It’s not easy for one person to pack a few necessities, get into a car and drive off to live in a farmyard house, grow their own food, generate their own power, collect their own water, cook with wood and charcoal stoves, and literally just live without any modern utilities. For a family of seven, it should probably be termed a Herculean task.
Jeff and Rose and their five adorable daughters are actually doing it real and right in northern British Columbia, Canada. They live on a 40-acre plot of land, and they generate and manage everything literally on their own.
From building their own house, down to generating solar electricity, this family has managed to create a completely efficient living system that works for them all year round, in all seasons.
Why are they living off the grid?
With five big girls, every penny is a treasure for this family. Most people who live off the grid do so because they want to save money. The dollars spent on electricity, gas, and water could make a fortune when saved up.
Jeff and Rose actually want to spend less, not necessarily save more. They don’t have to work as much for money as they used to, but they do a lot of hard work because living off the grid is no easy mission. Minimal earnings are adequate for them in their self-sufficient lifestyle.
With a twenty-five thousand dollar budget, Jeff and Rose built a perfect four-season cabin on their own, saving so much money on leveling, grading, tilling and excavation. They dug out their cabin foundation without needing any significant machine help.
The house stands on a variety of wooden supports, well-treated wood to withstand the harsh and bite of different weather situations. With cedar posts, plywood, logs, and a tightly-bound roof, the house is a fort in the wind.
They generate all their electricity directly from the sun using two solar panels for conversion. Solar power needs to be varied, so it doesn’t destroy small devices when too much is generated.
Jeff apparently thought this out, so he has a 12-volt panel for generating minimal current to power their small electronics and gadgets. Another panel rated 2.5KW is used to power the big appliances such as the freezer, the fridge, and the washer.
A question people would ask is, what do they do in winter and gloomy days when the sun swears not to show up for days? The family has got it all figured out. They use a backup generator when the sun is not available, and this unit is powerful enough to hold up all their devices and electronics.
They use rainwater for all domestic purposes, and they drink it after filtration. The water is collected from overhead pipes and stored in an underground cooling tank. They use a Berkey filter to purify the water they’ll drink and cook with.
The family uses firewood as a source of energy for cooking, and they use a large wood stove and an antique oven in their kitchen. They don’t use natural gas or electric cookers.
They grow some of their foodstuffs and buy most things from town in bulk quantity, to last them for a long time.
They don’t use water cisterns, because both the soak-away and water supply units would be significant expenditures to connect and maintain, so they use bucket-system toilets.
This is one of their most primitive forms of life, and they manage it much better than most people can. They use sawdust and sand to mask the smell from decomposition.
Jeff and Rose school their daughters at home, educating them with the standard school curriculum, domestic and agricultural skills.
Most people will rather not live at all than live off the grid, but this family just makes you want to pack up all your things, move to the wild and be self-sufficient, spending less, saving more, and aging gracefully.
1. TheOffGridCabin. 2018, July 12. Could you live completely off the grid? What about as an entire family? Retrieved from https://theoffgridcabin.com/7-family-members-living-off-grid/
2. Admin. 2018, June 3. Special water filters. Retrieved from www.berkeyfilters.com