Here’s a guest post from a new friend Carrie Spencer about starting a small homestead or off grid home. There’s some great advice in here, much of which I really take to heart as we convert our homestead more and more off grid as opportunity allows.
Some people are drawn to tiny living for the mobile lifestyle. When you live in a tiny house on wheels, you can pick up and move without a mortgage to tie you down. But for other tiny homeowners, the goal is sustainability, not portability. For these plucky folk, a tiny house is the first step towards a smaller carbon footprint and a self-sufficient lifestyle.
A tiny homestead isn’t built in a day, however. After finding your tiny dream home, use these resources courtesy of Dr. David Powers to learn how you can take your tiny house off the grid and back to the land.
Off-Grid Living 101
What does it take to go off the grid? These are the basic systems for self-sufficient living.
- Solar is the most well-known off-grid power
- Insulation and passive solar design reduce a home’s energy needs.
- Off-grid homes also need a water source like a well and well pump.
- A composting toilet is an affordable alternative to a septic system.
Growing Your Own Food
Next step: growing your own food.
- A site assessment helps homesteaders choose the best garden site.
- This tool calculates the garden size you need to feed a family for a year.
- Don’t forget fruit and nut trees, berries, and herbs for a perennial food forest.
- Keep in mind that organic gardening requires special attention to weeds and insects.
Raising Livestock Off the Grid
Livestock are the final piece of the homesteading puzzle.
- Chickens for meat and eggs are a wise choice for a tiny homestead.
- Rabbits are another great small-scale meat source.
- For dairy, consider raising goats.
- Vegetarian? Grow plant-based proteins
Whether you’re still daydreaming about your off-grid tiny homestead or preparing to make the leap, we hope these resources help you along the journey. While going off the grid is no small undertaking — even in a tiny home! — you’ll appreciate the simple, self-sufficient life you’ve cultivated.
Carrie Spencer created The Spencers Adventures to share her family’s homesteading adventures. On the site, she shares tips on living self-sufficiently, fruit and vegetable gardening, parenting, conservation, and more. She and her wife have 3 kids, 2 dogs, 4 cats, 3 goats, 32 chickens, and a whole bunch of bees. Their goal to live as self-sufficiently and environmentally-consciously as possible.