Wild Gourd Farm

Organic Gardening in St. Louis City

Winter Reading: Off The Grid

As future farmers and homesteaders, Eric and I aspire to live off the grid- providing our own electricity, water, and sanitation needs without the power and utility companies. Nick Rosen’s Off the Grid, tackles the complex question: why do people live off the grid? The first section of the book provides the reader with a bit of a history lesson, describing the early days of electricity, explaining the industrialization of electric and water suppliers, and discussing the new era of the so-called “super grid.” There were more than enough reasons in just the first chapter to make me want to live off the grid.

The second (and larger) part of the book chronicles Rosen’s adventures around the US, seeking out and meeting people who live off the grid. Rosen has categorized the off-gridders based on their motives- some choose to live off the grid to be more in tune with nature or to be self reliant, while other people have no choice, unable to pay for the utilities (or even a place to live), or living in an area not serviced by the grid.  Through the journey, Rosen shares a lot of reasons why people live off the grid, but I wish that some sections had been more detailed, specifically how some off-the-gridders implemented their self-reliant lifestyle. There is little mention of how his subjects access water or handle their waste, though Rosen includes water and sanitation in his definition of the grid.

Fortunately, Rosen has a website, with a blog, forums, and other resources that have answered all of my concerns. If you’re interested in homesteading and self-sufficiency, you should really check it out at off-grid.net.

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4 responses to “Winter Reading: Off The Grid

  1. JC March 17, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Adding this to my list of books to read!

  2. Southernruralroute.wordpress.com March 25, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    I read Off the Grid in 2011. In it, he had a great quote attributed to Aldous Huxley which I put on my bulletin board because following a late 2009 layoff and long-term unemployment, I have entered the post-consumer society. The quote: “Spoken or printed, broadcast over the ether or on wood-pulp, all advertising copy has but one purpose – to prevent the will from ever achieving silence. Desirelessness is the condition of deliverance and illumination.”

  3. Becca March 26, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Glad you kept that quote, it’s a good one. Thanks for stopping by and sharing it!

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