The big leap

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Smokehouse
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The big leap

Post: #105776 Smokehouse
Tue May 27, 2008 1:42 pm

Hi folks I joined a few weeks and have been reading the forums extensively. Some time next year I am hoping to leave the UK buy a couple or more acres of land and go completely off grid. This will mean reed bed filters for black and grey water, rocket stoves and bread ovens for cooking, bore holes for water and solar and wind power for electricity.
I hope to "farm" willow for fuel and harvest water for irrigation along with crops and some livestock.
Its a huge leap from my current lifestyle and a massive gamble for me as there will be no safety net and no job or home to come back to! I hope to keep you all posted with my eforts in both planning before departure and achievements or failures upon arrival.
I will have a huge amount of questions to ask any one who can help and offer any suggestions, comments (clean only please!), tips or advice will be most welcome.
Smokehouse
I know I aint doing much....................
But.....doing nothing means a lot to me

jondy
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Post: #105873 jondy
Tue May 27, 2008 9:26 pm

Good luck with your adventure.
What part of the world are you heading off to?


John

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Smokehouse
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Post: #105882 Smokehouse
Tue May 27, 2008 10:59 pm

I expect it will be somewhere in Europe but I have no idea what part. I intend to leave Dover some time in late March or early April next year and land in Calais with my motobike and spend 3 months travelling and looking at eco villages and land for sale through southern europe. Factors to be taken into account will be climate and cost. I only have limited funds. I have chosen a bike to travel because its cheaper than car and can get me into places that a car wont and I wont have the problem of left or right hand drive. My boss, colleagues, friends and family think I am mad for attempting this but I need to drop out of the rat race where everything has to be bigger and better than whatever it is your peers have!
I know I aint doing much....................

But.....doing nothing means a lot to me

caithnesscrofter
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Post: #105959 caithnesscrofter
Wed May 28, 2008 11:28 am

rocket stoves eh? Im listening. Well, you sound like you will be doing what im doing now except im in the uk. My advice is if u r used to all of lifes little conveniences, try living without any of them and see what you can live without. Makes an off grid life easy not a chore. Choose low tech where possible. Take a year to set up your basic needs and tune in to your new place. Shelter, water, fuel (willow), toilet, grow food. I have two rules. If i have to travel into the town i always try to bring a free resource back with me. I go skip diving for building materials, trawl the local free stuff board and pick things up when i visit town, i see someone pruning their willow hedge i ask them if i can take the prunings for planting, etc. Etc. Be resourceful! I always try to kill two or even three birds with one stone. If i need to bury a waterpipe its going to be a drainage ditch too. If im excavating, i use the turf to build or put on a roof, topsoil will be another raised bed and subsoil is saved to build with cob or used as clay mortar. Etc. Etc. Be self-efficient.

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Post: #105960 mybarnconversion
Wed May 28, 2008 11:31 am

Smokehouse wrote:My boss, colleagues, friends and family think I am mad for attempting this but I need to drop out of the rat race where everything has to be bigger and better than whatever it is your peers have!


Sounds like you have your head screwed on the correct way unlike many of our peers! ;)

Have you considered heading to eastern europe - the baltic states for example that have a great climate and relatively cheap land?

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Smokehouse
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Re: The big leap

Post: #126974 Smokehouse
Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:34 am

Ok folks, merely an update on the situation so far. I did buy the bike and was ready to leave at the end of march 09, however 3 buyers have pulled out of house deals because the mortgage offeres they received were rescinded.

The credit crunch has scuppered all attempts at selling my house for the time being and as the proceeds of the house are needed to build the new life, this is on hold until some one buys my home. I am still determined to make the big leap at some point but it may talke a bit longer than I expected.

I will keep you all posted as promised.
I know I aint doing much....................

But.....doing nothing means a lot to me

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Clara
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Re: The big leap

Post: #126994 Clara
Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:03 am

Now that you have a little more time to think about your plans, may I suggest (from one off-grider to another), that you think very clearly how you are going to support yourself financially, you won't be able to go completely without money and you need to be realistic about your needs.

Before we made the big leap we did something similar to you in that we toured france and spain in our converted ambulance and wwoofed in various places to get a feel of what we liked.

Out of interest: do you live town or country at the moment?
baby-loving, earth-digging, bread-baking, jam-making, off-grid, off-road 21st century domestic goddess....

...and eco campsite owner

patR
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Re: The big leap

Post: #150452 patR
Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:04 am

I agree, we are not completely off grid, or selfsufficient, but manage well, I think complete selfsufficiency would be almost impossible, you cant grow loo paper.... well yes I know you could self make but... with animals, growing food, bedding and veggies for eating, log cutting drying stacking, cooking food and hand washing clothes ect ect do you really want to make your own loo rolls....
There are just some things you do need dosh for.... we usually manage on 10-15 euros every couple of weeks... not a lot but it is if you dont have it...
http://www.crazyfeetfootwear.com
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Re: The big leap

Post: #150458 Biscombe
Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:56 am

Hats off to you, go for it.

Just another take on supporting yourself financially and making profit from your land which is getting harder by the day.

I have a small chili set up where I sell seeds on line but mainly preserves locally with a view to one day finally giving up my paid job, but i must say that selling produce and preserves is getting tougher with all the regulations, so be careful there.

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Smokehouse
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Re: The big leap

Post: #152265 Smokehouse
Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:35 am

Hi again, at the moment I live in suburbia on the Wirral nice place but not what I want. I would hope to be able to survive on around 50 euros/pounds a week. I base this on the UK pension provision. One day I will only have a a government pension to exist on. That is circa 85 pounds per week so the plan is to learn to live on less than that until the savings run out or the pension kicks in.
I went to Lidl the other week and bought a basket of goods that I cant grow or produce myself, toothpaste, soap. cleaning products, toilet paper etc. The bill was around 20 pounds and should last me a month or so.
On average 5 pounds per week for the stuff I either need or have become used to. This is not a scientific approach as I am sure you can understand.
In September I am off to Portugal for a few days then riding my bike to southern France to stay with people who are doing what I want to do to see how they do it and what sort of life balance they have.
For now the dream is merely slumbering it is not dead!
More news as it happens
I know I aint doing much....................

But.....doing nothing means a lot to me

becks77
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Re: The big leap

Post: #152268 becks77
Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:25 am

Well I don't know about slumbering it sounds as if you know exactly what you want and it is merely circumstance putting things on hold for a while. Good luck with your projects, really hope it all works out for you, and in the mean time the trip sounds like fun too :cheers:
Would love to hear any updates
"no-one can make you feel inferior without your permission"

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Clara
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Re: The big leap

Post: #152287 Clara
Thu Apr 30, 2009 1:10 pm

Smokehouse wrote:I went to Lidl the other week and bought a basket of goods that I cant grow or produce myself, toothpaste, soap. cleaning products, toilet paper etc...


There are plenty of recipes for homemade toothpaste about, mostly using bicarb of soda and essential oils. Plenty of people here make their own soap, though I've yet to get round to it, I'm sure they could point you in the right direction. Most cleaning products can be done away with by using various combinations of vinegar, lemon juice, bicarb of soda, borax-substitute, essential oils, soda crystals - of course you'd still have to pay for some of this stuff but you can buy in bulk (at least in the UK - if anyone can tell me where to get baking soda in spain I'd be grateful!), I bet you could get that 20/month down a lot further.

And as for loo roll - make like most of the world and wash (then dry with cloth if you wish).

Good luck!
baby-loving, earth-digging, bread-baking, jam-making, off-grid, off-road 21st century domestic goddess....

...and eco campsite owner

alexgadd
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Re: The big leap

Post: #155199 alexgadd
Wed May 27, 2009 9:49 am

Clara wrote:if anyone can tell me where to get baking soda in spain I'd be grateful!


Do you have a mercadona nearby? That is where I get mine.

Alex
If God did not intend for us to eat animals, then why did he make them out of meat?
- John Cleese

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Re: The big leap

Post: #155233 CyberPaddy66
Wed May 27, 2009 11:50 am

Food prices in France (my ex-girlfriend was French) are more expensive than the UK so be careful with your food budget until your crops are rolling along, Spain is much cheaper (I had a friend to emigrated to there) but the climate may take it's toll.

I envy you the chance to do something so outstanding with your life, good luck!

On a side note have you ever watched Jean de Flotette and Mannon de Source?

They are a couple of French films about a TAX man who inherits land from his mother and tries to live 'off the grid'-ish but things go wrong, both films are great and when I showed them to the Mrs (SPS) she said lets move to France and raise rabbits :lol:
Life's a beach until you get sand in your pants!

alexgadd
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Re: The big leap

Post: #155294 alexgadd
Wed May 27, 2009 11:25 pm

Smokehouse wrote:Hi again, at the moment I live in suburbia on the Wirral nice place but not what I want. I would hope to be able to survive on around 50 euros/pounds a week. I base this on the UK pension provision. One day I will only have a a government pension to exist on. That is circa 85 pounds per week so the plan is to learn to live on less than that until the savings run out or the pension kicks in.
I went to Lidl the other week and bought a basket of goods that I cant grow or produce myself, toothpaste, soap. cleaning products, toilet paper etc. The bill was around 20 pounds and should last me a month or so.
On average 5 pounds per week for the stuff I either need or have become used to. This is not a scientific approach as I am sure you can understand.
In September I am off to Portugal for a few days then riding my bike to southern France to stay with people who are doing what I want to do to see how they do it and what sort of life balance they have.
For now the dream is merely slumbering it is not dead!
More news as it happens


Hi there

My partner & I are living completely off grid in Extremadura (South West Spain), this will be our second summer improving the land and slowly making renovations to the 300 year old roofless ruin. If you want to stop in on your way from Portugal to France, have a chat or stay the night in a spare tent, then we would be happy to help another isher.

Regards

Alex
If God did not intend for us to eat animals, then why did he make them out of meat?
- John Cleese


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