Living Off Grid 101: Lighting

Stacy with oil lamp

Stacy with oil lamp

Editor’s Note: Please welcome back our special guest bloggers Doug and Stacy from popular YouTube channel OFF GRID with DOUG & STACY!  Eight years ago, they decided to leave the rat race, cut that average $100 a month electric bill, and live a much more simpler life. Today they’re sharing with us how they light their home without electricity.

One of the biggest things people take for granted is electricity. The ability to flip a switch and turn a light on is rarely thought about or questioned. When you live off the grid like we do and embrace the pioneer lifestyle, turning the lights on takes a bit more thought and effort. Continue reading

What’s Happening On The Homestead: Garden Prep and Daffodils

seedlings

Gardening has begun here on our homestead. (Photo by Elizabeth Geiser)

After a slow and chilly start, we are excited for spring to appear in Ohio and it is luring the whole family outdoors to tackle spring chores around the farm. We are a homeschooling family so I consider many of our outdoor tasks as part of our learning experience and no one objects to abandoning books for a few hours to spend time in the sunshine. The teen boys are in charge of pruning fruit trees, our 10-year-old son is helping start seedlings and everyone pitches in to get the garden rolling. Continue reading

Living Off Grid 101: Heating

Doug & Stacy with Cook Stove

Doug and Stacy from popular YouTube channel OFF GRID with DOUG and Stacy

Editor’s Note: Doug and Stacy left the city life to live off grid like the pioneers. Today they’re their experience with us of how they heat their home.

After living off grid for eight years, it’s funny now to reflect back on how we thought we could heat our home with a small pot belly stove we found in an ad in the newspaper. We had sold our home and moved into a small one bedroom apartment getting ready for our new off-grid life together. Lots of ideas and ways of going off grid were discussed during our transition time. In the end, both of us decided to live without public utilities such as electricity, water, sewer services and even a few modern conveniences like a refrigerator and air conditioning. Besides, a good challenge would do us good! Continue reading

Sugarmaking Makes Thirst Take a Hike

Homemade Maple SyrupWho would have thought that making maple syrup could quench your thirst? And I’m not just talking about your thirst to learn something new, or your thirst to do a Grisly Adams sort of thing. No, I’m talking about literally quenching your thirst folks, with two drinks that are nutritious as well as delicious. Continue reading

Our Journey To A Simpler Life: Doug And Stacy’s Story

Doug & Stacy

Doug and Stacy standing on the front porch of their off grid cabin

Editor’s Note: Today we’re welcoming two very special guest bloggers, Doug and Stacy from the popular YouTube channel OFF GRID with DOUG and STACY. They’re sharing with us their journey to a simpler life. Enjoy! Continue reading

Sugarmaking Makes A Lot More Than Syrup

Michelle and her family

Photo by Ayden Carpenter

When my husband drilled his first a hole in the bark of a maple outside my kitchen window, I thought he was kinda crazy. Surely, I figured, there wouldn’t be too much value in collecting tree sap, drop by drop, and making a little syrup. And, honestly, I didn’t think he’d be very successful, but I just watched him do his thing and figured if nothing else it’d be a learning experience. Continue reading

Winter Is A Homesteader’s Time To Plan

winter gardeningWinter is a time of sleep and rest. The work is still there, and it’s not easier…in fact, it’s often harder when you’re dealing with ice and extra shelter and bedding, and worrying about animals being warm enough. (Note: They are…Mother Nature gives them a natural winter coat. It’s not uncommon to see my Great Pyrenees out in 0 degree weather lying in the snow!) Continue reading

A Wish List for Advanced Homesteaders

diamant grain millWe hear all kinds of advice for novice homesteaders, those brave souls just venturing into the exciting world of self-sufficiency. But eventually novice homesteaders become experienced homesteaders. Through a combination of book learning and trial-and-error, people learn the intricacies of country skills and lead lives of great independence. Continue reading

A Wish List for Novice Homesteaders

digging in gardenOne of the most joyous steps you can ever take is to sign on the dotted line to purchase your new homestead, that little slice of rural paradise you’ve always wanted. And now it’s yours. Your imagination takes flight at all the things you want to accomplish: a huge garden, chickens, cows or goats, an orchard. The sky’s the limit! Continue reading

Splitting Wood By Hand

Splitting firewood

Photo courtesy of Sarah B. Gilliam

When I have procured my firewood and get it back to the woodlot at my farm, the fun really begins. Despite their necessity in working up a truck load of firewood, I really don’t like using chainsaws. They are loud, heavy, smelly and even in the most skilled and experienced of hands, supremely dangerous. Some people enjoy revving them up and feeling powerful with that big ole saw in their hands, but not me. The saw has the juice, not the worker. However, when I have an axe in my hand and pile of wood, I know that I will be the one powering through this stuff and turning it into a nice neat stack of fuel. Continue reading