Tuesday, January 27, 2009

off-grid living questions...

As much as we live off grid, we are not trying to duplicate an “electric lifestyle”. By that I mean, we are conserving and living much more simple. If you would like to live off-grid but want to duplicate your same lifestyle doing it, you really have missed the point. We are not trying to live the life we once did. I really should have something in the title of this blog like “Living Simply Off-Grid at Eclectic Culture Farm”. Do you understand?

I want to open this section for questions here in the comments if you have anything you would like to ask about living off-grid, etc. (please have it pertain to off-grid living) I will answer the questions in this comment section and closing the comments Friday, January 30, 2009. I will not allow anonymous comments. If you have been a lurker (no anonymous comments allowed), please introduce yourself. Any derogatory comments will not be answered. Let's have some interesting dialogue. I am looking forward to it... The Gentle Giant will chime in as well...

Ang and the Gentle Giant

29 comments:

mima said...

Hey!!! My name is Debi and I'm enjoying your blog soooooo much!I found you thru Rhonda's amazing blog! Anyway! Is it possible to live off the grid in suburbia? We can't afford solar etc...but I do try to hang my laundry and use candles and very little electricity...I'm a newbie! But I do live in CA and could probably garden year round.Could you come over for a cup of tea and go over all I could do? LOL!!! Cyber cup of tea??? Thanks and hugs!

Amy said...

Hi! I sent an email yesterday but thought others might have the same question. In a few of the posts a battery pack is mentioned to operate the CPAP machine and other small electrical items. What type of battery pack is it?
I look forward to your posts and will enjoy the book as well :) Thanks for sharing your life with us.

Gregory said...

I love your blog!! When you say that you are not duplicating your same lifestyle, other than living off grid, what else have you done to simplify your life?
On a few occassions, we have lived without electricity for a week on certain vacations. I look back on those times as so peaceful and thought-provoking. What are you learning about yourselves?
Many blessings to you,
Amanda

Veronica said...

Hi. I'm Veronica and since I homeschool, I think I may have found your site through someone else who homeschools. I've actually been visiting for a little while now. I'm interested in how you have located some of your appliances. I love your washer and especially your cookstove. We have quite a large woodstove,which I like quite a bit.

Captain's Wife - Jennifer said...

Hi. :) Were you and the Gentle Giant ever not on the same page? I'd like to see TV leave our home as a start. I think it would have the largest immediate impact on our lives and relationships. My husband is against that. He'd do it if we had to, like if the "grid" was gone. But has little desire to make those choices.

Sarah Sanders said...

I so very much long to live the kind of life you're living right now. Maybe someday if God allows, we'll be doing what you are doing! I'm completely inspired my you.
My question is this: what kind of changes have you seen in your family dynamics since making your switch? How has it affected the relationships between your children? between you and your Gentle Giant? between you and your children?
Wishing you His greatest blessings,
Sarah

Jenni said...

I just found your blog and am enjoying it very much! I am sure to be back with lots of questions for you.

CW-Jennifer,
I am right there with you. I want very badly to toss the t.v. and am fighting a battle royal. I wish you good luck:)

Jenni

Peggy said...

Hi Ang!
I am so impressed with all you and your family are doing. I can't wait for the book! My question is about your ice. How long into the summer will it last? What will you use to keep milk, etc cold when its all used up? Are your summers hot and humid? If so how will you keep the house cool when you cook? Will you have a outdoor kitchen in the summer? Sorry I have so many questions. Take care of yourself. I know its getting harder to do so much as you get closer to your delivery date. Hugs my friend

Misti Aldrich said...

I guess my question would be regarding when you and your husband decided to go off-grid. I'm much more advanced in my desire, as I grew up on the "survival" mentality. My husband grew up in the Twin Cities in Minnesota, on tv and processed foods. He's come along ways and is interested in what I am, but doesn't seem to "get it" yet. Hopefully once we move to the country he will. Were your husband always on the same page? What brought you together to the "ah-ha" moment.

I've enjoyed your blogs so much and can not wait until you have a book that incorporates it all.

Warm Wishes,

Misti

EmilyK21 said...

Hi - my name is Emily. I haven't introduced myself yet because you have sooo many following you I didn't want to add any extra comments for you to wade through - but i'm not a lurker! :) I found you through my sister's blog: Regan Family Farm. I really enjoy reading your blog. Its awesome! If you aren't going to cover this in your book, it would be neat sometime if you wrote one for beginners! You know, going through the basics for people who are just getting started and/or are interested in this lifestyle. Where would they even start? Thanks so much!

Kathy said...

Well, my question is how you manage without indoor plumbing. While I think I could live without electricity if I had suitable substitutes for heat, cooking, etc., I think living without indoor plumbing would be very difficult.

How do you manage to get everyone bathed in your large family? And what about hand-washing - do you have hot water available somehow?
Thanks for sharing!

connibrett said...

Hi! It's Conni from the west side of the state. I have a few questions. . .
1. How much of your own food do you grow, preserve, grind, etc.?
2. Do you plan to have indoor plumbing/baths at some point? and can you have an indoor toilet 'off grid?"
3. How often do you go to the 'grocery' store?
4. Have you seen this way of life make a difference in your household spending or are you just spending $ on different kinds of things?
I may think of more questions . . .
I agree with your 'dear Amish friend" this has been a bitter winter, if you can make it through and be pregnant, I think you have what it takes!

tiffibug said...

Hi there. I am sooooo enjoying your blog so very much. My name is Tiffani.

My question is this: How much adjusting have you had to do in order to cook on your wood stove? I learned how to cook on one as a child, but haven't used one since then.

Lisa said...

Hello Ang...my name is Lisa and I have posted a few comments and an email over the past couple of weeks. My hd and I are enthralled but what you and your family are doing. Although I can't wait to hear the answers to all of the previous questions...I guess my biggest questions have to do with the children as I have 3 and they do love there TV and video games...I am trying to limit these to a minimum each day and wanted to know how your kids adjust. Another question is....I get so over loaded with laundry...how do you keep up, it has to take more time and make the work so much harder...I am so impressed. What about sewing, I read the blog about using the rotary/treadle mashine...do you sew and do you do it by hand or use a machine? I am sure there is more that I could ask but I don't want to slow down your answering process. I too would love to share a cup of coffee with you sometime and just swap ideas and stories. Thanks so much for sharing all of your families daily life with us out in cyber world!

Renata said...

Hi Ang
I do have one question - do you think your day is busier now living off-grid or is it just a different list of jobs? I think you're doing an amazing job & love reading your blog!

gail said...

My question would be. What do you do after your evening meal at night when most families are sitting around the TV. Do you read, play games, do hobbies?
We lived for 6 years happily without TV until we where given iTV for a computer by a well meaning relative and I am so sorry we have it. My husband just sits in front of it and I am usually in my sewing room. When we didn't have TV we spent our evenings more productively with a lot more conversation.It's addictive and I really don't like it.

Blessings Gail

Ryan said...

Hi Ang,

It is great to read what is going on. Surprised your kids don't have more to say. I do have a question... is your use of gas for the water and laundry actually raising your 'carbon footprint' over using some electricity for the same?

Ryan

cathy c. said...

Hi, I found your blog via Rhonda's down--to--earth. Thank you for sharing! My question to both of you is: did you grow up in "normal" suburbia... or rural? Did you have what we would call an average upbringing? you know, tv, movies, parties etc. Did your parents live simply? Was it a choice?

Thanks! cathy c.

suezoos1 said...

Found you via Down to Earth. Just finished reading everything from Oct. Had to see how everything was going from Day 1..I will be checking back every day now. I so admire you and your wonderful family. I do manage to heat my house with wood and have done so for the last 25 years..nothing beats coming in from the cold and backing up (a southern tradition) to the stove to thaw out..of course here in NC we don't have your kind of cold. Blessings to you..Sue

Brenna said...

Hi! One day I googled amish/michigan and I came across your blog and I love it! I live here in GR and buy my meat & cheese from Grassfields.

My question for you is, "What has been the hardest thing to go without?"

Thanks and stay warm! Brenna

Michelle said...

Hi! I really want to thank you for sharing your "adventure" through you blog and for opening up this Q&A. I have so many questions. So I'll limit myself to two and I'll wait for the book:) Do you use a generator or other power source for some small things like a grain mill or a mixer, or do you do this by hand? The other thing I wanted to know is did you buy your off grid items slowly prior to buying your home or did you jump in with both feet to your new lifestyle with nothing and just bought things as you needed them? Thank you so much. You are living my dream, so I'll be tuning in to see what new adventures you have. Blessings!

Cathy-Dalton-Garrett said...

Hey!
My name is Cathy and I have been following your families adventure since your move to your farm. I found you through a dear friend's blog "Farmhouse Blessings". After living in Ashland Ohio for a few years, I admire the Amish and their values. We have a small farm in West Tennessee and raise our own chickens for meat and eggs and goats for milk. I was raised on farm in South Georgia and married a man from New York.. This is definitely a culture shock for him. My desire is to see our family follow in the simple ways of the Amish and keep with our faith as strong as the Amish keep with theirs. My question is a How to question. "How do you can your deer meat?" We have 2 deer in my freezer but I want to can the next ones we get. Prayers to you and yours....Cathy

Sherry in MI said...

Hi Angie ~ I'm not too tech savvy, but after reading all these comments I think maybe you just need a weekly webcast (or whatever it's called) where we call in or email our questions and you answer them "live." What do you think?!

lilymarlene said...

I'd love to know how you power your computer...... I read here daily (since Rhondda mentioned your blog) and always wonder this.....

Amy said...

Hi! I am so thrilled to have found your blog. I found it through someone elses links, but I don't remember whose since I read so many.

Anyway...my question is: What steps to you recommend to a family to prepare for a transition from regular on grid living to living off grid? I would love for our family to make the change someday when we finally have our farm, but would like to know what steps to take starting now to prepare.
Thanks!

Nadine said...

Hi, I am pretty sure I introduced myself but will again. My name is Nadine and live in Alberta, Canada. I found your blog through Rhonda's.
Debi poses a great question ..is it possible to live off grid in the city?
What about water source?. my husband and I have talked about the weird idea of this last year( not weird to us)...we really don't want to live in the city and still dream of a homestead but if it is not God's will...could we not live off grid in the city?..we are not even allowed chickens..never mind drill a well...
How could one even venture into the possibility of doing off grid in the cities?
Wouldn't it be interesting to accomplish? Has it been done in Canada? I think it has been done in the state already?
Food for thought...
I would be up for that cup of cyber tea too Debi!..lol!

Blessings
Nadine in Canada
ps..love your blog!

The Knop's said...

Hi Angie! We've been reading your blog since we bought King Phillip and have enjoyed reading about your life among the Amish. We were wondering how long the ice in your ice house will last. Thanks for sharing your adventure with us.
Bonnie

Stoelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stoelly said...

HI Ang

I have enjoyed reading your blog and have recommended it to some mutual acquaintances. I have a question for the Gentle Giant ;)

Are you finding it challenging to live in the "on grid" world 40 hours a week and then return to the "off grid" lifestyle? What adjustments have you had to make?

Love

M.

all photos and writing on this blog ©Copyright Maple Valley Farms 2008-2011