VEGAN with fiancee, 7 month old and animals!

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Hello! Namaste!

My fiance andrew (24) myself Jordyn (23) – a vegan – and our daughter Ellieana(7 months) NEED to go off grid. We have a goal to eventually have land for animals with no home to have a sanctuary. We want to grow our own food and create a 100% self sustaining vegan life off nature! We believe in the universe and trust in it as well. We do not judge, and believe we are all one. We believe in natural healing and are marijuana advocates. Andrew can weld, work with wood, plumbing we both garden and cook and are so up for learning more. we know there are people out there like us so lets do this!!!

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Christian needs to live & work with others who love God

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I am a 28 year old young man looking for a small christian community where I can live and work and worship God freely. Being around other believers who can come alongside me and help encourage me to reach my God given potential. I don’t have much money and cannot afford to rent out my appartment anymore in Oregon. I am looking for a place preferably in the northwest where I am from, but if God calls me to a place outside of where I think I want to be then I will consider it.

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OFF GRID – Space Available For RV, Tiny House on wheels or….?

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(Picture is taken from my front porch steps)

 

Looking for an older single m/f or couple to live cheaply on my secluded high (5300′) desert land. Being on a fixed income (SS, Disability etc.) is preferred as there is not much in the way of jobs except for Sierra Vista, AZ (20 miles W).

Being that I’m no youngster (66), I’m NOT into building an off grid community & trying to live off the land or things of that nature. Although I do have a 8′ x 12′ greenhouse w/ running water & electricity.

I would like to find like minded people (1-2) to join me for company, to have someone there for emergencies (Yours or Mine) and to help with the maintenance of property, buildings & off-grid systems. (Solar, electric, water, solar batteries, garbage, etc).

Imagine your Tiny house on wheels here

I would like to find someone before my 5 siblings start telling me that I’m too old/disabled to be alone for this “Off Grid” living stuff. They haven’t started yet, thank god. I figure I’m good for at least 5+ years more before that happens.

I am a Full/Time Off-Grid RV-er with 15+ acres just 2.5 miles West SW from the center of Tombstone, AZ.

The property is at 5300 ft. altitude (900 ft. +/- higher than Tombstone) at the end of 2.5 mile dirt/rock road and surrounded by Federal BLM Land. The road is a bit rough but I’ve been driving it with my Nissan Quest for the last 10 years. And I’ve only used a 7” fan for air conditioning for the last 8 years as the altitude, wind usually keeps temps well below 100f. I actually have a 20” 12V swamp cooler but have never bothered to hook it up. It (land) is a actual ‘Patented mining claim’ from 1882 silver days in Tombstone.

I’ve owned the property since 2001 and I have been living there full time off grid for the last 8-9 yrs. I’m now 66 and have been retired on disabilities (COPD,+,+) for the last 4 years. I just prefer my privacy, living on the cheap off grid, on my secluded land with 50-60 mile views to the N & S. I’m a bit of a recluse or agoraphobic actually. The nearest neighbor living on their property is 2 miles away. I pretty much spend my days reading (2-4 books a week), on the Internet or watching movies. I have my own DVD store (6TB of movies, documentaries and TV shows.) I get phone/internet via Verizon and satellite TV is available but too costly for my budget.

(Preference to Veterans, Retirees and Snowbirds)

Also open to visits by people wanting to learn how-to live off grid.

NO HEAVY DRINKERS,

NO DRUGIES (Prescription, OTC or Illegal)

420 FRIENDLY (To a point)

Limited guns OK if not obsessed with them

 

Systems in place

SOLAR :

  • 1300 watts of panels

  • 3500kw Trace inverter

  • 45amp Morning Star MPPT charge controller

Auto BACK-UP :

  • 10,000 KW Koller gas, low revolution generator
    on a trailer for portability.

ELECTRICAL :

  • 30 AMP HOOK-UP

BATTERY BACK-UP :

  • (4) L16 Deep cycle batteries

WATER :

  • MUST be trucked in. Have a 520 gal. water trailer (5000 lb loaded)

  • Have 2800+ gallons of covered storage tanks

  • 1” pressurized water pumping system

GARBAGE :

  • Burn & bury what is possible

  • Recycle – all cans & plastic

  • 4′ x 8′ trash trailer for what needs to go to dump

You would be sharing space with

. Lots of insects incl. Scorpions, centipedes, killer bees, wasps etc.

.

Bobcat

Wildlife – coyotes, wild pigs, gilla monsters, snakes and a occasional mt. Lion or bear

. Cows occasionally

 

I do keep a 22 pistol loaded with snake shot to scare off cows & pigs. The lion & bear, I’ve only seen tracks and scat in 15 yrs a couple of times. But I did have a Bobcat on my roof early one morning. 🙂

 

 

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Australia Battery Storage Battle

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Battery storage, Battery, solar, Australia, energy, blackouts,

Could big batteries solve the blackouts?

After Elon Musk’s recent Twitter claim to solve South Australia’s energy problem in 100 days, Malcolm Turnbull, the Australian Prime Minister, seems to have sat up and taken notice. According to reports, Turnbull phoned Musk and had a positive conversation about the storage technology Tesla could offer. This has led to prominent figures in Australia’s energy sector encouraging Turnbull to give Australian companies a chance before turning to Tesla’s project.

Several Australian solar and battery companies have ongoing projects at various stages of completion, which are similar to Musk’s proposal. Zen Energy has recently unveiled its “Big Battery Project” which is being worked on ready for summer time when there is the greatest stress on the grid. The project is one of several taking place in the Upper Spencer Gulf region in South Australia. This area has been hit especially hard since the closure of the power station at Port Augusta. The large scale solar developments and storage at various places throughout the region aim to lower energy costs and improve energy security.

The Big Battery Project

Located at Port Augusta, funding has already been secured for the project. A battery with 50 megawatt hours of energy will not only stabilise the grid but also wholesale electricity prices. Owned by external investors, the battery and its interaction with the grid will be managed by Zen Energy. It will absorb electricity from the grid when cheap and abundant and then be a supply source when scarce. Professor Ross Garnout, Zen Energy chairman, said “The blackouts that we’ve had in the last year would not have happened if this was in place.”

Zen Energy is also looking into larger battery options to provide greater security in energy provision. An additional 100 megawatt battery which would act as a buffer supply interruption as occurred in the recent February heatwave. Whereas, a 150 megawatt battery would stabilise grid power and voltage during sudden outage situations, such as the state-wide blackout in September.

Lyon Solar also have projects up their sleeve

Zen Energy isn’t the only company working on large scale battery storage projects. Lyon Solar is developing the Kingfisher Project – a combined solar and battery storage plant to be located in Roxby Downs. Being connected to the National Electricity Market, the aim is to deliver 100 megawatts of solar photovoltaic power. Initially plans were for a minimum of 20 megawatt hours of storage. But this has been upped to 100 MWh, providing energy security across the region. It is planned to begin operating commercially before the end of 2017.

Although receiving no funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), Lyon has unveiled a second solar plus storage project. This will be located in Lakeland, Queensland and involve a minimum of 20 MWh battery storage. David Green, Lyon co-founder, commented that they were using battery systems developed by AES, “the world’s most experienced storage providers”. The units are delivered to Australia disassembled, which will mean new jobs, knowledge and expertise will come to the region.

Price competitive with Tesla

It is clear that Australian companies are well on the way to battery storage solutions. Therefore, Chief executive of Australia’s Energy Storage Council, John Grimes seems a bit irked by Musk’s ability to grab the Prime Minister’s attention with one tweet. He told the Guardian, “I’m not saying Tesla should be excluded, but don’t fast-track a discussion with an overseas company when you have the capability right here, right now, in Australia”. Grimes advocates a transparent bid process, allowing Australian companies a fair chance in the “revolution of energy.”

Changing economics have enabled this turn to battery storage. Cheap battery and solar technology coupled with smart energy systems means the price of these projects is now much lower. As Grimes pointed out, “If you thought about doing this even three years ago the price would have been something like four times higher”. The government now needs to ensure market settings are right so these projects are commercially viable without needing government subsidies.

Even though it may have been Musk that caught Turnbull’s attention, it has raised awareness of the solutions available. Australia is now onto something big – and those are big batteries!

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BBC gives evidence against off-grid dweller

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Pocock family outside their houseA Scottish crofter has reason to regret making a documentary with the BBC TV station, for which he was paid precisely nothing.

Iain Pocock, whose off-grid lifestyle featured in a television documentary series has lost a damages claim against a Highland Council thanks to evidence given by the broadcaster.

Iain Pocock and his wife Sasha were walking down Baron Taylor Street in Inverness when he caught a foot on the raised edge of a slab and fell with his left leg giving way, allegedly leaving him in excruciating pain.

Mr Pocock claimed that the injury restricted his ability to carry out tasks at the croft at Cougie, near Tomich, in Inverness-shire, where the family led a self-sufficient life.

Court Action

He raised an action at the Court of Session in Edinburgh against Highland Council, suing for £500,000 compensation following the injury he sustained on February 9, 2012.

But the local authority, which denied liability, said that during 2012 and 2013, Mr Pocock and his family were the subject of BBC documentary in which the pursuer’s wife referred to being reliant on a generator for power, and were unable to connect to the national grid because it was too expensive.

In the documentary, Power to the Pococks: A year in the life of a crofting family, reference is made to a quote of £230,000 to connect to the grid and Mrs Pocock saying they do not have the money “unless they win the lottery”.

Various parts of the documentary were played during the action.

Lord Clark referred to excerpts which showed Mr Pocock carrying out activities such as using an axe and a chainsaw to cut firewood, carrying out maintenance of a wind turbine by climbing up a metal scaffold, kneeling while milking, sliding on ice and “spinning round a pole in a barn”.

Lord Clark acknowledged evidence from Mr Pocock and documentary director, Stephen Bennett, that filming did not take place during periods when the pursuer was in pain. But the judge said: “It may be the case that the pursuer’s evidence to some degree over-emphasised the effects of the accident and the BBC documentary supported the view that his injuries were not quite so severe as he had stated, but I regard any difference as being largely immaterial.”

It was also contended in the action that there was a duty by the council to repair a paving defect with a height difference greater than 20mm within seven days, or at most within 21 days. But the judge concluded that Mr Pocock had failed to establish the key factual basis of this case – that the defect in the paving slab at its date of identification involved a height difference greater than 20mm.

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Uncertain: Film Review

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On a boat on the river

Misty-lensed view of off-grid living

Like a flower growing out of a crack in the wall, the southern town of Uncertain sits on the border between Texas and Louisiana, so named because early surveyors couldn’t be sure to which state this out-of-the-way burg actually belonged. The population, mostly poor or in some way seeking to avoid the law, hovers in the double-digits — 94, according to a sign on the city limits, although it seems that residents are either dying or leaving faster than they can be replenished.

Like a documentary version of “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” complete with the looming threat of a surreal environmental catastrophe (in this case, an invasive fern-like plant called salvinia that’s “swallowing up” the lake and suffocating the fish), “Uncertain” focuses on a handful of these locals, individuals whose fates mirror the town’s name. In another director’s hands, the residents might be labeled “eccentric” and condescendingly depicted for laughs, but Ewan McNicol and Anna Sandilands approach this touch-and-go community with curiosity and humanism, capturing what feels like a deciding moment in a series of struggles so remote, they would otherwise escape our notice entirely.

Finally trickling into a few theaters — and iTunes — nearly two years after it premiered at the 2015 Tribeca film festival, where its directors won the Albert Maysles Documentary Director Award, a movie like this isn’t apt to inspire any spontaneous pilgrimages (it’s hard enough attracting audiences to visit the town vicariously on screen). “Uncertain is not on the way to anywhere,” says the local sheriff. “You’ve either got to know where you’re going or be lost to find it.”

Those who have come to Uncertain are generally trying to escape something — the law, mostly. They are haunted, at any rate, which makes for an evocative portrait of several rugged souls whom the directors met after setting out to learn what they might find in a town with such an intriguing name. To join them is to step back in time to a place that looks positively primeval (the swamp-like Cabbo Lake is shrouded in mist and the thick grey moss that hangs from surrounding cypress branches), where barely-employed locals spend their time hunting and fishing, or else trying to forget their troubles at the town bar (or in the case of the opening scene, passed out drunk in a drifting rowboat).

Instantly fascinating, the film’s various characters speak in a thick Texas drawl, sometimes so strong that they require subtitles to understand. Now in his seventies, Henry recalls how the other black folk in town resented him for having white friends, calling him an “Uncle Tom,” which blew up in an altercation where he shot another man in the face. Roughly a generation younger, recovering addict Wayne was also responsible for taking another man’s life, albeit under very different circumstances (the film even includes video of his arrest). He invites the filmmakers along for late-night hunting sessions, as he stalks a wild boar with his muzzleloading rifle. A scruffy white kid covered in amateur tattoos, diabetic Zach doesn’t see much future in Uncertain (where people “retire at 21,” he says) and decides to try his luck in Austin.

Visually, this gorgeously photographed film (lensed by McNicol himself) recalls the work of Cannes-anointed documentarian Robert Minervini, albeit a gentler view of marginal American lives than those seen in “The Other Side.” Though shot digitally, the footage goes a long way to suggest the organic texture of the lakeside community: the muggy, mosquito-filled air; the eerie serenity out on the water, or in the woods; the old bait shop with its peeling paint job. The line between animal and human, nature and civilization, seems especially porous in Uncertain. In one scene, with the aid of night vision, we observe as a half-domesticated raccoon spends his evenings indoors, curled up next to the family dog.

With the support of Daniel Hart’s almost elegiac score, the filmmakers distill the coarse poetry in their surroundings, giving voice to the suspended dreams of the locals. Their situation may not be hopeless, but it’s far from easy, and the filmmakers search the salvinia problem for a metaphor of some sort, finding an imperfect one in a scientific project to control the spreading water weed via the introduction of weevils. Residents worry whether the solution may have come too late. “It’s sad to see that the only place like this is going away,” says one, as we wonder what will become of this town and its citizens. I guess that’s Uncertain for you.

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Upcycling: Keep the old & turn it into something new

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Off-grid, Upcycling, reusing, green,

Upcycling refashions the old into something new!

We live in a throw-away society. A culture based on how much “stuff” we have. The media gears our life towards replacing things because it’s fashionable rather than because we actually need to. It is also causing us to rush headlong into a lack of natural resources.

Recycling is of course an option to help combat the use of natural resources. But that requires more energy and water to break down a product into its base materials before remaking it into something else, normally of lower quality.

Upcycling however is completely green.

It’s not about breaking things down, but simply refashioning it into something new and of the same or perhaps even better quality. The conversion process means nothing gets sent to land fill, requires no extra energy (other than a little elbow grease on your part) and allows you to be creative. By reusing and upcycling products to perform different purposes to what they were intended, you are also saving money. Instead of going out and buying a brand new product, find something you are not using and use your creativity. Voila! Upcycling magic has occurred!

The complete opposite of consumer culture, more or less anything can be upcycled, from furniture to clothing to electronics – the only thing stopping you is your imagination. The same thing doesn’t have to be upcycled in the same way. Take a plastic bottle for instance; this could become a planter for the garden, a bird feeder, a lamp or anything else you can think of.

Old electronics, something that often gives us grief when trying to dispose of, can also be upcycled. Old smartphones can become alarm clocks, or if you’re tech savvy a smartwatch! An old school computer monitor can be cleared of internal wiring and become a fish tank! Or if you remove the screen itself, how about a cat bed? The fan in your old computer can be converted into a regular desk fan with a bit of know-how. Plus, if you’re a fashion fanatic how about some quirky keyboard letter cufflinks or earrings?

Upcycling also encompasses larger projects too.

How about wood pallets becoming a stylish piece of decking or front porch? Or how about going for the ultimate upcycle – a whole home!

Shipping containers are becoming a popular option to upcycle into a tiny home. Although you’re unlikely to come across these 8ft wide by 8ft tall containers for free (expect to pay around the $3000 mark for each one), they offer a good opportunity for an upcycle project! Rylan and Brook Naylor, took two of these containers and have converted them into a home. Although not completely off-grid they are hoping that in the coming years they will be.

Canadian Joseph Dupuis bought three shipping containers and did succeed in turning them into a 355 square foot off-grid home. Located 35 miles west of Ottawa Canada, Joseph’s off-grid container cabin is powered by a two kilowatt solar system and heated by a wood fire stove. The space is completely open plan and is designed to be dismantled, so it can be moved and erected in a new location. The whole project (excluding the solar system) cost Joseph $20,000. Having lived in his container cabin for two years, Joseph is looking to sell to give someone else a taste of upcycled off-grid living.

To have a guided tour by Joseph himself, visit: www.youtube.com/watch?v=njjz-xTs67M

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Fire Away: Gasifiers for Off-Grid Living

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Off-grid, gasifiers, heating, electricity, green energy

Fire Her Up: – Gasifiers are not new technology, having been used well before the world wars

Located in Northern Finland just inside the Arctic Circle lies the village of Kempele; a small community of ten families living completely off-grid. However, their lifestyle may be somewhat different from what is considered the “conventional off-gridder”. The homes have fully equipped kitchens, an abundance of low energy lighting – some have Jacuzzis! So how do they provide enough electricity and heat to sustain them throughout the year which can include a very cold Finnish winter (-30°C kind of cold)?

The answer is a Volter Gasifier plant. Using wood chips from the local area, the gasifier burns this fuel incompletely to produce wood gas, which is then burned to provide electricity. The thermal energy produced is used to heat a huge water tank, which then pumps the warm water through a series of pipes making up an underfloor heating system for the houses. By using the thermal energy to heat water the community is reducing its electricity usage. Any excess electricity is stored in three large battery packs for later use.  The Volter is able to power and heat the ten homes for the whole year, even through the cold winter. Each family pays €1,500 ($1580) per year for both their heating and electric.

The Volter system starts at €150,000 ($158,000) which the community paid for collectively, by pooling their resources. Although a steep initial investment, it’s taken only seven years for the community to see returns. In locations where the cost of electricity and heating is higher than Finland, returns on the initial investment could be seen in as little as three years.

After the success of Volter’s initial pilot project in Kempele, the product design has been adapted and streamlined to look more aesthetically pleasing and is being rolled out across a wide range of countries, including Canada, Australia and the UK.

But what exactly is a gasifier and how does it work?

Gasification is the process of using heat to transform a solid fuel, like wood, into a flammable fuel, normally gas. Initially the solid fuel is burned without enough oxygen, a process called incomplete combustion. The output gases produced (including carbon monoxide and hydrogen) are still combustible and so can be burned as a fuel. This is basically a process which involves controlling the stages of combustion. You can find out more details on the staged combustion process here.

Gasifiers are not new technology, in fact far from it. During the Second World War over a million vehicles in Europe had on board gasifiers due to a rationing of fuel such as diesel. They have also been used in agricultural machinery such as tractors.

In more recent times however, gasifiers can be used to power whole communities, such as in the example above or can be more small scale.

For example, the BioGen Woodlog Power and Heat Unit produced by Microgen. This on or off-grid unit is a combination of wood gasification and Microgen free piston power generation, providing both a power and heating solution. Wood is placed in the primary fire box which produces wood gas by being heated in low oxygen conditions. The wood gas is then sucked into a second fire box with higher oxygen conditions where it is fully combusted. It is in this second firebox that the head of the Microgen biomass stirling power unit is located. When this reaches a certain temperature the unit starts to produce power which can be in either AC or DC. The heat of the fire boxes is absorbed by a coolant through heat exchangers on the walls of the boxes.

The thermal output is a maximum 20KW, with a water capacity for 100 litres and temperatures reaching up to 90°C. The 180cm x 60cm x 85cm unit weighs in at 450kg and has 80% efficiency.

For other suppliers of small scale domestic gasifiers, including All Power Labs and Northern Self Reliance, visit this site.

There is also the option to build your own gasifier and there are many instructions available online for various models. However, working with flammable materials and toxic gases can be very dangerous and should you decide to go down this route, it is very important to do lots of research and take all necessary precautions to keep yourself and those around you safe.

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Off grid pot growers have problems stashing the cash

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What do we do with all the Green?

Legalization of marijuana in 28 states across the US has caused off-grid pot growers to jump for joy, but ongoing issues with depositing the large amounts of cash generated from the business, (and uncertainty on Trump’s stance) has put a damper on the industry.

Pot growing requires a lot of power and is therefore an expensive off-grid venture – cannabis is something that needs regularity, 12/12 light without interruption and regular temps – it is hard to create a stable indoor environment without large solar panels and batteries to guarantee access to power. While new technologies to assist in the process are being developed by NOW Corporation, these wind turbines, called exoPower, are still in the trial stages.

Although difficult, off-gridders like Hezekiah Allen, who grew up in rural Humboldt County and tended a small medical marijuana farm in Northern California, managed to run a profitable business for years, but was forced to bury his cash in the same way many cannabis corporations did in the past.

“I had three different safes buried on a 200-acre parcel,” Hezekiah said. “Fifteen steps from the oak tree, a lot like a pirate. I had a little map. Pretty inconvenient and not the best cash management system. Bankers on the north coast talk about mildewy money. They can tell it’s been buried.”

Times have changed. Hezekiah left his growing operation to serve full time as an advocate for marijuana farmers, and now works to get their profits out of the ground and into banks as the executive director of the California Growers Association.

“We don’t want to lie anymore, we don’t want to have to hide what we are doing,” Hezekiah said. “We want to be open and transparent about what we are and want to do. [Banking] is an area where there are some really bad behaviors being reinforced.”

Although California voters approved the legalization of recreational pot, these businesses are still faced with one major unresolved issue: banking. As marijuana is still illegal under federal law, it is also illegal for banks to work with any marijuana-related businesses. This is forcing the majority of the state’s legal cannabis community to continue to operate in the shadows, despite the state legalization.

While the Obama administration in 2014 issued stringent guidelines that allow banks to pot-related businesses if they are following state laws, most banks have not been willing to risk the lingering threat of criminal prosecution or spend the resources it takes to comply with the additional rules of business.

Rob Rowe, vice president and associate chief counsel of regulatory compliance for the American Bankers Association, said it all comes down to risk assessment – and with the added uncertainty around Trump’s stance on the matter, it doesn’t seem like the outlook will improve any time in the near future.

“Bankers have said that in the current environment, with the enforcement and examiners looking at everything bankers are doing, they aren’t really predisposed to take on anything risky,” Rob said. “And banking a marijuana business is risky.”

The medical marijuana industry has grappled with this for years in California and elsewhere. Now, entrepreneurs and conglomerates going after a slice of lucrative recreational pot sales will have to confront the banking challenge.

Costs of running business

No banking access means businesses must pay employees, bills and taxes in cash. Clients are unable to pay using credit or debit cards, and there is no way to process business loans or real estate mortgages. The company effectively has no paper trail – no official records to build credit or establish a financial identity. And these businesses – whether they be licensed recreational sellers, medical marijuana farms, or trade associations – are forced to stash a lot of cash, making them a target for violent crime.

Michael Julian, CEO and president of MPS Security, which caters to marijuana-related businesses, said business owners are forced to get creative with finding places to hide their money.

“They have tens of thousands, if not millions, of dollars,” Michael said. “And it’s not as secure in a vault in their establishment, in a closet at home, in their mattress, in the trunk of their car, whatever.”

A recent survey by the California Growers association found 75 percent of its members don’t have a bank account, and the ones who do have had three or more accounts closed in the course of doing business. A 2015 survey by Marijuana Business Daily of more than 400 cannabis professionals nationwide also found 70 percent of businesses that deal directly in marijuana operate without traditional banking services. As for firms that support the business but don’t handle the plant, 49 percent don’t have bank accounts.

The long-running conflict between the banks and the industry has been ongoing since 1996, when California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. The conflict ballooned when recreational pot sales started in Colorado and Washington in 2012, but with more and more states entering the recreational market, including California, Massachusetts, Nevada, Maine, Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia, the problem will be compounded. Adding in the states that allow medical marijuana brings the total to 28 states, plus D.C., with cannabis laws on the books.

According to experts, the only real solution is for Congress to remove marijuana from the list of Schedule I narcotics, putting the drug on par with an FDA-regulated medicine rather than heroin or cocaine. Until that happens, state-legal marijuana-related businesses are treated under the letter of the law the same as cartels trafficking methamphetamine.

Banking on marijuana

In 2013, the Obama administration released a document called the ‘Cole Memo’, which stated it would generally not prosecute marijuana businesses that were following state law and didn’t engage in certain activities, such as selling to children, crossing state lines or funding criminal organizations. In a separate memo, months later, the administration modified the way banks conducted business with state-legal operations, making it easier under new guidelines from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the federal agency that monitors banks for fraudulent activity, such as money laundering. But banks were also reminded that marijuana remains illegal under federal law and is subject to prosecution.

Under the guidelines, banks serving marijuana-related businesses must file suspicious activity reports, or SARs, so the transactions are transparent and can be tracked by the government. Three kinds of reports dictate the level of suspicion against the businesses: ‘Marijuana limited’ SARs indicate the business is following state law and no red flags suggest it is breaking any other laws; ‘marijuana priority’ suggests the business may not be following other laws and may be involved in suspicious activity; and ‘marijuana termination’ alerts to a bank account that has been shut down for suspicious activity.

The SARs must be filed when an account is opened and then quarterly after that, listing every transaction that has been made. Banks are also told to investigate and track marijuana businesses they are serving, making sure they are not violating any guidelines.

The American Bankers Association stated on its website that the level of scrutiny was “far beyond” that expected of any normal banking relationship.

“Because of the standards in place, if we do this we have to have someone almost embedded in the customer 24/7, and we’re not 100 percent certain we saw everything we need to see,” Rob said. “We’ve got to have such close tabs and use so much resources to closely monitor everything with these businesses, it’s just not economical.”

However, according to data from FinCEN, some banks have taken on the risk of working with marijuana-related businesses; in the first six months that the new guidelines were in effect, banks across America filed 502 SARs marked as ‘marijuana limited,’ according to Dynamic Securities Analytics statistics. During the same period, FinCEN received 123 ‘marijuana priority’ SARs and 475 ‘marijuana termination’.

Rob said banks generally keep quiet about it due to the perceived consequences of doing business with the volatile industry.

“Bankers will say that we know someone who is (serving a marijuana business), but it is the exception to a general policy, a one-off thing,” Rob said. “I’ve heard from dispensaries that say we don’t want to call attention to it because we had trouble getting an account and don’t want to lose what we’ve got.”

Mike Cindrich, an attorney who represents marijuana-related businesses and is executive director of the local chapter of NORML, a marijuana advocacy group, said there are ways around the banking ban on marijuana-related businesses – but he wouldn’t recommend them. One such way would be to set up limited liability corporations that are management companies providing a list of services, from payroll to accounting to bookkeeping to property management. The money from the marijuana business flows to the company – usually with a nondescript name that doesn’t disclose its ties to marijuana – and is deposited in the company’s bank account. This is technically money laundering, and illegal, but some companies have found success with the tactics. Others have been busted by banks and their accounts closed.

“When you start doing something that looks like money laundering, funneling cash from a non-profit to something that looks like an LLC, now someone is looking at felony charges,” Mike said. While he “sternly advises against it,” Mike said he could see how marijuana operators feel like they are being backed into a corner by the government.

“They’re not leaving the cannabis community with many options here,” he said. “It’s a complete nightmare for these businesses. People who don’t want to be legitimate, it’s very easy for them to not report this cash. If we want legitimacy and for these businesses to come out into the light, then we should allow full banking because it allows this money to be accounted for, taxed, tracked, traced. If this is something the feds really want to keep an eye on they’d change the banking laws altogether and make this happen.”

Trump stance

The cannabis industry has been suspicious of President Trump’s election, waiting to see if the new administration will address the growing legal marijuana market and how it conflicts with banking laws.

Trump voiced support for legalization but brought up some concerns about the drug during his campaign. He did not make it a major issue, and the industry believes Trump will focus on his bigger priorities – terrorism, immigration, the border wall.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the former Republican senator from Alabama who once said “good people don’t smoke marijuana,” is a bigger worry. As head of the U.S. Department of Justice, Jeff has control over how the government enforces federal law and could reverse the Obama administration’s willingness to look the other way as long as dispensaries followed state law.

The Attorney General said he would review the Cole Memo and commit to “enforcing federal law with respect to marijuana, although the exact balance of enforcement priorities is an ever-changing determination based on the circumstances and the resources available at the time.”

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New American homesteaders – author

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Sundeen – charting the upside of down

In new book “The Unsettlers:- Buy it on Amazon” , three American families go beyond ditching the Utility companies –they also walk away from supermarkets, cars and even banks — to define authentic living for themselves.

For “the Luddite curious,” says the LA Times “The Unsettlers” offers a compelling account of diverse Americans living off the grid. These homesteaders in Missouri, Detroit and Montana show us how the other other half lives.

Author Mark Sundeen will appear at Visit Skylight Books this Sunday at 5 p.m. Sunday, spoke to LA Times from Moab, Utah, where he himself spends time off the grid.

You begin with Ethan Hughes and Sarah Wilcox, a young couple who created an intentional living community in Missouri. Why them?

I’d decided that just living off the grid was no longer true dissent. I was curious to hear from people who could go all the way — stop using cars, stop using the banking system.

An intentional living community that forgoes cars, cash and electricity feels pretty radical, and yet you note similarities they share with libertarians and right-wing Christians, some of whom are their neighbors. Was this common ground surprising?

Totally surprising … and totally inspiring. I was so impressed that they were able to find that common ground. That’s something that I think’s important now that Trump is president. The divisiveness that he engenders, it pits people against each other who actually have the same values. Liberals and conservatives both want to live with moral integrity, but they have separate names for that. The right says, “We want to have Christian values, family values,” and that’s interpreted as anti-other religions or anti-single parents or anti-same-sex couples. Liberals say, “We want to end racism, we want to end bigotry, and we want to save the planet,” and that’s another way of living with integrity. I think there’s a lot more commonality than we tend to think.

You never suggest that the reader should renounce her worldly possessions and head to the farm — but are you hoping to influence people?

I’d specifically like the well-intentioned liberal to ask questions about their consumption and not just about their political stance. People say, “I’m going minimalist, I’m going to get rid of all my books and CDs and records and just use a smartphone.” Well, OK, I’m glad that your house is less cluttered, but you’re actually using more fossil fuels and doing more harm with that smartphone than you would with a whole library of books.

Each family’s commitment to the good life is inspiring but intimidating. For those of uswho are inspired to make a change, where do we begin?

I don’t think you begin by depriving yourself of things you love. On the one hand, this book is about the ethical boycott of destructive industries, but on the other hand it’s about following your heart and finding meaningful work. When you do work that you love, a lot of these needs tend to fall away.

Are there local organizations that inspired L.A. readers should investigate?

The Los Angeles Eco-village, the Urban Homestead and Root Simple, run by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen.

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Pellet Power: Fossil-Fuel-Free Heating

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Pellet Boiler, Wood, Heating, Renewable, Self Sustaining, Carbon neutral, cheaper,

Pellet boilers beat oil for price and efficiency

A clean, cheap and carbon neutral way to heat your home – sounds good. Its a reality for thousands of families and businesses in Europe and North America.

Pellet boilers are growing in popularity; with grants and incentives offered by various states and governments – often in the form of financial assistance towards equipment and installation, depending on location. Ecoheat Solutions, a pellet boiler provider, have put together a summary of incentives for US based consumers here.

Why a pellet boiler?

Pellet boilers function exactly like an oil or propane burner with fully automatic operation. The only difference being instead of oil, wood pellets are being used as the fuel. Pellets are a cleaner source of fuel, being completely carbon neutral. The reason for this is that for every tree burned as pellets, another tree is planted to take up the carbon released. Not only this but wood pellets are readily available in North America and Europe – a local renewable fuel source. This not only bolsters the local economy but pellets are also much less volatile than oil or propane. Pellets are also much cheaper than fossil fuels – try 60% cheaper. One pellet boiler owner cited a saving of upwards of $1,500 per year on fuel – you can watch the full video of their boiler experience here.

There are a couple of downsides to pellet boilers. Fuel tends to be a little bulkier to store than oil and the ash bin(s) from the boiler need to be emptied every month or so. However, due to this ash by-product containing natural minerals, it can be spread on lawns, gardens or back into the woods; acting as a mineral fertiliser. Some pellet boilers also have motors, just like a pellet stove, and so some noise can be heard. However if the boiler is housed in a boiler room or basement, the noise levels can be much reduced.

The upfront cost of a pellet boiler is also higher than an oil fuelled counterpart. Depending on the model chosen; average prices for a pellet boiler come in at around $15,000 compared to a more conservative $10,000-12,000 for a fossil fuel boiler. However, with the pellet fuel being much cheaper in comparison (and don’t forget those state grants), the long run savings will more than make up for the initial investment.

What’s the difference between a pellet boiler and a pellet stove?

These two terms can sometimes be used interchangeably because they use the same fuel, but there is a fundamental difference between the two. Pellet stoves are room appliances, meaning they heat the room they are in. Of course, depending on the size of the house, this could be an ample heat source (tiny houses I’m looking at you).  A pellet boiler however, replaces an oil boiler and is connected to a heating system and so is more suitable for larger houses and commercial properties.

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Off-Grid School Gets Top Marks

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Recycling, Eco-desks, Off-grid, school, South Africa

Waste for desks? Deal!

A cash-strapped performing arts school has traded a year’s worth of waste for 30 desks.

The off-grid school collected its community’s recycling, as well as its own, and bartered this for the recycled desks.

Set up in 2005, the grid wasn’t working for 65 pupil school Chistlehurst, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa so they devised a plan. Stick with their eco-friendly ethos and remain off the grid.  Unlike an on-grid school, there is no sprinkler system, no heating in the winter and strictly no technology in the classroom. So things are done a little differently, students carry buckets of water from the rain water tanks to the gardens and huddle by a bonfire to keep warm on cold mornings.

“Our kids have had to learn how to get along without certain ‘luxuries’, which is something they take a little time to adjust to, but end up loving the ‘quietness’ of it all,” said Jacyn Fanner, Headteacher.

When they moved into their current building, there were no roofs, doors or windows. Let alone functioning taps and toilets! But after a lot of hard work, the school reached their off-grid goal. Rain water tanks fill the toilet cisterns, solar lighting illuminates the classrooms and batteries, gas and a small generator provide extra energy.

The school is also home to a frog pond, vegetable garden and a recycling village with 12 bins for different materials. This allows the school to recycle a range of materials from mixed paper and cans to plastic and styrofoam. The majority of cleaning products and equipment are sourced from the local community and are as eco-friendly as possible.

Off-grid, School, Recycling, South Africa, Eco-desks, Water Tanks,

Drama Free! Water tanks & solar panels mean Chistlehurst doesn’t have to rely on the grid.

The school partnered up with the Wildlands Conservancy Trust 6 years ago, through their desire to recycle. The NGO, which operates in 6 provinces, provided the school with the recycling bins which are filled every week – even during the holidays!

Students have taken their eco-friendly lessons from school to home, encouraging their families to reduce re-use and recycle. So now recycling from the local community is brought to the school for collection. Each year the school get a rebate from Wildlands for the recycling they collect. However at the end of 2016 this rebate was traded for the eco-desks. The staff and students are very pleased with how they look in their eco-school setting and Headteacher Jacyn Fanner wants to see them fill all of the classrooms in time.

So what’s next?

“We have so many ideas and plans – which include a fully solar powered media centre – and we are so excited for what the future holds for Chistlehurst,” Jacyn Fanner said.

The desks are made from 100% previously unrecycled materials, are hard wearing and can be used both indoors and outdoors. Chistlehurst are so pleased with the outcome, they are encouraging other schools to get involved with green initiatives such as Sustainable Schools and Recycling for Life programs.

 

Images courtesy of Roger Fanner.

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Bad news: Its Doomsday – Good news: You will die in total Luxury

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DALLAS 11 Nov – AP – A Texas investor group is building a $300 million luxury fly-in community replete with survival tools – the underground homes and air-lock blast doors will be designed for super-rich families worried about a dirty bomb or other disaster.

The Trident Lakes community has begun with a flourish northeast of Dallas near the Oklahoma border: A statue of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, holding a golden trident will stand some 50 feet above a massive fountain billed as one of the largest in the world.

Subtlety won’t do for Texas.  Although the organisers are curiously self-effacing, and few photos exist, if any.

“The initial perception is that it’s defined as a doomsday scenario,” said James O’Connor, CEO of Dallas-based Vintuary Holdings, which represents the collection of investors backing the project. “I’m trying to change the perception to a long-term sustainable community, with the concept of a 200-year community. We’re not looking at just putting all our residents underground; we’re looking to put together a beautiful place to live that’s also secure.”

The standard luxury amenities will apply: 18-hole golf course, high-end spa, gun ranges, zip lines, shops and restaurants, and not just a single helipad but a row of them. But plans call for the 700-acre spread to also include an equestrian center, polo fields and 20-acre lakes with white-sand beaches. The entire compound will be wrapped by a 12-foot wall and have private security manning watchtowers. The project has received the necessary approvals, O’Connor said, and people are expected to take up residence in 2018.

Developers intend to construct about 400 condos that have 90 percent of their living space underground. Most would cost in the mid-six figures and each topped with a terrace overlooking one of the lakes. The community could have as many as 1,600 residents who, should disaster strike, can rely on water and energy production that’s off the grid. O’Connor said designs and concepts may change as the project progresses, but a navigable tunnel network and an air-purification system are planned.

As is a DNA vault. The vault is an opportunity for “family sustainability,” said Richie Whitt, spokesman for Trident Lakes.

“You can take DNA and preserve it, where if something should happen, then technology down the road could take DNA and replicate a person,” he said. “It’s kind of science fictiony but it’s also not that far in the future.”

Whitt said Friday that Vintuary Holdings has purchased land in Ohio for a similar community and investors hope to expand the idea to other states. He didn’t provide further details.

It’s not clear just how many similar bunker communities are open for business in the U.S. or other countries. The Vivos Group, based in California, has six in the U.S. and one in Germany.

“It’s definitely something, anecdotally, that we’re seeing more and more of,” said Jeff Schlegelmilch, deputy director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University in New York.

The center works with an array of companies, groups, states and other entities to ensure a broad, comprehensive response when a natural or man-made disaster strikes. The concern for Schlegelmilch is that groups like Trident Lakes cut themselves off from that shared response.

“The aggregate of individual preparedness translates into greater community preparedness, and the aggregate of community preparedness leads to greater national preparedness,” he said.

But Whitt says Trident Lakes is pursuing a sustainable community that by definition means people must rely on one another. He says residents are wanted with a varied skill set so that in the aftermath of a disaster everyone can contribute with the recovery.

O’Connor adds that Trident will offer more than protection from doomsday fallout. Well known celebrities and professional athletes have expressed an interest because of the privacy and security it will offer, he said.

“We think we have defined an untapped market,” he said.

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Micro-nuclear power plants gaining acceptance

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Dan Stout, TVA senior manager for small modular reactors

In the near future off-grid communities of ip to 20,000 population might be powered by a nuclear reactor the size of a container that is swapped out every 20 years.

Existing plants emit no emissions but overall are just too risky for some. There’s also competition now with low natural gas prices and wind and solar projects, which has allowed the small reactors to emerge. The Tennessee Valley Authority has become the first utility to apply for a permit from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build a small reactor.

Others are following suit, there is a plan by the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems to build one about 100 miles southwest of Yellowstone National Park; it is said to produce electricity like no other.

Small nuclear reactors may be a safer and a cheaper alternative to nuclear power plants. They can be manufactured in a factory and hooked-up on-site, potentially avoiding the huge upfront capital costs and the overruns that have plagued many nuclear plants. They are theoretically safer, reducing the need for huge containment vessels and other expensive protections.

Unlike other nuclear reactors that usually produce about 1,000 megawatts of carbon-free electricity, the small modular reactors, are designed to be a fraction of the size at 50 to 300 megawatts. Rather than using electrically operated pumps and motors to circulate coolant and keep the core of the nuclear reactor at a low temperature, as happens in traditional plants, small reactors use no pumps and motors and instead rely on passive means such as gravity and conduction ­­to cool the reactors. The size also means that it is cheaper to produce, as opposed to the $10bn and up to a decade in planning to secure permits and build of conventional nuclear.

The group wants to replace their old coal-fired plants and it won the approval from the US Department of Energy earlier this year to analyze the environmental and safety impacts of the small nuclear reactor. If it passes the test, the consortium plans to build a power plant there with 12 reactors totaling 600 megawatts in capacity.

 

The Utah consortium will hire Washington state-based Energy Northwest to operate and maintain its 12 reactors in Idaho if they are built. The Utah group expects the project to come online by 2024.

Gene Grecheck, a former president and the current co-chair of a policy advisory committee at the American Nuclear Society, which represents engineers and scientists. Grecheck says that scientists are studying other ways to improve nuclear technology. “There is also a lot of research going on for advanced reactor concepts to take used fuel and reprocess it to reduce [the spent fuel] even more dramatically,” he said.

 

Startup companies are working on using spent uranium fuel include the Bill Gates-backed TerraPoweras well as Transatomic and Terrestrial Energy. Another start-up, Oklo, seeks to create 2-megawatt reactors that fit inside shipping containers to provide electricity for remote off-grid locations. Toshiba has worked on a micro nuclear reactor that is designed to power individual apartment buildings or city blocks. The new reactor, which is only 20 feet by 6 feet, could change everything for small remote communities, small businesses or even a group of neighbours who are fed up with the power companies and want more control over their energy needs.

 

new report by the U.K.’s government-backed Energy Technologies Institute outlines what it considers to be a reasonable timeline for the country to also adopt the new smaller reactors. It has been estimated that they could be in use by 2030. For that to happen, talks between operators, developers, and the government would have to begin next year. But fears about the safety of nuclear plants have made them so costly as to discourage investors. “Creating the right environment for increasing investor confidence is critical if this schedule is to be met,” says Mike Middleton, the author of the report.

 

Even if it does happen in the U.K. they will still lag behind America. If all goes as planned, the facility in Tennessee could be up and running by the mid-2020s.

 

 

 

 

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Woodland community receives notice to quit

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Jon from Steward Wood shows us his house

Dartmoor PArk bosses want to demolish this house

Steward Wood in Devon is one of the UK’s largest off-grid communities but after ten years of peaceful existence the 15 residents have been given notice to quit.

In this film, shot at Off-Grid Festival last weekend, Jon from Steward Wood tells us about the battle to stay in their land, and shows us his home and the products which the residents of Steward Wood manufacture and sell.

The people like Jon and Merlin who created the woodland hamlet in Dartmoor National Park near Mortonhampstead endured harsh winters and years of uncertainty as they set out to show that living an entirely eco-life was possible. They have become one of the country’s most respected environmental learning centres and advocates of Permaculture.

The whole off-grid movement needs to unite around Steward Wood and help them in their battle. Apart from the local bearacrats, they are fighting against ridiculous planning laws which fail to distinguish between eco-dwellers enhancing the land and property developers exploiting the land.

They had been living for ten years on a series of short terms permissions from the local government, so “we could not believe it when we were told we had lost” said Jon when we spoke.

Off-Grid.Net will be working with Steward Wood to raise awareness of their situation – amidst the wider context of Off Grid Living as a choice of lifestyle – at the highest levels of media and government.’

“We are in shock and utter disbelief with the Planning Inspector’s decision,” says the official statement on their web site

“ (We) believe that it is the wrong decision for the following reasons (amongst others):
• The DNPA have a policy in place which allows low impact development in the open countryside and we do conform to its requirements.
• Attendees of the Public Inquiry, who we spoke to, were under the impression we were going to be successful having heard the evidence given.
• His decision goes against previous Planning Inspectors’ decisions.
• Not enough weight was given to the importance of the project and its holistic”

Please visit the StewardWood web site at http://stewardwood.org/

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New TV series off-grid in Scotland

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The series due to launch tonight on BBC Channel 4, will chronicle the successes and failures of a new social experiment in Ardnamurchan, near Lochaber, in Scotland’s wild western Highlands.
Using only natural resources to build shelter, hunt for food and cook.

Making up the rules of their new society as they go along, the 23 contestants in the rather unoriginally named “Eden” will spend a year getting to grips with the remote countryside and learning to live with each other. The series shows that the appetite for life in the wilderness — both experiencing it and watching it — remains strong, and really gets to grips with the idyllic notion of self-sufficiency.

the series bills itself as an antidote to the usual trivia you see in reality shows, but the early signs are not good – the press releases stress that the inmates got drunk and flirted with each other. And the idea that they would be cut off from their nearest neighbors makes it more of an unreality show.

In reality, trying to forge a community from scratch can be a lifetime’s work. There are, however, a number of alternative settlements in Scotland in place that eschew conventional ways of life in favour of an existence focused on the land, spirituality, or making a living from traditional crafts and techniques.
Experts say that many of these communities are finding favour with burnt-out city-dwellers looking for a break, a new business opportunity or a complete change of scene.
We look at some of Scotland’s most interesting rural villages and settlements where it is possible to buy — or acquire membership — into a different way of life.Findhorn Ecovillage, MorayConceived in the 1970s by the Findhorn Foundation, a community began to evolve on the north coast of Scotland. It includes an on-site theatre and concert hall. Governed by members of businesses within the eco-village, such as a publishing house and an arts centre, the settlement can be found to the south of Findhorn, on the Moray Firth.
Andrew YeatsEDENTV, a partner at Eco Arc, has seen the settlement flourish. “When I was an architecture student it was my thesis to design the concept of a sustainable eco-village,” he says. “Initially I went to Findhorn for six months, and ended up staying for six years. I’ve been working on the eco-village ever since.
“Originally, the community group bought a 35-acre caravan park and sought planning permission to change the use of the site to house permanent dwellings. The idea was to build a village that translated their ecological aspirations of being lighter on the Earth.
“The eco-village now has some of the most environmentally efficient buildings in Europe, with electricity produced from wind turbines and the ability to treat sewage. Residents grow a lot of their own food on site. They co-run a Rudolf Steiner school and a number of independent shops and businesses. It started with around 200 people but now there are more like 5,000 in The Park and in peripheral villages.”
The key to Findhorn Ecovillage’s success, says Yeats, is its appeal to those who have tired of the rat race: “A lot of people experience urban isolation or discontent with a city lifestyle. Being part of the community and living in a supportive environment is very attractive to many.”
While Eco Arc is responsible for 18 residential houses, there are about 100 in the development. They bear many shared qualities: individualistic design, brightly coloured cladding and timber frames more reminiscent of Scandinavia than the Scottish seaside.
“If you were to characterise the residential properties, they all have super-insulation and triple-glazed windows,” Yeats explains.
The village has also kept abreast with modern advancements. Eco Arc is to begin work on the first on-site Passivhaus this week, a strictly low-carbon-footprint template of housing inspired by German design credentials. It is to be the most northerly property built to Passivhaus standards in the UK.
“The clients are a woman and her daughter from London who have sold a small flat and wanted to build an eco-house to live in,” Yeats says.
Established properties in Findhorn Ecovillage come to market relatively infrequently (Cluny Estate Agents has recently accepted an offer on a four-bedroom bright orange house that was on the market for offers in excess of £400,000), but the preference within the settlement is for build your own. Even after employing the skills of specialist architects, prices are keen: Eco Arc has worked on projects beginning at £15,000 for a small roundhouse (now rented out through Airbnb from £40 a night), to a four-bedroom property costing £220,000.Brodgar and Skaill, Orkney An archipelago of 70 islands, Orkney is one of the UK’s earliest neolothic sites and has a number of ceremonial stone circles, tombs and settlements. Unsurprisingly, each year it attracts scores of visitors keen to discover more about its history. A number of sites have also been excavated in recent years, including the Ness of Brodgar in 2002, where annual digs have led experts to conclude that the islands were a hub for trade and worship in neolithic times.
Orkney is now home to a strong spiritual community living and working on its islands. Many are centred on the Mainland, the archipelago’s largest island, working in the craft and tourism industries around Brodgar, near the stone circle and the Unesco World Heritage Site, and Skaill, where the Skara Brae neolithic village was discovered in the 1920s. Many offer tours of Orkney’s most famous sites and stones, which can also be used as locations for weddings and blessings conducted by humanists.
The smaller islands are home to a number of significant sites. ASG Commercial is marketing a business package for offers of more than £950,000 on a clifftop site in Cleat, South Ronaldsay. It includes the Skerries Bistro, three holiday lets and a stone-built three-bedroom property. The star of the sale is the Tomb of the Otters, a recently discovered Stone Age chamber excavated in 2010 next to the bistro. In season, visitors can pay to visit the tomb, providing a steady flow of clients to the bistro.
In Harray, on the Mainland, there is a chance to continue Orkney’s historic ceramics industry, which dates from neolithic times. A pottery studio and shop is being marketed through Lows Solicitors for offers of more than £250,000. It includes the three-bedroom Fursbreck House, which has an office, dining room, kitchen and bathroom.
For house-hunters looking to enjoy the islands’ small communities, rather than to capitalise on their historic industries, Savills is selling a seven-bedroom property in the town of St Margaret’s Hope. Roeberry House features a snug, games room, library, two secluded gardens and a 150-year-old wood. Its price is available on application and it is close to the A listed Italian Chapel, built by Italian prisoners of war in the Second World War.Isle of Erraid, Inner HebridesAn experience quite unlike any other, the tiny Isle of Erraid, west of Mull, is home to a transient group of “caretakers” who are responsible for looking after its buildings and gardens for 11 months of the year. The island’s owners, a Dutch family, struck a deal with the Findhorn Foundation in 1977, and in exchange for being able to return for one month in the summer to enjoy Erraid, a small community of self-sufficient residents are permitted to live in cottages for lighthouse-keepers built by the Stevenson engineering dynasty at the start of the 20th century.
Residents adhere to traditional ways of living off the land, with a focus on growing fruit and vegetables, crop tending and herding Erraid’s native flock of Blackface sheep. Members subscribe to the principles of the Findhorn Foundation and promote mindfulness and connecting to the natural world.
There are about ten people on the island at any given time, with many moving on after about three years. Annual activities focus on a number of festivals where guests are welcomed to sample island life. While it is not possible to buy property on Erraid, membership to this uniquely Scottish existence is permanently open to new residents.

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3 Taster Locations To Try Unplugging

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Off-grid home in Majorca to rent on airbnb, perfect for a getaway from technology

Enjoy the Spanish sun and views whilst unplugging from the rest of the world for a getaway

Curious about what living off-grid would be like but not quite ready to give up the mortgage? Thinking where to live out the rest of your days in idyllic peace but not quite sure?

Not to worry, if you’re considering the big leap into the unknown, you can try a short break disconnecting from the big brother system — renting an off-grid home from Airbnb.

In Chelan, Washington State, for example, there lies a hobbit hole which any Lord of the Rings fan would die for a night in. Upon a mountain hill, surrounded by rabbits and deer is the perfect place for someone on a quest for off-gird living to start their journey.

Kirstie Wolfe built the 288-square-foot rental into a hillside on a five-acre tract of land she bought in Orondo, a small town between Chelan and Wenatchee along the Columbia River in central Washington. After burying the structure, she went all out decorating the space with an obsessive attention to detail. “I try to make it as authentic as possible,” builder Kristie Wolfe explained. She succeeded with flying colours, visitors walk past a small outdoor garden through a big circular door — just like in the books and movies. The rustic interior uses reclaimed wood, hanging lanterns, and circular arches and windows to evoke a fantastical feeling, a point underlined with small charms like a cobbler’s workbench and several subtle “Lord of the Rings” touches inside.

As well as being the perfect place to let your imagination run free, it is also a fully functioning off grid home with its own septic tank and solar panels, you can unplug in style and comfort. To see the photos and more details on the hobbit home, click here!

 

For those in Europe – nestled into the mountains on the quiet North-West side of Mallorca it is the perfect place to turn off from the outside world and relish nature as it is.

It is a 30-minute drive down the mountain to a beach or an exhilarating hike away, which in turn, gives you the most breath-taking views of the blue Mediterranean. It’s located inside a national park which means you will live side by side with exotic birds and wild flowers. The house comes complete with a water tank which collects 40,00 litres of rain water which you can then filter into drinking water and use to flush the toilet and wash with . Also, it is furnished with two flushing toilets, solar panels a shower, a gas fridge and hob and a fireplace and wood burner for the winter months. There is an outside kitchen with a BBQ so you can cook cooley in the breeze whilst taking in the glorious views.

Outdoor hot shower in off-grid home in Majorca

Beautiful heated shower located outside to give you the perfect mixture of comfort and authenticity

If you’re not so keen with the cooking, you can hire a cook who will show you how to use the outdoor facilities and make your meals for you. The estate is broken up into separate houses which you may choose to rent altogether or just the one/two. The top house comes with two bedrooms and wireless broadband from a solar panel.

How secluded you are is completely up to you. You can have someone show you around the house and neighbourhood with you and immerse you into the off-the-grid lifestyle or you can do it alone and test yourself. You can view its profile on Airbnb here and watch a narrated tour of it here on youtube for more details on the property and how to book it.

 

Our third home was named as one of the best homes in America by Dwell and top ten homes in the world on Airbnb. And it’s completely off-grid. The humble abode is situated in a pristine remote valley in the beautiful Californian high desert and the views are amazing.

off-grid home in California desert to rent

The desert home underneath the stars

 

It is completely powered by solar panels which allow you to have a comfortable stay whilst venturing off into the unplugged world. There is no wifi or TV to encourage you to completely immerse yourself into your stunning surroundings and your own thoughts. It’s architecturally significant green home with large floor to ceiling windows, a fireplace, flushing toilet and hot shower and a fully functional kitchen. So why not check it out on Airbnb for pictures and the chance to enquire about booking it for a weekend away from your stress and worries.

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Buy a town in Southern Nevada

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meme1There’s an entire town on the market in rural Southern Nevada; Before the economy crashed there was a queue of buyers.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s hometown is a rural community with double-wides and abandoned mines. Some 540 people lived there by 2010.
About 350 people live in Cal-Nev-Ari today, a town about 70 miles south of Las Vegas which is being sold for $8 million.Broker Nancy Kidwell is selling the town, which is mainly land. Some homeowners in the area have their own hangar at the town’s airstrip. Two to five aircraft land there each weekday.

It’s dark and mostly empty in the low-slung, 1960s-era casino here, with a handful of people at the bar and just one or two others playing slots.
The streets in this dusty, isolated town aren’t paved, but there’s almost nothing to drive to, anyway no doctors offices, shopping centers or much else around here.
But there’s plenty of vacant land, and Cal-Nev-Ari’s co-founder is again embarking on a tough but not-unheard-of task in Southern Nevada: selling real estate in the middle of nowhere.
Nancy Kidwell is trying to unload more than 500 acres of mostly vacant land here for $8 million, after her attempts in 2010 to sell for $17 million fell flat. Looking to retire, the 78-year-old is offering most of the town, including its casino, diner, convenience store, 10-room motel, RV park and mile-long dirt airstrip.
Listing broker Fred Marik said the “main thing we’re selling,” however, is land.
“That’s the value,” he said, noting the businesses here are “just breaking even.”
During the bubble years in the past decade, investors bought land in rural towns sprinkled outside Las Vegas for projects that eventually fizzled, including suburban-style subdivisions and a resort designed like a fairy-tale castle. At one point, people even got into a bidding war for Kidwell’s holdings but backed out when the economy crashed.
Today, a sale in Cal-Nev-Ari could bring new life to this hole-in-the-wall community of 350 people, some 70 miles south of Las Vegas off U.S. 95. But without the development craze of yesteryear or skyrocketing land prices pushing builders out of Las Vegas, who would buy property in a place like this?
By all accounts, the pool of prospects is relatively small. It includes people who already own real estate in the area; are willing to gamble on remote, unincorporated towns with little to no growth; or would develop an attraction that lures visitors, according to local brokers who handle these listings.
“It takes a person with some vision,” broker Tony Castrignano said.
Castrignano, owner of Sky Mesa Realty & Capital, is trying to sell the 80-acre town of Nipton, Calif. Owners Jerry and Roxanne Freeman, of Henderson, are seeking $5 million.
Nearly an hour south of the Strip between Interstate 15 and Searchlight, Nipton has a handful of businesses, including a hotel, an RV park and a country store that offers, among other things, lottery tickets.
It also has a solar array, water rights and ample space, and it gets visitors “from all over the world,” Castrignano said. An ideal spot, perhaps, for people to live off the grid in an eco-friendly compound?
As Castrignano sees it, investors “could pretty much do what (they) want” with the town.
“We like to say that it’s conveniently located in the middle of nowhere,” he said.

Compared to Las Vegas, land in rural towns an hour or so outside the city can cost cents on the dollar.
Some owners want anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000 per acre in such places as Sandy Valley, Logandale and Searchlight, listings show. Kidwell wants around $17,000 per acre, Marik said.
In the Las Vegas area, by comparison, land sold for a median of about $317,000 per acre last year, according toColliers International.
Then again, Las Vegas has jobs, schools, hospitals, an international airport and other trappings of a major metropolitan area that are largely missing from outlying communities.
Keller Williams Realty agent Rick Brenkus said there are “dozens of properties for sale” in these towns but “only a few sales per year.” In some areas, Brenkus said, his group is the only one that has “sold anything in the last six or nine months.”
Some investors prefer to buy land rather than deposit money in a bank and collect small interest payments. But with little to no construction in the rural outposts, the chances of selling land to developers “is kind of remote,” he said.
“I certainly want to paint it with a positive brush, but it’s very competitive right now,” he said.
Land broker and investor Bill Lenhart doesn’t expect any new projects in Cal-Nev-Ari to materialize for a long time, as there’s plenty of other land in the region at reasonable prices and with more infrastructure that “make a lot more sense.”
Lenhart, founder of Sunbelt Development & Realty Partners, knows firsthand that selling property in a small town is no easy task: He has a listing for a failed, boom-era subdivision in Searchlight, about 10 miles north of Cal-Nev-Ari.

Still, housing investors laid bets on the town during the go-go years. The Cottonwood Lake Homes subdivision, across from Harry Reid Elementary School, called for 65 houses spread over 16 acres, according to county records. Sales prices initially were strong one house sold in 2007 for $511,000 and another in 2008 for $499,000 but the project went bust. Today, the walled subdivision contains paved roads, 13 houses and lots of empty land. The original developer sold four of the homes, and investors who foreclosed on the project in 2011 sold the other nine, all in the $100,000 range, county records show.
Lenhart doesn’t have an asking price for the 52 remaining vacant lots in Cottonwood, but he expects to sell them for less than $400,000 total. The property is an hour’s drive from Las Vegas and about 13 miles west of the Cottonwood Cove marina, though homebuilders “are lukewarm on it,” he said.
Out-of-state, publicly traded homebuilding companies, which dominate Las Vegas’ new-home market, “won’t touch it,” but a private builder might, Lenhart said.
All told, brokers take listings in outlying areas “out of obligation,” he said without elaborating, not because they’re hunting for deals.
“I don’t know anybody who’s prospecting for assignments in Pahrump,” he said of the rural town of 36,000 an hour west of Las Vegas. “And you’re talking to a guy who owns hundreds of acres in Pahrump.”
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When real estate values were soaring in Las Vegas, plenty of investors looked outside the metro area for cheaper land and launched housing developments in places such as Pahrump; Mesquite; and Bullhead City, Ariz. Buyers also went to the smaller, pint-sized towns in the region.
Sandy Valley, on the Nevada-California border, had only 2,000 residents by 2010. But during the bubble, Focus Property Group, developer of the 3,500-acre Mountain’s Edge and 1,200-acre Providence communities in Las Vegas, bought swaths of land there. According to court records, the company acquired at least 300 acres in the town.
After the economy tanked, Focus lost much of its land in Sandy Valley to foreclosure, property records show. Focus founder and CEO John Ritter was unavailable to comment, a representative said.
About 15 miles east of Sandy Valley, Goodsprings is known for its Pioneer Saloon, a bar and restaurant built in 1913. Just 230 people lived there by 2010.
But in 2006, investors Charles Whitley and Melissa Henry bought 25 acres there for $1 million and unveiled plans for Nova Town. At the time, Henry described their proposed resort as a “fairy-tale-like town” with “enchanting fountains, ponds, little bridges and flower beds.” An artist’s rendering showed a Disney-esque castle with portholes, stained-glass windows and blue flags flying from towers.
The resort was never built, and Whitley and Henry lost the land to foreclosure in 2010, county records show. Efforts to reach them for comment were unsuccessful.
Cal-Nev-Ari, meanwhile, is by no means desolate. It has water, electric and natural-gas service; a community center; and a volunteer-run fire station. Homes sit alongside the airstrip, and some have their own hangars.
About 25 people work for Kidwell’s businesses here, and all but one of them live in Cal-Nev-Ari. The other resides in Searchlight.
Kidwell founded the town in the mid-1960s with her first husband, Everette “Slim” Kidwell. They learned about the property when Slim, who operated aviation facilities at the Torrance, Calif., airport, flew by and noticed the abandoned airstrip, which had been used as a training facility during World War II.
They acquired 640 acres from the federal government, named their new town after its home state and the two nearby, and, according to the Los Angeles Times, installed a sign: “Cal-Nev-Ari, Population: 4. Watch Us Grow.” The other residents were their cat and dog.
Slim, 34 years older than Nancy, died in 1983. Years later, she married Verne “Ace” Kidwell, Slim’s son from a prior marriage, who was 14 years older than her. Ace died in 2011.
The two Kidwells, who both died from Alzheimer’s disease, are buried in a small, private cemetery here, with space between them for Nancy’s plot.
By almost any measure, Cal-Nev-Ari is a speck of a town. But during the boom years, would-be buyers eyeing the place for housing developments were “bartering back and forth” over the land, bidding up to $24 million, Kidwell said.
“My attorneys were astounded,” she said.
She was interested in selling, but once the economy collapsed, the buyers “all just drifted away.” Kidwell listed her holdings in 2010, but by that time, the bubble had already burst and the economy was a mess.
“We had a little interest, but not a whole lot,” she said.
Marik, of Las Vegas Commercial & Business Sales, had never visited Cal-Nev-Ari until he got the listing a few months ago. But he’s familiar with this part of the county.
He brokered the sale of the Searchlight Nugget casino and some nearby property to the Herbst family last year and the sale of an abandoned, bank-owned subdivision in Searchlight to a couple in Seattle.
Marik is pitching Cal-Nev-Ari as a blank canvas. His marketing materials say the town could have, among other things, a dude ranch, parachute center, survival school, marijuana resort, shooting range, paint-gun park, drone center, air races, and motorcycle and ATV tours.
The town already is an attraction of sorts: People fly here to eat, gamble and then take off, an afternoon outing for a retiree with a pilot’s license. Two to five planes fly in each weekday, with 25 to 30 a day on weekends, Marik said.
Kate Colton, who has lived here for about 20 years, said a marijuana business would be “a little scary.” But she’s happy Kidwell, whom she says is one of her closest friends, is trying to open a new chapter in life, and Colton figures new investors would bring a shot of commerce to the area.
“The economy here could use a boost,” she said.
Her husband, former Nevada state treasurer Stan Colton, said it “would be wonderful” if someone paved the streets “You can’t wash your car and expect it to stay clean for the day.”
He’d like to see more housing and also figures Cal-Nev-Ari would be a great spot for warehouses, distribution centers or other industrial property.
Kidwell, he noted, is offering more than 500 acres right on a highway.
“What more could you ask for?” he said.

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Airbnb’s hottest properties – yes, they are off-grid

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Airbnb, holiday let, vacation rental, tree house, offthegridnews

Most sought on Airbnb – Atlanta tree house

Airbnb has just released it’s 10 most wished-for properties on the vacation web site. Quirky, unique properties are most in demand. Four out of the ten properties are tree-houses and three of those are located in California.

The top ten roundup of wish-listed abodes on the property site shows that quirky, unorthodox residences are the places where most people wish to stay.

From a secluded treehouse with rope bridge in the woods of Atlanta, Georgia to a ‘seashell’ house in Isla Mujeres, Mexico, to a ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’-themed guest house in Topanga Canyon, California, the properties that were the most popular were strange and fanciful.

It is also number one on the site’s list of most popular property types. This author has his own https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/2589762″ target=”_blank”>off-grid property on Airbnb – in Majorca Spain – Check it out here: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/2589762″>https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/2589762
The U.S. was the most represented country on the list, with three of the four properties represented in California.
The second most popular destination was Italy, with three locations in the top ten. Mexico, Canada, and Bali rounded out the list.

PICK OF THE OFF GRID PLACES

No. 10: ($380 per night) This off-the-grid solar-powered house in the high desert of Pioneertown, California does have heat, hot water, and a washer, but of course no TV or Internet – Joshua Tree National Park is nearby

No. 8: ($76 per night) This ‘mushroom villa’ as the locals in Bali call it, comes with a beautifully lit private swimming pool with ocean view and garden where you are free to pick your own fruit and veranda where you can watch the sunrise – there’s a hot water shower and Wifi spot

No. 7: A Pirates of the Caribbean themed tropical guest house contains a deck with a teepee for lounging (not overnight sleeping!) N($95 per night/two nights minimum/$225 for one night)Guest house contains a Jacuzzi and BBQ fire pit – the property contains waterfalls and ponds.

No. 6: ($110 per night) A mushroom shaped dome cabin in in Aptos, California is called a ‘geodesic dome loft’ and it has a large outdoor deck shaded by oak and madrone trees and abutting a redwood grove on ten acres of prime forest chiming with birds – there’s also a nearby beach – there’s a flatscreen TV with DVD player but no television reception

No. 5: ($157 per night) Another treehouse, this time in San Salvatore Monferrato, Alessandria, Italy – it contains one bedroom, one bathroom, a garden solarium and swimming pool on the property – and a cat

No. 4: ($100 per night) This unique cob cottage in Mayne Island, British Columbia is sculpted of local, sustainable natural materials – guests have access to all of the surrounding lush property, including the small private vineyard

No. 3: ($281 per night) This glass paneled treehouse in Tuscany, Italy is only only twenty minutes’ from the Duomo and one hour from Siena – the tree home is surrounded by olive trees, and boasts a kitchen garden, tennis court and small swimming pool

No. 2: ($249 per night) This seashell shaped house in Isla Mujeres contains private pool, two king beds, a kitchen and free Wifi and air conditioning

And te most desired property ont he whole of AirBnb: ($350 per night) A secluded treehouse only a minute Atlanta contains three connected treehouse rooms in the woody area of Buckhead – the house was featured on Treehouse Masters – each room is furnished with antiques, natural artefacts

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Slab City – American Dream Deserted

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slab graveyardXOff-Grid living is the American Dream manifest: “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.
For the residents of Slab City, an encampment in the Sonoran Desert,freedom is paramount. But what happens when the ideal morphs into the un-ideal? Peace and love has been replaced by drugs, strife and Law Enforcement officials. A vision of utopia became dystopian.

The definition of off-grid living according to the Oxford Dictionary is “not using or depending on public utilities, especially the supply of electricity.” Yet if ‘The Slabbers’, as they call themselves, live in “the last free place in America”, what does it mean to be free? And is the sacrifice worth it?
Sandy Parker, an upper class Brit taking American Studies at College, pointed her feet at Slab City, 156 miles northeast of San Diego, whilst studying abroad. She had transferred to a Californian campus to follow her love of 20th century American poets such as Walt Whitman and the Beat Generation, championed by Ginsberg, Snyder, Kerouac and Ferlinghetti.

“I just got the feeling out there that I wasn’t too safe,” Sandy told me later. “… that it was highly dangerous. In London you can walk through a supposedly rough neighbourhood. This neighbourhood had burnt out cars, the roads were terrible and there was extreme poverty around every corner”.

Sandy was a high achiever at school, learned the clarinet and piano from an early age and took ballet lesson as a child. Having been exposed to the wonders of American Studies, and absorbing herself in the sub-culture texts on offer, she now wears her hair in dreadlocks, practices Taoism and veganism. With much anticipation she began her road trip around the USA in Seattle in a hired Toyota Camry, then headed straight for Slab City.

The site was converted by the The Slabbers from an abandoned World War II marine camp to sub-culture commune in the mid-60s. It entered into the mainstream with John Krakauer’s book Into The Wild – Buy it on Amazon (1996) and Original Poster from Sean Penn’s film – Buy it on Amazon.com,(2007)
Both works document the travels of Christopher McCandless who spent time amongst the slabs in the early 1990s whilst journeying up to isolated living in the Alaskan mountains. As for many others, it was these works that drew Sandy to Slab City. However she was acutely aware (having researched the site) that McCandless had arrived at the Slabs when the last “vestiges of a generally safe community” were still visible.
Ecological reasons for off-grid living are not high on the priority list of the average resident in Slab City. When I asked Sandy what problems the residents faced, the issues were both environmental and ideological. Sandy arrived at the edge of a homestead to be greeted by a bullet hole riddled ‘Welcome’ sign. The car thermometer read 44 degrees Celsius. Without electricity and therefore “the luxury of air-con” in the car, many residents flee the oppressive heat in the summer months.

Propane is used to generate electricity; there is no running water or sewage. Supplies have to be bought in nearby Niland. Sandy spoke of her trepidation as she drew closer. On the outskirts were “caravans lying abandoned at the side of the un-kept dust road and dilapidated trailer parks lined the dirt tracks around the area”. The harsh Wild West environment is reflected in the attitudes of those who wish to live there.
Vice Mag documented The Slabs in 2009 with the Youtube video Living Without Laws: Slab City USA . A classic Vice documentary, a no holds barred, “let’s find the most dysfunctional people living here”, approach. Most of the 20 minute film is spent driving around with a meth-addict who makes stone ornaments without any tools and the documentary travels with him to visit his dope dealer to pick up some meth.

In the blistering heat, a few other tourists had undertaken the 2 hour drive from the nearest major city, Palm Springs. Like her, they were young 20-somethings from various Californian Universities. Sandy said, “it’s a commitment to get there, no one just passes through that area because there’s just nothing there and to the South is Mexico”. She felt upon her arrival a distinct lack of welcome, “most Slabbers had left for the summer and those that remained in a trailer next to Salvation mountain (a two decade in the making art sculpture) didn’t talk to tourists” she said.

When I asked Sandy whether she would ever consider living there, it was a decided “no”. Having entered into what Vice caught on film, Sandy explained how with “no police, hard drugs, armed residents and the American trope of lethal defence of property, Slab City is a volatile and dangerous community”. An anarchic perception of their existence appears to be rife, the defence of liberty involves the housing and testing of high explosives out in the desert. One man keeps a family of some of the most dangerous snakes in North America as protection. He said he would use them just like a hand grenade, instant devastation.
The opting out of mainstream society for the people of Slab City is a battle. The police have descended upon the settlement citing obscure permit issues as reasons for dismantling parts of the commune. Sandy confirmed the angst and uncertainty felt by the residents, she said;
“the people who live in Slab City are constantly worried that the government will throw them off the slabs. The people who live there are varied; some are old hippies, others are teenage runaways, some are war veterans who can’t cope in mainstream society, and some people moved to the slabs to escape partners, bills or capitalism”.
“The freedom to exist” is cited as “severely limited” by one Slabber in Thrash Lab’s documentary Life Off the Grid in Slab City . The State of California is constantly trying to sell the land but have so far found no buyers. With law enforcement knocking on the door and tourists flocking to the site, they are fighting for their isolation. For in isolation, the Slabbers see freedom.
Sandy’s residing memory of her time at Slab City is exactly that sense of isolation. She said, “It’s in the middle of a barren desert and a few miles west is the Salton Sea which is so large it goes up to the horizon”. The Slabbers trade amongst themselves, respect each other’s pitchers and take care of one another as a community. Off-Grid living for the purpose of living sustainably, away from the controlling measures of the utility companies is one way to approach the lifestyle. The Slabbers appear to have simply run from the world. Freedom is achieved through the removal of oppression, however The Slabbers seem to have merely replaced the perceived coercion of mainstream societal living with the oppression of the desert. Drug addiction remains untreated, the land is uncultivatable, alcoholism invades and the heat drives them away to continue a transient existence.
The spiralling meth problem in Slab City heightens the judicial attack on the commune. Yet is it not the case that if you have travelled out into the middle of nowhere, live in relative squalor and in no way impact upon the rest of your country or state, should you not be able to live as you please? The land is owned by the State of California, the state has no use for it, but the Slabbers do. The governmental pressure comes from the fear and knowledge that outlaws are living outside the confines of society.
Now as an outsider stepping into an environment such as Slab City, there is certainly potential to feel intimidated and alien. However the people who live there are happy with the lot they have chosen in life. Art installations and live music venues have been set up, tThey even hold their own prom (the majority of the residents missed their high school event). Although highly protective and cautious of interlopers, they are a happy crowd who preach ideals.
I asked Sandy for a quick snapshot of Slab City: “The American Dream lay dead in the desert” she said. This may appear a rather bleak statement, but perhaps the death of the American Dream is the first step towards freedom. The constitutional idea of freedom is one of a mass collective working together to form an ideal. Through hard work, you will reap the rewards. Yet, as we well know, human greed destroys. Sectors of society lose out. The troubled, the rebellious and the less fortunate are faced with an uphill battle to seek success and joy. In the city you are merely a grain of sand being tossed about in the great sea of people. People who want to be better than you, people who want to tell you what to do, people who make you conform to what they believe to be true. In the desert, there’s nothing but sand, the sea has dried up and you can do whatever you want.
The Slabbers face many problems and it is by no means an easy life out there in the desert. They are an inclusive community, wary of outsiders and wish to be left alone to do as they please. However, running away from the world might be the only way to get as close to freedom as possible. Freedom to have a good time, smoke what you want, raise your children the way you want, live without material possessions, no authority telling you what you can and can’t do. Maybe the desert is one of the few places where this possible. A place where life is raw, real and dirty. In the words of the character Heavenly Blues, the counter-culture, motorbike gang leader of the Wild Angels DVD – buy it on Amazon, “We wanna be free…we wanna get loaded and we wanna have a good time”!

Maybe we should leave the Slabbers to do exactly that.

 

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Amanda Gang: I HAD IT WITH THE MAN

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Amanda Gang is weary of consumerism – appalled at the way her own parents are such avid shoppers.

She just wants out. so she is hoping to wander across the USA on a bicycle. She lives in Manhattan.

In this video, Amanda tells us she is looking for passionate and like minded people that feel her need to go living off the grid. She would like land, where she can just be and a community which will let her do what she likes to do and that is to get back to mother nature. This appeals to her and her friends.

She would like to attach herself to what her heart tells her where to be within a community that she relates with as gardening and building a home. She thought the art community was this but the four white walls and zero eye contact makes her think what her mind and heart tells her — that an alternative of living in contact with the earth is the answer.

Amanda is starting from scratch and she is surrounded by a cycle of destruction where her body yearns for nature. She has to learn from trial and error.

 

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Cabin Porn – the official book

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download (6)You loved the Cabin Porn web site – now Buy the book from Amazon US.

Its amazing how Tiny Homes in general and remote cabins in particular have caught the public imagination across the developed world.

People are yearning for escape, silence, peace, green spaces. Its what we all want, and the Cabin Porn web site, this Off-grid web site and others like it are fulfilling a need.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0316378216/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0316378216&linkCode=am2&tag=offgrid-20&linkId=XNB7GB2GLWTTA6UL>Cabin Porn: Inspiration for Your Quiet Place Somewhere

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