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Sustainable, off grid living. The foundations with which to truly thrive and survive

This article will tell you more about my inputs in the OhmBrella woodland from last year. Originally posted online 6 months ago...


Over the last four months, I have been creating the living and operating foundations of a fully sustainable, off grid woodland site. 15 acres of ancient forest in Shropshire, with immense variety of plants life and wildlife. Bluebells in spring, ferns in autumn, brambles and fur cones in winter. A lush smell of pine throughout and vibrant activity from the likes of owls and dormice. It's got many magical qualities. The nature reserve will be home to OhmBrella's wellbeing retreats, nutritional and calesthenic courses, and a plethora of food growing and plant life practices to sustain the occupants. Mostly on my own, with manual tools where possible, and zero contacts in the rural area of the Black Country...I wanted to see how much one man can do alone. I've spent the last few year's optimising and educating myself on my own wellbeing and inner strengths, and also ancient living techniques and creative practices in order to tackle this task. And while it continuously provides incredible challenges, the sense of achievement is becoming fulfilling now. I am able to start sharing the progress. I wanted to talk about off-grid power. While not wanting to bring power lines and plumbing onto the virgin forest lands, I've had to figure out how to get gnough power to provide light and some modernity to accomodation, plus working power for the ongoing operations on site. My question to start with was, with a strict budget, to harnessing solar and wind. The answer, is a lot of reading, plenty on strange meetings in yards in far flung parts of the country, persuading farmers to let me use their tractors, and an enormous battery. I've installed a 1 tonne, 24 cell, 48 volt, 700 amp hour battery. To anyone who knows what that means, I congratulate you. I am not a man for electronics. More of the mechanical mind. So I've had to delve into the world of current conversions and voltage storage, amp hours and AC wattage, inversion, controlling, DC charging....and a number of hours just scratching my head in the dark by torch light. Needless to say, there are many escapades and stories that have emerged from the process of purchasing and installing the power system alone. But it's done. I now have rain water collection working with 2 x 1000ltr water butts filling up, a fully operating off-grid power set up for either wind or solar, with back-up petrol generator connected. We now have the light and power to establish the mushroom farm and research areas, domiciles, caravans, and keep the lights burning all night long. Without lifting a single metre of soil. The sun and wind will power this project. I'm beyond delighted it has worked. I will never pay an electricity bill here, and once the spring is tapped and water hole bored, not a water bill either. They told me it's not doable for just a few thousand pounds. It is. And it just goes to show what one man can achieve with some determination and some resources, and nature by his side. A messaged from my heart - I urge you to believe in yourselves fully, and work out what are and how to achieve your dreams. Anything you think you can do, is achievable! Blessings and light. Thanks for reading. Jacob.

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