Living Off Grid in Oregon

What is it like to live off grid in Oregon
What is it like to live off grid in Oregon

Living Offgrid in Oregon, according to Brian. – ( Solar Thermal Magazine)

Brian shares how he ls living offgrid(without coal and propane energy) in Oregon, on his farm and workshop. Brian uses solar panels, in the summer,that he bought on Craigslist for $200. each, for electricity. He also uses a microhydrogenerator and wood that puts in his wood stove to heat the place and cook with in the winter. Brian built the main house, which he did just to have something to live in, that passed code.

Later he built a smaller home that resembles a Japanese pagoda. This he described as living the way we were meant to, as it blends in with the landscape, without detracting from it. Brian uses heat from the sun to warm his hot water tank. He said that the temperature was 120 degrees. He has a solar thermal window that uses in winter to draw heat in. He has a solar bath house that is pretty too. He built it from used wood. It contains a soaker tub, that he bought very cheap.

Brian lives in a rain forest. He uses a chest freezer that acts like a refrigerator. Batteries and an inverter are used so he has air conditioning, wifi, cable tv and phone. There are hot houses on the property, so he can starts his plants from seed. Later at harvest time, he can gather the vegetables and eat, sell some of them at farmer’s markets and freeze the rest so he has something to eat in the winter. Also jams, jellies and salsa is made from the fruit and also sold.

Often, people who live there, spin their own wool as have Alpacas on the land. They have goats for milk and chickens for eggs too. Spring water is used to drink with. Often vegetable and fruit waste as well as garbage, is tossed into compost piles and turned over with manure and soil. It is heated by the sun, that decomposes it. Compost is used as a fertilizer in the farm but it also cuts down on the garbage so it costs less to bring the trash to the land fill.

Cans and bottles are recycled.Brian builds kayaks for a living and has incorporated them in the design of the house as see a kayak in the ceiling. He is definitely a resourceful, intelligent and innovative man, who is determined to be living off grid in Oregon!  While it must have ben time-consuming to build the homes and hot houses, he seems to enjoy what he is doing. Brian feels living out in the woods, independently,off the grid is good for his soul.

About Gordon Smith
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.

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