At the beginning of each month, I really enjoy having a Virtual Coffee Catch up with blogger friends, Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond and Leanne from Cresting The Hill. I really like the idea of a monthly catch up, so, inspired by Sue and Leanne, I am starting a new series called ‘Our Life On a Dirt Road and Off The Grid’.
On the first Friday of each month, you can pop into the blog and find out what has been happening at our tiny piece of paradise, during the previous month. Its’s not that much happens here really. But I would love to share our lifestyle and comings and goings with you.
For this month I will give you a little bit of information about where we live, just so you know what to expect when you make your virtual visit.
We live on a property of 20 acres, on a dirt road, 25 kilometres from Bendigo in an area called Axe Creek. Our property is not suitable for farming, but is perfect for living a sustainable lifestyle. We are surrounded by beautiful bushland, as our property adjoins the Greater Bendigo National Park.
We have only been here for just on two years, and this is our first experience with living off the grid, so we’re still relying on trial and error to perfect our systems. So far everything is going well.
Off The Grid
‘Off the grid‘ means that we have no electricity connected to our house at all. We are completely powered by solar power. In our case we also don’t have water or gas connected. We have rainwater tanks and dams and our gas is delivered in bottles.
This type of life may sound austere to some, but we don’t find it at all uncomfortable. It just means that we have to give a little thought to the power and water that we use. Contrary to what most people think about off the grid living, we have most mod cons in our house.
We do limit the use of some electrical appliances that use large amounts of power, such as a hairdryer and an iron. We have a generator for back up power. When I need to use these appliances, I simply turn on the generator to limit the power that is sucked out of the solar batteries.
We don’t have an air conditioner, but this isn’t a problem, as our mudbrick house only gets hot if we have a run of very very hot days. We find fans are all we need to cool us on those extra hot days.
We also don’t have a dishwasher. I know that’s unimaginable in these days of convenience, but I really don’t mind washing dishes. My partner, Chris always helps and I enjoy it’s a good time to debrief about our day. In past years, I’ve always had a dishwasher, but rarely used it, so thisn’t a sacrifice to me at all.
We consider our choice to live here to be a lifestyle choice, so any small inconvenience is easy to tolerate. Small inconveniences are a small price to pay for the benefits and experience of living off the grid.
One of the big advantages of living off the grid, apart from the lifestyle is that we don’t have any of those annoying utility bills. I’m sure there would be many living in cities who would be envious of this.
At the moment we both work, so time spent at home is a bit limited. But we look forward to a fantastic life here in retirement. The aim by then is to be as self sufficient as possible by also producing our own food such as eggs, vegetables and fruit.
This is what we are working towards and making preparations for. This is what we can discuss each month, when you virtually pop over to visit our home on a dirt road.