mountain Home Quilts said...

Excellent point Valerie! I can't tell you how often I use the internet as a reference for information!

Amanda said...

I couldn't agree more with you Heather.

I remember when I first started reading Kendras New Life on a Homestead how much I appreciated her posts on things where she would say if it was worth it or not.

like the solar power. I think too many times we jump head over heals into something without thinking it through.
We homeschool, homesteaders are like that you know;-)

I too am drawn to posts where they weight the pros and cons of things and give you good information about it.

Unknown said...

Deep thoughts indeed. I think like this all the time, wondering how did they USE to do it? There has to be a way. It's like a puzzle for me and it keeps going over and over in my mind until I can figure it out. Trust me, I do like my electricity, but I also love NOT using it. My goal is to figure out how to live and survive without it and enjoy it for the things that aren't necessary for life. As for the other things, that too is a challenge for me, but I know that some of it will mean I may have to barter for it someday, so what do I have that I can barter, etc.

LOVE the new puppy!! Darling!

Gail said...

For me it this wonder: What about laundry and baths? We are really used to being clean and those are both really hard to do without power-so what about them?

Anonymous said...

i am right with you! i have soooo many questions and thoughts but not as much money as i need to fulfill those thoughts lol. having to make some revisions in my plans!

Renata said...

Definitely very interesting - Amy's post got me thinking as well.
All I know is that no matter what happens we can trust the Lord - He will provide our needs - possibly not our wants, but definitely our needs.

Have a lovely day

Jennifer said...

I also recently read this book on living off the grid-so challenging! It has caused me to think of our lifestyle and how to continue to press in to be more self-sustainable-but God reliant, of course :)

Thistle Cove Farm said...

We're prepared if the power goes down but it's not the season of life for us to go off grid. What I've done is buy stock in the electric company; every time I use electricity, I'm paying myself. Simplistic yes but I feel better about using electricity.

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