Posts from — July 2011

Solar Energy on Dragons Den
by RICHIEMACK on JULY 31, 2011 - 0 Comments in ENERGY

Hopkins (left) - Did he sell too cheap?

The  BBC’s top-rated TV show Dragons’ Den gave a cautious thumbs-up to Solar in the first show of its new series.  But the valuation they placed on the solar panel company in question was disappointing.
Chris Hopkins, owner of Ploughcroft Solar gave his sales speech to convince the panel as to the benefits ofsolar energy, and the financial rewards that can be reaped from the Government’s feed-in-tariff (Fit) scheme.Seeking £100,000 for a 10% equity share in his company, the entrepreneur received offers from all but one of the Dragons. But the eventual deal was so low as to be almost derisory. (See the pitch here) (more…)

Global Storming
by NICK ROSEN on JULY 30, 2011 - 2 Comments in WATER

What goes up when the rain comes down?

Brace yourself!  Worldwide, 2010 was the wettest year since records began. And it was not just the amount of rain and snow, but the intensity which increased.

Choosing where to live in the future will be much more to do with protecting yourself against flooding than worrying about warmer weather and rising sea levels.

Australia, Pakistan, Tennessee, China, the Philippines, Thailand, Brazil, the Balkans, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Colombia, Sri Lanka, France and the UK all experienced devastating rainfall last year. And there was unusually heavy snowfall in some of those regions.

Why is this happening and what should you do about it? There is a list of tips at the end of the story. (more…)

84 acre Virginia Commune
by DUST on JULY 30, 2011 - 52 Comments in I AM OFF GRID AND I WANT OTHERS TO JOIN ME

Going Off-Grid…currently a once thriving tobacco farm that we’re renovating (slowly) in need of help in the gardens and with the animals in exchange for a place to live and some food…a going commune…but am done with those under 25 who come and then do little if anything…need Doers not dreamers and talkers…beautiful area among the amish farms of Virginia’s southern Piedmont between Richmond and Raleigh…have a large beautiful but as yet unfinished cabin…a sharecropper’s shack…a pop-up trailer…and an old house used mainly for storage…John (GoldMiningGuy) is renovating a shorty school bus as living acommodations…sandra the farm owner offering a place to live and some food in exchange for 15 solid hours in the gardens helping with specialty crops that she has a buyer for…just not the help to get it done this year….and some help feeding and watering Sicilian Donkeys and chickens and Penny the rescue horse. Going off-grid but still has phone and internet and limited electricity…an RVer with a smaller rig would be welcome. Prefer nobody under 25 as they all drift off to the city lights and don’t get it when it comes time to get up early and work in the gardens for a couple hours a day! She also has little side businesses on eBay and etsy and flea market selling.

Looking to move
by OINGRAM on JULY 30, 2011 - 1 Comment in I WANT TO GO OFF GRID

Looking for someone outside metro area to move to to live off grid. Also looking for someone who has land/house to sell/rent outside metro area, perhaps with a litle land where this can happen. Also interested in finding like minded people who would like to form coop to accomplish the same. you may contact me at

Can do
by VEG-HEAD on JULY 29, 2011 - 2 Comments in OFF-GRID 101

One of the oldest methods of preserving foods, canning is experiencing a resurgence — with sales of home-canning products up 35 percent in the past three years.

One of the best of hundreds of blogs is Canning Granny. Coming next month is the first Can-It-Forward Day, when home canners can connect through a national circuit of parties and social-media activities.

“I think canning goes with the interest in home arts, knitting, homesteading,” said Jeanne Sauvage, founding member and editor of Canning Across America, a nonprofit group committed to the revival of home canning. The group, started in 2009, is among the participants in Can-It-Forward Day.

“It also intersects with the local food movement,” Sauvage continued. “What canners do is they get fresh local produce and preserve it for times when they can’t get fresh local produce.

“It’s all part of the concentration on local food.” (more…)

Smart Meter resistance growing around world
by NICK ROSEN on JULY 29, 2011 - 17 Comments in ENERGY

Smart meters - a new spy in the home

Australian power companies have been caught trying to grab an extra $500 million to pay for its smart meter roll-out.
Smart meters are being promoted s around the world, as the energy industry tries to cement the present system into place via the massive investment required to build the smart grid.
In Britain, fear is growing that the big six energy suppliers (more…)

Virginia Commune
by DUST on JULY 29, 2011 - 55 Comments in I AM OFF GRID AND I WANT OTHERS TO JOIN ME

My female farmer friend sam has started an intentional community in the rolling countryside of Southside Virginia amidst amish farms…very rural…has 84 acres…nearby creek to cool off…large not quite finished cabin and a sharecropper’s shack and a pop-up trailer and an old house used mainly for storage…it’s rough and tumble…not quite primitive…going off-grid one sector at a time…just started hooking up some solar panels…John (GoldMiningGuy) is renovating a shorty schoolbus as living acommodations…there is phone and internet and right now limited electricity…oh, and a well. Sam needs folks who are doers and not dreamers who just talk…especially needs help getting the gardens back up and running as she has buyers for some specialty crops like sunchokes but doesn’t have the help right now. She even splits profits on the crops but it takes work to git’er done. She needs 15 hours a week of real work (helping in the gardens and feeding & watering the critters…the donkeys are a hoot) in exchange for a place to live and some food…if you have some income that’d be best if you’d like to partake of phone and internet and electricity until they’re off grid powered…she has side businesses on eBay and etsy and flea market selling…do you have anything like that too??…also has chickens and donkeys and a rescue horse named Penny. Secluded and very rural. Nearby town of 35,000 has Walmart (uugghh) and Lowes and Tractor Supply and more. Not much job opportunity here. An RVer would fit in great if it’s not too big. Have had 16 people in the last 2 years, most all slowly drift away to the big city lights so prefer no one under 25…just haven’t seen any commitment in that age group…older even better!!!!!

What is Ashton Kutcher’s off-grid secret?
by NICK ROSEN on JULY 27, 2011 - 15 Comments in SELF-SUFFICIENCY

Ashton Kutcher....... guns at the ready

A few months ago heart-throb actor Ashton Kutcher was spotted buying $2500 of goods in a survivalist store – flashlights, dry food and so forth.

But we know from his previous interviews that Kutcher has no faith in the ability of normal, run-of-the-mill survivalist techniques to deal with the total collapse of society that many are forecasting.

So where is he planning to run to?

“It will not take much for people to hit the panic button,” he told a magazine. ”The amount of convenience that people rely on based on electricity alone… People don’t have maps anymore. People use their iPhones or GPS systems, so if there’s no electricity, nobody has maps….. people are going to go, ‘That land’s not yours, prove that it’s yours,’ and the only thing you have to prove it’s yours is on an electric file.” (more…)

Off grid in suburbia – no power bill
by NICK ROSEN on JULY 26, 2011 - 9 Comments in SELF-SUFFICIENCY
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – JULY 25 — I have been living off the grid for the past three years, however, my 13 year old daughter and I do not live in a rural or isolated setting, instead, we live in the middle of suburbia.
It has been interesting to note the various reactions that people have when they discover we are “powerless.” My family were initially horrified; the two eldest girls both in their 30’s were incredibly embarrassed and still are, as are my brothers and sisters. Apparently it is not the done thing to take oneself off the grid, as only hippies or the very poor would live like this.
Well, I’m not a hippy, therefore I am poor, or at least I was when I was paying for power. (more…)

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