The Everything Guide to Living Off the Grid

BOOK: The Everything Guide to Living Off the Grid
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THE
EVERYTHING
®
GUIDE TO
LIVING OFF THE GRID
Dear Reader,
Twenty years ago, my family and I left the hustle and bustle of living in Chicago and moved to a small farm in northwest Illinois. I remember the very first night in our hundred-year-old farmhouse, resting in my bed and being kept awake by the sounds of frogs and crickets—instead of the usual noises of the trucks and cars on the highway and the airplanes from O’Hare. We couldn’t sleep because it was too quiet. A lot has changed since then.
During these years much of what we learned about a self-sufficient lifestyle was by trial and error. From chasing our escaped cattle down the road when I was eight months pregnant to trying to herd sheep in on a rainy day, I know we gave our more experienced neighbors good reason to shake their heads and laugh.
With this book, I’d like to take your hand and guide you through some of the things we learned, so you’re not out there on your own. Instead, you’ll have a friend to lean on. This book will send you in the right direction and give you the tools to learn more. Enjoy your journey to being self-sufficient. It’s well worth the trip!

Welcome to the
EVERYTHING
®
Series!

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DIRECTOR OF ACQUISITIONS AND INNOVATION
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®
SERIES
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SERIES COVER DESIGNER
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Visit the entire Everything
®
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THE
EVERYTHING
®
GUIDE TO
LIVING OFF
THE GRID
A back-to-basics manual for independent living
Terri Reid

Dedicated to all of those who are willing
not only to dream big, but also have
the courage to make their dreams come true.

Copyright © 2011 by F+W Media, Inc. All rights reserved.
This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced
in any form without permission from the publisher; exceptions
are made for brief excerpts used in published reviews.

An Everything
®
Series Book.
Everything
®
and
everything.com
®
are registered trademarks of F+W Media, Inc.

Published by Adams Media, a division of F+W Media, Inc.
57 Littlefield Street, Avon, MA 02322 U.S.A.
www.adamsmedia.com

ISBN 10: 1-4405-1275-2
ISBN 13: 978-1-4405-1275-9
eISBN 10: 1-4405-2491-2
eISBN 13: 978-1-4405-2491-2

Printed in the United States of America.

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Reid, Terri.
The everything guide to living off the grid / Terri Reid.
p. cm.
Includes index.
ISBN 978-1-4405-1275-9
1. Self-reliant living. 2. Sustainable living. I. Title.
GF78.R45 2011
640—dc22—2011010219

This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information with regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought.

—From a
Declaration of Principles
jointly adopted by a Committee of the
American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations

Many of the designations used by manufacturers and sellers to distinguish their products are claimed as trademarks. Where those designations appear in this book and Adams Media was aware of a trademark claim, the designations have been printed with initial capital letters.

This book is available at quantity discounts for bulk purchases.
For information, please call 1-800-289-0963.

Contents

The Top 10 Reasons to Live Off the Grid
Introduction

01
The Reality of Living Off the Grid

Why Should You Move Off the Grid?
Can You Survive Off the Grid?
The Different Levels of “Off-Grid” Living
How Far Off the Grid Are You Able to Go?
Keeping and Maintaining Relationships
Taking the First Steps

02
Getting Out of Debt

What Is Debt?
How Interest Works Against You or for You
Good Debt versus Bad Debt
Creating a Budget
Sticking to a Budget
Refocusing Your Priorities
Off-Grid Living as an Escape Hatch

03
Generating Income Off the Grid

How Much Does It Cost to Go Off-Grid?
Generating Income
Bartering and Dealing
Farmers’ Markets and Other Local Produce
Craft Sales
Online Store

04
There’s No Place Like Home

The Perfect Piece of Land
Geographical Perks
Geographical Warning Signs
Paying for Your Property
Temporary Housing
Building Your Own Shelter

05
Family Needs

Socialization for Kids and Adults
The ABCs of Off-Grid Schooling
Support Groups and Assistance
Do You Still Need Health Insurance?
Building a Strong Community
Where to Find Legal Advice

06
Power Supplies

Geothermal Power
Solar Power
Wood Burning
Wind Power
Hydro Power
Alternative Energies

07
Developing Your Green Thumb

Planning Your Garden
A Solar Greenhouse
Preparing the Land
Planting Your Garden
Composting
Harvesting

08
Starting an Orchard

Best Location for an Orchard
What Size Trees Do You Use?
Pruning Basics
Fruit Trees
Berry Bushes
Wild Fruit

09
Canning and Preserving Food

Canning Your Harvest
Water-Bath Canning
Pressure-Cooker Canning
Drying Food
Pickling
Freezing

10
Building a Root Cellar

Choosing Crops for Fall Storage
Harvesting and Preparing for Storage
Root Cellar Options
Ideal Root Cellar Conditions
Spoilage

11
Saving Seeds

Why Save Seeds
The Difference Between Hybrid and Heirloom Seeds
Collecting Seeds
Extracting and Drying Seeds
Storing Seeds
Testing Seeds

12
The Buzz about Beekeeping

Is Your Location Right for Bees?
Basic Equipment
How to Purchase Bees
Managing Your Hive
Common Problems
Gathering Honey
Legal Requirements

13
Raising Your Own

Can You Afford It?
Raising Poultry
Raising Rabbits
Raising Pigs
Raising Goats
Raising Cows
Raising Sheep

14
Hunting

Know Your Quarry
BOOK: The Everything Guide to Living Off the Grid
9.4Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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