THE SOLAR HOMESTEADER’S RESOURCE

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Would you do us a huge favor by sharing?

So you think you want the leave the comforts of city life and get back to the land do ya?

Maybe you found us by looking for solar homestead in a search engine. Maybe we were recommended by a friend or another homesteading website.

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Regardless of what brought you, we are glad you are here!

Together we will explore the good, bad and the ugly of living off the power grid, growing your food and raising your own animals.

I believe we can all help each other in our quests to leave the rat race behind, and live the simple life.

It’s not easy. No one said it would be.

But it is worth it.

Breathing clean air, eating quality produce and the opportunity to give a safe haven for your children is far more important than the odd inconvenience like:

  • Lightning striking your solar system or
  • Needing to get up at 3AM to start the generator on a -30oC night.

Yes, you have a real chance of both these things happening. They did for us!

PLEASE KEEP IN MIND WHILE VISITING OUR WEBSITE, THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS. NOT EVERYTHING IS DONE YET AND MANY SECTIONS HAVE JUST BEGUN…

If you live off the grid, you will need to produce every watt-hour you consume.

Solar ElectricityThis must be considered when designing a home heating system, air conditioning system, water heating system or purchasing a new toaster.

So many off grid homesteaders have followed the advice of their local heating installer only to find out they could never produce the electricity required.

Something as insignificant as a circulating pump might use more power than your refrigerator and freezer. Learn how to achieve energy independence by visiting often.

Stop listening to your electrician who says “that air exchanger will only cost a few dollars per month”. Sure if you are on the grid, it might only cost $20-$30 per month.

However, if you produce your power with solar modules, it might cost another $10,000 to $30,000 for extra solar modules and batteries.

Growing your own veggies and fruit can be difficult.
Growing your own vegetables.It is not often discussed how hard it is to consistently produce good produce from your home garden or orchard.

The internet is loaded with pictures of beautiful lush vegetables and fruit just hanging there as if it took no effort to produce it.

Almost every gardener has struggled with fungus, molds, bugs and poor yield before getting it right. In most areas of North America we cannot just plant an apple tree and collect huge delicious apples the next fall.

It is a lot of hard work if you go it on your own. At SolarHomestead.com we will share everything we have learned from others to make your orchard or garden a success.

Raising animals is not for the weak.
Raising your own animals.Many homesteaders think they can go out and buy a few chickens, a pig and cow and they will be successful farmers.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Keeping animals (and keeping them alive) isn’t something that could be taught in a university degree. There is simply too much to learn.

Farmers need to be accountants, veterinarians, dieticians, carpenters, electricians and the list goes on and on.

Although raising your own animals is not for everybody, it is an essential part of the homestead puzzle (unless you are a vegetarian of course)!

Learn, experiment and share your results with us!

In fact we would love it if you could share your successes (and your failures) with us through commenting, guest blogging or email.

We CAN change the world…one homestead at a time!

Leave a Comment

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Norm Voth February 8, 2016 at 1:06 pm

A big thanks to Jody, you were very helpful and provided lots of info for a solar newbie. The info on this site is incredibly helpful but it was your time on the phone and willingness to answer all my questions that I really appreciated. Thank you

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Jody Graham February 8, 2016 at 1:19 pm

Hi Norm,
Thank you. I appreciate the kind words. My wife and I chose to go off grid 15 years ago because we wanted to try and do the right thing. We never ever did it to save money. We knew we would lose money going off grid, but we also knew it would give me the knowledge I would need to operate a solar company. If you haven’t lived it, it is hard to tell someone else how to.

It has been a long road but I wouldn’t change a thing. We have had a lot of fun and met thousands of nice people like you. That is what I get satisfaction from. So thank you for calling and for your order. I hope everything works well for you. We seem to be getting far more power outages in eastern Canada than we ever did. Two years ago power was out for 11 days. It started Christmas Eve and lasted past New Years Day. It was so strange to see so many homes with no Christmas lights on the outside of their homes or lighted Christmas trees inside. For us it was business as usual. We finally got some payback for our solar system. Hope we chat again…Jody

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JDC January 9, 2016 at 7:16 pm

Book: OUR LIFE OFF THE GRID
See website
I like your blog. Wished I’d seen it sooner. I do one, too, but different. Offthegridhomes.org. I’m all over the map, really. Did a few months on just anti-Harper. Did some on my previous jobs. But the bulk is OTG. Book is all OTG. I am currently doing a followup book to Our Life OTG – an urban couple goes feral. Amazon. Kindle.
If I can learn to ‘link’, I will put your blog on mine if you want…..?
I am on the wild, wet, west coast. Remote island. See pics on website.

dc

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joe January 5, 2016 at 5:37 pm

I am seeking any and all info on heating water- DHW- directly from PV panels. I hope to install two 119 gallon tanks in a to be built building that will be heated(the tanks) to 120 degrees by gas boiler. These tanks will have electric elements, 4500 watts or greater, with all elements to hook up directly to a dedicated number of PV panels(NO GRID CONNECTION!) to then raise the temps beyond 120 when the sun shines. All I need is an MPPT?????? What is the recommended brand for this sort of thing. It is my understanding that you were going to test this sort of model DHW heating. No thermostats will be part of the PV hook up and if I generate DHW to hot(180 or above) it will have an automatic gravity dump to prevent overheating. THANKS, JOE

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Jude August 26, 2015 at 6:32 pm

I forgot to add in my previous post, I could not have done it without Carla Emery’s Old Fashioned Cookbook! It was my homesteading bible.

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Jody Graham August 28, 2015 at 12:27 pm

Thanks again Jude. I will try and find a copy of this cookbook asap. Take Care…Jody

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Jude August 26, 2015 at 6:28 pm

My husband and I homesteaded for many years. While we were not off the grid we did produce much of what we needed to live. One month I saved all our receipts from the grocery store and we had spent only $100 for a family of 4. That was mostly things we could not produce, toilet paper etc. Having livestock is hard work. We cared for and milked 2 cows, (Daisy and Bingo) which produced enough milk for us to drink and cook with as well as making cheese, butter and yogurt with the surplus.
We kept chickens (for eggs and meat), pigs, geese, ducks and sheep. We prepared and ate some of our livestock through the years. We always made sure our children knew where their food came from and we thanked the animals for their sacrifice.
Besides gardening, we cut our own wood, made our own hay, gleaned the neighboring farmers fields after harvest for corn and bought day old baked goods to feed our menagerie. We even made our own maple syrup.
Eventually we came to the point were we needed an income. I returned to college and then began teaching. Coming home to the homestead after work was a peaceful place to be.
Our girls have grown and moved away.
We are older and no longer homestead. We have only the fondest memories of those happy, and hard times. Wouldn’t have changed it for the world.
What I miss most is wonderful fresh eggs, and knowing what is in our food.

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Jody Graham August 28, 2015 at 12:26 pm

Wow. You are my hero. You did exactly what we are working towards. Having solar power is one thing but raising enough meat to feed a family of four is a big deal. It is so amazing knowing what you are eating. I can’t even stand a store bought egg anymore and half of our children are allergic to store bought eggs. You should be proud of what you accomplished. I think it is important that folks know living off the land is not easy. It is HARD, HARD work. It is not romantic and clean. Maybe someday your girls will see the value and do the same. Thanks so much for sharing…Jody

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Eugene August 26, 2015 at 3:03 pm

My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your post’s to be exactly what I’m looking for.

Do you ever allow guest writers to write contents on a particular homesteading topic?

I wouldn’t mind producing a post or elaborating on some of the of living off the land you write about here.

Again, awesome blog! Eugene

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Jody Graham August 28, 2015 at 12:21 pm

Hi Eugene,

Thank you for your kind words. We are always trying new thing and trying the document them as well but with 4 children and a homestead to take care of it does get overwhelming at times. Anyone interested in guest blogging please contact us and let us know. We would obviously give you a back-link to your website. We have not really set up a guest blogging policy but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Show us some of your work and we could work out a topic and go from there. Again thank you for your kind words…Jody

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Alvena August 17, 2015 at 8:53 am

Wow, incredible blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
You made it look easy. The overall look of your web site is wonderful, as well as the content is unlike any I have seen anywhere else! Usually I just find the same old info on every site. I can tell you are an expert in your field of renewable energy.

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Jody Graham August 17, 2015 at 2:01 pm

Thank you for the kind words Alvena. I wouldn’t say I am an expert but am learning new things everyday thanks to folks like you. Good luck in your pursuits…Jody

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Daniel Klayton April 28, 2015 at 12:21 am

Hey Jody! Hope you’re feeling well these days :)

Wanted to drop a note, and a thank you! Remember when you had the little sidebar note about an off-grid reality TV show looking for applicants? Well after seeing it here, I applied for my girlfriend and I… and we finished filming a couple weeks ago! It was a ton of fun, and we learned some great tidbits :) hope you can get a chance to watch the episode!!

And today, we put a first offer down for an off-grid solar homestead. A lot already in place there, but a lot of work and play that we still get to put in :) couldn’t have gotten as far as we have without the resources and guidance you have here… and you can bet that we’ll be coming back here as we get ourselves set up heheh 😉

Much love and many thanks!! Your efforts here have made a big impact in our lives :)

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Jody Graham May 7, 2015 at 10:45 am

Daniel,
I am so excited for you!!! When I was approached by the television folks I really didn’t know if this was a real TV show or not but it just seemed like a great idea. Sometimes the TV shows actually make fun of off grid life and make it look bad (big oil being responsible for that).

I am so glad I put that little ad on our website now that I have heard from you. What was it like? What was the process for you? and where did you go to live off grid if you have done that already. I would love any details you can give me. Also what is the title of the show and do you know where I could find it to view it. Sorry for all the questions I am just really interested in what you did. I would also love it if you would email me at jody@solarhomestead.com so we can keep in touch. I know you are probably busy so I understand if you are unable. If you have any questions for me please do not hesitate or if you think there is an article we need on solarhomestead.com please let me know.

I am proud of you for having the guts to go out on this adventure. Where is your new potential property located?
KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!

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Daniel Klayton May 11, 2015 at 1:32 pm

The show’s called Unplugged I think (last I heard, they were still toying with the idea of Unplugged Nation too) – google brought up this little trailer for the pilot episode (not us): https://vimeo.com/123879534

The show will be on the FYI network (fyi.tv) but doesn’t actually start airing till this Fall. I’m not sure yet when our episode’s air date will be, but I’ll be sure to let you know when I find out! :)

I’ll shoot you an email this week with more details about where we went and what the process was like, but I figure the trailer and show details might be of interest to other folk finding their way here too :)

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Loretta Quinn March 24, 2015 at 3:44 am

I’m wanting to build my own tiny house but cannot afford anything Over $4,000.00 Can you give me some advice on how to go about this. My sister and l will be building the tiny home. Any advice will be greatly aappreciated. Thank you, Loretta Quinn.

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John Johansen February 24, 2015 at 4:19 pm

Jody??,

We are getting into acquaponics. I was interested in a comment you made about UL rated DC thermostats for 120/240 volts? Do you provide them or can you refer me to a source that makes them? We are locating acquaponics units overseas in passive solar greenhouse off grid but still need some electricity for controls/pumps/fans and some dump load which we can use for heat.

John Johansen

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Jody Graham March 10, 2015 at 11:53 pm

I just answered this I guess. I didn’t notice until I had already approved it. Since you are an aquaponics expert could I ask you a few questions now and then. I live in New Brunswick Canada and am going to set an aquaponics system up here to get familiarized but my ultimate goal is to build them for orphanages in Haiti. I am thinking they could be the answer to crappy soil and very little water. If you interested in me picking your brain please let me know and either email me at jody@jodygraham.com or thru this website. I would really appreciate your input. I have two children from Haiti and try to get down a couple of times a year to maintain several battey backup systems in the Jacmel area. I live in Canada but my heart is in Haiti. Thanks…Jody

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