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Home Forums General Discussion OFF GRID WITH CHILDREN

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    Posted on behalf of Rod Austin

    I was hoping someone might have success stories to share about their experiences living off the grid with children. My husband and I are looking to change our lives and hoping to home school and work via the internet. We are currently in the process of simplifying our lives and getting rid of a lot of possessions that are anchoring us down. We currently live in Maryland, but would like to be some place warmer. We are considering everything from small farms to earthships to houseboats to RV living. What has worked best for people with children? How have people managed financially? We want to make this dream a reality.


    We’ve lived ‘off grid’ with children for 9 months now (the courts took 2 of them away bc we were in a camper and we are still fighting to get them back) but the 2 younger ones were not taken. I am not likely to come to this forum often but came here bc a friend tagged your post on my facebook page. Best place to be in touch with me in facebook. Would ba happy to share our experience with you

    send me a PM on Facebook. Our ‘journey’ has been blogged there

    Nick Rosen

    We sold our house in the city in March of last year to find out 2 weeks later that we were expecting our first child.  We moved to 10 acres of raw land and have been building our home as we go completely out of pocket since then.  Our child is now 5 months old, we are completely off grid and loving it.  Granted, she is still very small, but the way we have everything setup here you really don’t notice a difference from living in an on grid home.  I believe as she gets older its going to be the only thing she knows and will never have any hard times because of it.  Once the house is finished being built we will have no loans of any sort.  That offers our family more safety and security than we ever had living in the city.


    I was born in Saginaw Michigan, the oldest of what wound up 9 kids. During the mid to late 60’s when the race riots were going around, mom n dad decided to get out of the inner city.
    they found 60 acres they could afford, bare land pretty much, nothin on it but an old lean-to cattle shed, a couple dozen beef cows and an old untended apple orchard.
    i was 9 at the time and there were just 6 of us kids, youngest was 2. using lumber salvaged from the leant-to cattle shed, and logs cut from the woods, we built a 14 x 20 tarpaper shack with a loft and moved in. us kids shared the loft, mom n dad slept in the lower room. heat was an old potbelly stove that doubled for frying foods and boiling water n coffee in winter, summer times we cooked in the firepit outside.
    outhouse was 50 feet north of the door, well was 30 feet south, both were hand dug, us kids helpin as much as dad would allow.
    fridge was a small spring-fed waterhole at the bottom of the hill, kept everything good and cold. lighting was kerosene lanterns(still hanging on the walls today for emergencies) and 2 coleman lanterns, the type used for spear fishing. after 3 years kid number 7 came along and we decided we needed a lil more house. by the time the folks saved up enuff for building on, kid number 8 popped out, 2 years after number 7. we added a 24×24 with a full basement and upstairs making the the house a split level, we also added siding to the original house so it looked like a house now.
    by this time im 14, we still have no running water or electricity or a phone, us kids had the run of 12 acres of woods and lots of fields to play in, we were never bored or felt deprived
    a year later we added on to the back of the original house, a 20×20 that became kitchen, bath and mom n dads room.
    the upstairs on the other part took a while to finish as us kids did all the plastering and painting but we all moved into our new bedrooms with the pride of knowing we did the work
    btw u8p til we put in the bath n kitchen, baths wer every saturday night, in a 20 gallon galvanized washtub, water heated on the potbelly stove, the kid that was the best behaved got the first bath, the last (usually me ) went to the troublemaker, laundry was done in a wringer washer, all the water pumped by hand with a pitcher pump and hauled to the washer and dumped in, summers the washer sat on a pallet outside, winters it sat in a corner inside the house
    once the kitchen was built the wash was done in front of the kitchen sink
    when i was around 17 or 18 we got real power in and real running water, before that we hauled it in by the 5 gallon bucket and filled the toilet tank and bathtub so we could dip out what we needed elsewhere

    thats how i grew up

    now, of us 9 kids, im the only farmer, number 6 tried for a bit, she stil cans but doesnt even garden nymore
    numbers 8 and 9 garden, 9 cans. all the rest are basically yuppies
    im the closest to being off-grid and will eventually be there again, one of these days.
    the youngest will prolly do so when her kids leave home
    the rest no f’in way can they live without…
    should hear em bitch when the power is down, but they also thank mom n dad for teaching them how to deal with it


    oops, i didnt raise my kids completely off-grid, laws dont allow that here, but i got them as close to it as i could and gave them a lot of the experiences i had as a kid
    they have thanked me for it many times when times are rough
    and i hear them telling their kids they should treat their kids like i did mine…lol


    I live off grid with 2 children. We do homeschool also. We live in a normal (to us) home. I’m not sure what you mean by off-grid though. Why would having children matter or are you going to live “rough”? Off grid to us just means we are not connected to the grid. We are solar powered with some propane usage and well water with septic. We raise chickens and have bee hives. A small garden. We are still learning but off grid is normal to us. Do you have any specific questions? We live in TN.

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