This inspiring off-grid homesteading family lives in a renovated stone earthship. They grow their own food, collect rainwater, use solar power, have composting toilets, and they have a pond that filters their grey water. On top of living an eco friendly lifestyle, they dedicate their work to important projects like urban gardening and promoting industrial hemp as “Hempbassadors.”
During the winter, they typically take 2-4 months off to travel, which is financially possible for them because they don’t have a mortgage (the house only cost $15,000 when they bought it).
Francis & Marie have dreamt of being self-sufficient for a long time. For 8 years they renovated their earthship home, planted their permaculture gardens, and prepared for the day they’d be able to live their dream full-time. Their daughter, Emma, is in the first grade, but they take her out of school while they travel and homeschool her on the road.
For over 2 years now they’ve been living on their dream homestead. They grow apples, berries, and other fruits which they preserve for winter. They also grow vegetables, and collect eggs from their chickens. In the summer, their grocery bill can be as low as $30/week because they produce so much of their own food. Much of their harvest is kept cool in their root cellar although they would like to have a fridge.
The home is a passive solar home with a greenhouse in the front. It can stay above zero degrees on it’s own, but they have a wood stove – an Amish Pioneer Princess – to heat the house, to cook, and to heat their hot water.
For rainwater, they have 3 collection systems. One is a tank in front of the house that collects water from the greenhouse, and they use a solar powered pump to transfer it into an underground cistern. Another tank collects rainwater from the roof, and a third collects rainwater from their shed. In total they can have 10,000 litres of fresh water when all of the tanks are full.
They don’t have a well yet so they get their drinking water from a cabin they have access to down the road. They have a small solar power system for their lights, the water pump, and for the internet. They’d eventually like to invest in a bigger system but for now it works well.