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LaMar's Porch

Welcome to my porch where I discuss the happenings and adventures that Tazzy and I have each day. Pull up a seat, take off your shoes, grab a drink and enjoy the day at my cabin.


First Snow of the Year October 19th 2021

I felt an early snow coming and we got a skiff this morning. It has been raining off and on for a week and very heavy wet clouds hanging over means we could get more snow. Glad I got my plastic on the solarium and just a few more things to do for my winterizing. Going to be a long winter if it hits us hard this early but most likely this will melt off and won't stick until after Thanksgiving.... I hope.

Cabin Solarium Porch Enclosed

Every year for the last 15 years I have enclosed my porch with plastic to create a solarium. Usually I wait until closer to December but because the nights have already been cold and we already have snow in the mountains I decided to get it done early this year.

That solarium really cuts down on the cold air entering my door and creates a nice warm area to take off my winter clothes and work on projects out of the cold breeze and I figure it saves me about $100-$200 in heating costs over winter.

On sunny winter days I just open my front door and let that solarium heat up my cabin and it will raise the cabin temp a good 20 degrees easily. You can do this with just small enclosed porch on the south side of any home and if you want it fancy you can use windows instead of plastic but I remove that plastic and my porch is a shade porch in summer to help cool the cabin and a solarium in winter.

400 Watt Ground Mount System

I designed this for a 400 watt system like the one I use at my cabin. It allows you to position the panels at any angle so you get the best sunlight throughout the year. I had my panels on my porch roof for years but it was a pain to clean and do maintenance so I moved my panels to a ground mount and it is so much easier to care for and safer.

Panels may come in different sizes so you will need to measure and cut the framing to match your panels. You can use 2x3 or 2x4 lumber for the frame and I recommend 4x4 posts. You can get a 4x4x10' post and cut it in half and bury 2 feet under the soil. I recommend pressure treated lumber for this project since it will be outside in the weather. You can see my hitching post mount and system here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QYXsZaOY1w

Can you still go off grid today on a modest income?

This video is my in depth response to people that want to go off grid and homestead on a modest income and how I did it.


Buying Cheap Homestead Land Part 1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRNftek7WNg


Buying Cheap Homesteading Land Part 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiYNRNoUDSQ


Ultimate Off Grid Guide

https://www.simplesolarhomesteading.com/off-grid-package

Summer is waning and fall is creeping in

Summer is waning and fall is creeping in. Cooler nights and crisp mornings here and we are getting some cold winds blowing through that feel like an early winter could be around the corner. I am hoping for a very long autumn as I love the fall colors and I still have a few projects to finish up before snow.

This has been a rough year for many people with the covid, not able to travel or have large gatherings plus droughts, fires and floods in many areas. It takes a toll on you mentally and depression leads to other issues.

All things considered, I have had a pretty good year and my health is better. I started a regular exercise regime, long walks and bike rides with Tazzy. Rode my motorcycle a lot and got to take several good day trips and did a little fishing. Just aimless trips seeing new and old places from my youth.

Anyway, it has been a pretty good year here and I got got a lot of new videos made, some new cabin plans designed and transitioned my website over to the new server and it works on phones now. www.simplesolarhomesteading.com

I hope you are all safe, healthy and happy on your homesteads!

Stinky propane tank smells like rotting food!

They have changed the mercaptan chemical they add to propane to alert you of a leak or when the tank is low. The old mercaptan had a different smell and I was used to that indicating my tank was low and needed to be changed but this new stuff smells like rotten food.

It has fooled me twice now as the tank got low and that smell started up and I have went searching all over my cabin for rotten food I must have left out. That is not a very good thing to do and people might stay in their homes/cabins thinking the smell is some bad food instead of a leaking tank.

So just be aware the mercaptan smell has changed here and your tanks may have a different smell like rotting food if they leak or get low.

Generark Portable Power Station Offgridder Review

Did some field testing on that Generark Portable Power Station the last couple of days. I am pretty impressed with this unit and I was able to power up all my power tools, saw, chainsaw, weedeater so I can now use this when I need to work around my yard and not lug that gas generator around.


I also tested it with the window AC and my Evap cooler, microwave, Alpicool fridge and toaster oven and it will power up the efficient models. It is rated for 1000 watts with up to 200 watt surge.


It has enough DC and AC plugs to handle a big load and can run appliances while charging. It charges in about 7 hours on AC, 8 on solar and 14 off DC car plug. I like that I can charge it multiple ways as I have different setups for all 3. 


The inverter is pure sine and it does have a built in fan. Battery is 10002AH which is about the same as having an 80AH LIFPO4 battery. It will keep your gadgets charged and run efficient appliances for a few days.


I gave this a positive review for now but I will keep using this for the next few months and do another review after I put it through some real workouts and recharging. So far it appears to be well made and does as advertised.


Generark Website: https://generark.com/


Amazon: Generark Amazon Review


Get $100 off the Generark with code SOLARCABIN100. Was contacted by the Generark company today and they are pleased with the review videos and response from new customers. That is a coupon for $100 for people considering buying one and here is the link to their products: https://generark.com/collections/emergency-power-supply

Took the Ebike and Taz to the Reservoir

This Reservoir is about 12 miles from my cabin. Mostly blacktop but last 2 miles is rough dirt and lots of rocks. It is usually good fishing but because of the drought this year it is really low. It was still a fun ride and I stayed at about 18 MPH except for one short 8% grade hill where I had to pump and got a good work out. That is towing that fat dog, trailer and the extra battery. I didn't need that battery and I made it the whole 24 mile trip on one battery.

This makes me feel good knowing I can get to that Res to do some fishing and the ebike will get me to town and to all the places I usually go to for recreation in my area so it has reduced my driving and is my back up transportation if SHTF. As long as I can fish, hunt, raise chickens and garden I won't starve.

The ebike is still available here: https://amzn.to/3k0UaP1

Note that has a $200 off coupon so ebike is now $600

Trailer is AOSOM here: https://amzn.to/3liJR8q

When is the last time you cleaned your  panels?

When I first went off grid (20+ years ago) my panels were on my porch roof and I had to shinny out the loft window to clean and push snow off the panels which was a pain and also became dangerous as I got older.

So I moved my 400 watt system to a ground mount at 45 degrees and set for winter sun and now all it takes is a quick spray off with the hose and occasionally I give them a once over with a soft rag to loosen the bird shit, dirt and leaf goo.

Even a small spot of dirt, dust, bird poop or a leaf stuck on your panels can cause significant power drop so you need to clean them at least a few times a year. A hose sprayed from the ground will usually remove most crap so you don't have to get on the roof but you might need a mop with a soft rag or sponge to get the real stuck on crap. Don't use harsh abrasive soaps as you can scratch the glass and avoid spraying water directly on junction boxes.

So if you haven't cleaned your panels in a while you probably should get out there and have a look.

My First Solar Power System

When I first went off grid I started I was living in my truck and then in a small camper. I needed just basic power for the camper 12 volt water pump, a few lights and to run a radio and 12 volt TV occasionally. My fridge and heat was propane.

Solar power was still very new and expensive. My first kit was that Harbor Freight 45 watt kit and cost me over $300. I used a car battery at first but then I bought a Trojan T105 deep cycle. That had a lot more storage capacity and I started expanding my panels and batteries over time. I ended up with mismatched panels and batteries and the system was becoming a mess and I wanted to get the panels off the porch.

So, I upgraded to all Renogy 100 watt panels and Vmax Tank batteries and my 400 watt system has served me very well for the last 8 years. 

Now I am upgrading again to a new 200AH LIFPO4 battery that stores as much power as all 3 of my Vmax tanks in less space and a lot less weight.

I expect the panels and battery to last my lifetime but I am sure there will be many more advancements in the technology still coming.

My 400 watt system will cost around $1300 at todays prices and you can get it as a kit with batteries on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2WTI8hs


LaMar's Shepherd Wagon Vardo

Free Plans!

My Grandfather's on both sides were homesteaders and herded sheep along with running the first school, post office and building many homes in the area.


I have always loved the old Sheepherder wagon campers those old time homesteaders used so I designed my own that uses a 5x8 trailer with side walls and can be modified to other trailer sizes.


Mine is still a work in progress as I am finishing the interior but the plans are available and can be built by even a novice builder for around $300 not including the trailer.

Plans are free here: Shepherd Wagon Vardo


Build Your Own Simple Solar Charging Station

Or Emergency Power Station

This video takes you step by step through installing a 100 watt solar charging or home emergency power station. I use this equipment every day at my off grid cabin.

Recommended products:

Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit

https://amzn.to/38kyMxw

Renogy Deep Cycle AGM Battery 12 Volt 100Ah for RV, Solar Marine and Off-grid Applications

https://amzn.to/2XV36wP

LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery 12V 100Ah with Built-in BMS

https://amzn.to/3yr1VC2

BESTEK 300W Power Inverter DC 12V to 110V AC Car Inverter with 4.2A Dual USB Car Adapter

https://amzn.to/3BiYEXe

I am an official Amazon affiliate and I do make a little money if you buy anything through my links and that supports my charity the Nature Reserve, thanks!

#solarcabin #simplesolarhomesteading #offgrid

Are You Prepared For A Power Blackout?

400 Watt Solar Emergency Back Up Systems Explained

I have been off grid over 20 years now and have tried more than a few system set ups and appliances and have found this system to work best for all my needs:


400 watt solar power system: Four 100 watt mono panels in parallel for 12 volt system, Three 125AH Vmax tank AGM sealed batts inside the cabin or 200AH LIFPO4, Bluesky 30 amp MPPT controller, 500 watt inverter and 12 volt DC and USB direct plugs. Ground mounted panels for easy maintenance.


What that runs:

12 volt Alpicool C20 fridge/freezer

12 volt Shurflo water pump from 30 gallon tank

Led lights hardwired and I also have rechargeable Led lights.

Laptop computer used 24/7 for my business. Backup laptop for entertainment and design work.

12 volt fans or Hessair evap cooler runs only in hot weather (uses 85 watts)

12 volt electric blankets in winter. My cabin heat is propane with wood backup.

Various 12 volt appliances for cooking and heating water used rarely.

Phone, emergency radio and other small gadgets recharged from USB as needed.

Franklin wifi hotspot and I have cell phone and internet service at my cabin.

Rechargeable power tools and I have a 1500 watt generator for large tools.


That covers all my power needs and I recently installed a 200 watt recharging station with a 200AH LIFPO4 just used for the evap cooler in summer and to recharge my ebike batteries. I do have a microwave and a few tools I run off the 1500 watt gas generator rarely. I have a small chest freezer that uses no power only used in winter. I grow a garden, small orchard and chickens, hunt and fish.


I have a RAV power 250 watt power station that will run my laptop and recharge gadgets for a few days of low sun in winter and I am getting a Generark 1000 watt HomePower system to review that I will use as backup and power for camping. I am trying to eliminate the gas genny completely.


That is my full time of grid system and would also work for an emergency home power system.


Equipment links here:  Solarcabin Recommended Products

Equipment links here: Solarcabin Recommended Products

DIY Off Grid Projects For Your Homesteads

Took a walk around my homestead and decided to share a few of the projects I have done over the years and update on what projects I am working on this year. Projects include 3 rail fence, off grid system, horse trough planter and other projects.

Buzzard In Love With Wind Turbine!

They recently transplanted some juvenile turkey buzzards here as part of a breeding project and this morning one of them swooped in and landed on my sleeping wind turbine. I thought maybe he was hungry the way he was looking at me and my dog and had no fear of humans. Then he spread his wings and posed and appeared to be making love to the turbine. I could have sworn I heard Marvin Gay in the background. He might have just been warming himself in the sunshine, lol!

"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it." -Thoreau

Off Grid Bartering and Trading

Barter and trade. Just watched the second episode of Little House On The Prairie where Ingalls trades his labor for a plow and seed because he didn't have money. Reminded me of when I was just starting on my homestead and I couldn't afford tools so I did work for some older folks fixing fence and cleaning and repairing a roof in exchange for a post hole digger and shovel. Saw a lady removing some big patio pavers so I stopped and made a deal to remove them all in exchange for the pavers. She was having a sidewalk poured so she didn't want them.

When I did pest control I traded my work for windows that the people had just replaced and for a stock tank and I traded my work more than a few times for fresh produce and even chickens.

I will still trade my plans and ebooks for something if people prefer to barter and I have gotten seeds and other things sent to me in barter.

If you are in need of something for your homesteads ask around and see who likes to barter and make a fair deal!

Tazaroo Loves a Good Ride and Run After a Rain

Tazaroo is my 7 year old Australian cattle dog and my adventure companion. She goes everywhere with me and she loves to ride in the jeep or behind the ebike or minibike in the trailer.


It has rained pretty hard here the last few days so I took her out to the dunes (sand hills) near my place for a ride and run. She got hot and decided to have a mud bath and I don't blame her- it looks like a lot of fun.

What happened to the Metakoo ebike?

OK, I did 3 vids of that Metakoo 350 watt ebike and was very impressed with it and after my vids went up the Metakoo ebike on Amazon went to the #1 spot and was selling lots of ebikes.

Then.... they just disappeared from Amazon? It appears that Metakoo is only a 3rd party seller and they had a limited supply of these Chinese made ebikes and when they sold out they just dropped off Amazon. Hopefully they are still honoring their warranty.

However, now I see the same exact Cybertrack 100 ebike offered by a different company: https://amzn.to/3j6rRye

So, I think this ebike is being shipped to 3rd part dealers in the US and may be sold under different brand names which can be a problem if you can't get warranty and replacement parts.

This is too bad as it really is a well made, sturdy and affordable ebike and I am riding mine practically every day and have taken it on a few 20-30 mile trips and tows Tazzy's trailer very well.

If I had known this was a 3rd party seller and not the main company I probably wouldn't have promoted the ebike like I did on my channel but live and learn and ebikes are very popular and I think are great for off gridders and people that need local transportation and us old guys with bad knees that still wants to ride a bike.

Little House On The Prairie Is Free On Amazon TV

If you like the old TV series and can't get them you might look for them on Amazon IMDB Free Streaming. This is a free TV system run by Amazon and the shows will have advertisement breaks just like the original tv shows that pays for the service.

I was posting about my little prairie cabin design when up popped the notice that the entire series of little house on the prairie is available free on Amazon IMB. I started watching on TV after the series had already been going awhile and never saw the early shows so I started watching from the first show. I love seeing the old wagons, cabins and old ways they did things in that show and reminds me of a kid growing up on my folks homestead.

Anyway, if you are looking for some free entertainment and like the old tv series go check out Amazon IMB free streaming here: https://amzn.to/2Waj71E

Watch Amazon Streaming TV

Coming Soon: Little Prairie Cabin 

Little Prairie Cabin: This is a 10x10 cabin with 9 foot sidewalls and is a smaller version of my cabin I live in year round. This has a full loft with stairs and aprox. 6'5" of head room to the peak. Can have dormer windows. Designed so it can be built in areas with a 100 square foot limit and could be used as an Accessory dwelling Unit, off grid cabin, office, rental or other uses. Plans are in the works.


Ultimate Off Grid Guide

To keep my work affordable for all people I have reduced the Ultimate Off Grid 355 page ebook to $5.00

Get Ultmate Off Grid Guide Today!

A Frame Cabins Built From My Plans

Back in 2013 I was contacted by a man that was doing a research project in the Canadian wilderness and he asked me to design a small cabin that he could pack in by horse, build himself and would handle harsh weather and keep out bears.


I designed this small A Frame on a 14x14 base that has a kitchenette, bathroom, living area and loft for a bed or storage. He built the cabin and was very pleased.


So I put the plans together and made a video and since then it has become one of my most popular designs and built by many people. The plans are easy to follow and I include the sketchup file if you want to modify the design and I include a basic off grid system for ideas.


Plans are here: A Frame Plans


Build This Amazing House On Wheels Under $10K

2021 Big Tex Materials List And Plans Here: https://www.simplesolarhomesteading.com/big-tex-plans


Approximate cost for the 8x14 Big Tex is $2,245.93. That does not include doors, windows or tax. I always recommend using second hand or salvage doors and windows when possible.


The 7x14 trailer is here: https://www.bigtextrailers.com/60ec-economy-tandem-axle-car-hauler


Price for the Big Tex 60EC 7x14 car hauler in my area is under $3k and they have payment plans for around $50 a month. These trailers can be towed by a standard pickup truck or U haul with a trailer hitch.


The Big Tex is specifically designed to be low profile and low weight for towing and can sleep 4 people. Plans are 32 pages full color and you can get the package deal that includes the sketchup models for the 8x14, 8x16 and 8x18 models for you to modify for your own needs. 


Plans are $5 and Package deal is $10

Multi-Shack: Homeless or emergency Housing

(Free Plans)

This is a design and plans for a 4x6 structure that can be used for homeless or emergency housing, guest bedroom, playhouse, office, business or many other uses.

DOWNLOAD HERE

The simple things.

 Today I got up early and made that video comparing the pros and cons of the Vmax AGM and Ampere Time LIFPO4 batteries. That took a few hours with the editing and then while it was uploading I rode the motorcycle with Tazzy in the trailer up to the country store and we got a hot sausage to share at the park and then had a nice walk around the park.

Came back and posted the new vid to some social networks and then cleaned the pool and ran the pump while I cooled off and Taz napped in the shade of a tree. Had a cold beer because... it is really hot here lol!

This evening I will take Tazz up to the ponds with the ebike so she can have a walk and a swim and then back to the cabin for pan fried chicken and corn on the cob.

Damn my life off grid is so hard!

RAV Power 250 Watt Power Station: Full Power Use Emergency Use Review

In this video I do a full power use and emergency use review of the RAV 250 Watt Power station. This unit will handle a 45 watt laptop for 22 hours straight plus recharge all your gadgets and run small appliances.


Product here: https://bit.ly/2VuEBpG

30% off all sitewide: 30RPYY

Aosom trailer and Metakoo Ebike: Tazzy Dog Review

Got Taz a new trailer to go with the new ebike. This is the same model of trailer that I have had for 3 years but Taz wore a hole through the side panel pushing against the tire on the old one and one wheel was wobbly and it just looked faded and old.

This AOSOM trailer is designed for up to 88 pounds and it has a steel frame and floor just the right size for Taz's dog bed. It comes with side rails but I am not putting them on this time as they don't really do anything except act as brush guards and they are added weight.

This trailer folds up and the wheels detach for storage and it has a safety strap. Works for most bikes and can haul a big dog or 2 and your groceries or camping gear. I will do a vid review but they just lowered the price to $129 plus another $10 coupon off so $119 is a good deal: https://amzn.to/3xB5Dsn

Just don't leave it out in the sun or the material will fade and if you are using it for a dog cut some plywood for the side panels. Otherwise it is a well built trailer for lots of uses.

Winter is coming!

Winter is coming! OK, it is still summer and has been a hot one here but now is the time to think about your winter power systems and after the Texas blackouts we see that people really need to be better prepared for power emergency.

I live off grid full time and have for over 20 years with just a 400 watt solar power system and small backup gas generator. I recently added another 200 watts of solar with a 200AH LIFPO4 battery for a recharging station and to reduce my use of the gas generator.

I have done videos of that setup and equipment I recommend and I am also doing vids of some small rechargeable gadget chargers for an emergency. Those are good for basic emergency charging for phones and small gadgets for a couple of days.

Blackouts can happen for many reasons and the grid can go down for natural or man made disasters at any time and you may be without power for hours, days or weeks.

These small systems I am recommending can also work for your off grid cabins, RV or vans or for camping and I have also recommended the other off grid equipment I would use with these systems in my vids.

Walden cottage with ramp.

 This modification is being done for a lady that uses a power wheelchair and her son is building it next to his house so his mom has her own place but is close so they can assist her.

This has a day bed downstairs, kitchenette and bathroom and a bed with a ladder if the grandkids want to stay the night.


Plans for the Walden cabin is here: Walden Cabin

RAV Power 15 Watt Solar Charger and Power Bank Unboxing Review

I received this solar recharger for review and it appears to be well made and has a built in 5volt solar panel and can be used for recharging phones and gadgets at home, camping, on the road or in a power blackout.


Product here: https://bit.ly/3yzsqGi

30% off all sitewide: 30RPYY

Recent Solarcabin videos you may have missed

Recent Solarcabin videos you may have missed:

 I have produced over a dozen new videos this year so far and I know not all of you have time to watch when they come out so here is a list so you can catch up on any you missed and if you are like me and like to binge watch when you have the time. Thanks for your support, folks!


Off Grid Wind Turbine Installation: Should You Get A Wind Turbine?

This is a review of the Air X 400 Watt Wind Turbine I installed 8 years ago at my off grid cabin, Still working and still producing power. https://youtu.be/2zkPfZVoEEc


Tomatoes As Big As Melons!

We have been in a major drought but the extra heat and sunlight has my maters doing better than most years. I also show you this new variety of Roma that has fruit as big as a melon. https://youtu.be/HLc3HhRGkPE


Metakoo cybertrack 100: Features, mods and accessories

In this video I discuss the speed limitations and features of the Metakoo cybertrack 100. I went straight to the Metakoo company to get your questions answered. https://youtu.be/NXN4DLVAFBk


Solar Cabin Drought, Wlldfires, Mobile Solar Project and Off Grid Water

In this video I discuss the drought and wildfires in the Western US and my latest mobile solar project and water at my cabin. I show off my place and talk about how it has changed over the years. https://youtu.be/813ljl-cm00


Off Grid Swimming Pool: Intex Pool At My Off Grid Cabin

This is how I use my Intex pool off grid to stay cool and entertain friends and family. pool filter pump will run off a 100 watt panel, 100AH battery and 300 watt inverter. https://youtu.be/jGgMM9OcVcg


Hessaire Evaporative Cooler for Off Grid Use Review

This is my review of the Hessaire evaporative (swamp) cooler as I use it at my off grid cabin. It works very well for my needs and runs fine off a small off grid system.

Hessaire MC18M Portable Evaporative Cooler –1300 CFM, Cools 500 Square Feet: https://amzn.to/3ycCZ1q

https://youtu.be/-bdARqAAS0Q


Ford F150 EV Lightning: Off Grid Power Feature Review

This is my review of the new Ford F150 EV Lightning off grid power feature as described on their website and in other reviews. I believe this truck is a game changer and will be very useful to off gridders and as an emergency power source for grid homes and has all the great features that has made Ford the best selling vehicle in the US for the last 40 years. https://youtu.be/J_rKXMaHh9w


Stay Cool: Off Grid and Emergency Air Conditioning Systems

In this video I explain how my off grid cabin is set up with passive cooling and the types of AC units I use that will work for an off grid or emergency AC system. https://youtu.be/umjXExg0lcM


Ampere Time LIFPO4 200AH Off Grid Battery 3 Month Review

This is my review of the Ampere Time LIFPO4 200AH battery I have now used for 3 months at my of grid cabin. This is an excellent battery for off grid use at a reasonable price of around $800: https://amzn.to/2TMgvW3

https://youtu.be/hbazi0VXmPo


When The Grid Goes Down: 400 Watt Solar Emergency Back Up Systems Explained

In this video I explain my 400 watt system for off grid or emergency power for your homes and I show you the equipment I use and recommend. Don't get caught in a black out without an emergency power system!

https://youtu.be/SwHpMRuT_lA


Build Your Own Off Grid Cabins Full Plans

This is an overview of several of the cabins that have been built from my plans. Plans are $5 and full color step-by-step for novice builders. http://www.simplesolarhomesteading.com

https://youtu.be/GwitM_iDMLY


Off Grid Communication Systems and Safety

In this video I explain the different off grid communications systems I use and what is available and some new systems. https://youtu.be/E1TS4O_ldt0


Off Grid and Homestead Businesses You Can Start

This is an over view of 50+ small businesses for off gridders and homesteaders. http://www.simplesolarhomesteading.com

Businesses discussed:

1- Selling farm produce, meat and eggs

2- Selling livestock and pets (not pet mills)

3- Selling live plants and trees

4- Selling hay and other crops

5- Service work: Handyman, equipment operator, septic service, snow removal, chimney sweep, pest control, mechanic, welder

6- Recovery work: Salvage, antiquing, yard clean up

7- Wood cutting, hauling and tree trimming

8- Artistic: wood crafting, metal crafting, decorative fencing and yard art

9- writing books/ebooks, making videos, travel logs

10- Pet walking/sitting, pet grooming, Personal driver, personal shopper, elderly assistance

https://youtu.be/5unBTSGqEoM

I got big 'maters!

 These are the super Roma maters and they are ripe enough for picking now. They have a great smell to them unlike store bought hot house tomatoes that have no smell and no taste.


The worlds largest sauce tomato!

Its SuperSauce! The new tomato superhero. A whole lot bigger, a whole lot better, a Roma with aroma. Weighing in at 2 lb., a whopping 5.5" tall x 5" wide, SuperSauce produces gallons of luscious sauce from a single plant harvest - one tomato fills an entire sauce jar. Very few people in the gardening world consider a paste tomato for anything other than making paste or sauce. SuperSauce also makes a superlative salad tomato; its perfect for a meaty and tasty hamburger slice too. Indeterminate, disease-free plants yield a summer-long supply of the exquisitely flavored marinara, tomato gravy or meat sauce plus plenty for salads and slicing. SuperSauce takes 7-12 days to germinate.

https://www.burpee.com/tomato-supersauce-hybrid-prod003154.html

What would you do if you had no house payments and no utility bills?


That was the question I asked myself when I first went off grid. I wanted to reduce my living expenses to practically zero so I could live debt free and not have to work for someone else and the money I did make would go a lot farther.


So I built my little 14x14 cabin for $2000 using recycled windows and doors and rough saw lumber and did all the work myself. I scrounged and recycled materials and furnishings and I set the cabin up just like a self contained RV. I recycled the water tank and pump, stove, lights, cabinets, propane tanks and lines, and anything I could salvage from the camper i had been living in.


My first power system was just a 45 watt harbor freight solar kit and an old truck battery and just enough to run the water pump sparingly, a few incandescent lights and a dc TV and radio for a few hours of entertainment. Today my system is still small and just 400 watts but I have better batteries and panels.


I started a small local pest control business and grew that over time to over 250 regular customers a year and that money paid off my child support 3 years early and helped my son with his expenses. I ran that business for over 10 years and then sold it to a young guy.


Saved most of that income for my retirement because i knew my health would not allow me to keep working forever and I was able to retire at 49 with enough saved to live comfortably because I had no real living expenses.


I started writing off grid books and designing off grid cabins and making videos of my projects to help other people and that has allowed me to use my teaching skills and be creative and brought in enough to pay for the projects around my own homestead over the years and paid for my internet and phone that are my only monthly bills. Over 19 million views on youtube and over 20 ebooks and cabin plans published.


Over time I have remodeled the cabin interior with some nice finishing materials and replaced old shelves with cabinets but for the most part the cabin is still the same and most of the RV equipment I salvaged is still in use.


Traveled quite a bit but I like being near my cabin and I do mostly day trips with Tazzy these days. My son is married and my grandson is going on 5 years old.


I have a jeep, 2 trucks, motorcycle, mini-bike, Ebike, 2 campers, metal detector and other toys but my real entertainment is hiking with Tazaroo and being in nature and working on small projects on my homestead.


So would I do anything different and do I have any regrets about going off grid?


I can honestly say I am happy with how it worked out and I have no regrets and that lifestyle has allowed me to pursue and accomplish everything I wanted to do in life.


So, What would you do if you had no house payments and no utility bills?



The Treehugger!

I hug and talk to my trees and plants! OK, I know this will seem a little weird and out there nutsy but for the last few years I have been hugging and talking to my trees and other plants on my homestead. I walk around my homestead a few times each year and just stop to hug a tree or hold a plant and tell them I appreciate them.


I don't expect they hear me but electrical waves go much deeper than words and maybe they 'feel' what I am saying and if not... it still makes me feel connected to every living thing on my homestead and we have a symbiosis. Not one of us could survive without the plants and trees that give us so much.


That may make me seem weird to some people but it has definitely helped my attitude towards the many helpful plants on my homestead!

When old school and new tech collide!

 I have always been a bit ahead of the general pop on new technology and I was programming computers starting clear back in 1980 with a Vic 20. I had one of the first personal modems for text only and a brick phone. I have published Independent games and AI programs that are popular.


Now I have a watch that will make calls, play radio, tell me my BP, heart rate and O2, monitor my sleep, take pics and a bunch of other stuff.


I have an MP3 player the size of a pack of matches that will hold more songs, vids and ebooks than my computer and has wireless earbuds because... wires.


My bicycle has a motor and I plug it in so I don't have to peddle.


All of my gadgets are charged from my off grid solar power system and I have at least 10 USB cords because none of the damn gadgets use the same plugs, lol!


While I enjoy these gadgets none of them are really necessary and my simple pleasures still come from grabbing my old guitar and sitting on my porch to strum a tune and taking long hikes with Tazzy and enjoying nature and wildlife.

Off Grid Wind Turbine Installation: Should You Get A Wind Turbine?

This is a review of the Air X 400 Watt Wind Turbine I installed 8 years ago at my off grid cabin, Still working and still producing power. The book/ebook in the video is available here: http://www.simplesolarhomesteading.com


ECO-WORTHY 1200 Watts 24 Volt Solar Wind Turbine Generator Kit: 400 Watt Wind Turbine+ 4pcs 195W Mono Solar Panels+ 1pc Solar Wind Hybrid Controller+ 2pcs 100AH Battery


5.0 out of 5 stars $1,509.99 https://amzn.to/3zlpAEG

Ebiking with my adventure dog Tazaroo!

Taz loves to ride in the trailer behind my ebike or motorcycle and then we stop and camp or just go hiking. She is a 6 year old Australian cattle dog mixed with a stubborn old mule.


I live off grid in the boonies so Taz is my adventure partner, watch dog and best friend.


I am working on a series of vids of Taz and I on adventures and will post them here soon.


Got the Metakoo Cybertrack 100 Mt bike today!


I got it put together in about 30 minutes and took it for a first ride up to the dunes with Tazzy in the trailer. Very impressed with the bike and it is well made with Shimano 21 speed and Bafang 350 watt motor. It will easily do 20MPH even on an uphill and with the trailer on.


This bike has both throttle like a motorcycle or pedal assist and I like that pedal assist and can put it in 5th gear and cruises at right around 15mph while hardly breaking a sweat. The throttle is nice to take off fast or get across an intersection or when you are off road and hit a little incline and need a boost.


This is not a fat tire bike or made for rock hopping and it is pretty slippy in the sand but does well on hard pack and gravel. Has a front shock that is pretty decent for trail. Mostly for commuting and light trail riding. I am 5'8" and 170 pounds and almost 60 years old and it is just right for me.


I rode Mt bike all through college but because of knee and back injuries I had to give that up and figured I would never ride again but with this EV peddle bike I can get out and ride and not feel like I am destroying my joints and I can take Tazzy along for some bike and hike adventures again.


The trailer is from Aosom and is a few years old. It is solid built and handles that 60 pound dog, my tent and camping gear, food, water and hiking gear for local camping just fine.

I live off grid in a cabin in the boonies and this ebike will charge up just fine off my small 400 watt off grid power system. It has enough range to get me to town and back and is light enough to just ride without the battery boost if needed.


The bike charged fine off my small solar power system and has a fast charger and recharges fully in 3 hours. I have not tested it for range yet but it says 30 on throttle and up to 50 on peddle assist. I have a couple of towns about 10 miles from my cabin so I will be testing that range.


I will be doing vids of our rides and adventures and I did a vid of the unboxing and putting the bike together today and will have that up soon. They have a $100 coupon right now so if you are looking for an ebike. I am letting you know now because once I start making vids the product usually sells out or they raise the price.


I put my accessories on the bike. A gel seat for my broken tailbone, Center carrier for my phone and tools, rear luggage rack for a new bag I have and I mounted my go pro camera to the bike so I can record while I ride. Of course Taz thought I was going for another ride so I took her for a nice leisurely 7 mile ride around my area on the blacktop.


This bike never dropped below 17mph the whole way in peddle assist and I was in high gear. Barely any strain to peddle at all and my knees don't hurt and I didn't get winded and that is with a 60 pound dog riding in that trailer.


Anyway, I am very pleased so far and looking forward to some good bikepacking adventures with Tazzy.


Bike is here: https://amzn.to/3hQOFBs

Heard a pheasant this morning!

 When I was a kid/teen growing up here there were pheasants and rabbits all over these parts. The pheasants were transplanted and thrived in the area because we didn't have coons or a lot of predators animals in this area and this became a prime hunting area. I spent much of my youth wandering the fields hunting pheasants and rabbits.

Then some idiot got the idea to release raccoon kits and they quickly spread and decimated the wild birds and then moved to chickens. We also had a severe drought and that reduced the population. Now you rarely see a wild pheasant so it was nice to have one come through my place calling for some females.

The rabbit population has also dwindled and when I was young we had cottontail, jack and snowshoe rabbits all over. Snow shoe are huge and I haven't seen one of those here since I moved back. Not nearly as many cottontails or jacks here either.

One thing I think that changed the population is when the county went from ditch and flood irrigation to pipes and sprinklers. The ditch banks were prime habitat for small critters and when those dried up they didn't have access to as much food or water.

Anyway, thought I would share that and I am listening to that rooster pheasant right now calling for a mate... he sounds lonely.

Solar Cabin Drought, Wlldfires, Mobile Solar Project and Off Grid Water

In this video I discuss the drought and wildfires in the Western US and my latest mobile solar project and water at my cabin. I show off my place and talk about how it has changed over the years.

First 'maters of the season!

 These are some smaller ones that started to turn and I will finish them off in a brown paper bag. 


These are beef masters and they get bigger maters and good for sandwiches and slicing. I also have some huge Roma's for salsa and salads. 


I worried with the drought I might not get anything to produce but the maters in my mom's old tubs are doing well.

How do you like the new website format?

After over 15 years with the same company webs sold out to Vistaprint and my website was moved to this new server. It has taken me awhile to figure out how to use the designer and some features are no longer available like the guestbook but I am working on that. It does have a nice cart feature for buying ebooks and it looks a lot better on phone.


Anyway, let me know what you think and if there are any features you would like to see added. I am working on a guestbook and newsletter feature.


Oh and I also went fishing with the dogs. -LaMar

Red Sky In Morning

Red sky in morning- sailors take warning. Red sky at night- sailors delight. That is an old sailors saying to indicate a storm is brewing and a red sky means more moisture in the air. We have a wild fire in the area and the smoke and haze made the sun a bright red this morning. Not likely going to get a storm though and we could sure use the rain. 


Even my Russian olive trees look all dried up.


We have been experiencing a major heat wave and drought all across the Western US and clear in to Canada. My area in the high desert at the foot of the Rocky Mountains has been hit very hard with drought and now wild fires are here.


I am lucky to have my own water well as the people on city water have been told they can't water their lawns or use any extra water.

Thank you for visiting!

About Us:

 

Simple Solar Homesteading is a Not-For-Profit social and cultural service organization dedicated to producing affordable off-grid housing designs and projects so that everyone everywhere can have a safe and sustainable home.

 

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