A poll to see what brings you to this forum.
Are you living in the country, off grid or dreaming about it?
Poll Results: You can select more than one... Where are you at on here?
32% (25)I live in the country
1% (1)I live off grid
11% (9)Urban homesteader
50% (39)I am here dreaming about living in the country/homesteading/being off grid
DH and I are gardeners, and even in the city we had a sizable edible landscape. Our ability to store our harvests have always lagged behind (details, details). We finally built our house on the property we bought 15 years ago. Things grow really fast here, and our early attempts to establish a food forest while we were absentee owners ultimately became a wasted effort (not to mention $$). We simply could not keep our plantings clear, and we weren't around to pull in harvests on some late-ripening fruit trees and those wound up being torn apart by the bears that move through here in the fall.
We moved to a nearby town 7 years ago, attempting again to do something here while we raised the kids. No luck. So, once again we planted an edible landscape, veggie garden, and started keeping chickens in our little yard. Now, 15 years of being on a 2-year plan, we are here. The chickens have their coop, integrated with the future veggie garden. DH and I are forgoing our own bday and Christmas presents to put in a big order with Raintree Nursery. Waiting for the rains to return so we can seed the bare spots with grass. Loving being here--FINALLY!
We did connect with the grid, though, after much research and debate. Both would have been equally expensive (for the size system we wanted). In the end, the fact that nearly every tree on the front end of the property would have needed to come down for solar (which would still have left us firing up the generator in the fall/winter/spring) solved the debate once and for all. That was not why we moved here. We love this property for the trees.
We are soooo not "off the grid" but we do live in the "country" in North West NJ. I hesitate to even call it that because we are an hour outside Manhattan, and a hop-skip and car ride to the highway but it sure feels rural. There's a lot of horse farms + acerage here and we were turned on because we could afford the rent + it's close to my parents + DH's work if he needs to commute.
The house is pretty simple/no frills but the land is beautiful. We have a few acres of fields and a barn and we are currently raising goats and bunnies. We are hoping to get another animal to include and I'm debating on either a pig (piglet) or a mini Jersey cow. The goats we have are males and while they are loads of fun to play with and watch, they aren't doing much but keeping the lawn "mowed.." and the rabbits will eventually breed and be used for meat.
Last year we didn't get to do too much gardening because it was out first spring in the house and I was overwhelmed and still unpacking! Next year I'm hoping to create an "edible landscape" in the front, because right now it's very plain and I don't feel like putting in all these fancy bushes and things. My goal is to do a mix of herbs + wildflowers. We use herbs a lot and I'd love to have a colorful yummy variety -- I'm doing to do "themed" plots; healing, cooking etc. We are going to do raised beds and I have the seeds ordered that I haven't used last year, and I plan on only growing what we will eat. I need to be realistic here! I'd love to plant an orchard but I have to again, be realistic because it's a rental and while we plan on staying here for years, I don't wanna put too much into it.
I love the idea of being off-grid but I'm terrified to actually try it. Right now I'm happy with where we are, and what we plan to do.
We recently moved to 1/3 an acre in SE Portland, a GREAT property with a HUGE garage! We have 5 dogs that LOVE our long backyard. The house is right on the front of the long skinny property. We are hoping to become more and more self-sustaining over time. Its something that is valued in our neighborhood. Our nextdoor neighbor considers himself an urban farmer and has extensive gardens and chickens. The neighbor across the street is going off the city water soon (oh how I'd LOVE to do that, maybe next winter!) and also has a large garden. We are very new to gardening but we are preparing now, cutivating the soil making compost (TWO kinds, one for the garden, one made out of dog poop, thats only for bushes, trees, lawns), and hoping to start with some well loved veggies (carrots, tomatoes, etc..). We are looking into rabbits and chickens, but we have one dog that likes to attack chickens (so much, he digs under the fence to get to them) so... we have to work on that.
We are hoping to be urban homesteaders more and more each year.
Hello! I just found this forum(am pretty new to MDC) and so happy to meet you all. We live in the country, in Northern California. We bought a home on 5 acres 1.5 years ago in an agricultural area, 20 minutes from a small town. We were living in a yurt way out in the woods and were hoping to buy a beautiful piece of land and live off the grid but couldn't get a loan for it and didn't have the $ to buy out right. We hope to eventually own raw land and live off grid. For now we love our home, use wood to heat it, are planning out a grey water system for next year and are replacing our roof and setting up solar and a water catchment system. We thought we would have had more of these projects completed by now but its a slow process. We had a huge vegi garden last year and expanded it this year to provide for DH's family that lives locally and we are selling some of it. We have partnered with another organic farm and will be selling more next year, we have an extremely long growing season and also have fruit trees on the property that DH dreams of expanding into an orchard. The native soil is clay so it is taking a lot of time to prep the ground for the orchard, some day. We have chickens, 2 dogs with accidental puppies on the way, and our 1st baby is due in the end of May.
I'm also a couple of months away from going rural. Green space and room for gardens and some livestock has become more important to me since my little one, now 2 years old, came along. I've found a home that's in my price range as a solo mom, is zoned to allow livestock with minimal restrictions, has a decent school system to fall back on if homeschooling doesn't work for either of us, has 6 acres including 4 that are wooded, and has lots of space for crafting and fermenting. I have some butterflies about the distance from the city since I'm adding a 45 min commute to my job that I'll continue to work 3 days per week for now (and to the cultural hub that we're used to). I struggle with isolation anyway, so I'm hoping that this won't push us over the edge.
I still can't wait to continue this gradual progression toward more connected and self-sufficient living in a space that makes it more possible.
We live in a 1st ring suburb and have our business a couple miles away. We have no desire to live in the country but found an infill lot that is 1 acre wooded lot on a lake where we are building a house that will be heated 100% by solar hot water and have a big enough PV system to meet most of our needs. We are planting with a permaculture approach so we can harvest a lot of food from our land.
We live in the country - I guess you could say semi off-grid. We have a well, but our water is still primitive and we use a humanure toilet. We've been here just a year and only recently got the plumbing kind of working with a 12 volt RV pump. We have 4 acres w/garden, dogs, cats, goats, rabbit, ducks & chickens.....oh, and the twelve of us....lol. We are still clearing land, but we've finally moved on from the area right by the house, so it feels like a real milestone to be branching out!
We're in the house now in this tiny town with 2.4 acres of our own. It doesn't feel remotely homestead-ish yet, rather luxurious instead actually, all DH's preferences with big rooms, electric heat, city water and sewer, nice furniture. And I don't have the rustic and self sufficient systems I wish I had not even a woodstove, but when I get gardens and fruit trees and chickens put in the yard next year it will be more like what I'm going for. We may still build a place after several years but with DH spoiled like he will be here it will have to be kinda big and pretty.
I'm wondering where that 'off-grid' person posts from, lol
I'm out in the country, and wish i could get a little more 'on-grid,' honestly, as far as utilities go.
We have electricity. That much is normal.
We share a neighborhood well, which is not a great deal when the person who owns it refuses to do any legal paperwork, because they could decide tomorrow we don't have access and cut us off, and we've got no possible recourse as water rights aren't guaranteed to anyone. The city (i use that term loosely; population hovers around 100) won't bring water lines out unless we pay for all of the materials, excavation, and the engineer to plan the whole operation. Cheaper to drill a new well (which is tens of thousands of dollars in our geological area).
There is no internet, unless we invest in military grade equipment. Really. No thank you. I drive two towns away for the nearest hotspot.
Very very limited cell reception. One bar, sometimes, if i stand in the middle of the yard and the weather is perfect.
No cable. But we don't want that anyway.
Don't get me wrong; i love how isolated we are, most of the time. But there are a lot of downsides too.
We got to the country sort of, very small town and a big yard anyhow, and got the garden started and got chickens. Unless we strike it rich we aren't getting off the grid and building a house until at least one kid is grown and gone most likely, DH would never want to live in a small space with our 3 kids. We'd need somethin temporary and small to live in to save up for building without a loan.