Extreme Off-Grid: 10 Hours From The Big City

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off-grid-homeThere’s off-grid, and then there’s really off-grid.

This week’s guests on Off The Grid Radio fall into that latter category. They’re 45 minutes from the nearest town, 10 hours from the closest big city, and they have no neighbors. Their self-sufficient life isn’t for everyone, but they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Their names are Dave and Jeff, and they and their wives and children share a 40-acre lot in northern British Columbia – the land of long, sunny summer days and long, cold winter nights.

Friends thought they were crazy for moving there … but soon changed their minds when they learned how inexpensive it was.

Dave and Jeff share incredible details about their off-grid life, including:

  • Why they wanted to move off-grid.
  • How they get food, water and electricity.
  • Why they believe an education for children off-grid can be superior to one on-grid.
  • How they make money while living off-grid.

Of course, one of the perks of living a remote life is the natural beauty. They tell us about their amazing encounters with wildlife (including one frightening run-in with a mama bear and her cubs!).

If you’ve ever wanted to get out of the rat race and move off-grid, then this week’s show is for you!

Feeding Yourself the Self-Sufficient Way

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balance, beautiful, countryside

Image Source: Pexels

By Staff Writer – The Survival Place Blog

When the world’s ending and there are no more manufacturing companies and farmers left to provide you with food, will you be able to survive? If the answer is “yes” because you’ve saved up tonnes of canned food, then there’s some bad news waiting for you: what will you do when it runs out? You can’t rely on the possibility of the world fixing itself after an apocalypse, and unless you’re going to hunt other people for their canned food then there’s only one way to feed yourself: being self-sufficient.

It’s easy to be self-sufficient, but you need to remember that there’s some skill involved and a lot of knowledge to pick up before you can really become self-sufficient with your food. So to help you get started, we’ve detailed four different methods of getting your own food so you can practice in the event the world is turned upside down.

Gardening

Gardening is basically just farming on a smaller scale. Start by learning how to grow vegetables and fruits in your backyard. Remember that the climate makes a huge difference to what you can and can’t grow, so don’t expect to grow everything in your backyard. Start with easy things to manage such as salad leaves, potatoes or beans. They’re relatively easy to get started with and they don’t require much work to get started. Once you’re comfortable with your gardening skills, expand by stretching your backyard, buying more plots of land, or writing down some farming notes in a handy notebook so that you’re ready.

Fishing

With so much water out there, there’s bound to be some fish in nearby lakes and rivers. If you’re lucky and live near a larger body of water, then the fish will be fresh and full of life. However, you may need to invest in a fishing boat or a similar device to get out further into the waters in search of more bounty. Check this trolling motor buying guide if you need a bit of assistance in picking the right motor for your needs. Remember that fishing requires a lot of patience and not everything you fish up is edible. Some fish might be infested with parasites and some might be covered in sewage and sludge from inner-city rivers.

Foraging

Foraging is a key still for any survivalist. Living off the land is something that many in the prepping community speak about, but people usually don’t know much about what is edible or not. You need to know where to find edible plants and fruits, you need to know what is poisonous and what is edible, and you need to be able to stomach nutritious plants even if they taste horrible. If you find yourself in a survival situation in the future with nothing but the land to live off, then you’ll be glad that you studied edible plants.

Hunting

Lastly, we can’t forget about hunting. While using a gun is the simplest method of hunting your prey, you may want to learn how to throw a spear, use a bow, or even create traps to get a hold of fast animals. Survival hunting, much like foraging, is an essential skill to learn but you need to be prepared to kill an animal for the sake of your own survival—something that not everyone can stomach.

This article was originally published at The Survival Place BlogFeeding Yourself the Self-Sufficient Way

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How to Make the Perfect Potting Soil Recipe in 5 Easy-to-Follow Steps

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Have you noticed how expensive potting soil can be?

I mean, truthfully, when you think about it – you are buying dirt. Why is it so expensive?

Well, a lot of it has to do with the nutrients that you are purchasing so your plants will grow better. But don’t you think there has to be a better way?

If so, then you’re in luck because I’m going to discuss how you can create your own potting soil and a few other facts that you might need to know along the way.

Here is how you create your own potting soil:

A Quick Warning:

When creating your own potting soil there are two things you need to understand.

First, there is no ‘one size fits all’ potting mix. Each plant has different requirements. So you may have to tweak any recipe for potting mix to better suit exactly the plant that you are wanting to grow.

Secondly, when creating potting soil there are dangers. Namely, you’ll want to be aware of a disease known as Legionnaire’s Disease. It is basically a severe form of pneumonia that can be contracted from bacteria which can live in potting soil mixes and compost.

So you’ll need to use safety precautions such as wearing a face mask, wear protective clothes and gloves, try not to work with soil when the wind is blowing heavily, and spritz dusty ingredients of potting mixes with water to keep them from flying in the air.

Also, be sure to always wash your hands after working in the garden or anywhere else outdoors. If you feel ill and think it could be an onset of this disease, please seek out treatment. Especially if the warning signs are spotted in those with weakened immune systems, small children, or the elderly.

Now that all of our safety notices are out there, let’s move on so you can create your own potting soil.

Why should you create your own potting soil?

Before you take on a DIY project, you need to be sure you know why you are doing it.

Otherwise, you might get frustrated half way through and quit. I’ve been there, and I totally understand. Sometimes when you are buying things to create something, you start adding up the costs.

Though the supplies you buy might make you a lot more than the store bought stuff, it still hits your wallet all at once.

And you begin to ponder why in the world you are doing what you’re doing.

Well, that is why it is important to know why you are doing the task. So in this case, you are creating your own potting soil.

Benefits of Making Your Own Potting Soil:

Here are a few of the reasons you might want to consider doing this yourself:

1. It Saves You Moola

When creating your own potting soil, you are actually saving yourself money. You may not feel like it at first, but how many times have you purchased potting soil and not used it all?

Then you put it in your garden shed, only to return to it later and it is unusable because it is all dried up. If you’ve ever done this, then you know how bad it feels to know that you wasted that money.

Well, if you mix up your own quality potting soil mix, you should save yourself money. You can store it better and easier than the store bought stuff.

Or you could actually just mix up what you need at the time and forget about having to store it, period. Either way, you’ll save yourself some money in the process, usually.

2. Convenience is a Sweet Thing

Convenience is pretty awesome. If it wasn’t then our society wouldn’t have shifted so easily to a newer more convenient way of living.

Let’s face it. We all love to have things when we want it and how we want it as well.

So when you create your own potting soil, you have this convenience. You can actually order most of your ingredients and have them shipped right to your door.

Then, as long as you have everything on hand, you can quickly and easily mix up your potting soil whenever you are ready to use it.

3. You Know All About It

The next benefit of mixing your own potting soil is the fact that you know what it is in it. Let’s face it. All potting soil is not created equal.

And we know that plants love certain things in the soil. It encourages them to grow and produce better, which is the ultimate goal.

Well, if you create your own potting soil, then you can adjust the ingredients as you see fit. You know everything that is in it, and you also can feel better knowing that all of your plants are getting what they need.

4. You Are More Self-Sufficient

So you want to plant your flowers, but it is at a time that maybe the store is closed. If you mix your own potting soil, you are practicing better self-reliance, and you don’t have to worry about when stores are open or closed.

Plus, now that you are learning how to make your own potting soil, you can also know that you are taking another step toward being more self-reliant.

5. Longevity

The final reason why you might want to consider creating your own potting soil is because quality potting soil usually lasts longer.

So if you buy potting soil from the store you might be surprised to realize how much of it is actually bark. This bark will then compost quickly and begin to decompose.

Then your potting soil struggles to retain as much moisture as your plants desire and money is wasted. But with creating your own potting soil (where you include your own quality ingredients), you shouldn’t have to worry as much about it decomposing and not being able to retain water.

In fact, since there is no bark in this potting soil mix, your potting soil should last much longer than a lot of the potting soil you purchase from the stores.

What Do I Want From My Potting Soil?

When I wanted to learn how to make my own potting soil, I found that soil actually did much more than I ever gave it credit for.

Truthfully, I didn’t think about what I actually wanted my soil to do, besides surround my plants, give them a happy home, and then I wanted to see the plants produce.

But now I know what I really want from my soil. Here are few things to consider:

1. Light and Fluffy

I knew I always loved to run my hands through the dirt before planting my flowers and veggies in it, but I never really knew what I was looking for.

But now I know that I want light and fluffy dirt. The reason is because the lighter and fluffier it is the easier it is for my plants to spread out and take root.

Also, you want the soil to be fluffy because that means it is aerated. This means that oxygen has an easier time accessing the plant.

2. Longevity

I want a soil that is going to last. I knew there were a few times I had put bagged soil in the garden shack, come back to it, and the soil didn’t do as well.

But I never knew it was because of the bark content making the soil water resistant. I want a potting soil that won’t break down easily and won’t compact. That way it will last for much longer, and I save money.

3. Retain Water

Naturally, you want your potting soil to hold water. This is great for the plants because they need water to be released to them as needed.

However, if your potting soil won’t hold water, then your plants will not get water as they need. That is something you should keep an eye on when choosing or creating your potting soil.

4. Add Nutrients to My Plants

Obviously, plants get nutrients from the soil. If you create your own potting soil, then you need to create one that will provide these necessary nutrients.

But be sure whatever soil you create or purchase, will give the nutrients your plants desire.

The Recipe

What You’ll Need:

  • Measuring cup
  • Large Mixing Container
  • Water (Jug or Water Hose)
  • A Sieve
  • Trowel
  • A Container to Presoak Peat
  • Potting Soil Ingredients

The Ingredients:

1. Coir Peat or Peat Moss

You will need 1 part of coir peat or peat moss. If you are about living a greener life, then you’ll want to go with coir peat. It is a waste by-product of coconut processing.

So it is clearly a renewable resource. However, if you just prefer peat moss it will do the same thing.

2. Vermiculite

Then you’ll need 1 part vermiculite. This is a natural volcanic mineral that has expanded because of heat. They do this because it increases its ability to contain water.

Also, vermiculite is great at providing necessary minerals for your plants. It can also hold minerals for your plants as well.

3. Compost

Next, you need 2 parts compost that has been sieved. You can make your own compost or purchase it. Whichever option works best for you.

4. Worm Castings

Finally, you’ll need ½ cup to 1 cup of worm castings. If you worm farm, then these should be readily available.

If not, then you can purchase them here. Also, you can use humus from the bottom of your compost pile.

Either way, you’ll want to include this part in your potting mix because it helps retain moisture in your potting soil. It is a great food source for plants and contains microbes that are beneficial to most plants.

Plus, it protects from toxic metals and toxic chemicals that can be found in some soil. It also helps create the desired texture for a potting soil as well.

The Process

1. Presoak the Peat

You will want to begin by placing the coir peat or peat moss in a larger container to soak. Be sure to soak it in warm water. You usually take the amount of peat you have and divide it in half to determine how much water you need to rehydrate.

But once you have loosened the rehydrated peat with your trowel and are satisfied with the consistency of it, then you are ready to move on to the next step.

2. Mix the Peat and Vermiculite

Then you’ll need to mix equal parts peat with vermiculite. If you are not able to purchase vermiculite, coarse sand could be used in its place.

3. Add Compost to the Mix

Next, you’ll need to sieve your compost. Then you’ll need to sieve your worm castings. Once you’ve completed that, you’ll need to take these items and combine them with other nutrients that you might want to add to your potting soil.

Then you’ll add it to the peat and vermiculite to round out your potting soil mix.

4. Check the Acidity

Then you’ll need a pH meter and measure the acidity of the potting mix. You’ll want the acidity to be between 6.0 and 7.0.

If you are having issues with balancing your soil, here is a link that can give you some ideas on how to deal with that.

5. Keep Moist and Store

Finally, you’ll want to insure that your potting mix is moist. Then you’ll store it with a lid to insure it stays moist.

Then you’ll want to recheck the soil’s pH within a few days. You are a looking for a soil pH that is neutral (around 7.0) or a little acidic (around 6.5). When you are ready to use your potting soil just add any last minute minerals you might want.

Plus, you’ll want to add some slow release fertilizers as well.

Finally, add water to moisten the mix and begin planting.

Well, now you are aware of how to make your own potting soil mix. You also know what you should look for in an ideal potting soil. Hopefully, this will help you with your gardening this year.

But I’d love to hear from you. Do you have your own recipe for making potting soil? What ingredients do you add to your potting mixes that you feel work really well for your plants?

We love hearing from you so please leave us your comments in the space provided below.

Saving our forefathers ways starts with people like you and me actually relearning these skills and putting them to use to live better lives through good times and bad. Our answers on these lost skills comes straight from the source, from old forgotten classic books written by past generations, and from first hand witness accounts from the past few hundred years. Aside from a precious few who have gone out of their way to learn basic survival skills, most of us today would be utterly hopeless if we were plopped in the middle of a forest or jungle and suddenly forced to fend for ourselves using only the resources around us. To our ancient ancestors, we’d appear as helpless as babies. In short, our forefathers lived more simply than most people today are willing to live and that is why they survived with no grocery store, no cheap oil, no cars, no electricity, and no running water. Just like our forefathers used to do, The Lost Ways Book teaches you how you can survive in the worst-case scenario with the minimum resources available. It comes as a step-by-step guide accompanied by pictures and teaches you how to use basic ingredients to make super-food for your loved ones. Watch the video HERE .

Source : morningchores.com

 

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DIY Desalination

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Water desalination can be easy AND rewarding

Earth isn’t called the “Blue Planet” for nothing, but the majority is saltwater and therefore not immediately drinkable. Hence we need the desalination process which removes the salt from saline water so we can drink it.

One of the main hurdles living outside the system is having a reliable source of clean, fresh drinking water. There are plenty of desalination projects that cost into the millions of dollars, but how about cheap DIY methods you can do at home?

Desalination can take advantage of evaporation. The dirty or saline water is heated and the water turns to steam, leaving the impurities (salt) behind. All that then needs to be done is capture the steam, condense it and voila clean drinkable water.

 

Below are some videos of easy and cheap methods of making your own DIY desalination devices!

The first is based on a whistling kettle, some pipe, a coolant around said piping and a collection tin – easy peasy!

 

Here is another version of a similar system using a pressure cooker instead – who said they are only good for canning!?

 

If you want to invest in some specific desalination kit, then check out this video which uses the non-electric distiller by Water Wise.

 

No camp fire or stove to hand? No problem! Check out these solar distillers – not exactly top tech, but proves you can capture the power of evaporation really easily. (Ignore the soil eating cat!)

 

And one using a plastic bottle!

Let’s face it we have all wanted to live by a golden beach in a sunny spot at some time in our lives. But with water at a dollar a pop for a 100cl plastic bottle, desalination has a definite cash benefit.

What do you think? Have you tried any of these methods? Let us know in the comments below!

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Ten Tiny House Companies you NEED to know about

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Tiny House, off-grid, build your own, retirees, retirement, small, mini, houses, homes, self sustaining

Good things come in tiny packages

There’s no doubt about it, the tiny house movement has well and truly taken off. Please let us know your favorites (news@off-grid.net). Extreme downsizing has become very popular, with a smaller space offering easier upkeep and lower utility bills. The average tiny house is 186 square feet – truly tiny! With prices of building your own tiny home being around $23,000 on average (remember Joseph’s upcycled shipping container home?) it’s not hard to see why it’s so popular. Even having someone else build you a tiny house, prices start around the $45,000 mark. This is a great deal cheaper than the price of the average American home which runs into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Therefore, a good many tiny house owners do not have a mortgage, giving financial peace of mind.

A survey conducted in 2015 by TheTinyLife.com found that retirees are becoming a large proportion of tiny house owners. The results showed that 30% of just 2,000 respondents were aged between 51-70 years. Of course this makes sense, as people reach retirement age downsizing is common practice – and you can’t downsize much more than a tiny home! When looking for a tiny house when you’re not as young and nimble as you used to be, it is important to look out for certain features. These include: easy to reach storage to reduce awkward stooping and stretching; a single storey tiny house, or a main floor bedroom – avoid loft sleeping areas with ladders! Accessibility is also important; whether this be wide doorways, walk in showers, ramp access or building low to the ground.

Here are ten tiny house companies, offering retiree appropriate (and non-retiree) products which could very well seal the deal for you!

 

Zyl Vardos Inc – Washington State

Based out of the Squirrel Hut mini-office in Olympia, Washington, Zyl Vardos builds unique and customisable small structures. The tiny house products offered vary in price from $45,000 to above $96,000. Currently their website showcases 10 of the tiny houses offered, but if you fancy having one designed to your own specification, that is also possible.

Their “Little Bird” Basic option is one of build options available. Coming in at $68,000, with a  22 ft x 8 ft floor space, this home has a copper roof and cedar exterior. With a single French door, 6 windows and a kitchenette, this tiny house has everything you would need. The bed nook happily fits a queen mattress, with room to spare, and a flush or compost toilet can be fitted.

If you would like to upgrade to the “Advanced” option of the Little Bird you can – for an extra $10,000. This upgraded model includes a tiled bathroom floor, oak floors, double French doors, expanded kitchen storage amongst other features. Custom options for a retiree such as wider doorways and a raised toilet can be included at an additional feel.

Zyl Vardos have a building slot available in June 2017, so if this has piqued your interest or you want to let your imagination run free with your own design – contact them. Their YouTube Channel, also gives some great insights into their range of tiny houses!

Tumbleweed Houses – Colorado State

A variety of options await you with the ability to design your perfect tiny house in less than 10 minutes! Base model prices begin at $62,950, with the Cypress and its recess porch being the most popular. Each model can either be 20ft or 26ft in length, offering 188 square feet and 269 square feet of space respectively.  The floor plan options can be customised to your needs, so you can truly put your stamp on the build.

Designing your own tiny house involves you choosing everything from roof colour and window style to interior walls and extra features. Oak, Bamboo or Walnut flooring – the choice is yours! Cabinet colour? Which stairs to get to the loft? Warranty length? All of these choices and many more are placed directly in your hands, giving you a quote for the exact tiny house of your dreams. Off-grid options are also available.

Check out their gallery for some images of what some people have done with their amazing tiny spaces.

 

Escape Home – Wisconsin

This company offers a variety of RV model and park model RVs, which come with basic and custom packages. One of the larger park model options, the Getaway has 400 square foot of space. It comes with a full size bathroom, kitchen with all appliances and private bedroom with queen size bed. The beauty of this home is it is all on one floor, so no pesky stairs or ladders to bother with. Panoramic windows offer breath-taking views to the great outdoors, with the option of an open deck, screened porch or even a sun-room for that extra oomph. Retailing at $88,700, this is a more expensive option, but offers a larger space with plenty of storage and all the comforts of home.

Off-grid options like solar panels and composting toilets can also be added into the designs offered. Depending on the model and customisation options, your Escape can be built in as little as two months and can be delivered to you (charges variable).

To find out more, visit the FAQ section on the Escape website to get into the nitty gritty of these tiny houses.

 

Little House on the Trailer – California

Offering compact moveable, customisable housing and home care cottages from $49,500 what’s not to like? Although, technically Little House on the Trailer is not a tiny house company, the models they build are still on the small side at 400 square feet. The home care cottages are aimed at retirees, allowing parents to live in the backyards of their kids, whilst still having their independence and own space. The selling point of this company is the heavy involvement of the client with the design of the homes. The time it takes from design to delivery is on average 2-3 months. If you fancy seeing one of the models, their display yard is open Saturdays 10 am to 4 pm.

To see more of the beautiful small spaces Little House on the Trailer builds, take a look at their gallery!

 

Home Care Suites – Florida

Tiny House, tiny home, self sustaining, small, mini, retirees, retirement, off-grid

Surprisingly spacious – tiny homes offer a lot for their money.

Like Little House on the Trailer, this company specialises in building small cottages in the backyards of existing residents. Therefore, they are built on permanent foundations and the utilities are tied to the main residence. Aimed mostly at retirees, these tiny houses are also marketed as potential home offices or man caves! Ranging in size from 256 square foot to 588 square foot, there can be ample room inside these tiny houses.

Aiming for the middle ground, the single storey Floridian model comes in at a nicely sized 448 square feet. With a spacious living area, private bedroom with walk in closet, accessible bathroom with walk-in shower, this has everything you could possibly need. It is also fully customisable, so added extras are also possible. The price for this model is $85,000 – $100,000 depending on options chosen. The minimum price for their smallest tiny house is $55,000. These tiny homes typically take between 5 – 6 months to build.

Check out Home Care Suites’ floor plans to see if any are right for you, or even just for a bit of inspiration!

 

Minim Homes – Washington

Not as flexible as some of the other companies mentioned, the Minim House comes as a standard basic home unit. It does however have a few options for customisation. The 12 foot by 24 foot space has an aluminium clad door, six windows and a solid walnut floor. The kitchen area has a stainless sink with foot pedals for hot and cold water, whilst the 4 foot by 6 foot bathroom has a separate walk in shower. A low flush toilet comes as part of the build, or the customer can install a compost toilet at a reduced price. There are plenty of handy storage areas, for instance, the 5 foot sofa opens up to reveal hidden storage space.

Options to add on to the home include a trailer, extra windows and an off –grid package of solar system and refrigerator. The price for this mini home is $71,000 and can be delivered to you for an extra cost.

Check out this pdf document for more on what’s included in the Minim House and prices for optional extras.

 

Shopdog – New Mexico

This company builds tiny houses to suit any design and need and are fully customisable. However, there is one condition – it has to be fully off-grid and self-sustaining. Plus, they aim to build the whole thing out of recycled materials (or as much of it as they can). This is what they achieved with the “Steely Cottage”, a 200 square foot space built on a 24 foot by 8.5 foot trailer. With a self-contained solar system, a composting toilet and grey water drainage system, this tiny house can go absolutely anywhere. As long as there’s sunshine and water to fill the tank of course! Plus, with its full size shower and queen size mattress bed, who says good things don’t come in small packages! The Steely Cottage costs $50,000 and can be shipped for a fee.

 

Nelson Tiny Houses – British Columbia, Canada

This company offers two main styles of tiny house, the V House and the Acorn. From these the company can build something customised entirely by you. V is for versatile and that certainly suits the V House down to a T! A 120 square foot (8 foot by 15 foot) V House comes in at $35,000. However, this can be made larger – up to 250 square foot – double the size! Typically, each additional square foot is around $200.

Built to your specific needs, your tiny house can be furnished with custom built furniture. Alternatively, you can adapt the original floor plan to add rooms or multiple lofts for more storage. Really very versatile! Plus, the tiny house can be built to be fully off-grid. However the price tag does increase up to $10,000 for this. Typical building time for one of these projects is between 12 and 24 months depending on the specification.  Currently, the company only delivers to certain states in the US – Washington, Idaho and Montana.

Check out a tour of the V House, plus check out the Nelson Tiny House YouTube Channel!

Tiny Home Builders – Florida

Another company with a variety of models, which can be delivered nationwide! One model is even named “Tiny Retirement”. Designed specifically for retirees it is based on a single level – no stairs in sight! Plus, with the entryway located at one end of the building, this allows space for a bathroom at the other. This leaves plenty of room  in the rest of the space for a full size bed!

However, if you don’t want to buy a model with “retirement” in the title, the Tiny Studio model can be customised to your needs instead. Options such as slip resistant flooring and a ramp are available! This tiny house has 160 square foot of space with kitchen and dining space on a slightly raised level. Underneath this platform there is a roll-away bed which becomes seating space when put away. Plus, being built on a mobile trailer, the tiny studio can go anywhere – just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you have to stay in one place!

 

Creative Cottages – Maine

Last but by no means least is Creative Cottages, which create custom energy efficient homes using environmentally sensitive building practices. Their Oceanside Retreat is a beautifully crafted 422 square feet which is liveable all year round. A single storey layout, with bedroom, kitchen and bathroom facilities, whilst the sliding glass doors ensure there is lots of natural light, making it bright and airy. Custom built on foundations, this is a more expensive option compared to the other choices outlined above, coming in at $238,000.

Creative Cottages also only services the Mid-coast Maine area. However, there is the option to buy plans from them (at a cost of between £1,850 and $2,300) and hire a contractor to build your very own creative cottage elsewhere.

 

These are just some of the tiny house building companies out there. It is clear there is a wide range of scope and creativity when it comes to building these mini homes. But it is easy to understand why so many people have fallen in love with them.

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Hawaii community begins development

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Hawaii, Development, Off-grid, Solar, batteries, minigrid

Fancy being off-grid here?

Hawaii has always been one of thebest places in America for off-grid living and now Work has begun on a hgh-end, 410-home, off-grid housing development located on Hawaii’s Gold Coast. The Hawaiian entrepreneur behind the project, Brian Anderson, believes it is set to be the first off-grid community development of such magnitude. Anderson told Bizjournals, “When considering how to power our community, I felt it was our responsibility to create something that would benefit future generations through the use of clean and safe renewable energy”.

The Ainamalu project is located in Waikoloa consisting of 350 homes and 60 condos. The buildings will have solar roofs and be hooked up to Blue Planet Energy’s Blue Ion Battery storage systems. These batteries are ferrous phosphate and so don’t contain any rare minerals. This means there is an abundant and conflict free resource available to produce them. Coming with a 15 year performance warranty, the batteries have a 100% discharge capacity. Blue Planet Energy was set up by another Hawaiian entrepreneur Henk Rogers.

Perfect for Solar


Driest in Hawaii

One of the driest places in the state, Waikoloa has less than 11 inches of rain per year, plus being located close to the equator it is perfect for solar energy. The solar and battery storage will create a micro-grid for the community. In addition, there will be a large energy storage system. Therefore, the community will have energy security. If residents use more energy that what their home produces, then they can obtain more from this supply. This would be for a fee below the average utility price. The technology for the micro-grid is called “Hee” after the Hawaiian octopus. This is due to the system’s ability to handle the distribution of energy throughout the many arms of the community.

The homes will range in size from 1,625 to 2,800 square feet on a 15,000 square foot lot. Residents of the community will have access to a private beach club, including pool, water slide and concessions on food. The layout of the community will also mean parts of the project can be used for vacation rentals. Prices for the homes are set to start at $750,000.

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Ex-Tesla Exec mulls Europe’s Biggest Battery line

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Battery factory, gigafactory, Tesla, automotive, electric, renewables,

The revolution – battery factory coming to Europe

Swedish company NorthVolt, which was co-founded by an ex-Tesla executive, has outlined plans to build Europe’s largest battery factory. The project would rival Tesla’s Gigafactory which is based in the Nevada Desert. It would also enable European businesses to move away from Asian battery companies which currently dominate lithium ion battery manufacture for electric cars.

The facility will produce 8 gigawatt hours of batteries per year initially when manufacture begins in 2020. This will rise to 32 gigawatt hours when it is fully operational by 2023. Location is yet to be decided, but a shortlist of possible sites is set to be released in a month. The front runners so far are Sweden and Finland, which would enable the factory to run on renewable energy.

A solid business plan

To meet emission reduction targets set by the Paris Climate Agreement, vehicle efficiency needs to double in the next 5 years. Manufacturers are therefore, turning to battery powered versions of their cars – Volkswagen plans to have 30 different electric car models by 2025. Electrification and battery storage is the key to becoming a zero-carbon economy. Batteries help to plug the gaps from intermittent renewables like solar and wind. Paolo Cerruti, the chief operating officer and another former Tesla executive stated, “The project resonates commercially, since the demand from automotive and energy storage sectors will be huge.”

But co-founder Peter Carlsson sees openings in energy storage and heavy industry too – not just automotive. He said, “We have a solid business plan in place that enables us to produce high quality batteries at an affordable cost.” He aims to supply local manufacturers rather than his previous employer Tesla. If nothing was done, then Europe would be “completely dependent on an Asian supply chain” he told the Financial Times. This is what he hopes to prevent with the gigafactory project which is planned to begin construction in late 2018.

The project needs a €4 billion investment to come to fruition. Currently funding agreements are in place with Stena, Vattenfall, InnoEnergy, the Swedish Energy Agency and Vinnova. Plus, NorthVolt will be applying for a loan from the European Investment Bank. However, Carlsson admits that raising the required funds whilst still maintaining a meaningful stake will be a challenge. But he is clear on one thing, “it is hugely important to accelerate society away from its fossil fuel addiction”.

The post Ex-Tesla Exec mulls Europe’s Biggest Battery line appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

UNESCO Credits SOIL Course

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Off-Grid, Course, Permaculture, Eco-friendly, ecovillage, Earthaven

The Permaculture & Ecovillage Immersion experience has been recently accredited by UNESCO

Last month I outlined the Permaculture course available at the School of Integrated Living (SOIL) in the ecovillage Earthaven (see here).

Recently, this program has been certified by Gaia Education, a provider of sustainability education across the world. The Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) credential will be provided through the Permaculture Immersion program running between Jun 10 and August 11 2017 at Earthaven ecovillage in North Carolina. The program provides students with both the knowledge and practical skills needed to design a society which reaches sustainable development principles supported by the UNESCO Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development.

The program has four main dimensions which are covered. The social element involves working towards a common vision, improving communication skills and the ability to deal with conflict and diversity within a society. The economic element includes assessing the impact of the global economy on local projects and coming up with ethical economic opportunities within projects. The ecological aspect is learning about permaculture principles, as well as designing water systems for projects and learning how to apply green building principles. Finally, the worldview aspect is about maintaining a healthy lifestyle whilst incorporating regular spiritual practice.

SOIL co-founder, Lee Walker Warren, said, “The program helps passionate people understand their impact on society and forge real connections with themselves and others. People who are deeply engaged in their local and global communities make the biggest impact, both on other individuals and the planet.”

Over 4,900 students have taken part in the Ecovillage Design Education program across the world, supported by Gaia. There are various locations where these programs take place including Estonia, Italy, Canada, Chile, South Korea, Thailand, India, Scotland, Switzerland, Japan and the Netherlands. However, SOIL is only one of two organisations in the US which offer the UNESCO recognised EDE course.

On completion of the course at Earthaven, both an EDE certificate and a Permaculture Design certificate will be awarded.

There is currently a $100 discount when booking through the SOIL website for the Permaculture Immersion program by using the promotional code: SOILPEI100.

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Things You Can Do To Be More Self-Sufficient

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Things You Can Do To Be More Self-Sufficient

We are now three to five generations removed from the rural life that helped make America great. We have migrated to big cities and left our self-sustained lives behind. These mega-cities have caused our general well-being to decline, with suicide rates increasing across the world. Crowded conditions and economic problems have led to rampant crime, pollution, and a dog-eat-dog mentality.

You will find that most of these tips will save you money and some will even save you time.  The closer you get to true self-sufficiency you will save more and more money. Many find that the money saved alows them to cut down on overtime or even quit work altogether, allowing them to truely be free from the system and to become a homesteader. Saving money comes hand in hand with self-sufficiency and homesteading. Your labor is much cheaper than someone else’s and the money you save from gas and utility bills will go a long way towards paying down debts or buying more equipment for your homestead.

Here’s a list of 52 things you can do to become more self-sufficient. You would be one busy beaver, but you could even try doing one a week and in a year you will be closer to self-sufficiency than you ever thought possible. I recommend you learn the basics of your current project before moving on to the next.

  1. Plant your own vegetable garden.
  2. Change your own oil on your car or truck.
  3. Cut your own firewood.
  4. Collect and use rain water instead of municiple or well water.
  5. Supplement your house’s heating system with solar heating panels.
  6. Supplement your hot water needs with a solar water heater.
  7. Mulch your garden with local organic mulch instead of store bought products.
  8. Raise your own rabbits with worm beds underneath.
  9. Use home-made compost and free manure to enrich your garden’s soil.
  10. Grow non-hybrid vegetables and save the seeds for next year’s planting.
  11. Grow potatoes and save the fingerlings for next years planting.
  12. Use biointensive gardening techniques to grow lots of vegetables in small places.
  13. Build a greenhouse to extend your growing season.
  14. Build a root cellar (above or below ground) to store your harvest.
  15. Start a small orchard for a variety of fruits.
  16. Learn how to preserve food by canning.
  17. Raise bees to help pollination and for honey.
  18. Raise chickens for meat and eggs.
  19. Raise sheep for wool and meat.
  20. Raise goats or a dairy cow for dairy products.
  21. Preserve vegetables by sun drying them.
  22. Spin wool into yarn for making clothes.
  23. Make your own furniture out of tree branches.
  24. Preserve vegetables by freezing them.
  25. Grow herbs for cooking and medicinal purposes.
  26. Use edible wild plants to supplement one’s diet (Find a guide for your area first!).
  27. Use containers to grow vegetables in small places.
  28. Use chicken manure (composted) to help fertilize your garden.
  29. Use, use and reuse as much as possible before throwing away.
  30. Conserve electricity whenever possible.
  31. Tune-up your own car or truck.
  32. Sharpen your own tools.
  33. Build your own home or shed.
  34. Grow grapes for preserves or raisins or make your own wine.
  35. Build a pond and raise fish for food.
  36. Use solar and wind power to supplement your energy needs.
  37. Learn how to use a welder.
  38. Use clothes lines to dry clothes instead of a mechanical dryer.
  39. Grow grains to feed your own livestock.
  40. Grow alfalfa to return nitrogen to the soil.
  41. Use a generator for emergency and supplemental power.
  42. Dig or drive your own well.
  43. Bake your own bread.
  44. Do your own plumbing.
  45. Do your own electrical work.
  46. Run a small business from your home.
  47. Barter goods and services with your neighbors.
  48. Use a push mower instead of a gas or electric mower, or let the goats handle it.
  49. Use a bicycle (whenever possible) instead of a motorized vehicle.
  50. Make vegetables a large part of your diet.
  51. Make your own syrup from Maple trees as a sugar substitute.
  52. Supplement your diet by hunting game.

Source : besurvival.com

 

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9 Food Projects That Could Make You 100 Percent Self-Sufficient

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9 Food Projects That Could Make You 100 Percent Self-Sufficient

Image source: Pixabay.com

Are you ready to feed your family?  If you want to reduce your dependency on the commercial food supply, you better start now. Establishing crops, building infrastructure, raising animals, and working out the kinks takes time, and you may have a few less successful years before you can really eat off the grid.

Assuming you have a house on cleared land, with at least one usable outbuilding already constructed, you will be able to focus on growing food. With long working days, attention to seasonal change and weather, efficient work practices, and regular routines, two adults can work the land for food within a few years.

Here’s nine foods that can make you 100 percent self-sufficient. Keep in mind that crops like lettuce – which is easy to grow and doesn’t store very long – aren’t on the list.

Protein

1. Beans. Reliable and easy to grow, beans are a nutritional staple for the homesteading family. Prepare the soil early, and plan on 2-3 months of growing before harvest.

9 Food Projects That Could Make You 100 Percent Self-Sufficient

Image source: Pixabay.com

2. Poultry. If starting with chicks, expect 2-3 years of successful rearing, selection, brooding and culling before you will have your flock established. In the meantime, you will collect eggs and eat birds you choose not to keep in the flock. Start with 10-12 chicks, and plan for them to be around 3-4 months old before butchering.

Just 30 Grams Of This Survival Superfood Provides More Nutrition Than An Entire Meal!

3. Rabbits. Rabbits are quick producers of meat for your family. It is not unreasonable to expect 20 or more rabbits per year from a single breeding pair. Allow for 1-2 years for your rabbits to become established. Select for breeding performance, health and size, and introduce new genetics regularly.

Grains

4. Corn. This is a prolific grain crop needing much nutrition from the soil and up to four months of heat for production. In your first year of growing corn, it is not unusual to have a lot of losses due to weather, pests or soil issues. However, once you have worked out the issues, corn can be an important staple grain. Plan on about two years of learning before cultivating a substantial harvest.

5. Wheat. One of the most common grains in the American diet, wheat is reasonably easy to grow but hard to harvest. Wheat is ready after around two months of hot weather. When planning to start wheat, figure in threshing and grinding time.

Fruits & Vegetables

6. Winter Squash. Grow winter squash to supply your family with important vitamins and to provide you with an easy keeper crop. Winter squash takes up to four months to mature, but you should be able to get a good yield in your first year with appropriate pest management and watering.

7. Apples. Although apples can be extremely useful, you need to plan on 6-10 years with your trees before they will bear fruit. Your patience will pay off, however, and planting apple trees is well worth the wait.

Need Non-GMO Seeds? The Best Deals Are Right Here …

9 Food Projects That Could Make You 100 Percent Self-Sufficient

Image source: Pixabay.com

8. Potatoes. Potatoes are easy to start, and you can expect a good yield in your first year of growing them. Short-season varieties will grow in as little as two months, but longer-season varieties can take three months or more.

Extras

9. Honey. While not strictly necessary, honey is a fantastic sweetener on the homestead and comes with lots of nutritional benefit. However, bees take a while to get production ramped up. Your first-year harvest will be very small, but in the second year you can harvest up to 30 pounds of surplus honey from one hive (leaving the bees something to eat over the winter).

What would you add to our list? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Harness The Power Of Nature’s Most Remarkable Healer: Vinegar

12 Ways To Be More Self Sufficient Without Having a Homestead

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12 Ways To Be More Self-Sufficient Without Having a Homestead There are many things you can do even on a small piece of land. It doesn’t take 20 acres to be more self-sufficient. Most can be done with minimal effort and offer long term benefits. Start today.. I did it and now I am loving …

Continue reading »

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Best Beats Unplugged

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Music, Festival, Off Grid

It is not often that large events can call themselves self sustaining. But two upcoming music festivals on two entirely different continents are bucking the trend and doing just that – going off grid.

Introducing Off The Grid Melbourne Festival in OZ and Camphill Village Music Festival in South Africa. Two very different but self-sustaining events. Off The Grid Melbourne is taking place on 21/12/16 at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Arts in Melbourne and Camphill Village Music Festival on 25/02/17 at Camphill Village near Cape Town. This will be the third music festival for both events, which have been getting bigger and better each year.

The Melbourne festival will be powered entirely through solar energy. Panels will be connected to a battery bank, which is rigged up to the sound system. This ten hour event will have music, food and plenty of dancing, with not a single piece of waste going to landfill. The company behind this festival, Finding Infinity, aim to make Melbourne a completely sustainable city – one renewable event at a time. Artists playing at this event include home-grown Australian Andras Fox and the eclectic, high energy No Zu.

The Camphill Village Music festival is a slightly different affair, but no less energetic. This festival helps to raise funds for Camphill Village, a community home to 90 intellectually disabled adults who aim to live self-sustaining lives. The farm includes a dairy, bakery and cosmetics shop, whose products are sold in the Cape Town area. Partnering up with Rays of Hope helped Camphill take the first steps towards living with no reliance on the grid. The dairy is now entirely solar powered, taking the community one step further to complete self-reliance. The festival will bring the whole community together and create a great atmosphere, with the sounds of Rockers Bootleggers, Albert Frost and the soulful Majozi keeping everyone dancing long into the night. Being located approximately 40km from Cape Town, there is the option to camp overnight – so the party really can go on all night long.

 

Both events are set to be real showstoppers, proving that you don’t need to be on the grid to have a good night out.

 

More information for both events can be found here:

Off The Grid Melbourne               –              http://www.offthegrid.global/

Off The Grid Camphill Village      –              http://www.camphill.org.za/camphill-village-music-festival

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Bushcraft and Primitive Skills With Joshua Kirk

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Bushcraft and Primitive Skills Discussion With Joshua Kirk Richard McGrath “Finding Freedom” Audio in player below! Join Rich in player below as he talks about Bushcraft, primitive skills, and survival. Special guest is Joshua “Native” Kirk from the 4 Winds Survival School. From the young age of six Joshua was hunting game, setting traps, tanning … Continue reading Bushcraft and Primitive Skills With Joshua Kirk

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Environ-Home: Live Life Alongside the Environment With These Awesome Hacks

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homestead-780767_1920

Image Source: Pixabay.com

By The Survival Place Blog

Making your home more environmentally friendly is important. You need to live a greener life alongside the environment. Becoming more self-sufficient is a wonderful way of making sure you improve survival skills and help care for the planet too.

solar-panel-array-1591358_1280

Solar Energy

We are moving towards a greener and more eco-friendly world, and this is a good thing. But we still have a way to go yet. So you need to do as much as you can to make sure you are as energy-efficient as possible. In recent years we’ve seen the likes of Chile’s Renewable Energy Conference show the importance of greener living. It doesn’t matter if you’re a business or an individual, renewable energy is the future for all of us, so we need to understand that and prepare for it.

vegetables-790022_1920

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Grow Your Own Food

One of the key things you can do to have a greener life is to start growing your own food. And you’ll notice that more and more people are doing that these days. You don’t even need an allotment to do it. You can convert areas of your garden into a vegetable patch, etc. Growing your own food is a wonderful way to enjoy the freshest produce and save yourself some money in the process. It also allows you to learn the skills of planting and growing and feeding yourself naturally.

belgian-horses-1214507_1280

Image Source: Pixabay

Limited Technology

Technology is so prevalent in life these days that many people have forgotten how to do things without it. There are a lot of things we take for granted these days because we have technology to do it all for us. So, to enjoy a more natural life, you need to make sure you limit your technology usage. This doesn’t mean you have to go all out Amish. But, you should try to cut down on the amount you use, and, where possible, refrain from using technology. This will give you a greater appreciation of the outside world and how wonderful nature can be sometimes.

agriculture-1646560_1920

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Learn to Live off the Land

It’s important to learn valuable survival skills wherever you can, and that means living off the land. You can take weekend or week-long excursions to learn how to do this. You can also move to somewhere more remote so you can make full use of the natural resources that are around. Our ancestors used to live off the land all the time, and we have lost our way somewhat. If you can learn to do this, then you will have picked up some of the most valuable survival skills. It means that if anything were to go awry, and you had to survive in the wilderness, you’d be fine.

Having a more simple and stripped back existence is crucial for helping you live life alongside the environment. You want to try to turn your home into an eco-home and learn to live alongside nature a bit more. We get so caught up with technology these days that we wouldn’t survive without it. At least you’ll be okay if the apocalypse should hit!

This article was first seen at The Survival Place Blog: Environ-Home: Live Life Alongside the Environment With These Awesome Hacks

Filed under: How To Prepare, Prepping

To Be A Survivor You Need To Be Self-Sufficient

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solar-panel-array-1591358_1280

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By The Survival Place Blog

So, what does it take to survive a disaster? It takes a lot to survive a disaster, but there are two crucial things that significantly improve your chances of survival. These are having an action plan and being self-sufficient. The action plan is important because, in an emergency situation, you don’t have time to mess around, you need to know what you’re going to do and do it. Being self-sufficient is important because often, disasters mean that local services aren’t accessible. So, for instance, your local supermarket may be shut for months.

Of these two crucial things, today we’re going to focus on self-sufficiency. And how you can ensure that you and your family are as self-sufficient as possible. So that, no matter what happens, you have what you need to survive.

Build a well

Instead of getting your water from a local water supplier, build a well in your yard. By doing this, you give yourself free water for life and don’t have to worry about the quality of the water that your local water company is supplying. Plus, all your water will be free. Having a well means that should a disaster impact your local water company, you wouldn’t need to worry.

Invest in solar panels

If a disaster of some sort were to occur, there’s a high chance that the power would be cut off at some point. For this reason, investing in solar panels for your home is a must. Solar panels make you fully self-sufficient when it comes to energy. This means that no matter what happens, as long as there is sunlight, your home would have power. Obviously, it’s still important to be prepared in case, for some reason, power was lost. But the chances of that happening are much lower if you are self-sufficient and use solar power.

Have a supply of tools on hand

To ensure that should any part of your home break down, you can fix it; it’s important to have a supply of tools on hand. Invest in quality tools, such as a Mitler saw from StraightKerfs, to ensure that you have what you need to deal with any problem. If you’re going to be self-sufficient, you need to be able to mend any areas of your home that breakdown, so having the tools on hand to do so is important. It’s also a good idea to have access to the blueprints to your home, so that you are aware of where the supporting areas are.

Ensure you have access to food

Often, in disasters, there’s a shortage of food. So it pays to ensure that you and your family will always have access to enough food. This means taking the time to grow your own produce, and also, ensuring that you have food with a long shelf life stored in your home. While you can buy tinned food for this, you can also opt to make your own food. Believe it or not, you can dehydrate or freeze dry food yourself, to store in your home for emergencies.

In an emergency situation, the truth is it’s every person for themselves. That’s why you need to ensure that should an emergency arise, that you are prepared and able to survive with what you have.

This article first appeared at The Survival Place Blog: To Be A Survivor You Need To Be Self-Sufficient

Filed under: Prepping

Couple build dream home using recycled materials for only £27,000

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Simon and his wife Jasemine built their dream home for only £27,000

Simon and wife Jasemine built dream home for only £27,000

 

Last week, a couple who dreamt of building their own eco family home and living off the land with their children appeared on the British TV show, Grand Designs. With only £500 in the bank, they started the project and didn’t give up.

Simon and Jasemine Dale later managed to save £27,000 after taking a few years out and working. Jasemine ran horticultural courses and sol produce whilst Simon did occasional consultancy work on low impact buildings. They did end up building the three-bedroom home for themselves and their children Elfie and Cosmo, in the sustainable Lammas community Pembrokeshire, UK. In order to move into the community, they first had to prove they could fulfill a strict planning condition and that they could be self-sufficient on their seven-acre plot – or be forced to move out.

 

Their house was built on a sustained plot of land and they had to prove they were able to live self-sufficiently on it

Their house was built on a sustained plot of land and they had to prove they were able to live self-sufficiently on it

They proved that they could though as well as proving that you can build your dream home with recycled materials for a fraction of the cost. Presenter of the Show, Kevin McCloud described it as “the cheapest house ever built in the Western Hemisphere”.

 

The floors were made of rammed earth, which was polished and hardened with linseed oil and structure of the home was made from timber polls, all grown, felled, prepared and sawn by Simon. But don’t feel sorry for him, he loved every minute of it. He told the show that:

 

“It’s been hard and I wasn’t asking for an easy life. I like a challenge. To put in a hard day’s graft and be tired at the end of the day. That exhaustion is a nice feeling.”

 

At the front of the house, they decided to install a greenhouse to preheat air for the house and grown food.

Their daughter, Elfies room. The structure was made by Simon

Their daughter, Elfies room. The structure was made by Simon

The couple used sheep wool and grass as insulation in the walls and the roof, reclaimed glass for the windows and kitchen fixtures and appliances from car boot sales and eBay.

 

 

The Dale’s have proved that a green lifestyle and living off the land can be cheap and still comfortable with their beautiful eco home.

 

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Off Grid Self-Sufficient Home Inside a Mountain

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Off Grid Self-Sufficient Home Inside a Mountain I came across this amazing self-sufficient property in Utah that shows you really cool ideas when it comes to living off the grid. Try building your home in a mountain! This is a 2100 square foot, 3 bedroom home that was literally built inside the cliffs of Montezuma …

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Auroville, the Utopia next door

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Utopia: Auroville, South India

Crowded: commune living, South India

 

Imagine a place free from politics, religion and money. People from every background, of all ages, living in unity and self-sufficiency. The food that you all eat you grew together from scratch on organic farms. Utopia?

Auroville.

A small universal township, located in south India – on the border of Tamil Nadu state. The concept was birthed from an idea of a township devoted to an experiment in human unity in the 1930s.

It gets better- you can visit it. Yes, this isn’t just a place people may hear whispers about but never actually get to see — you can travel there quite easily, let us show you how.

It was set up officially on the 28th February 1968. 5,000 new occupants assembled at the centre of the township for a ceremony. They brought with them soil from their individual homelands to be mixed in with the new soil of Auroville and there is an urn in the middle containing all the mixed samples of Earth. It is said that the purpose of Auroville is “to realise human unity.”

Behold, the Soul Of The City

Behold, the Soul Of The City

There is the most beautiful Peace Area located in the middle of the town called the ‘Soul Of The City’ or the Matrimandir at the centre of the township. It helps to create an “atmosphere of calm and serenity” and serves as a groundwater recharge area. Many gather here at sundown.

 

The population is now 2,400 but it can hold up to 50,000 people. The inhabitants live sustained lives side by side in harmony, without money and politics (even though it is backed by the Govt. of India). It is self-sufficient with over 160 hectares of organic farms, cornfields and orchards. The city area was actually built with a radius of a 1.25km ‘Green Belt’ comprised of forests, dairies, wildlife areas. All of which provide habitats for wildlife and serve as sources of food, timber, medicine and so on.

 

They have stated on their website that they have planned a further extension of their Green Belt to transform ‘wasteland into a vibrant eco-system’. They say they are working towards adding an impressive 800 more hectares. Find out more on their website.

One of the many farms that feed the population in Auroville

One of the many farms in Auroville

The nearest international and domestic airport is Chennai International Airport. If you are already in India and would prefer travelling leisurely by rail, Chennai Central Railway Station connects to all the major cities in India with its reliable express trains such as Tamil Nadu
Express and Rajdhani Express (fully air-conditioned).

 

You can watch someone’s personal experience of entering Auroville as the track how exactly they got there via a travel vlog they uploaded on YouTube. If you have liked what you’ve read, you can support the cause and donate to Auroville here.

It was backed by the Indian Government in 1960 and taken to the General Assembly of UNESCO. Six years later UNESCO passed a unanimous resolution “commending it as a project of importance to the future of humanity, thereby giving their full encouragement.” You can read the full statement of support here.

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Reflections in Prepping

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Reflections in Prepping Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps” Tonight’s episode has no general topic other than a reflection on my past prepping and prepping as whole in the future. I will just generalize what all I have experienced, what I have learned, and what I have planned for the future. I have found my lifestyle … Continue reading Reflections in Prepping

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6 Reasons To Start Homesteading This Year (No. 3 Could Save America — If Everyone Did It)

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6 Reasons To Start Homesteading This Year (No. 3 Could Save America -- If Everyone Did It)

Image source: Flickr

 

Are you thinking of starting a homestead? Does the thought of growing food, tending animals and living independently sound attractive to you? If so, then you are not alone, as each year thousands of Americans discover the joy of the self-sufficient life.

But if you are on the fence, here are six reasons why you may want to get going on your homesteading plans:

1. You want to provide food for your family.

Many people who start a homestead do so because they are sick of being reliant on their local grocery store for food. Food prices are skyrocketing, quality is diminishing, and you never know exactly where your food is coming from. When you start your homestead, you will raise the majority of your own food, ensuring it is healthy and nutritious. Also, once your homestead is up and running, you can build a stockpile of healthy food for times of need.

2. You want to simplify your life.

Living in an urban area can be tough: The hustle and bustle of daily life, the fast food and the reliance on technology all eat away at your mental and physical health. If your desire is for fresh air and a good hard day’s work outside, then it may be time to begin your homestead.

Get Free Backup Electricity — That Works Even During Blackouts!

People who have left their city ways and embraced all homesteading has to offer report feeling and looking better almost immediately. Their stress level drops, they sleep better, they eat better and they have an overall awareness for the world around them that they have never had before. This promotes a great sense of overall well-being.

3. You want your family to be close.

Modern living has shot a bullet through family life. We are so busy with social distractions, work, sports, school, etc., that we have forgotten what it looks like to be a real family. Few families share a meal together even once a week. The family table has become nothing short of a gathering place for mail and other junk — or a place to do homework. If your desire is to gather your flock together and promote teamwork and unity, nothing will do it faster than starting a homestead. That’s because running a homestead efficiently takes teamwork, and lots of it. Your children will learn the true value of physical labor, and you can enjoy shared meals that you have grown yourself and with less access to the hectic life of the past. You will learn again to have fun together as a family.

4. You want to learn new skills.

6 Reasons To Start Homesteading This Year (No. 3 Could Save America -- If Everyone Did It)

Image source: Pixabay.com

Homesteading requires that you learn new skills, and, of course, you need to learn skills to be independent and keep your homestead thriving. There is no better feeling than to be able to manage your own life and property without needing assistance. Learning new skills improves your confidence and also allows you to be a blessing to others in need.

5. You want to be self-sufficient.

Whether you move off grid or even partially off the grid, you will be more self-sufficient than about 90 percent of the population. Think about it: Most people rely daily on everything from the power company to the water company to the grocery store.

Plant A Full Acre Of Food With This Emergency Seed Bank!

Reducing your independence on these services is the first step to becoming self-sufficient. Homesteading offers the chance to live independently, and this provides a strong sense of security.

6. You want to save money.

For many people, the initial cost of starting a homestead and going off grid can be scary. But over time, you will save money. Becoming less dependent on others by raising your own food, learning new skills, utilizing alternative energy sources, etc., will result in substantial cost savings. Take the time to compare your current budget with a proposed budget about one year into your homestead. You will see, pretty quickly, that you can save quite a bit of money.

Of course, homesteading is not for everyone. Always take the time to do your research before purchasing a property and starting a homestead. If you do decide it is for you, then you will need to do even more research to determine things like location and property size. This will help ensure that your journey into homesteading is a rewarding one.

What would you add to this list? Share your additions in the section below:

Learn How To ‘Live Off The Land’ With Just Your Gun. Read More Here.

Self-Sufficiency Master? Five Ways to Help Others Get Prepping

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If you have mastered the elements of prepping for a natural disaster, you might have others who have not yet educated themselves. Prep work for the day of disaster ensures that you will live better when trouble arises. What are some of the ways that you can help others to prepare for a disaster?

Educate Them

No matter how little money you might have, having a vast store of knowledge can help you to be rich and useful to your friends and family. Knowing the basics of the Heimlich Maneuver gives greater safety to your friends and family. Education can go a long way in your future survival efforts, and teaching others can be a great method of teaching yourself. Some of the useful skills for prepping include:

Human Anatomy

Paramedic Skills

Solar Energy Guides

Homesteading

Composting

Tell Them to Stockpile

To stockpile, you can buy the cheaper items that will last. For example, buy an extra bag of rice or dried beans. You can also buy powdered milk, oats or legumes. For just a couple extra bucks, you can start a stockpile that builds up slowly. However, make sure that they have bought products that will last over the long term. You can prepare for this in the wrong way if you are hoarding everything but the essential items.

You may also want to consider the benefits of sanitary inline strainers because they can remove harmful particles from your water. The easy to clean strainer will also increase your production, whether you need it for beverages, pharmaceutical applications, or food.

Water

Hands down, one of the most important things to tell your friends and family is to stockpile some water. You cannot survive more than a few days without it, and a water storage unit ensures that if you do not have running water, you will still have a viable backup. This can even be helpful if a main water line breaks.

Self Defense

True self-sufficiency in the time of disaster means having a weapon that will defend you. You can help others to practice assembling and disassembling a gun. Teaching others about gun safety and issues regarding guns can be exceptionally helpful.

Finally, teach others to keep it simple and thrifty so that it will be sustainable. A good prep plan should be simple enough to understand so that other people will have no problem with continuing to carry it out. Another method of helping others is to teach them survivalist techniques and topics such as bush craft.

Written by Rachelle Wilber

DIY Milk Jug Seed Starters

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This is a great way to make a low cost, actually free,  cold frame for your  outdoor seeds that winter outside or to do seed starting inside for starting seeds indoors for the spring. We are doing this one. Getting our seeds started very soon indoors so they will be ready for planting outdoors. Or planting indoors in 5 gallon buckets. I have a few items that I want to do indoors. Will be easier for when we get our land to be able to take the plants with us.

But this simple and free milk jug seed starter is a great way to start…

Survival Seeds
  • Cut a gallon milk jug in half horizontally. Leave one edge intact so that it will act like a hinge. 
  • You can throw away the cap. But, my creative son is wanting to save them to somehow make an outdoor “rug” with. Have them bottom up so that you can use it to scrape mud off shoes.
  • Punch several drainage holes into the bottom of the jug.
  • Fill the bottom with a few inches of potting soil.
  • Moisten it well and plant the seeds.
  • Close the top cover and secure with some duct tape.
  • Place the jug inside a clear plastic bag and twist tie closed. Since it is in a clear plastic bag it is like its own greenhouse.
  • Place in a sunny spot outside out of the way , so it will not be bothered or have to be moved.
  • Before transplanting , harden off the seedlings by taking the jug out of the bag and propping it open.

This is a frugal way to start your own garden or to garden indoors. Easy and fun to watch them grow.

Take Advantage Of The Sun & Nature

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It isn’t difficult to utilize the sun to help with easing the cost of your power usage. It will help by using the natural heat and light. You will use less power and be more sufficient. This will save your family money in the long run.

  • Orient you buildings to take advantage of the sun and to protect your home from the cold winter winds. You can plant a living “fence” to help with this if you have to. Plant a row of evergreen trees to keep the cold wind away.
  • Be sure to have as much insulation in your home as possible. This will also help in the summer by keeping the heat out and in the winter will hold the heat in.
  • Think about adding a sunroom to your home. You can vent the heat into the home during the winter and in the summer vent the heat outside.
  • Use the natural light during the day. In the winter open the curtains and let that natural light and heat into the house.
  • Think about adding brick to the outside of your home. This really helps with controlling the temperature. 
  • Use hanging plants and overhangs to cool the home in the summer. 
  • Plant your own food garden in your yard to save money on food costs. 
  • Have a rain barrel to catch water to use to water your garden and yard. My son also used our rain barrel to wash the cars. Great way to save money on water.

There are many ways to use nature to help you keep your utility bills low.

Real Goods Solar Living Sourcebook: Your Complete Guide to Living beyond the Grid with Renewable Energy Technologies and Sustainable Living

COMMENT BELOW WAYS THAT YOU HAVE USED NATURE TO REDUCE ENERGY COST……..

Off Grid Living

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Off Grid Living Box Set: 35 Tips on How to Survive Off The Grid Plus Prepper Survival Guide For Food Processing and Preservation, Food Storage And Water … the grid, food processing and preservation) was a free book for your kindle.A lot of great tips tips to have on hand for if you are ever off-grid or without power for any other reason.

Let The Sun Do The Cooking!

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Use the free heat of the sun to cook your food. It is easy and energy efficient. It saves on fuel cost and  in the summer helps to keep you cool by not having to heat up the house with your stove. With solar cooking it is cooked with lower temperatures that will not burn the food and makes it easy to just let it cook away without stirring or checking all of the time. Set it in the heat of the sun and come back after a few hours to a well- cooked meal.

A great idea is to set it up on a table that can spin so that you can make it follow the sun during the day. Makes it easy for us with bad backs, also. Don’t have to pick up the whole cooker, just spin the table the bit that it needs turned.You can easily cook all year long with a All Season Solar Cooker.  You can bake bread, cookies, and cakes in a solar cooker. The best thing to make , since it is set and cooking all day, is stews, beans, soups, and casseroles.

You can easily make one. The links below have plans for making them and recipes.

Having a solar cooker is great for kids , also. They can learn to use one easily and be cooking in one in no time. My son was 7 years old when he made one out of a pizza box. It worked pretty good. He baked cookies in it and did some hot dogs. It was fun for him and he learned a lot about the sun and how it works.
Get the whole family involved.

COMMENT BELOW WITH YOUR FAVORITE THING TO COOK IN A SOLAR COOKER>>>

Penny Pinching Prepper!

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Penny Pinching Prepper Show
Josh “The 7 P’s of Survival”

Penny Pinching PrepperThis Week on the 7 P’s of Survival Live Show we will have Bernie Carr from Appartmentprepper.com and the author of the new book “The Penny-Pinching Prepper!” We will discuss several preparedness related topics covered in her book including: water distillation and alternative water purification methods, stocking a prepper pantry on a budget, building a DIY rocket stove, Navigation tips and tricks, and diy soap making. Buy your copy of her book HERE! Be sure to come to chat and call in with your questions this week as we will be giving away a copy of Bernie’s book and also “Lights Out” by Ted Coppel!

Penny Pinching PrepperThis book offers dozens of affordable and easy-to-implement solutions, including how to stock a prepper pantry on $10 a week, build a stove from used tin cans, create a water filter with two free 5-gallon buckets, craft a lamp that burns inexpensive vegetable oil, devise a storm shelter using 10-cent trash bags and more. Packed with inexpensive DIY projects for keeping your family safe in any worst-case scenario, Carr’s smart and frugal approach shows how to stay on a stable financial footing while fully preparing for any life-threatening situation.

Bernie also highlights old-fashioned skills like cooking from scratch as a doubly beneficial way to save money and increase your self-reliance. No matter what your setting or your financial situation might be, you will find practical suggestions in this book. It neatly straddles the line between a frugality guide and a prepping book and would be a great gift to inspire someone who is new to the preparedness lifestyle.

About the author:
Penny Pinching PrepperBernie runs the popular website ApartmentPrepper.com, where she writes about family preparedness for the city dweller living in a home that is different from the usual prepper retreat. In her bio, she writes, “Many preparedness sites that I have read gave me good information but much of it is geared toward people who own their homes or have a retreat. While this is one of our goals towards which we are working, we are currently not there yet. So I needed to do something in order to feel more productive. There are some steps we can take now to become better prepared and self sufficient, while living in an apartment in a large city. I am writing this blog to help not only myself but others who are in the same situation and want to have more control.”
Penny Pinching Prepper Show

Join us for The 7 P’s of Survival “LIVE SHOW” every Tuesday 9:00/Et 8:00Ct 6:00/Pt Go To Listen and Chat

Listen to this broadcast or download “Penny Pinching Prepper” in player below!

Get the 24/7 app for your smart phone HERE!
Put the 24/7 player on your web site HERE! 
Listen to archived shows of all our hosts . Go to schedules tabs at top left of page!

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Survival Skills For Women

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Survival Skills For Women

Women FireStarter.grid-4x2A general perception about women is that they are weak and vulnerable and are not capable of handling tough situations as people think they react more easily than their male counterparts. It’s not just men who believe in this whole women being weak concept but most women sell themselves short when it comes to talking about their strength in the face of a disaster. Similarly, when talking about preppers or survival, women are kept out of the subject, probably because of the same belief. However, this shouldn’t be a norm that prepping or survival is only about men and women have nothing to do with it. Yes, women are vulnerable but they still are quite capable of providing for themselves and their loved ones in tough times. Women, in fact, are born preppers and survivalists as compared to men. If women could learn some particular set of skills then they can increase their chances of survival in a SHTF situation.

These survival skills should be at the fingertips of every woman (single or with a family and spouse).

  1. Be Observant:

If you’re new to prepping or survival then it’s best to start learning through observation. Even in an SHTF situation where you’re left with a group of people desperate to survive, you should learn to observe what the others are doing and without disclosing your own plans.

  1. Extra Cautious with a will to fight:

10-24-15 ngc-11796_861Even in normal circumstances you should be extremely vigilant about your own security. Although, this comes naturally when you’re a women but being a prepper makes you a bit more cautious about your surroundings. Unfortunately, for women, a SHTF situation does not necessarily have to be some sort of a catastrophic event like a natural disaster or a home invasion but sometimes an encounter with a drug addict, a rapist or even an extreme cat callers may require you to fight or use your survival skills.

Quicktip: For a pet, a dog is always better than a cat.

  1. Be Self-sufficient:

10-24-15 doomsday-prepper-woman-shootingWhile you may get to learn a lot about prepping through the internet or from social media communities but improvising your self-defense is what you need to learn practically. Sign up for martial arts or boxing classes in order to get better at protecting yourself. Learn to efficiently use a weapon or tool to be more equipped at self-defense.

10-24-15 Woman-Survivalist-2-661x441In a survival condition, you will need skills like gathering wood, hunting, or setting a makeshift
shelter; don’t even consider the possibility of your male prepper friend, doing this part. You should be comfortable of doing everything on your own because, you never know you might be the only one living. Most women are not very good at using tools or repairing things. Even in normal conditions, the fairer sex is not expected to know how to fix a broken tire.

Learn to use various types of survival gear and make sure you keep on updating your survival kit with all that is new.

  1. Talk like a pro:

Even if you’re fairly new to prepping, or don’t know a lot about something, don’t let others know about that. Talk with authority and don’t give others an impression that you’re not the weakest link, even if you live alone try sharing this information with a minimum number of people. In a teotwawki event, if you’ll make it too obvious that you are alone then you are inviting people to cause you harm.

  1. Make your home secure or hunker down:

10-24-15 bug-out-bags-for-women-1-360x193Even if you have the strongest locks, you should know how to seal your windows or fortify your home if your place gets attacked by intruders. Also, if there is a plague like situation, you should be prepared to hunker down. Have your supplies ready and in place so as to make the place as stay worthy as possible.

It’s important to survive, no matter what. Even if you are a women start prepping now and be your own savior. Size or appearance doesn’t matter as long as you are strong and prepared enough to stand hardships and defend yourself, if need be.

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