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Author Topic: OFF THE GRID  (Read 14691 times)

BuddyMcBudster

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OFF THE GRID
« on: September 17, 2010, 02:28:28 am »

hey I've been reading a lot about off the grid living and becoming self sufficient. Can any one recommend some books or good areas of New Hampshire that would be good for an off the grid life style? Does anyone know about solar and wind power? I want to know everything there is to know before i make the big transition. I want to live the way people were meant to live. Today our life style is connected to a fragile system with no safety net. If something bad were to happen, there would be a lot of unprepared people. So I'm interested to hear what you guys think and know.
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Jacobus

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Re: OFF THE GRID
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2010, 06:17:36 am »

For "off the grid", the hard part is electricity.  I just moved to a small town in New Hampshire, and without really trying we are off the grid except for electricity (and of course that is a big "except").  We went from a condo with town water, town sewer, cable Internet, and road-fed gas line to a home with private well, private septic, 3G cell for Internet, and liquid propane tanks.  The LP feeds the range and heater in the living room, so if we lose electricity we can still cook and be warm.  I'd probably prefer a woodstove to the "gas log" for self-sufficiency, but it's a newish unit and won't replace it yet.

Electricity is the big one.  I'd like to throw up some solar cells on the roof at some point, but right now we're talking tens of thousands of dollars to get a system in place.  I suspect there is not enough wind to make a windmill viable.

It seems you don't need much land either to grow most of the food you need.  Here's a book we recently bought: The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre! 

I had a little container garden this past year but am happy I'll be able to start a real garden next year.  My approach is to start small and incrementally add more and more.  I don't want to try to do too much at once, get overburdened, and then totally quit. 


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Jeff LaGrange

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Re: OFF THE GRID
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2010, 09:05:55 am »

hey I've been reading a lot about off the grid living and becoming self sufficient. Can any one recommend some books or good areas of New Hampshire that would be good for an off the grid life style? Does anyone know about solar and wind power? I want to know everything there is to know before i make the big transition. I want to live the way people were meant to live. Today our life style is connected to a fragile system with no safety net. If something bad were to happen, there would be a lot of unprepared people. So I'm interested to hear what you guys think and know.

This book is Awesome.  Don't let the title fool you, it has Solar Power of course but also compost/incinerating toilets, wind power, yurts, natural burials etc.  Anything you can imaging is in there.  It gives you pictures, model numbers and prices of all equipment.  It is definately worth the money and is now on sale, 30th Anniversary edition at the following link.  Check out the publishers store online as well.

http://www.amazon.com/Goods-Living-Source-Book-Special-Anniversary/dp/0916571068
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"No nation however powerful, any more than an individual, can be unjust with impunity.  Sooner or later, public opinion, an instrument merely moral in the beginning, will find occasion physically to inflict its sentences on the unjust... The lesson is useful to the weak as well as the strong." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1804.

"It is the trade of lawyers to question everything, yield nothing, and talk by the hour." -  Thomas Jefferson

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."

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John Edward Mercier

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Re: OFF THE GRID
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2010, 09:52:13 am »

Most people that can/are attached to the grid tend to stay attached. The grid acts as a power bank through the use of net metering.
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rossby

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Re: OFF THE GRID
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2010, 12:00:55 pm »

We went from a condo with town water, town sewer, cable Internet, and road-fed gas line to a home with private well, private septic, 3G cell for Internet, and liquid propane tanks.

Bah. Any man worth his salt can fashion all of his "utility needs" from some chewing gum, a few rubber bands, a paper clip and a pen knife. And a Pringles can. Wouldn't want to forget that...
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Jeff LaGrange

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Re: OFF THE GRID
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2010, 07:19:43 pm »

We went from a condo with town water, town sewer, cable Internet, and road-fed gas line to a home with private well, private septic, 3G cell for Internet, and liquid propane tanks.

Bah. Any man worth his salt can fashion all of his "utility needs" from some chewing gum, a few rubber bands, a paper clip and a pen knife. And a Pringles can. Wouldn't want to forget that...

So sayeth MacGyver
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"No nation however powerful, any more than an individual, can be unjust with impunity.  Sooner or later, public opinion, an instrument merely moral in the beginning, will find occasion physically to inflict its sentences on the unjust... The lesson is useful to the weak as well as the strong." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1804.

"It is the trade of lawyers to question everything, yield nothing, and talk by the hour." -  Thomas Jefferson

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."

Thomas Jefferson

BuddyMcBudster

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Re: OFF THE GRID
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2010, 07:20:57 pm »

hey I've been reading a lot about off the grid living and becoming self sufficient. Can any one recommend some books or good areas of New Hampshire that would be good for an off the grid life style? Does anyone know about solar and wind power? I want to know everything there is to know before i make the big transition. I want to live the way people were meant to live. Today our life style is connected to a fragile system with no safety net. If something bad were to happen, there would be a lot of unprepared people. So I'm interested to hear what you guys think and know.

This book is Awesome.  Don't let the title fool you, it has Solar Power of course but also compost/incinerating toilets, wind power, yurts, natural burials etc.  Anything you can imaging is in there.  It gives you pictures, model numbers and prices of all equipment.  It is definately worth the money and is now on sale, 30th Anniversary edition at the following link.  Check out the publishers store online as well.

http://www.amazon.com/Goods-Living-Source-Book-Special-Anniversary/dp/0916571068


wow thank you this looks like a great read im gonna get my hands on that one
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BuddyMcBudster

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Re: OFF THE GRID
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2010, 07:23:37 pm »

im also looking into getting some chickens. any one got any info. oh and thanks for your posts guys helpful info.
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BuddyMcBudster

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Re: OFF THE GRID
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2010, 07:26:56 pm »

For "off the grid", the hard part is electricity.  I just moved to a small town in New Hampshire, and without really trying we are off the grid except for electricity (and of course that is a big "except").  We went from a condo with town water, town sewer, cable Internet, and road-fed gas line to a home with private well, private septic, 3G cell for Internet, and liquid propane tanks.  The LP feeds the range and heater in the living room, so if we lose electricity we can still cook and be warm.  I'd probably prefer a woodstove to the "gas log" for self-sufficiency, but it's a newish unit and won't replace it yet.

Electricity is the big one.  I'd like to throw up some solar cells on the roof at some point, but right now we're talking tens of thousands of dollars to get a system in place.  I suspect there is not enough wind to make a windmill viable.

It seems you don't need much land either to grow most of the food you need.  Here's a book we recently bought: The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre! 

I had a little container garden this past year but am happy I'll be able to start a real garden next year.  My approach is to start small and incrementally add more and more.  I don't want to try to do too much at once, get overburdened, and then totally quit. 




ty for the book recommendation. what kinda food you growin?
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John Edward Mercier

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Re: OFF THE GRID
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2010, 07:59:41 pm »

For "off the grid", the hard part is electricity.  I just moved to a small town in New Hampshire, and without really trying we are off the grid except for electricity (and of course that is a big "except").  We went from a condo with town water, town sewer, cable Internet, and road-fed gas line to a home with private well, private septic, 3G cell for Internet, and liquid propane tanks.  The LP feeds the range and heater in the living room, so if we lose electricity we can still cook and be warm.  I'd probably prefer a woodstove to the "gas log" for self-sufficiency, but it's a newish unit and won't replace it yet.

Electricity is the big one.  I'd like to throw up some solar cells on the roof at some point, but right now we're talking tens of thousands of dollars to get a system in place.  I suspect there is not enough wind to make a windmill viable.

It seems you don't need much land either to grow most of the food you need.  Here's a book we recently bought: The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre! 

I had a little container garden this past year but am happy I'll be able to start a real garden next year.  My approach is to start small and incrementally add more and more.  I don't want to try to do too much at once, get overburdened, and then totally quit. 



http://www.spinfarming.com/spinfarmers/
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Bazil

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Re: OFF THE GRID
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2010, 03:06:11 pm »

For "off the grid", the hard part is electricity.  I just moved to a small town in New Hampshire, and without really trying we are off the grid except for electricity (and of course that is a big "except").  We went from a condo with town water, town sewer, cable Internet, and road-fed gas line to a home with private well, private septic, 3G cell for Internet, and liquid propane tanks.  The LP feeds the range and heater in the living room, so if we lose electricity we can still cook and be warm.  I'd probably prefer a woodstove to the "gas log" for self-sufficiency, but it's a newish unit and won't replace it yet.

Electricity is the big one.  I'd like to throw up some solar cells on the roof at some point, but right now we're talking tens of thousands of dollars to get a system in place.  I suspect there is not enough wind to make a windmill viable.

It seems you don't need much land either to grow most of the food you need.  Here's a book we recently bought: The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre! 

I had a little container garden this past year but am happy I'll be able to start a real garden next year.  My approach is to start small and incrementally add more and more.  I don't want to try to do too much at once, get overburdened, and then totally quit. 


Sounds like me I just moved to a similar situation.  Although the house I bought has generator hook ups.  Although the previous owner sold the generator.  I was thinking of getting a new one that would run off the propane tank.  Although I guess I could use it to hook up alternative energy sources.  One way I thought of generating electricity is using heat pipes and peliters to generate electricity by exchanging heat between the ground and the air.  Although this method wouldn't work well in the fall and spring when the ground and air temps are similar.  It might also cost a lot of money I never bothered calculating the cost, just day dreamed about it.  One idea to enhance the solution was to do this in a large heat generating composting pit which would work better in the winter obviously.
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Floridian

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Re: OFF THE GRID
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2010, 06:43:51 pm »

Self-sufficient is probably not realistic, but self-reliant is an admirable goal.  No man is an island.

Off-the-grid is achievable in many places, but there are many variables...  New Hampshire can be a pretty hostile environment for farming with hard ground and a short growing season.
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Ed

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Re: OFF THE GRID
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2010, 07:09:46 pm »

be noted that you can buy compost. More easily found places may charge up to $45 per cubic yard plus delivery charge. But you could also get it from a landscaping guy for maybe as low as $25 per cubic yard. He may charge you a decent price if you order a lot and give him the job of spreading it. It would also be a good idea to till it into the soil to mix the mineral-y earth with the more rich compost to give the plants a better, more "natural" mix. I think that helps

Also, many municipalities have recycling centers where local people and landscapers just dump their landscaping waste, and it slowly composts - and the resultant "compost" is free. Of course it may be more acidic and possibly tainted with diseases and/or weeds (for lack of going through the heating-up process)

or you could build up your own compost by repeatedly growing then tilling various cover crops
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Ed

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Re: OFF THE GRID
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2010, 07:13:49 pm »

solar cells hardly represent "independence" They stop working after around 30 years.

Now solar thermal on the other hand. You could buy fancy panels, but if they ever break you could later easily fashion your own in some way. All it is is some large flat board with a clear front and a black backrground or maybe just all black to heat up water
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creaganlios

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Re: OFF THE GRID
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2010, 07:24:59 am »

Some ideas from my own life..

Love having my own well and septic.  No "grid" there," and pretty typical in rural areas.  We've often thought of installing a windmill here (we're on a mountain with a lot of wind), but typing into the grid in order to sell the excess to PSNH.  I think an outbuilding with a bank of batteries would make this possible so there's still energy in times of low wind.

I have an oil burner for the house, but the house is small and tight and we used less than 1/4 tank all winter...and that's probably because we have a wood burning stove and a store of our own wood that keeps it heating the house quite nicely all winter.

Love Chickens.  I prefer Buff Orpingtons:  gentle, pet-like, and they lay many LARGE eggs and live long.  You need to have a secure yard/henhouse at night, because there are many chicken predators here..I have found that my chickens always go in to their house on their own at night, so they free range in the day and I lock 'em up at night.  You *must* provide light and heat at night for them, or they will stop laying and/or the eggs they DO lay may freeze in the worst cold snaps.

Gardening: Yeah, the ground here sucks  ;D  I grow Rocks and Boulders....but building a series of small, raised beds and filling them in with GOOD soil and compost results in GREAT crops and LOTS of them...I actually have produced quite a lot in a small space this way - more than in a tradiitional garden dug in the ground.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2010, 09:40:26 am by Thom S »
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