After a few years of practicing living off grid at our on-grid home in Wisconsin, we moved to Tennessee where my better half landed an amazing job to find our forever off grid land. We’re currently in a rental that does not have the huge yard like the house in Wisconsin did however, that doesn’t mean the learning and practicing stop. The past week and a half I started cooking and eating what we would grow and forage off grid, buying only the few basics we would buy in bulk. Although I’m only growing the few things I can in this small space, I’m only buying mostly what we prepare and eat off grid.
This has been a wonderful opportunity to improve my cooking and preserving skills as well as give me the opportunity to taste some wonderful new recipes and wild edibles. I’m a bit surprised with myself as I thought I would miss some of the lesser quality but delicious foods we once ate. I haven’t missed a darn thing!! I have an abundance mindset and there are an abundance of available ingredients to make the meat substitutions hubby and I both love as well as things like condiments and spice blends. I’m realizing that we can eat a nice variety of healthy, delicious meals with what is available to us. I’m feeling my health improve, I have so much more energy and I’m liking what I see in my skin, mind, spirit and body. Who knew eating mostly of what will be available to us off grid would be so amazingly beneficial to our health. Now I know where I’ll get the energy to set up our homestead and get things done!
What I buy is pretty basic. I buy fruits and vegetables that grow in the area we want to live with a few exceptions like bananas and oranges. I’m keeping it mostly in season. I do buy flour, salt, sugar, baking soda, etc. With the exception of flour, I’ll be buying these things in bulk. I do plan to grow and mill our own flour. The things we’re not producing ourselves I’m trying to buy local. Rice is another thing I will buy in bulk. We eat it and I use it in my home made dog food. I would like to grow it one day. We’re vegan however, our dogs are not. Every week I buy a chicken and make dog food and bone broth and can it. We will have egg chickens, we will not raise meat chickens. Tomato paste is one I keep a lot of. It’s just easier and cheaper to buy it than to make it. I can make it, I just don’t want to and it takes a ton of tomatoes. Just one little can of tomato paste can be soup, pasta sauce, pizza sauce, ketchup, etc. The small cans are easy to store.
The two long-term storage methods I know how to do are canning and dehydrating. Of course I can freeze to however, I’m not so sure we’ll have a freezer off grid, at least not right away, so I’m focusing on the skills I’m going to need immediately. Freezing isn’t too hard anyway and I don’t think I’ll forget how. Preserving the food we forage is easy and fun. Most of it we dry, some of it goes into the food I can such as soups and stews. We get a lot of medicine from the wild as well. There is an amazing freedom is not needing the man made medical system for every ailment. There are so many things we can take of and cure on our own with Gaia’s medicine.
I thought that eating only foods we would have off grid would be more of a challenge for me, I was wrong on that one! After a few days I didn’t even think about the foods we’re not going to have all the time. Eating what would be available or grown by us turned out to be not only healthier but something I look forward to every day. I love the challenge of making things with what I thought were limited ingredients but turned out to be the right ones, trying new recipes and making my own up. I’m keeping the “make it work” spirit. Running to the store every time we need something or are out of an ingredient isn’t a part of our life and it certainly isn’t how I want to spend my time. Stores may not always be an option in the future. Instead, I look for substitutions. What do I have on hand that will work? Other times I just experiment, most of the time its edible 🙂
There is so much to learn about going off grid, I don’t believe anyone can ever know everything. I’m so grateful for to those who share what they know either through video, blogs, books or the people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. One I’ve learned form is Dirt Patch Heaven, her website is https://dirtpatcheaven.com/index.html. I have learned so much from watching her YouTube videos. I like her because she’s real, she’s straight forward, she’s practical. I’ve tried a few things she suggested and they all have worked. I highly recommend her to anyone.
I’d love to hear your off grid food experiences. What advice would you give someone like me?