Tuesday, May 24, 2011

One day...one day.

Keith and I were talking about our future, specifically where we might want to retire ONE DAY.  A day way way in the future. We chewed on and spit out some of the obvious locations such as Florida (no way, hate that state) Arizona (too many Roadrunners) and Ireland (OK that was always just my dream). We settled on a small place not too far from here. Its called

Off-The-Grid and it  located here in Central Illinois . You might know of Off-The-Grid, its also been called Back-to-the-Land and many of the hippie type of the 60's and 70's took up residence there.

 Sqeaky Fromm comes to mind but she is a bad , very bad, example of sustainable living.

So in looking at our future retirement home of REAL Homesteading where 90% of our needs are met by our own hard work, it became clear we have a large amount of work to do in order to prepare. Seems funny to have to "prepare" to live off the land but reality is such. Our first step will be research. The book kind to start but then real solid research, the type that will require finding those who live off the grid and visiting them.

Still speaking in vague terms am I not.? Our future plan is to live as frugally and simply as possible without outside jobs and very minimal cash income.  Our retirement home will not be this farmhouse but instead will consist of a very tiny home attached to a work shop which would then be attached to a barn. We want to grow 95% of our own food, heat our home entirely with wood and /or wood and some other fuel. We will raise only enough animals for our own consumption.

 This livestock would include a couple cows, a few pigs, some chickens, turkeys and rabbits.  We think 10 acres of mixed woods and pasture would suffice. There will be no lawns to mow only pasture to graze. I would also like water such as a river, pond or small lake since I won't get to retire on Corkscrew Hill as I had dreamed of. What little cash we will need will be acquired through the selling of extra food or items we can make such as soap and through talents such as writing or teaching others how to live in Off The Grid Ville

Seems like a huge task to get ready for does it not ? Worry not Mon Cherie, we have lots of time to do our homework. Moving to Off The Grid is way off, WAY WAY off. But, if any of you know of folks really living this way please let us know about them. We have many  questions.

Keith and I after coffee this am glowing
with excitement about our new
"retirement" plans.


  1. Gnarly man, totally radical. Peace.

  2. We dream much the same but it will take far more land in this area to sustain us. We want an earth home with attached cellar and greenhouse and lots of garden. The problem is the more I study, the more I see just how difficult the task will be. My latest research has been in the area of saving seed. Wow, that is far more complicated than i thought. I'm trying to figure out who to breed my goats and yaks to and I see I have to study line breeding and out breeding in plants too. Along with how to keep the breeds pure for many cross with other species for instance beets which breeds with about everybody.

    Good luck! I hope your dream comes true.

  3. Coffee! What about the coffee? Have you figured out how to grow that in central IL??? I've tried that chicory stuff and let me tell you my friend - it is NOT the same! If you possess this knowledge, please share! It is my last stumbling block....without coffee - I stumble alot!

  4. The hippies in the picture (I'm assuming it is you two at a younger age) look much MUCH warmer than it is in C.IL. now. Good luck with your dream. Remember - "those that forsake their dreams will try to discourage yours" (can't remember who said it). Punch them out!

  5. My son can hook you up with a whole library of books you should read. He and his wife and kids are working to get off the grid in Kentucky.
    And now it looks like we will be heading down south in a couple of years to do the same.
    I've lived off the grid a couple of times in my life so if you want solicited or unsolicited advice just ask or don't as the case may be.
    Just remember It's as simple or as complicated as you choose to make it.


    your sister from different parents