At the end of March 2013 we bought Easterdown – a 9 acre organic smallholding with planning permission to replace the existing house.
Easterdown was off grid when we bought it and we have chosen to remain that way using a combination of solar panels, batteries, modern electronics and a generator for backup power. No mains electricity connection, our own well, cooking and heating with wood.
*The Dream? To find a place where Mike could work from home and Vickie could grow her tiny but successful artisan cheesemaking business. By taking on the challenge to build and stay off grid we were able to buy much more land than we could have afforded otherwise. Plus the allure of taking responsibility for our water, drainage, heating and electricity was compelling.
A warning – this is NOT for the faint hearted. To do this we have learned to live in a constant state of problem solving. Which means a lot of day to day uncertainty, a lot of fearful times and a lot of failure, usually at the weekend when no one is available to help. But the unique privilege to really know what it means to take responsibility for yourselves is a thrill worth all of the gut-wrenching fear.
I can’t understand how some people go skiing or snowboarding; the idea of throwing yourself off of an icy cliff with only a piece of wood under your feet is completely outside of my comfort zone. But maybe our ‘extreme sport’ is Easterdown.