Since I moved to Tofino, I have absolutely fallen in love with Off the Grid Lager from Hoyne Brewing Co. After a long shift at work it has the meat-and-potatoes body to it you might hope for, but it’s also tasty as hell. I’m so glad Tough City Sushi carries it as one of their choice tap offerings (and too bad they shut down for the winter today). It’s a beer that makes you rejoice in coastal living and dream of forays in distant lands — and that’s strictly based on taste. I’m sure when I see how they market the beer I will enjoy it even more.
It made me think about the day I went to plant garlic in the middle of Alberta, several years ago. The thing about garlic is you have to plant it in the fall, so it’s ready to sprout in the spring before almost anything else. The organic farm I attended for the communal planting exercise was near a plastic pellet factory to the north of Red Deer. The owners had one of those cool dome houses, complete with solar panels.
That was back in the days before anyone thought it was possible that a left wing government could come to power in the province that prides itself on being Canada’s Wild West.
Times have changed there. With plummeting oil prices and Warren Buffet pulling out oil sands investment the shine of bitumen has receded, the glamour of digging a hole has faded. Now the solar panels outside this real off-the-grid house don’t look so out of place.
Today when I was floating across web frequencies, I came across a way that the average person can try this sort of sylvan living on for size…
A post by Sierra Sumner on GoNomad.com talks about a new company called FreeHouse, which offers short-term vacation rentals at places that are pretty much in the middle of nowhere.
All the destinations are typically equipped with a range of amenities such as hydroelectric power and solar; the important part is that the “dwelling is not tied to any municipal outlets,” said Sarah Stillman, founder of FreeHouse. Some houses have no solar power, with an outhouse and a propane burner, while other houses have amenities such as a pool or washer and dryer.
There is a certain amount of skill needed to stay, such as how to start a fire for a wood-burning stove or how to use a composting toilet, but “almost anyone can learn how to do that,” said Sarah, “most properties have no prerequisite.”