In this series, we will be looking alternative housing solutions in the Grey-Bruce region. Rental housing is becoming more limited while property prices are going up. As a result, this scarcity impacts our economy. Our aim is to provide viable solutions – however those solutions will require change.
Why Use a Micro Homestead
The world is poised for a financial breakdown (just Google the term ‘recession 2020’).
There are several warning signs that the collapse of the current way of life we’re used to could be put on hold for some time to come (Canada bounced back from the 2008 meltdown a lot faster than the U.S., but it sure wasn’t a cakewalk).
For people who rely on the grid to make it through their day to day lives, an economic collapse is going to throw them into a tailspin of greater stress than those less dependent on the system.
But for people who go with a micro homestead, regardless of what happens or doesn’t happen in any other province or across the world, life will continue to go on with a minimum of hurdles.
After all, one of the main benefits of being mobile is that if the conditions of the area you’re living in after a financial crisis is hit too hard, you can very easily move to another area.
You’ll continue be able to eat even when the nation’s food supplies dwindle (this is a very unlikely scenario, but one that’s always safer to consider).
When the electric grids begin to crash lot by lot without any timeline of when or even if they may be back up and operational, people who live in a micro homestead won’t have that same worry.
Because micro homesteads use self sustaining means to take care of their electric needs, they’ll be able to keep on doing what they need to do.
When water supplies become dysfunctional, this won’t impact those who practice micro homesteading.
It won’t impact them because they’re already used to fending for themselves with the water supply. They have rain barrels set up to take care of their water needs. Or they use a fresh supply of water from the land.
As sewer systems backup and garbage can’t be hauled away, those who live on the grid will find that life has become not only unpleasant and also very unsanitary.
Those who have a micro homesteading lifestyle won’t even feel the ripple from that.
They’ll be able to go to bed and sleep without worry, then rise the next morning and do what they’ve been used to doing. Enjoying life.
Homesteading Acreage Options
When you talk about how many acres are needed to get off the grid and become self sufficient, the battle begins between those who say you only need 1 acre and those who say you need much, much more.
Actually, both camps are correct. It all depends on how you plan to live and how self sufficient you truly want to be. You can live on a single acre and raise animals, grow crops, and build a home.
But you have to take many things into consideration – such as raising a dairy cow. If you want to cut costs for hay, then it has to be able to graze in a pasture.
If that’s the case, then it needs plenty of room and an acre (that houses your home, garden and other elements) wouldn’t be quite enough.
It’s not impossible though. If you have the means to buy feed and hay instead of allowing grazing, then you could own a dairy cow on a small property like this – but your costs and inconvenience would increase, as would your reliance on the outside world.
It also depends on how large your family is and how many people you have to sustain on your property. It’s going to take more of everything to support a family of five than it would a couple.
Some people want a large piece of property simply for the barrier it offers to not have neighbors bumping right up against your property.
This could make a difference in a civil unrest situation or in a crisis when people are fighting for survival supplies.
You can’t neglect the fact that price will factor into the equation. Unless your pockets have no bottom to them, then you might have to consider how much you’ll be paying per acre – or how much money in taxes the government will require from you each year.
Some families opt to invest in large plots of land so that when their children are grown, the family can expand and build a second, third or fourth home on the property. This is what families use to do in the old days, but now they’re all spread out across the country.
Some tiny house owners will tell you that the size of your land is nowhere near as important as the quality of it. If it offers more than one entry to the property, rich soil, and a water source – that’s worth more than a larger plot.
This wraps up the first series on alternative housing options in Grey-Bruce, but this is far from over. Our region faces MANY challenges that center around the housing market.
These housing challenges impact the local economy as a whole and must be addressed – which is exactly what we’ll do in series two. Be sure to stay tuned.