Buy Off Grid and Free My Path to the Wilderness

Off Grid and Free: My Path to the Wilderness available in Print, Ebook and Audio

The true life story of how this city boy came to live 100 miles deep in the Canadian wilderness; how I mastered homesteading and an off-grid self-sufficient lifestyle in Maine in preparation for the move to the bush. Join me for an eclectic blend of story telling ranging from my adventures of bicycling across the United States to my winter thru hike of the 2100+ mile long Appalachian Trail.

Experience the terror of being surrounded by wildfire and being touched by a bear. Discover what life is like working in a remote exploration camp. Enjoy first hand accounts of some of the most breathtaking wildlife encounters. Entertaining and enlightening, the narrative is at times amusing while at other times harrowing. Appealing to readers with an outdoors, adventurous spirit; people with an off-grid, self-sufficiency bent, as well as the “dreamers” content to read about adventure, I hope to inspire others to “take the road less traveled.” The book is supplemented with about 100 images which have been carefully selected to visually reinforce the text.

About the author: Living off grid since 1980, Ron and his wife Johanna have spent the better part of their lives “unplugged.” As part of the back to the land movement that originated in the 70’s, they have spent their adult years living the homestead dream. Published in Backhome magazine, Small Farmer’s Journal, and Countryside and Small Stock Journal, they also appear in Life Off Grid, a film and book about people living off grid throughout Canada.

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1 Which way do I go?
Chapter 2 Northbound to Maine
Chapter 3 Money does grow on trees
Chapter 4 Wandering for 165 days and nights
Chapter 5 Sure beats walking
Chapter 6 Who’s afraid of a little wilderness?
Chapter 7 Smells like chicken
Chapter 8 Searching for a diamond in the rough
Chapter 9 Sort of homesteading
Chapter 10 Do bush planes serve pretzels with the inflight movie?
Chapter 11 Cook stove delights
Chapter 12 Forest fires burn me up
Chapter 13 Dump run swim
Chapter 14 Slush makes for poor sledding
Chapter 15 Camp life
Chapter 16 Daily life and seasonal patterns
Chapter 17 Close encounters of the animal kind
Chapter 18 Is the wilderness for you?


The Self-Sufficient Backyard: For the Independent Homesteader

By Ron and Johanna Melchiore

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – 40 Years Homesteading

Where it all Began …………………………………………..

The Beginning – The First Homestead ………………

Time for a Change – A Move to the Wilderness …

The Final Frontier – The Last Homestead …………

Chapter 2 – The Homestead Plan ………………………….

More Questions ………………………………………………

The Sketch ……………………………………………………..

Sketch Details …………………………………………………

Chapter 3 – Site Selection ……………………………………..

One Step at a Time …………………………………………

Homestead Layout ………………………………………….

Chapter 4 – Road Building ……………………………………

Chapter 5 – Homestead Water ……………………………..

Drilled Wells and Hand Pumps ……………………….

Hand Dug Wells and Piston Pumps …………………

Machine Dug Wells ………………………………………..

Well Disinfection ……………………………………………

Homestead Water Filtration …………………………….

Homestead Hot Water ……………………………………

Rain Water Catchment (WS)……………………………

Chapter 6 – House Floor Planning …………………………

Dirty and Clean Areas ……………………………………..

Homestead Kitchen …………………………………………

Chapter 7 – Off Grid Power ………………………………….

Basic Electricity ……………………………………………….

Batteries …………………………………………………………

Solar Panels…………………………………………………….

Charge Controllers ………………………………………….

The Inverter ……………………………………………………

An Example Design…………………………………………..

Wind Turbines …………………………………………………

Chapter 8 – The Orchard (OR)……………………………….

Growing Zones …………………………………………………

Berry Planting (BP1, BP2, SB, T3, T4, T6, T7) ….

Grapes (T4, T7)………………………………………………..

Rhubarb, a Vegetable or a Fruit? (T3)…………………

Fruit Tree Planting (OR) ……………………………………

Controlling Pest and Disease ……………………………..

Chapter 9 – Homestead Gardening………………………….

Your First Garden …………………………………………….

Container Gardening (RC1) ……………………………….

Let There Be Light ……………………………………………

Edible Landscapes ………………………………………….…

Choose Garden System ………………………..

The Shape Our Garden Takes ……………..

Plan the Layout ……………………………………

Crop Rotation (TT) ……………………………..

Soil Building and Preparation ……………….

Organic Fertilizers ……………………………….

Vegetable Seed Selection ……………………..

Let’s Get the Garden Started! ……………….

Ready to Plant ……………………………………..

Succession Planting and Intercropping …..

Mulch and Fertilize………………………………

Insects and Diseases …………………………….

Varmint Control ………………………………….

Season Extenders…………………………………

Plant Protection …………………………………..

The Solar Greenhouse (GH) ………………..

Seven Cash Cow Crops ………………………..

Guide to Common Garden Vegetables ….

Winter Gardening ……………………………….

Culinary Herbs (CH) ……………………………

Medicinal Garden (MG) ………………………

Chapter 10 – Easy on the Back Gardening ….

Hay or Straw Bale Gardens…………………..

A Keyhole Garden (KH) ………………………

Chapter 11 – Seed saving …………………………..

Chapter 12 – Food Preservation …………………

Freezing Fruits and Vegetables ……………..

Freezing Meats …………………………………….

Canning ………………………………………………

Canning Equipment……………………………..

Canning Foods – General Principles ……..

Canning Vegetables ……………………………..

Canning Fruits……………………………………..

Canning Fruit Juices ………………………….…

Canning Jams, Jellies and Preserves ……………………………………..

Canning Meats ……………………………………………………………………

Drying or Dehydrating ………………………………………………………..

Root Cellaring (BRC) ………………………………………………………….

Curing, Smoking and Other Off-Grid Means of Food Storage ..

Storage of Staples ………………………………………………………………..

Making Apple Cider Vinegar ……………………………………………….

Chapter 13 – Busy as Bees (BH) ……………………………………………….

Building the Hive ……………………………………………………………….. Equipment …………………………………………………………………………

Potential Issues …………………………………………………………………..

How to Start a New Bee Colony …………………………………………..

Harvesting Honey …………………………………………………………….…

Chapter 14 – Introduction to Chickens ……………..

Chicken Breeds …………………………………………

The Chicken Coop and Run (CR and CC) …..

Starting the Flock ……………………………………….

Feed and Bedding ……………………………………..

Chicken Processing…………………………………….

Chapter 15 – Composting (CB) ……………………….

Recycling Human Waste (HMC) ………………..

Chapter – 16 You Can Do the Impossible…………

Tools of the Trade …………………………………….

Real World Examples ………………………………..

Safety First! ………………………………………………..

Homestead Fuel Storage ………………………….…

Chapter 17 – Parting Thoughts ………………………..