We want to live off the land.
Co-exist in a healthy environment. Eat healthy food. Be authentic. Feel safe to do it.
With today’s living costs it won’t happen without multiple ways to sustain remote living. A single avenue, like selling vegetables on a small scale, unfortunately, doesn’t cut it anymore—A homestead is simply too expensive.
These 5 ways have made it possible for us to leave the city and grow a food forest.
- Managing our money
- Commune with family (family can be who you make it!)
- Start a blog
- Offer local services
- Grow and sell local goods
I listed those items in the order we used them to make our dreams happen. By the way, our “dreams” are still not perfect, but they are happening, and feel a lot closer than before.
“Making money online” is usually the biggest bogus-sounding gateway blocking you from getting here. It’s true, because not only is it hard, but it’s the easiest way to make a substantial means to actually get the ball rolling.
But you can do so as a business or a job! Either way, your life wouldn’t hinge on an accessible location.
I started this blog and teaching others has helped me retain and learn a lot more than not, plus it’s one of a few comfortable streams of income. My brother, however, has a remote coding job in software development.
An alternative to a remote situation is staying in urban areas and creating a community food forest! Community gardens are the next best thing to participate in for access to healthier food, getting outdoors, and connecting with like-minded people.
Work as a team. Buy what you need. Avoid consumerism at all costs. Invest. Cook from scratch. Take care of your body. Comprehend each other. Make goals. Talk about your goals.
Look at what you depend on, can you stop depending on it? I’ve cut a lot of costs on products I didn’t really need by asking myself that – about everything I used.
I make my own tooth powder, for example—way cheaper (+healthier) and has done my teeth wonders. At my recent dental checkup, the ‘forming’ cavity I had 3 years ago is gone and the dentist said “Lovely teeth, no action needed, you know what you’re doing, keep doing it.” I credit four things; eating whole foods at home, drinking good water, keeping my mouth closed (not mouth breathing), and my homemade toothpowder.
Commune with family (family can be who you make it!)
First, we moved in with Chris’s family to grow food on their land “the cottage.” It was great! We learned a lot and things are growing in the meantime.
Now we wish to travel around in our truck and work exchange at other farms and homesteads to learn more.
When we finish with that phase, we have a few ideas for the road ahead. It could look like finding an affordable place to build our own, splitting equally on a place with my family (who currently all have separate condos in the city), or coming back to the cottage!
All options are open and we trust that everything, no matter what happens, will fall into place as they will. Regardless, we have a rough idea of where we’re headed and are lucky to have and discuss ideas with people who wish for a similar path.
And that’s all that matters. For now, we’re focused on learning before we land permanently!
What if you don’t know anyone?
Of course, not everyone knows of trusted people who want to commit to a big change in lifestyle, nor have someone with a setup ready for you to join.
If there’s ‘nowhere to go’ for you, I suggest you either try van life and travel around to find opportunities and communities using websites like these:
You’ll learn a lot and find the connections you need to get somewhere you’ll want to go.
Or skip the van and look independently for live-in work exchange community farms, you’ll dig up awesome opportunities such as Chuckle Berry Farm, for example.
Start a blog or work any remote job you can
Within the last 3 years, I’ve worked 2 different remote jobs on a part-time basis and earned from my blog.
My blog will be what makes our next chapter, the travel chapter, easy to say ‘yes’ to!
Offer local services
You could scout an area for what services locals will need before committing to it. But if you don’t, no matter where you go, unless 100% isolated, people are likely looking to hire help in one way or another.
While living at the cottage, Chris offered landscaping services to neighbors.
This worked well as we were situated in an area with new cottages. Neighbors had unfinished landscapes and money to finish up their projects.
Chris also considered working with the local tree cutter. The “local tree cutter”‘s name is Ferg. He cuts down all the dangerous trees in the area and since we were getting into making mushroom logs, it would have been a useful experience to be his helper and an entry into a high-paying in-demand skill.
The point is, wherever you live in the country, opportunity is likely everywhere. It just takes getting to know people. As hard as that can be, it seems to just happen when you’re out and about working on your own place, going for walks, or attending local events.
Country services people need include (but is not limited to):
- Chimney sweeping
- Seed starting
- Foraging guidance
- Outdoor maintenance
- Home maintenance
- Workshops of any kind
- Classes of any kind
- Therapy of any kind
Grow and sell local goods
Once you’re established in an area and food is growing well, you’ll eventually be able to expand your income!
The point is, that this journey will expand!
It may seem impossible today; like you have nothing ‘out there.’
But over time, more becomes available to you which includes possible streams of income.
We’ve sold potted plants, cuttings, roots, and mushrooms to our community.
- What it Costs to Grow Mushrooms (Indoor vs Outdoor)
- 5 Best-Selling Mushrooms to Grow (& Why They Sell Well)
To sell seedlings and vegetables to neighbors, I gathered emails and did a survey to find out what everyone would want.
To ensure I grew enough for us first, and then extras of certain fruits and vegetables for selling, I created and followed a calculated and scheduled set of spreadsheets.
- Calculate How Many Plants To Feed Your Family for a Year
- Best Digital Garden Journal (Easy to Use and Read)
“Living off the land” and having access to homegrown food is essentially signing up for entrepreneurship.
If you’re unable to stomach the risks of building a business(es) then you’ll need to secure a remote job that covers the bills!
Otherwise, how will you ever ‘make a move?’
If anything, start small and figure out what and how much to grow, right where you can!
Community plots are a thing and you’ll gain plenty of experience in the meantime as you work toward your bigger goals.
My biggest tip? Find joy in everything you do, and strive to take on more responsibility.