This page will you give you an idea about our life off grid
We are blessed to be able to eat most of our meals directly from our land. We´d love to share this wonderful experience with you on one of our courses.
Self-sufficient life is really about a love of good food! – Carol
Here are a few photos our homegrown and homemade dinners:
At Cortijo Vera, we grow completely organically:
- Fruits: pomegranates, lemons, oranges, pears, grapes, caqui and always more..
- Vegetables: beans, potatoes, salads, salads, tomatoes, peppers, aubergines..
- Food for our livestock: a-maize-ing how much food they need!
Permaculture is about working with nature rather than against nature.
Patrick Whitefield, a well known permaculture author and past neighbour.
Animals have always been a traditional part of farming in the Alpujarras. Over the years local people have taught us how to look after animals and how they are an important part of off grid living.
Seasons come and go, and so do many crops. As a part of the course about off grid living you can learn how to preserved different crops, from tomatoes to jams, chutneys and dried fruit.
Watering our farm
A huge challenge in growing your food year-round is ensuring you get enough water for your plants even though it may not rain.
Luckily, the Moors who lived here for over 800 years, designed and built the acequia system which allows us to flood irrigate the land all year round and this rich heritage remains for us to use today.
Part of living off grid is living without a wastewater pipe. This means that you literally have to deal with your own shit. Our solution, a compost toilet, doesn’t waste water or pollute rivers and can create a valuable fertiliser.
We´ve created a little documentary that you can access here, that explains how to make your own.
We have rebuilt our farmhouse (cortijo in Spanish) using traditional materials, sourced locally. Within the community there are examples of straw-bale houses, houses built for less than €100, yurts, converted vehicles and other creative creations. Walking around Cigarrones is a great way to see the variety of dwellings that have been created here using local, natural and recycled materials.
Off grid power
There are many solutions to off grid power. We are lucky to be living in a very sunny region, therefore solar panels and solar water heating is the best solution for us. With it, however, comes many challenges, how to install it, store it and live without it when it´s cloudy! Our winter heating and some of our cooking is provided with our own firewood.
Education and schooling
While living off grid in Spain, we have successfully defended our right to home education. As a result, many forms of alternative education are becoming available in the wider community. We are always looking out for new ways of schooling and unschooling. This encourages a lot of lively debate!