Wecome to Dragonwood Chronicles

Tucked away deep in the woods at the southern edge of the Tug Hill region of New York. Dragonwood is our off-grid sanctuary. Six acres of pond and gardens bordered by forest on three sides.

The project began in 1995, when after a long search, Debe and I purchased the property from a local logger. To date we have built a cabin, a bridge, out house, two sheds in addition to expansive gardens and stone work. We have a generator, propane lights, refrigerator and grill, a wood stove and modest solar system. A dug well and small stream suitable for watering gardens and other needs and a nearby spring for drinking water.

The Dragonwood Chronicles will serve to document the project with photographs and notes. Future projects will include additions to the cabin, a root cellar and a studio building.

Comments and questions are always welcome.

We enjoy hearing from people who visit Dragonwood Chronicles. Please feel free to leave a comment or ask questions.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Getting Off the Grid by Gwen Caldwell

Getting off the grid and other solutions

Our country is bankrupt, untold thousands have lost their homes, food and gas prices continue to rise and the good news is?
by Gwen Caldwell

My energy feels depleted every time I read the news. I am more thankful than ever that I used the television for target practice...I'd probably be suicidal if I had to actually watch the news!

We live in times unlike this country has ever seen. Hope is dwindling in many areas of the country of ever recovering from the inevitable financial and credit collapse. It's not even a matter of if it will happen, in my humble opinion. It's a matter of when. I struggle to get my arms around what that will really mean to us in our day to day lives. Certainly, it will not afford us the current freedoms we enjoy. I see tell tale signs of martial law knocking on our doors. Chaos at best.

Like many other people I am very concerned, because I have a young child at home. I already struggle to keep food on the table and a roof over head. I know with certainty that it's going to get worse before it gets better. How do we adress cost reduction without compromising standard of living? How do we insure a food source? How do we cut safe on energy, heating and cooling bills.

Sustainable communities have sucessfully been transforming lives for decades. They create community, a food source and good health with organic gardening, small animal husbandry, cost effective, alternative, off the grid, alternative energy living environments. It's about making a committment to participate in your living enviroment. To merge into a total living system for sustainability.

There is just that kind of community currently forming on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. It will serve as a model community and education center that can be duplicated anywhere, with very little money, a bit of hard work, committment to live a life that is not plugged into corporate America to maintain your standard of living.

People call and ask me about debt, the car they're still making payments on, etc. Get out from underneath your debt! Drive an older model car to reduce cost, insurance, etc. Cut up your credit cards. Consolidate them if possible on a zero percent interest rate. Move into a smaller house to reduce cost. Install a wood or pellet stove. Sell your excess. Use it to stock pile esstential food and living items, especially canned and dried meats, staples, dried fruits, nuts, pastas, beans, etc. I don't really recommend stockpiling canned foods, because they have no nutritional value, with the exception of canned tomatoes and beans. Guns, ammo, water and filters. Convert to solar or wind...make your own it's much cheaper. Make sure you have fishing and hunting supplies. If you're in the country get a few chickens, rabbits and goats. Buy heritage or non-hybrid seeds to grow your own food. Food will be your greatest asset! If you have a guns...get ammo..a lot of it, while you still can. If you don't have a gun., get one and a lot of ammo, while you still can. A bow and arrows, and traps will be useful. Learn to dry and can meat in the event that the grids are shut down, so it doesn't spoil.Canning supplies will be helpful.

Make a mental note of the day to day items you and your family currently use. Do an inventory of what you have for storage and canning supplies. What you don't have and will need buy first, then fill in the other non-essential and creature comforts. I would definitely advise you get a lot of hydrogen perioxide, apple cider and regular vinegar, lemon juice, honey, cayenne pepper, olive oil and cinnamon. All of these can be used medicinally for just about anything that ails you and then some!Aslo non-perfumed bleach to purify water. Vitamin, medicines, herbals and a good first aid kit.

Sh*t is going to hit the fan! Get ready! Your beautiful furniture and decor will not feed you, house you, nor will it keep you warm for the winter. Get rid of it! Buy vegetables when they are on sale and dehydrate them. Buy in bulk. Start a food co-op with your neighbors and share in the cost of buying bulk. Buy a book to learn about local edible plants and medicinal herbs that grow in your area. Learn them and use them for better health and to reduce food costs.

For more information visit www.freewebs.com/voiceofwomensustainabiltyproject

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