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I'm starting an off-grid comunity.

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posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 04:27 AM
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I've always been incredibly interested in survival, minimalism, and off-grid living. Growing up in the 80's and 90's, with all this emerging technology - and a family who loved immersing themselves within it - it kind of pulled me in too far, and it feels as though I would have a difficult time living without a few of these first-world commons. Internet being the main force behind this issue. Nevertheless, I've always had a magnetized focus on a lifestyle away from everything.

A few months ago I met several new friends that feel the same way. We all began working with an oil drilling company, and equally disliked the thought of it. Each day we would dream how peaceful it would be to be home with our wives, working on a hobby, having a life. Unfortunately, we all had our reasons for needing to be out there, 24/7 for 3 out of 4 weeks every month, breathing in various fumes, being covered in a liquid solution called "invert" (which is carcinogenic); head to toe, every day.

We are all very outdoorsy people, We are all very health-driven, and we all have our various backgrounds which lead us to acquiring certain talents. One of my friends is incredibly talented when it comes to anything construction-based. He's built several homes, and has otherwise always had a construction job. The other friend grew up on a successful organic fish farm, which his parents still continue to operate. And I have always participated in wildlife conservation, marketing, and videography.

So we came up with an idea, which initially involved only the three of us and our spouses, where we could feasibly live off-grid, have a constant year-round supply of fresh foods (meats, vegetables, and fruits), create our own electrical grid, heat, water purification, and homes. All within a comfortable setting.



The full operation revolves around one thing; Aquaponics. If you don't know what that is, it's essentially like hydroponics (the growing of vegetation within water based "grow beds") and Aquaculture (the growing of fish for meat).

The great thing about Aquaponics is that, unlike hydroponics, you don't need to have an external source to keep the water nutrients where they need to be with expensive chemical additives, because the fishes waist achieves this for us. You also are able to grow a meat source as well, at very reasonable volumes, and a very small amount of space (in respect of more common farming techniques).



There are a number of positives when it comes to Aquaponics, But i'm not going to go in to that so much. There are a lot of other attributes to this "community" that truly make it off-grid and feasible.

We really wanted to focus on how to cut out each and every one of our common house-hold bills. The main issue being electricity and heat (especially considering we live in canada). The expensive route, and also the idealistic way to generate electricity would be through solar sources. We've calculated our current electrical usage per home and estimated the costs that we would need to establish a solar grid to supply all three homes, plus the aquaponics farm.

Heat generation would be from two sources, one being an in floor heated water system, and another being generated from steam. The in-floor heating would be created through compost heat. We discovered a way in which we can form a circulating, closed system where we use large compost heaps in order to heat water filled piping within them, easily heating the water to 60 degrees within a mater of minutes. A wood-burning boiler would be in place, providing steam-heating as a backup system, should the compost ever fail.



To cut costs further, we've devised a way to build all of our own homes, with as little external assistance as possible, and using as much free materials as possible (off our land), all while maintaining a comfortable form of living (the average house is about 1400 sq/f).

Additionally, we are designing the Aquaponics farm to be large enough to supply nearby cities with year round, organic foods and products, thus allowing us to live off grid, and stay off grid.

Within the next 5 years we will be purchasing between 100 to 200 acres of land within south-central British Columbia. The goal is to expand on this initial project, bringing in like-minded individuals and families, and creating an entire off-grid community that is entirely self sustaining, and green.



I apologize for not elaborating much further, I didn't want to make a massive wall of text. The concepts are far more detailed then I've explained, but I'd like to hear from you.

I'm here because I want to know what you guys have come up with for sustainable, green, off-grid living; both fantasy, and practically. And I want to know that if there was a community like this that had all the amenities you currently have (or better) living where you do now, but in an off-grid, out of scope setting, would you every consider joining it?
edit on 6/4/15 by Ghost147 because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 04:36 AM
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Good luck .. anywhere in most of world anymore you will have the bankers and taxman at your door with their grubby mits out wanting their cut ... especially in western countries ...

Nope .. prefer my solitude cant stand having neighbors ... if want to be around people I make the trip downriver ..
edit on 6/4/15 by Expat888 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 04:42 AM
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a reply to: Ghost147

Brilliant idea, I've looked into Aquaponics myself and I am hoping to set up a small unit this year in my back garden.

I'm surprised this farming method is not main stream. If I'm not mistaken, 1 acre of agriculture land can produce £20,000 of produce. An aquaponics unit on an acre of land can produce £250,000 of produce, and food grows quicker.

Good luck in your ventures and if it does go ahead, please share here on ATS.




posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 04:50 AM
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originally posted by: Expat888
Good luck .. anywhere in most of world anymore you will have the bankers and taxman at your door with their grubby mits out wanting their cut ... especially in western countries ...

Nope .. prefer my solitude cant stand having neighbors ... if want to be around people I make the trip downriver ..


We completely agree. It's another reason why we want to simply just get away. Currently I live in an area where there is a house 6 feet from my back door, and another house 6 feet from my kitchen window. Ironically, in one of the largest and least populated countries in the world (compared to its size)



originally posted by: flammadraco
a reply to: Ghost147

Brilliant idea, I've looked into Aquaponics myself and I am hoping to set up a small unit this year in my back garden.

I'm surprised this farming method is not main stream. If I'm not mistaken, 1 acre of agriculture land can produce £20,000 of produce. An aquaponics unit on an acre of land can produce £250,000 of produce, and food grows quicker.

Good luck in your ventures and if it does go ahead, please share here on ATS.



I will most definitely keep everyone updated as time goes on. Heck, I may even be screening people who wish to join us once we're more established. It will happen, it's just a matter of how long until we can begin.

Good luck with your Aquaponics system!



posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 05:15 AM
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a reply to: Ghost147

be prepared to supplement the tanks with additional nutrients, the fish might not supply your plants with a full balance

funbox



posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 05:32 AM
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originally posted by: funbox
a reply to: Ghost147

be prepared to supplement the tanks with additional nutrients, the fish might not supply your plants with a full balance

funbox



Thanks for the suggestion! We have already taken that into consideration. We're trying to design the farm to have as many back up systems and individual systems as possible so as not to effect the entire crop or fish population, but instead only ever a fraction of the total.



posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 06:32 AM
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I've often fantasized about it.

Sadly though in Britain there just isn't the space to even give it credible thought beyond a dream.



posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 07:58 AM
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Starting out, I think the best thing would be to buy this land before things in BC get any more expensive. Also be careful to check with the Native bands in the area regarding any future claims they might have to either your land or abutting lands. It would be sad for you guys to work on achieving your dream only to discover you were sold land that had a claim on it.



posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 08:32 AM
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a reply to: Ghost147

If you buy, own, settle on or live on....any land anywhere....usually someone, somewhere, sometime will have a record of who's owning it, living,on it,, sees or saw you there.

Not impossible but when you all headed there singlely or as a group, someone someplace would have served you, gassed your cars, saw smoke from your fires.

I agree completely in getting off the grid....but unless you're alone, hiking with a back back, never ever coming back...ever....somebody someplace will have seen, heard, saw, watched, supplied or videoed you passing to your destination.

Someone talked of buying some land to go to...but didn't realize then the gov will know who the owner is, taxes due each year and that SOMEBODY OR SOMEBODYS...live there.

Not to say don't do it.....but in even a small family group...it won't be easy to do

Good luck!



posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 08:53 AM
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Good luck, I hope it all works out. Will you be creating an online blog with videos, or just updating this thread with your progress? I am curious if the fish and plants would be susceptible to disease in that environment?



posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 09:44 AM
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Still have to have some kind of money though, to pay the tax man. No land is really free.



posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 01:21 PM
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Have you thought it through? You know people don't have a good track record of getting along. There's that silly little ego we are all born with. There's no way in hell I want a bunch of people around me in the middle of nowhere. You can come visit but that's as far I would take it.



posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 04:56 PM
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Back again...another thing....you just told over 300,000 ATS members and however many millions of non-member readers your plans....and where-abouts to find you....wouldnt take much to find your place when the citizens head for the hills...and your stuff

Possibly thousands.....think about it??????
edit on 6-4-2015 by mysterioustranger because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 04:56 PM
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originally posted by: Atsbhct
Starting out, I think the best thing would be to buy this land before things in BC get any more expensive. Also be careful to check with the Native bands in the area regarding any future claims they might have to either your land or abutting lands. It would be sad for you guys to work on achieving your dream only to discover you were sold land that had a claim on it.


That is incredibly useful advice. I was not aware that there could be such claims like this. I'll bring it up with the others


originally posted by: mysterioustranger
a reply to: Ghost147

If you buy, own, settle on or live on....any land anywhere....usually someone, somewhere, sometime will have a record of who's owning it, living,on it,, sees or saw you there.

Not impossible but when you all headed there singlely or as a group, someone someplace would have served you, gassed your cars, saw smoke from your fires.


I agree with you, that level of off-grid would be incredibly difficult to achieve. I must have misspoke, but I was leaning towards a more off all government power sources, water sources, gas sources, and so on, while still maintaining the same quality, but through our own production. The area's we are looking at are 100's of kilometers away from civilization, and would be difficult to find as it is. But at the moment we aren't trying to make it impossible to find us.

However, with the amount of land we want to purchase, and where it would be located, it would be very easy for us to construct a completely off-grid hideaway even further into the wilderness.


originally posted by: InTheLight
Good luck, I hope it all works out. Will you be creating an online blog with videos, or just updating this thread with your progress? I am curious if the fish and plants would be susceptible to disease in that environment?


Yes! We actually already have a website, it's currently being 'polished' so we will be releasing it once we have more media and information this summer.

The fish and plants would be susceptible to disease in any environment, really. They will all be within large greenhouses, and as I mentioned in an earlier post, we're going to be making numerous systems that are completely disconnected from each other in order to prevent a large breakout. Thus, being able to simply cure a small population, rather than risk our entire stock.



originally posted by: Gazrok
Still have to have some kind of money though, to pay the tax man. No land is really free.


Absolutely! The Aquaponics will take care of that. We will have the ability to create tens of thousands of pounds of fish and vegetation annually, and already have a marketing strategy in place for our distribution. We also have a number of concepts that will allow for a quick expansion all over the country.

At first we will simply build for our selves, keep it at a stable level, and simply live. However, as we accomplish that, we will be expanding the farms to a marketable level.

We figure that the first step of our plan will take about a year to a year and a half (to build all three of our homes, the first set of gardens, and all other base necessities). The following year will strictly be on farm growth for profitability.

Because everything is organically produced, we can also sell byproducts (such as nutrient rich water, and top quality compost).


originally posted by: LOSTinAMERICA
Have you thought it through? You know people don't have a good track record of getting along. There's that silly little ego we are all born with. There's no way in hell I want a bunch of people around me in the middle of nowhere. You can come visit but that's as far I would take it.


Yes, absolutely. It's far more complex than I original posted. Both myself and one of the other individuals already had this concept in mind before we met each other, and our personalities have absolutely no friction. The third is a bit new to the concept, but we all have a particular agreement that we devised at the beginning of this idea in which anyone could be 'out' if any sort of conflict looks like it could arise.

We understand the fragility living like this would intrinsically have. If we decide to expand the community, the acceptance of new individuals would be a rigorous one, not achieved lightly.



posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 07:47 PM
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Another thought...How do all of your wives feel about this? And do they get along?



posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 08:34 PM
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a reply to: Atsbhct

Was wondering the same thing No way could I convince the wife to go for this! She'd stop listening right after the "quit my job" part.



posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 08:51 PM
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originally posted by: Atsbhct
Another thought...How do all of your wives feel about this? And do they get along?


Yes, they get along very well. My wife and I, and my friends wife and him, both dreamed of living as far from civilization as possible before we ever met. We did marry them for a reason after all



posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 09:47 PM
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Most people have too high of expectations for off grid living, as in trying to live off grid with the same mentality and "stuff" as on grid. In all my reading, I've learned that bigger isn't better, at least with the living areas. Smaller houses are easier to keep warm, cool, clean etc. Since all will be done by hand without modern conveniences, best to keep it simple and small. A good solid A frame will stay toasty in the winter and with proper positioning and vents, cool in the summer. You should pay attention to your weather and environment in order to use what nature supplies you instead of trying to make nature bend to your needs.

Curious, are you going to try the compost toilet system, using moss or substrate to avoid having an outhouse? I'm seriously considering building a small hut with this, off grid about 500 from my house just to see how it goes.

Cool idea and hope it all goes well.



posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 10:35 PM
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a reply to: StoutBroux

I have a composting toilet at the "lake house" (it's practically a shed, but who's measuring), and Im pretty satisfied with the ease of use and ease of installation. We use wood shavings for organic material. Usually I douse them in a bit of tea tree or eucalyptus oil and shake them up in a bucket.



posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 10:42 PM
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This idea is awesome. I've thought about that a lot myself. Who wouldn't want to do that, it's how humans were meant to live. Not living to work.







 
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