● John quit his job and moved so far away he is 2 hours away from the nearest grocery store. Yet he has access to water, food, electricity, and even the internet.
● He dug a hole six feet deep with a $4 shovel to make his own geothermal greenhouse so he can grow fruits and vegetables year-round.
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By Sebastián Martínez
Many of us wonder what it would be like to quit our jobs and go live off-grid. John did exactly that. He lives so far away, it takes him two hours to get to the nearest grocery store and, getting a grip of him for the interview was difficult because cellphones don ́t work out there.
Before living off-grid, John had little experience on what it takes to survive without modern conveniences, but that didn't stop him from learning how to do so. He managed to build the basic infrastructure to have access to water, food, electricity, and even the internet.
John has 4 IBC totes that, together, can hold more than 1200 gallons of water and are connected to a rain harvesting system that consists of handmade ceiling drains he made himself. The rain goes through the drains and, when they reach the end of them, they pass through a filter made out of t-shirts.
If he wants drinking water he just has to run it through a Berkeley filter. John also has a shower with a propane heater so he can bathe in as much hot water as he wants. He still depends on grocery stores for food but he is currently working on that.
He is raising animals from both sexes including a pair of goats, a pair of pigs, and some chickens for meat and eggs. But to have a balanced diet, meat and eggs are not enough; he also needs some veggies.
John has been focused on growing all of his own fruits and vegetables. He dug a hole six feet deep with a four-dollar shovel to make a geothermal greenhouse so he can grow fruits and vegetables year-round.
The greenhouse has a 200 feet pipe under three feet of dirt in order to maintain about 55 degrees year-round with the help of a fan that takes out the hot air.
In order to make this life project more viable and sustainable in the long run, a little profit does not hurt, and, for that purpose, he makes his own tea mixes to sell. He showed us all the mixes and took his time talking about his most successful product, a blue tea made out of lemon balm, lavender, and the butterfly pea flower that gives it a unique blue tint.
His business has benefited from this social media activity. As he documents his experience online, his videos grab people’s attention, they visit his website and, where they see his product and buy it.
But how does he manage to get internet or even electricity? It’s quite simple, he has enough solar panels to browse the internet and print the publicity, and he gets internet through an antenna that catches the signal from a tower 50 miles away.
John told us how he dreamed of living off-grid since he was a five-year-old kid. He would look at the little houses on the prairie and think that was a kick-ass lifestyle. He explained how he has never been lonely out there thanks to all the friends that he has met through his large social media presence. He does not need to interact with people on a daily basis to be happy and, he is living his childhood dream.