Editor’s Note: Today we’re bringing the homestead to you! It’s our pleasure to welcome back our friends and guest bloggers, Doug and Stacy from popular YouTube channel Off Grid with Doug and Stacy. They’re giving us a glimpse into what a typical day is like on their homestead. Enjoy!
Hey ya’ll and thanks for stopping by our homestead. Some of you may have seen us on YouTube or Facebook. We are Off Grid with Doug and Stacy living the pioneer lifestyle in the 21st century. We live in a 600 sq. ft. 1800s style log cabin we built ourselves, collecting and living on rainwater, using a composting toilet, heating our home with wood, cooking on a Lehman’s Pioneer Princess wood cookstove and growing/harvesting our own food in Midwest, USA. This is a huge contrast from a dozen years ago where we had too many bills, too big of a house, getting all of our food from the store, being stressed, and spending too much time apart. We put the brakes on all that and now we live, as Lehman’s says, “for a simpler life.”
As we are coming out of the slumber of winter into the awakening of spring, we wanted to spend a typical day on our homestead with you. Homestead time is much different than city time. When the rooster crows is where our day begins. The cockadoodle of the rooster is our alarm clock. Doug is first to climb down the ladder from our sleeping loft and starts the fire on the cookstove and then fills the gallon stainless steel teapot full of water from our gravity fed rainwater catchment system. Stacy climbs down minutes later after making the bed. It might be a small accomplishment, but making the bed sets the tone for the rest of the day. She gets some peppermint tea, grown from our garden, ready while Doug lets the chickens, turkeys, and guineas out for the day.
On our homestead, breakfast is pretty important to keep us fueled for a busy day. Today’s menu is a Dutch Baby Sourdough Pancake with some of our farm fresh eggs. (Note: If you never have tried a Dutch Baby, you don’t know what you’re missing!) While the Dutch Baby is baking in a cast iron pan in the oven, it is time for chores. Our Airedale terriers, Maggie and Mollie, are waiting patiently for breakfast. We know it’s time to hurry up when our seven-month-old puppy Mollie starts licking our hands. To buy us a few extra minutes, we give them a treat. On our homestead we make our own dog treats. Dehydrated chicken feet are their favorite. These are loaded with collagen, great for joint health. Our horses, Smokey and Sadie, are neighing and stomping at the fence as they look at us, and Rambo, our sheep ram, and his ewes all start baaing like the school choir. While the animals are waiting for breakfast, we can’t forget Mrs. Turkey, the double-breasted bronze beauty, who always makes us chuckle as she runs/waddles towards us like a prehistoric creature.
It’s perfect timing…..chores are done and it’s time to sweep the floors before breakfast. The Dutch Baby Pancake is ready and so is cup #2 of our peppermint tea. After we eat, the dishes are washed by hand (remember we live off-grid with no electricity and no dishwasher!) While washing the dishes, we are deciding what we should tackle today. While living on an off-grid homestead, plans can change in a snap. One minute our plans are running smoothly and the next the sheep get out from a downed tree on the fence. An important thing we have learned over these past years is to go with the flow and not to worry if things don’t get done that we wanted. Our motto is to keep walking down the path and eventually we will make progress.
Spring is in the air which means tidying up the greenhouse and prepping the garden beds using some of our favorite handheld hoes and rakes. Doug is already working at the woodlot at the front of our property getting wood ready for next winter. Always be prepared! Stacy finishes up and hears the rattling of the chainsaw and runs up to help Doug finish up. “Teamwork makes the dream work” is something we say to each other frequently. Both of us enjoy cutting wood together. We always do our best to help each other out. This off-grid journey has made our relationship much stronger because we rely on each other to get jobs done that we used to pay someone to do. Now we are the electric, sewer, gas, trash, and water company here on our homestead.
When our belly is rumbling, it’s time to start what we call “linner.” It’s a combination of lunch and dinner that we eat around 3-4 pm. We generally eat twice a day. Eating healthy whole foods is very important to us. In order to do this, preparation is the key to our success. We are prepping meals in advance. The lamb chops were marinated the night before along with Stacy’s famous ABC salad which is a chopped apples, beets, and carrot salad with parsley and lemon juice. This salad always tastes better the next day. The only thing to do now is start the grill. Linner will be done soon with little wait. Stacy rings the big dinner bell attached to the front porch to call Doug from the woodlot. Linner was a success! While Stacy is cleaning up and doing dishes, Doug goes out and collects the eggs and gives the barn cats leftovers from our meal.
Now it’s time to do one of our favorite things of the day. Some of the barn cats and Maggie and Mollie all join us for a late afternoon walk. This is a great time to talk about our plans for tomorrow, check our fence lines and pick up trash and debris that may of found its way on our property. As we make our way back to the log cabin, the sun is setting. It is time to light our oil lanterns and sit in our hickory rockers answering emails and catching up on some reading. Soon after, we climb back up the ladder to the sleeping loft and fall asleep to the sounds of Mr. Owl and the frogs.