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Welcome to Life Unplugged, your guide to living off grid with alternative energy on the modern homestead. It is not necessary to give up all modern conveniences to reduce your carbon footprint when you utilize alternative energy and green building techniques. Passive solar design coupled with straw bale, cob, cordwood, or earthbag construction can yield an efficient, comfortable, and green built structure for your homestead. Solar panels and wind turbines are tried and true forms of alternative energy, but new technologies such as geothermal, micro hydro, and bio-diesel offer additional flexibility to power your off grid homestead. Explore our collection of articles covering new and old technologies that are sure to be of use in your modern homesteading adventure.
Volunteers building an earthbag house Building with Earthbags
Earth is one of the oldest and most plentiful building materials known to man.  Why purchase a material and pay to have it transported when suitable earth s almost always close at hand. Earthbag construction is a green building option that has been utilized by for thousands of years. 
Generate Electricity with a Wind Turbine
roof mounted wind turbine Wind energy is the fastest-growing source of energy in the United States. Clean and relatively inexpensive wind turbines harness the energy in wind and are an attractive option for those looking for an alternative way to power their homestead.
honeybee on flower Getting Started with Beekeeping
Getting started with beekeeping is a great way to explore alternative livestock if you are starting on the road to self-sufficiency. Bees are easy to get started and the results of your efforts can be very rewarding.
solar water heater Benefits of Solar Water Heaters
Utilizing solar energy to meet your water heating needs is one of the most economical ways to implement alternative energy on your homestead. Solar water heaters are can function in nearly any climate and are a great solution for people living off grid.
Homesteading is hard work whether you are collecting eggs from the chickens, feeding the livestock, or tending the garden. Growing organic produce can be an adjustment for those used to using chemical pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizer but I wouldn’t say that organic gardening is more difficult. Composting your kitchen scraps, livestock manure, leaves, and lawn clippings takes time but not labor to produce free nutrient rich compost for your homestead’s garden. Mulching with your compost fertilizes the soil and aids in water retention which reduces labor requirements and conserves water. Who knows what hormones are injected into the animals that provide our eggs, beef, chicken, and pork. Save money and enjoy fresh nutritious meat and eggs by raising your own livestock and poultry on your homestead. Learn more about raising livestock and organic gardening on Life Unplugged, your source for all things on the environmentally responsible modern homestead.
Hybrid vs Heirloom Garden Seeds
hybrid vs heirloom seeds Planting a garden from seeds is the most economical way to start growing vegetables and herbs, and it has the added advantage of providing you with many more options than if you use nursery plants. For homesteaders, the question is usually not whether to plant from seed, but which kind of garden seeds to use.
Gathering Wild Mushrooms

chanterelle mushrooms Mushroom hunting is a time-honored tradition in many rural areas, and it's not just about getting a little free food. Many wild mushrooms are considered delicacies, and difficult or impossible to find in stores. For example, morel and chanterelle mushrooms have amazingly complex flavors and can be used in a huge variety of dishes. If you've only tried the bland white mushrooms sold in grocery stores, you're missing out!
Learn How to Brew Mead from Honey
Honey Wine MeadIf you would like to add an alcoholic beverage to the list of items you produce on your sustainable homestead, consider brewing mead. Mead is a great beverage for the beginning brewer because it requires little specialized equipment and it only needs three commonly available ingredients; water, honey, and yeast.
Our Favorite Homesteading Blogs
Can't learn enough about self sufficient living? Check out this collection of our favorite blogs and follow the adventures of homesteaders across the country and around the world. 

Check out the 'Carpe Diem Acreage' Blog that was recently added to our blog collection!
The Practical Vegetable Garden

small backyard vegetable garden Gardening can be an expensive proposition, and a surprising number of people spend more money than they save by growing their own food. This isn't necessarily a bad thing; after all, homegrown fruits and vegetables taste better and are more nutritious than their supermarket counterparts. But if your goal is saving money, or if you don't have the time to devote to growing all of your family's produce, it makes sense to garden with practicality in mind.
Historical and Modern Homesteading
homestead tractor Homesteading, or living off the land, will never be seen as a particularly modern lifestyle. However, it is interesting to note that homesteading -- as it's thought of today -- is a relatively new practice that has greatly evolved over the past several decades.
How to Build a Wood-Fired Cob Oven
hand built cob ovenA growing number of people are realizing the fun and functionality of building cob ovens. Wood-fired cob ovens can be built to whatever size best suits the user. Some restaurants have earthen ovens that are six feet across! No matter the size of the oven you wish to build, the techniques used are very similar.
Learn How To Make Homemade Sausage
Homemade Sausages Enjoy your own homemade sausage.  Making sausage is an art form and you will get better with practice, but almost everyone who tries is surprised how easy it is to start, and how little equipment it requires.  Try making your own homemade sausage today!
Benefits of an Earth Sheltered Home
earth berm home Some people assume that an earth berm home is dark, cave-like, and buried in the ground, but it is in fact quite the opposite. Instead of the builder placing the home under the ground, he or she brings the earth up, so to speak, to cover the outside walls of the dwelling. Earth berm homes (and earth sheltered homes) have many benefits to both the homeowner and the planet.
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