Off-Grid Aspirations in Springfield Ohio

Photo of Springfield Strawberries

Topic: Springfield Homestead and Off-Grid Lifestyle - Page 1







Living without a Refrigerator?



As for refrigeration,
it turns out there hasn't been any real need for refrigeration.



Three years and going strong without the need for refrigerators.


It might at first hearing, sound as though it were the extreme punishment,
backward,
or cave-man stylee, however it really isn't any of those things (for me anyway).



The transition away from refrigerators wasn't ever planned or expected, and went something like this:

One night I had a choice to make, live a little
which, for me, probably entailed making an iced blended drink while playing some music and doing laundry,
or Don't do those things.

When you have a limited source of power, lights are variable. Laundry is done during the daytime. Pleasantries such as fans and a server that remains on 24/7, or even being able to use a computer at night is dictated by whether or not your energy source is full or depleted. There were weeks when I did not have enough power for proper lighting due to not seeing the sun come out in the Ohio sky.


Back then, energy was tight and I hadn't advanced to better technology, better batteries, more solar panels, etc.

Having refrigerators is a huge-lifelong investment on or off-grid, but when your available power barely gets you by day to day, having refrigerators is crippling.




When I first moved out here in the lab (*okay, it's a garage), I had three Refrigerators and one Freezer, one by one the refrigerators dwindled off the must-have list.



What did I need a Refrigerator for?


I think what helped shape the erradication of Refrigerators was the fact that I do not drive.
I am not close to a store.
So, with that pricey "privilege" to travel kicked to the curb, I no longer have manufactured condiments to keep alive.



Refrigerators were all-too discovered as frigid museums of stuff I'll never eat, or condiments I'll never use, or the sad burial of food that should have been disposed of months ago, or the repercussions of good looking bad food...that's all refrigerators were doing for me. That's It!

Problem Energy-Consumer, Deleted.


Not only was it found that there were far easier means of natural preservation of foods, but also I now reaped the benefits of the additional power to use liberally without having to factor in the costly common Refrigerator.


It seemed only right to kill the refrigerators, and I don't miss them one smidgen. Amen

The Refrigerators serve a far more noble purpose now. Their new re-purpose is to house stuff that shouldn't get dusty or shan't be readily seen.
Photo of Refrigeration Nada


When needed, alternative means for preservation of foods are used.

Some of the methods of winter-refrigeration are old-school, such as:


If it's winter time, put your food outside.




Actually, the aforementioned statement sounds good, but ... maybe you'll have better luck than I at that old school technology.


About the only thing I might offer:


Use a SECURE cooler.


Raccoons are ingenious!

If it were not for the myriad of security cameras here to later allow for the playback of the 4-legged bandits, I'd swear there were bad kids in the neighborhood!






However, in contrast,
the freezer is on the top of the "never turn off" list.
Off-Grid Freezer



The freezer is where all the good stuff from the garden is hiding.

The freezer here came from Home Depot in Springfield Ohio and has been well-appreciated.

Since I don't drive, Home Depot even delivered the freezer to me free of charge!




I can store cucumber slices for a year or more using a freezer, but just you try that in a common refrigerator and see what happens!

Most anything from the garden can be frozen.
Recently a man whom I fixed a computer for, repayed me by filling the freezer to capacity. He brought so much food that I had to decline some of it.
There's just no room in here for another freezer!
Since there's so many canned pickles left from a few years ago, the cucumbers this year are simply sliced and flash-frozen (which are great in smoothie drinks, just add water, honey, and cucumber cubes).

Kale and Strawberries are other great things to freeze and also make great smoothies.
Photo of strawberriesPhoto of strawberriesPhoto of strawberriesPhoto of strawberries




Food


Another thing you may need to adapt to when off-grid, is making your own food.
Below is seen something I made in January 2018. It's bread with dried pineapples and apple spice.

Photo of First Breads in Springfield OhioPhoto of Bread in Ohio

Oddly enough, this flour was about 2 years beyond its expiration date.
Yes, every bit of it was eaten anyway, but who knew powders and flours had expiration dates?

If you're heading off-grid, chances are you are too far from a store in which to shop.
Keep your flours and powders in very secure canisters.

I was clueless about these little creatures that lay larvae and then turn into moths.
It was later found that closing the bag tighter and tighter did nothing because the critters were already snug as a bug inside the bag!
Now I'm not certain how long I had been eating that larvae and those moths because whenever flour was needed, I simply dipped a measuring cup into the 25pound bag and scooped the flour out. During that learning time, lights were scarce here.

Photo of eat me

At times I would notice webs, other times I noticed whole moths who seemed confused, and still other times I simply knew that there must have been more moths and larvae that I missed because the bread was funny.

Nowadays I use a bread-maker!

It makes perfect bread every time with very little waste and effort.

Photo of Perfect Bread everytimePhoto of Thank God for Breadmachines







Life in an off-grid venture would be somewhat non-committal if one did not provide a stock of edibles from the garden!

Photo of First Springfield Ohio Zucchini of the seasonPhoto of Springfield Ohio's Garden-Fresh Food



Below is seen a man helping with the preparation of the soil for the Spring Sowing.



The man on the tractor in the photos is a fine neighbor to the north of me.
He and his wife have been a great inspiration toward my persistence to head off-grid whole-heartedly.

Photo of Off-grid SpringfieldPhoto of off-grid foodPhoto of Springfield Garden

Here the garden is being enlarged gaining more area


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