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Unlocking Off-Grid Paradise: Mastering the Art of Location Selection

Embarking on an off-grid journey? Buckle up, because the location you choose might just be the pivot between thriving and barely surviving in your sustainable haven. Finding the right spot isn’t just a choice; it’s a masterstroke in the canvas of off-grid living.

Climate: Your Off-Grid Compass

Picture this: basking in the sun, harvesting energy from the abundant rays. Or, snug inside during chilly winters, relying on stored resources. Climate isn’t just small talk; it’s the cornerstone of your off-grid venture. The sun worshippers would revel in solar power in sun-drenched areas, while wind aficionados might thrive in breezier locales. Always assess how the climate aligns with your energy goals and lifestyle.

Resources: The Off-Grid Buffet

You’re the captain of your self-sufficient ship, and resources are your treasure trove. Water sources – abundant or scarce? Forests – foraging heaven or firewood woes? Land fertility – a potential garden paradise or a barren challenge? Unravel the resources your location offers, ensuring they align with your self-sustaining dreams.

Legal Considerations: Navigating the Off-Grid Maze

Ah, the legal tangle – a less romantic yet vital aspect. Zoning laws, building permits, and property regulations can either smoothen your off-grid sail or tangle it in red tape. Research local laws diligently; they could either support your vision or pose unexpected hurdles.

Accessibility: The Road Less Traveled

Off-grid living often means being off the beaten path. But how off is too off? Accessibility matters – for supplies, emergencies, and even the human need for connection. Balancing remoteness with access to essentials is a delicate art.

Community and Support: Lone Wolves vs. Tribe Seekers

Are you a lone wolf or a tribe seeker? The presence of like-minded individuals in the vicinity can make a world of difference. Sharing knowledge, resources, and occasional bonfires might be just what the off-grid doctor ordered.

In the symphony of off-grid living, the location holds the conductor’s baton, dictating the harmony or discord of your sustainable lifestyle. It’s not just about a spot on the map; it’s about aligning the environment with your off-grid aspirations.

So, aspiring off-gridders, heed this call: evaluate, scrutinize, and choose your off-grid Eden wisely. The right location isn’t just a pin on a map; it’s the cornerstone of your self-sustaining utopia.

Choose. Prepare. Thrive. Welcome to the symphony of off-grid living!

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Community|People

Ronnie Wood’s Ex-wife Runs Her Own Power

Jo Wood has got guts. the ex-wife of Rolling Stones rocker Ronnie Wood took on a huge project a few years ago, and now has a wonderful off-grid farmhouse in the UK.

“I’d dreamed of going off-grid,” she told The Telegraph. “I loved the idea of being self-sufficient, not only growing my own food, but having my own heat, electricity and water supply. This was it! It came with six acres, old sheds and barns ripe for conversion. The land was barren and there was no garden, but it meant I could do things my way. After my divorce from Ronnie in 2011, I’d been living in central London, so it was a huge change.”

Q: What did you have to do to get the house and garden up and running?
A:I moved into the house in November 2019, and in those first few weeks, the water ran out, the solar panels didn’t work, the electrics were dodgy, and the generator for heat and light broke down. I sat in the kitchen and said to myself: “I’ve made such a terrible mistake.” But slowly, I found the right people to help me turn things around. A modern generator was installed, new solar panels fitted and, after locating an underground water supply, an engineer drilled a hole nearly 300ft down to provide me with my own water. It was expensive, but from then on, I’d have no more bills.

Q: What were your plans for the garden?
A: One of the first things I did was to plant 70 trees, including willow, oak and apple. But my priority that first spring was to build raised beds for growing organic fruit and veg. Of course, four months after I moved in, the country went into lockdown; but with my son Tyrone and my daughter Leah and her family, we were all in the same bubble, so I got cracking and they helped me. Within no time, we’d sown everything from potatoes to pumpkins, with nasturtiums and calendula for colour. The house itself was already covered with climbing roses, so I planted lavender, rosemary and other scented herbs and flowers beneath.

Q: Why did you become so passionate about growing organic food?
A:I met Ronnie in 1977, when I was just 22. At that point, I had my son Jamie and he had his son Jesse. We had Leah and Tyrone together and got married in 1985. Then in 1990, I got ill and was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. I was on steroids; I was miserable. Then someone who’d read about my illness told me to cut out processed foods and go organic – veg, fruit, meat, the lot. With nothing to lose, I did. Four months later, I felt fantastic. But I got ill again. This time, I found out I didn’t have Crohn’s, I had a perforated appendix. Doctors were amazed …

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Cover of HOW WE WENT OFF GRID by Matthew Watkinson
Community|People

Off-Grid Authors Battle Neighbours

The authors of a book about how to live legally off the grid have been blocked from their home as revenge for writing the book. Charis and Matt Watkinson had used the book, HOW WE WENT OFF GRID, to blast the opponents of their planning application as selfish Nimbys.

Neighbours of the couple took control of a vital footpath leading to their Welsh smallholding, and now they fear they will be forced to sell up and move out.

“The impact could be devastating,” they said. “If we don’t have access to our home then we will have to leave and have to start from scratch.

“We will just have to start again. I don’t know what property prices are like at the moment but it will be hundreds of thousands of pounds.

“It will be emotionally and financially devastating. It would just be the worse case possible.’

“How We Went Off-Grid” is published by Vivum Media, which also publishes the off-grid.net web site. Matt and Charis, who quit jobs as vets to move to a zero-carbon eco-farm in Wales are facing financial ruin after neighbours ‘bought an unregistered right of way footpath just to cut off their access in personal vendetta’ according to their claims.

Their self-sufficient farm, described by Mr Watkinson as ‘a glorified recycling junk yard’, includes a person-powered washing machine and a gas cooker that functions on horse manure. They also have solar panel for electricity and a biodigester for gas, meaning they only have to pay for council tax.

Living on a zero carbon farm protected the family from soaring energy prices and the cost of living crisis, while its remoteness also provided a shield from the Covid pandemic.

A previously unregistered right of way, the access lane to their dwelling, has been purchased by a retired couple who are threatening to sue for trespassing and harassment.

The couple, who have two young children Elsa and Billy, were able to begin living their green dream thanks to the Welsh Government’s One Planet Development Policy.

The scheme allows families to build houses on green-belt land as long as they operate on zero carbon – a target they must hit within five years. HOW WE WENT OFF GRID provides the template that others can use to do the eact same thing.

Mr Watkinson said: ‘We have been here six years now. We are now living a very sustainable and low impact lifestyle. We have been shielded from energy price hikes, Covid, and the cost of living crisis.

‘We have been very glad to be up here. The house is a glorified recycling junk yard. We have a horse lorry, a camper van, but it is all perfectly functionable.’

‘There was opposition when we first moved, but once we received planning permission, we thought we would be left alone.

‘We were not being questioned just on …

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