Sunday, January 8, 2012

When did the dream begin?

When did the dream begin to live off-grid? I have to be honest and say that I have not given this much thought over the years since I decided I wanted to live off-grid. There are many reasons for my desire to live off-grid. But after thinking about it for some time I decide what the real driving factor was not the burning desire to be off-grid but the location – Wisteria.

I don’t know if I would have decided to live off-grid but for Wisteria. A little background, in 1997 a group of people formed a corporation called Wisteria, Inc. (Wisteria) and purchased 620 acres in Southern Ohio. If you want to learn more about Wisteria go to The property is a reclaimed strip mine. Even with all of the destruction that has taken place on the land it has a wonderful feeling to it when you are here. The way you feel when you are on the land is hard to describe. Most people say they feel like they are coming home. I was one of those people.

I was not part of the group that started Wisteria but I was at one of the earliest visits the group made to the land and I have been part of the extended community ever since by volunteering to work at their event site during events. There were several times over the years that I thought about buying into Wisteria but it never seemed to be the right time. In 2006 I had made the decision to try and purchase shares to become part of Wisteria. I had the intention to build a home and to eventually live there. May 2007 I purchased shares from a young couple that were moving out of state and everything fall into place.

I lucked out by waiting to buy into Wisteria. The old saying that timing is everything was certainly true in my case. The couple had purchased their shares from another woman who had already been living at Wisteria off-grid. She had a small home. The couple had been working to develop their site over the last 5 years. They had built a large shed and had several raised garden beds. The summer before they decided to sell they had added on to the house. It went from a two room house to a four room with a bathroom home. Electric was from a solar setup of a 65 watt panel and two batteries and the refrigerator and stove were propane. I was able to walk into an existing home that was ready to be lived in. There is much to do but I started out with a nice homestead.

While location was the major reason for going off-grid, there are other reasons. I want to be more self-sufficient. I worry about global warming and what we are doing to the environment and I want to be part of the solution and not the problem. I have a long way to go but this is a huge step. I also want to provide a lot of my own food.

So for me the dream began over 15 years ago when I visited a reclaimed strip mine with a group of dreamers and since then my feet have been on the path to live here. This goal was reached in May 2007 when I signed the agreement to purchase the couple’s shares. I spent the summers living off-grid and this year I took the leap to live here full time. So I am hoping for a mild winter but planning for the worse.

So when did your dream begin?


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