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Thread: Self-Sustained Living

  1. #11
    LHBA Member BoFuller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edkemper View Post

    Bo, consider a good area away from the house for an extreme compost pile. You may be able to arrange others to "donate" compostable materials. Instead of paying to have it hauled off and disposed of, maybe a free place to dump it would be of interest in these tight financial times. Black compost will help growing crops and far cheaper and friendlier than pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Imagine every square inch of your dirt being black, fertile and full of bugs, worms and beneficial bacteria.
    Yes exactly. I plan on visiting a cattle farm down the road aways (next weekend when I go up there) and see if he would like to get rid of several tons of manure. I know my soil needs a lot of help to get to the point of a garden. I don't intend on using any pesticides. Trying for organic. Might even get to where I can sell a little maybe. My uncle had a worm farm when I was a kid, so I know the value of having good worms.

  2. #12
    LHBA Member BoFuller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarstowRat View Post
    So my wife and I have been discussing life in our cabin, that is when ever we get around to building it. And we were thinking about how nice it would be to live a totally self-sustained life, ideally having no bills (no job ;-)), and really not being dependant on society like gas and electricity and such. We figure that people have been doing it for thousands of years, so why can't we? But aside from farming crops/animals, what is a good way to go about other essentials like power and water. A fridge would be nice for longevity of foods and waterfront property is usually very expensive, so how about running water without the city? I don't mind doing things myself and I am quite crafty and actually enjoy making things instead of buying them, just need to be lead in the right direction. I know my thoughts are random and discombobulated, but that's how my crazy brain works. Thanks in advance.
    My wife and I spent this weekend at a Sustainable Preparedness seminar. It was exactly what you talked about. Alternative power systems, like solar. Energy efficient appliances that run cheaply on solar and/or propane. Solar water pump for the well. Gardening year-around, root cellars, heating with wood, healing with herbs, choosing land, useful tools and maintenance, you name it, they covered it. You might check out their book, "Sustainable Preparedness" by Mountain Media Ministries.

  3. #13
    LHBA Member spiralsands's Avatar
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    In NY, I was able to get a "house" number, really called a "911" number, with no house on property and not living there.

    Also, don't buy land if you know there's no water on it. Water was my number 1 priority during my land search. You NEED it for survival.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by edkemper View Post
    I've considered being grid tied while producing my own power but am rethinking being connected. Even if I produce as much power as I use and have no power bill, I will still be charged fees. Monthly service charges, extra taxes and such. So independent power is looking better all the time. I'm hoping the only regular fees I'll have to pay are the property taxes.

    Bo, consider a good area away from the house for an extreme compost pile. You may be able to arrange others to "donate" compostable materials. Instead of paying to have it hauled off and disposed of, maybe a free place to dump it would be of interest in these tight financial times. Black compost will help growing crops and far cheaper and friendlier than pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Imagine every square inch of your dirt being black, fertile and full of bugs, worms and beneficial bacteria.
    Yes but the price and hassle of batteries would cost way more than any fee's ,a grid connect would be far cheaper,panels have come way down in price and Batteries have gone way up a good sized Battery bank can run 4 to 10 thousand dollars then they need to be replace every 5 to 8 years

  5. #15
    LHBA Member BoFuller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilbluehonda View Post
    Yes but the price and hassle of batteries would cost way more than any fee's ,a grid connect would be far cheaper,panels have come way down in price and Batteries have gone way up a good sized Battery bank can run 4 to 10 thousand dollars then they need to be replace every 5 to 8 years
    Solar power is not competitive with the grid. With the cost of equipment, it can cost 5X more or even more. But I have two things to consider.
    First, When the SHTF, and the grid goes down, I don't want to be affected. It is worth the money to me to be independent of the public utilities.
    Second, in my case there is no grid for about 10 miles, so this is one case where it would cost me WAY more to have a line brought in than 50 years worth of batteries. I picked the property because it is so remote.
    Also, when I make my final solar system for the completed home, I will go with a forklift battery, that is currently costing about $2500 and will last for over 20 years and take care of all my needs.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rreidnauer View Post
    It's sad to say, but true, independent, self-sustaining lifestyles will be phased out whether we like it or not. I don't see any way this will be avoided. There simply aren't enough people willing to live such a lifestyle to oppose the loss of independence's being forced upon us. The best we can do is get built ASAP and grandfathered in before it's no longer possible.
    I know the Amish will never be "connected." I'd be curious to learn if they have to build to the same guidelines you talked about here in PA. There may be a loophole. I know a few Amish. I'll have to ask them next time I see them.
    Mike
    Pennsylvania

  7. #17
    LHBA Member loghousenut's Avatar
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    Bo, We lived off the grid for a bunch of years. You'll think you are gonna do it to escape technology but there's a lot of modern technology that has made it much easier for folks in the sticks. You can pick and choose your level of technological involvement and have a much easier life, in a lot of ways, than or Grandad had.

    Heck, you'll fall right into the routine and love it.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by BoFuller View Post
    I will go with a forklift battery, that is currently costing about $2500 and will last for over 20 years and take care of all my needs.
    Hi Bo, I never heard of using a forklift battery before. I use more electric than the average person (I assume) being that I work with computers and other gadgets and work from home so I never thought I could depend on solar without spending 10's of thousands. I'd like to learn more though if it may be a possibility with land I purchase to build on. So do you think solar power can be a possibility for someone who uses a lot of electricity? I'm planning on building in Kentucky for reference. My bills are all over the place, from 261 KWH to 1,200+ KWH some months.

  9. #19
    LHBA Member edkemper's Avatar
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    lilbluehanda,

    > Yes but the price and hassle of batteries would cost way more than any fee's,

    I don't know about you but in my location we pay these fees monthly:
    $ 10.00 (System Infrastructure Fixed Charge)
    $ .83 (Solar Surcharge)
    $ .18 (State Surcharge)

    Those are fees paid before you even turn on one light switch. Total over 5 years=$660 - over 8 years=$1057

    > a grid connect would be far cheaper,

    How many grid connections have you hooked up in the country? The fees are extremely expensive unless you already have power poles on your property. These fees can amount to many thousands easily.

    > panels have come way down in price and Batteries have gone way up

    Being a regular consumer over the last 15 years, I haven't noticed huge price increases in batteries. However high tech batteries have. But they are not what we use for our systems.

    > a good sized Battery bank can run 4 to 10 thousand dollars

    How many batteries in this system?

    > then they need to be replace every 5 to 8 years

    Being we have a major push for battery powered vehicles, better batteries are being designed and built as we speak. Over the next 10 years, I would expect batteries will be far different than what we have now.

    If you pay for the system without financing, your cost to set up the system is fixed. So to speak, every year the average cost of the power goes down to longer you have it.

    Then there's the issue of keeping our personal information in almost every government computer in the country.
    edkemper

    Class: Valentine's Day weekend 2009

    Feel the Bern!

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kick Forward View Post
    So do you think solar power can be a possibility for someone who uses a lot of electricity?
    Judging from our experience off the grid both in this country and in Europe, I would say that it is not the computers that would be the problem. Anything that uses electricity to heat is where you really get high levels. Irons (probably not a problem for most people these days), electric heaters and hair dryers. In France all washing machines have to heat up the water with electricity, rather than using the hot water from the water heater, so that is a problem and we have ours connected directly to the generator for that reason. When we have guests we have to make a point of telling them that they can't just casually plug in their hair dryers and blow-dry their hair...

    But we're both on computers a good part of the day with no problems.

    Sarah

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