Thursday, March 5, 2009

Yes, no electricity no running water

This is from the building this summer- I will post more pictures as soon as it is nice outside- right now things are a muddy mess!

Okay so I thought I would post a little about how we live. A week or so ago I was talking with a friend and she said she knew we did not have running water or electricity but she never really thought about it until now, so how do we live?? It is true in our little 384 square foot house we have no running water or electricity and it is wonderful. We do have a sand point (water) and electricity at the barn but the barn is 300 feet or more from the house. Anyway everyday Chuck gets water for the house. At this point we store the water in 2 plastic jugs, use that mainly for bathing and dishes. We empty some of the water in a berkey water filter for drinking and cooking. As for the lights, this summer was no problem, with it staying light until 8 or 9 we really did not need any lights. Once the shorter days came we found ourselves falling asleep somewhere between 5 and 6. We have oil lamps but that lighting just made us even more tired and it was hard to do any work using this lighting. So Chuck installed a lighting system that is run from a boat battery. We now have two lights one at either end of the house. At this point we take the battery to the barn to charge, but we really want to get it hooked up to a solar charger. However we do not know much about using solar, or hooking it up. Any suggestions would be great. We also want to be able to charge the lap top using solar.
Giving up electricity and running water was a lot easier than you might think. Of course we did it because we wanted to not necessarily because we had to, which I am sure makes a difference. We have been living without a T.V. for a couple of years now, and we have a propane stove and a propane refrigerator and now lights run by a battery. We have laptop so we can watch movies listen to music, we also have a radio.
Life without running water is not so bad either, the only difference is that we have to heat up the water before we wash dishes or bathe, we try to keep a pot on the stove with warm water in it for hand washing. We just purchased a claw foot tub that we will use to bathe in this summer, we are trying to figure out how to heat up that much water, we have many ideas we just need to see what will work.
We heat our little house with wood, the stove we have now is kind of a piece of crap- to be blunt. It keeps us warm we are just using way to much wood. A neighbor of ours has a fisher stove sitting on his front porch that he is not using- maybe one day I can convince him to sell it to us and then things will be good for sure!

At the moment we are doing some remodeling in the house, and next week Chuck has spring break so hopfully more will get done then I promise to post pictures.

18 comments:

Nia Sopiwnik said...

Good for you guys. I like to check in and see what you are up to from time to time. Thanks for keeping me updated.

The Peterson Family said...

Thanks Nia! I check in on your blog at least once a week- I love hearing about your adventures, and I loved the shower survey! I would love to see you- we still have a gift for you, and I would love to meet Corey! Maybe this summer.
Take care!

Nia Sopiwnik said...

I just got your message, but I don't have your email address, i have Chuck's but I don't know how often he checks it. Anyway, we would love love love to come up any time this summer, we could do a weekend in may if you guys are up for it. I could do may 8th or 15th. email me at niatatum@yahoo.com

Miss Shai said...

Hi! My name is Shaina Peterson. I am getting married this fall and we are seriously considering moving to South Carolina and building a cabin with no electricity, an outhouse, no running water, etc. I have so many questions I would LOVE to ask you. If this is a possibility, please get a hold of me at shaina.becker@live.com. I can't wait to talk to you. Thank you so much!!!

Shaina

Anonymous said...

So cool! I was just dreaming of selling my house and living a "green" life too! During my search for "no water or electric" your blog came up and I am so glad others not only have the same idea but actually have the guts to do it...bravo for you! I have "favorited" your website and will be following your cool adventure :) Thanks for the inspiration!

The Peterson Family said...

I love that so many people are finding up. Thanks for reading.

OGT said...

http://www.zodi.com/web-content/Consumer/zodiextremeshower.html

There is a link you can paste in your browser that will take you to the best non electric shower you can get at a bargain.

my site is www.offgridterlingua.com

goto the ideas page and if you are interested in the ideas then go to my blog which has links to the products.

The Peterson Family said...

Great link. I checked it out- we are actually thinking of ordering one. The winter would be the only time we would use it as we are building a sun shower. I would like something that I could use to heat up more water for a bath- having a kid it would be nice, she is now to big for the sink! We have looked into tankless water heaters, but my husband thinks there might be more involved then we think. Thanks again!

Emily said...

So glad to have found your blog! My boyfriend and I are currently living in a house he's still in the process of building and aren't planning on having running water for at least a year or two. I'm having a hard time figuring out the best way to set up a system for dishes where we aren't wasting a lot of water while rinsing. We have a composting toilet and haven't ventured onto figuring out what to do for a shower. The house is still in the process of being built so it's hard to set anything up permanently. Any suggestions for the dishes would be hugely appreciated!

The Peterson Family said...

Emily~
So glad you found us. Not sure how your kitchen is set up. Basically what we do for dishes is heat up water to boiling. Split it between the two sinks and add the cold water from our sand-point. Under the sinks we have 5 gallon buckets that we dump out onto our garden or the fruit trees. We bought the sink at a place called the reuse center. It is an old farm house cast iron sink. The problem that I have found with no running water is actually rinsing the dishes, and when you have really messy pots and pans. We do have to keep up on the dishes otherwise they are a problem. We do try to do dishes after every meal, and then I leave the rinse water in the sink, then when we use more dishes I put them in the rinse water to soak.
As far as wasting water I feel like we are using the gray water for our garden so it is not a waste. I also would imagine a dishwasher uses way more water than you would:)

Randy M said...

You might be interesting in joining the small cabin forum for tonnes of tips from many others in your exact situation.

The link is: http://www.small-cabin.com/forum/

firstlady said...

hot water without electric. if u still dont have it email me ok
firstlady1011@gmail.com

firstlady said...

i bought a solar shower from walmart in the sporting dept. i hang it over the cabinet and since it has little shower head it is a fine way to rinse dishes. i wash all of them then rinse then i only use less than one gallon of water and it holds almost five gallons.

The Peterson Family said...

@firstlady That is an awesome idea for doing the dishes!

Erika said...

This post is very interesting as my fiance and i will be living together in a few months in a home that's less than 200 square feet and has no running water, electricity, or heat. We'll be adding a wood stove. But I've found it hard to find good sources of information, like this post, on ways people live like this and are able to do so happily.

The Peterson Family said...

@Erika, I am so glad that you found us. How exciting for you!! If you have any questions please feel free to send me and email- email@duskwindfarm.com.

And check back and let me know how you fare!

Feather said...

Have you checked out the rocket stove? If not email me at thefeatherlady@yahoo.com. It looks incredible and just use sticks to burn instead of logs. I have the site on my computer. It also has a heated sitting area. I have or had lnstructions where a person used the heat from the stove pipe on a wood stove to heat a sauna and somehow routed the heat to heat a hot tub.

I think it is really important to at least have tinformation on all kinds of alternative living sources so one can if chooses or needs to.

Warmly
Feather

Duskwind Farm said...

Feather, thanks so much for your comment. I actually do know what a rocket stove is. We have seen one in action, they are really nice- but really expensive!