Sarah | |

[before_listing id=274 images= youtube=null] I am not quite ready to go off grid yet as I rent right now, but I would like to do so in the future.
I am looking for other people to talk with about the possibility of eventually starting a community in Chemung County that would be off the grid. I have lots of ideas and thoughts on the process, but as they say two heads are better than one. The more ideas and thoughts there are the more likely it can be put together eventually. I am not in a rush to see this happen immediately, but I would be happy if I was able to do it in the next 10 years.[landbuddy_listing id=274 youtube=null]

Buy our book - OFF THE GRID - a tour of American off-grid places and people written by Nick Rosen, editor of the off-grid.net web site

19 Responses to “Looking for other people to talk with”

  1. stadulevich

    i have the same sort of time frame maybe more to 5 years but looking at islands along the equator where I can grow fruit and veggies year round. Ill prob start trying to hold meetings in Pittsburgh to get a small group together

    Reply
  2. Belle

    Hey I actually was born in Elmira and lived in Horseheads most of my life. I am very interested in this concept of Off-Grid lifestyle but am very new to the idea. I would love to talk more with you and anyone else in our area about it. I am also in no real rush to make the leap as I said I am new and just learning about all of this.

    Reply
  3. michael

    hi sARA i am in elmira also.lets talk meet n bounce ideas. very interested in finding A way outa the city.

    Reply
  4. Will

    Sarah,
    that sounds like a wonderful idea, and I’ll be going off grid within the next 5 years as well. I would really like to hear more about your plans. Remember now is the time to buy cheap land around the country, people are selling out. I’m located around Jamestown, NY. Good luck!!

    Reply
  5. MJ

    this is a topic that has been on my mind the last several months. you can find me on facebook. i live currently just outside elmira.

    Reply
  6. thirdeyesoulconnection

    im from new york, add me on facebook…. i been thinking about building a community, i have different skills in general, free energy skills, survival skills, etc….. are you getting prepared for what coming?

    Reply
  7. Bob K.

    Sarah – Saw on the map that you were in Elmira. I was born and raised in Watkins Glen, spent my teaching career in Seneca Falls, and then my wife and I moved to North Carolina. I am interested in knowing more about self sufficiency, but I have to tell you that with all that is coming during the next couple of years, apartment dwelling may well be a very good choice. For one thing, you have a potential community in your building and your neighborhood. Community is growing in importance as we all begin to face greater and greater challenges. I say “potential community” because people living in close proximity to each other do not a community make! However, if the people around you understand at least the basics of the very hard times that are ahead, they might see the rationale for banding together ASAP to form a true community of people who take care of each other! In neighborhoods in your area of Elmira there would be plenty of opportunities, I suspect, to grow your own garden foods (if the new food safety bill doesn’t interfere), can and share foods, learn first aid, teach each other how to live more efficiently, watch out for each others safety, and so on. If you do move out and go to a known community, check it out first. There can be some big downsides to groups calling themselves communities. Bottom line: right now, and for several years to come, people living in close proximity to each other who are committed to each other trumps going off-line as the major concern (in my opinion). Bob K.

    Reply
  8. Cabinman

    Hi again Sarah,

    Are you familiar with Earthhaven near Asheville, NC. ? http://www.earthaven.org/ They might be an interesting case study for you. Deb and I actually considered joining them at one point several years ago. I also believe there are a couple of intentional communities near Ithaca that you might check out.

    There are a good number of off-grid communities in New Mexico that you may or may not be aware of. Also you should read Rob Roy from Plattsburgh and Helen and Scott Nearing’s The Good Life if you haven’t already. Lot’s of good insight and inspiration.

    Best Regards and Good Luck!

    Reply
  9. bill

    Hello Sarah;
    I am slowly moving back to an off the grid existence as I lived for awhile several years ago. I am a couple hours east of you. I have some building experience and am trying to learn more. I have found the move towards less reliance on businesses and corporations for my existence very wonderful and I feel more comfortable in my life as I free myself from the need of things I never really needed. I am looking to join with or start up with some like minded people for a community as well. I would be very interested in any discussions and sharing of information. Cabinman you seem like a good resource and willing to share. Thanks. Good luck.

    Reply
  10. Cabinman

    Hi Sarah,

    I would be happy to be a sounding board for you on your plans to move off grid. I have some experience, but by no means do I claim to be an expert. My wife and I are a couple of hours north of you in the southern edge of the Tug Hill region. We are both artists and organic gardeners.

    People come to this lifestyle from a variety of back grounds, for different reasons and with different end goals. We are open minded and have a live and let live attitude and just enjoy talking with others who share an interest in off-grid living. We can all learn from one another.

    Wishing you the best!

    Reply
  11. Sam

    Sarah, it’s nice to hear from someone with inspired off-grid dreams. I have lived off-grid for ten years, self built “handmade” house on ten acres in Oregon’s high dersert. Although all the homes where we live are independently built/powered, in the community, we do help each other build homes, keep animals, butcher and wrap, make cheese, soap, sauages… I think off-grid communities, planned or otherwise are great and there is no need to be academic about it. Good luck with your plans and ideas

    Reply
  12. Sarah

    elnav you assume way too much about me and have been nothing but rude and pushy about your opinions. If you had been nice and not so presumptuous about me I would have obliged a civil conversation, but I do not have time to listen to one sided banter. So good day sir and please stop bothering me!

    Reply
  13. elnav

    Sarah could you expand on what you envision an off grid community would be like. I have the impression you have already rejected living in an existing community that is off grid and seek to create something new and differeent. What do you think would be the common denominator that would hold an off grid community together as a community?

    Reply
  14. elnav

    You could say that a collection of homes lacking connection to outside electrical source of power is off grid but that does not necessarily make it a community. We have that situation here at present. I know of half a dozen homes not connected to the grid but they do not constitute an “off-grid” community . Obviously some other critera is needed to meet your expectation of an off grid community. Please do not think I am putting down the idea . I too would like such an arrangement. I know of several themed communities centered around some common theme. Last year I visited a place that was more than 30 miles beyond the last visible power pole. I was there to estimate for a big inverter installation to support at least 50 people living in self contained isolation. They had their own power station, repair shops, food garden and dormitories not to mention a dozen individual family houses.
    The plan was to build a facility that could easily house several hundred families. I had visited similar communites back east. Some that had no electricity whatsoever. I am not exactly unfamiliar with the concept nor the real world application. Back in the sixties and early seventies there was a lot of start up communes mostly inspired by the flower power hippie movement. Very few of them have sustained themselves to last until today. Examining the causes of the disintegration would be informative. Simply being ‘off-grid’ is not enough cause to form a cohesive community. If it was, we would see the people around here join in at community events. I have also seen islanded communities formed around a specific theme. While the physical building remains the people now living there may not be sharing the original vision of the founders.

    Reply
  15. elnav

    I guess it’s a question of terminology.
    A community with multiple individual dwellings linked by a small system of distribution wires for electricity, pipes for water, and possibly propane fuel is islanded but is essentially a microcosm of the bigger world that is also linked by a grid of communal services. At what point does a small network of electricity distribution become the ‘GRID” that we strive to escape from? definition please?

    Reply
  16. Sarah

    Thank you Nick I agree. I also think shutting yourself off from having other people around you is a bit crazy. We as humans need companionship and to be around other people who hold the same views as ourselves. What is the difference between building a road with one person vs. building a road with many? I think in a community people can supply their own needs (solar/wind power, water, etc.) within their own personal space while also still staying connected to the human race.
    I also think their is a happy medium in which neither consumerism or deprivation of things is extream and we as a human race need to find that balance.

    Reply
  17. Nick Rosen

    I do not believe there is a contradiction between being in a community and being off grid,in fact being in a community is the best way to be off-grid – which has the common sense meaning of living without the Utility lines of power, water, etc.
    Its not a philosophical conundrum, but an important personal and political choice. Nor is it more expensive, as long as you accept that you are opting for a different lifestyle and you cannot get a a setup like people have in their grid=tied suburban homes

    Reply
  18. elnav

    Sarah do you realize there is a contradiction in your expressed wish “starting a community in Chemung County that would be off the grid” ?
    The minute you have a community and combine efforts to have a communal benefit you begin to create your own grid. For example someone gets a great deal on a generator. Its way too big for one home so the logical thing is to share the power among three or four homes. By so doing you have created your own ‘community grid’ and so it goes. Should you decide to have everyone help in making a dirt track or wagon road out to civilization you have a simple kind of transportation grid forming. The road link is a communal effort.
    My wife’s uncle runs a resort off-grid. All told he has 17 buildings and a generator house. A distribution grid feeds power to each of these buildings. The central washrooms and laundry room, not to mention the dining hall all share this power. His own residence has solar panels to power the commmunications shack, computer and the well pump that supplies everyone with water. Apipe grid distributes water to various places. A big propane tank has a pipeline network to feed propane to the winterized buildings with self contained cooking facilities .
    He is definitely off-grid but had to build his own grid to support his transient population of vacationers that come for a visit either for a week or all summer. Sounds very similar to what you would like to build. The only difference being it cost him five times as much for every service compared to if he was in the nearest town 30 miles away. Going off-grid is percieved by many as some sort of panacea for many people. Up here where I live being off grid is simply a way of life where many of them wish they could move into town and connect on grid because it would be cheaper, not to mention be more convenient. There is a lot more to being off-grid than disconnecting the power utility.

    Reply
  19. elnav

    Sarah Welcome! You have come to the right place. Lots of forums that deal with the nuts and bolts of some specific technical aspect. However there ar fewer discussion places that deal with the broader aspects of off grid living. I have been designing off grid power systems for a decade now so several people encouraged me to write a book on the subject. As I began outlining the book chapters, it dawned on me that generating your own power is only a small part of the whole issue. My wife was born on an off grid homestead. When she was 20 she bought her own off grid log cabin and lived in it for a year together with her hunting cat. Every week he would bring home a grouse. She cooked it on a wood stove..
    Lots of good stuff to talk about besides Solar which up here at latitude 54 north is not such a hot item during winter.

    Reply

Leave a Reply