Many of us are ready to downsize into one-level living. These combo garage/house designs are very popular! They combine the convenience of having a garage and home into one building with a metal roof for low maintenance! These are great for off the grid living where simplicity and energy efficiency are key elements to the design.
Oh no, it’s that time again to be thinking of getting our gardens mapped out in our minds, if not on paper. Companion planting, like planting tomatoes next to borage to repel hornworms, and marigolds or yarrow around the perimeter of your garden really works! It feels great to grow our own vegetables for the winter and have the kitchen stocked! Now, what about starting plants with good quality seed? We buy the heirloom seed that is open-pollinated, meaning you can save it and replant it the following year. It is non GMO and untreated. Plant your seeds inside or build a greenhouse that is not too large. We looked at these two designs and combined them so the door from the rounded model was installed into our greenhouse that has a peak.
Our summer home is a metal building garage that we found on the market. Since it was 100′ x 40′, we took the back 24′ and framed off our living area. This took a little figuring, but was so worth it! The insulation factor is amazing…. a building within a building. The space above the headers became our attic accessible from the large building. We ordered new windows and back door for the back wall. We had to remove the loading dock door and cut through the metal with a sawzall for the window openings.
If you do a lot of hiking like we do, or hunt, fish, snowshoe, etc., you will really want to have something with you to charge your cell phone. They have solar backpacks that keep you hands free but will charge your phone and other devices. Also a handy thing to have if you are lost and need to be found by your cell phone signal!
Clean drinking water is always a concern when living off the grid. We dug our own well but sometimes it dries up in hot days of the summer. We then draw water from the springs but when we do that, we like to filter it. The bucket system works great and we find that it gives you peace of mind and costs less than 7 cents/gallon! We’d like to hear from others as to what they do for filtering water!
I’m not sure if any of you have experienced the frustration of having a generator which fires up an electrical fridge and lights, or having coolers with ice, having to buy propane for the generator or ice for the cooler frequently. We visited neighbors to see how they coped and for the most part, they bit the bullet and purchased gas fridge-freezer combos and gas lighting.
I like to use a battery operated (“D” batteries) hot water heater for camping, or even in the barn for animals. How are others coping with keeping your water from freezing for your animals or for running a shower indoors?