A little iNTRODUCTION – Life in the Woods

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We’ve been waiting anxiously to share a few stories with you.  Waiting for a bit of an introduction.  Waiting for the right time to share our life in the woods with you.

GRIDLESSNESS
[grid-les-nes]
noun
1) the quality or state of being gridless
example
Jeff and the girls have built a life in the woods, off grid, and with less rules.  They have an aura of gridlessness about them

We’ve been fairly intentional about avoiding commitments to the typical stuff.  We didn’t really like the mortgage or the costs associated with a normal house.  We didn’t like the school and extracurricular schedule, it didn’t exactly bring us all together.  We figure that the world could use a few kids from outside the box.  And so, we have transitioned to a little off grid house in the woods.

We didn’t go Survivor Man or anything, and we’re not luddites.  We just opted for a nice piece of cheap land that we could build on, live on and play on.  We dumped the mortgage, utility bills and the “program”.  We heat with wood, cook with wood, collect rainwater, utilize a grey-water system and the most awesome composting toilet “system” ever.  We built our house for around 20k.  Its amazing how cheap things can be if they don’t need to be 100% automatic.

With a lot more free time we can collect our food the long way; by hunting and fishing, gathering, gardening and beekeeping.  The pursuit of food is a central element to our life in the woods.  We build all sorts of things out of all sorts of things; living roof houses, straw bale shops, culvert cold rooms and tree houses.

The kids are a part of everything we do.  They’re not un-schooled, but close to it.  They are learning life first hand and overcoming new challenges every day.

Thanks for checking out our Life in the Woods.

See if you can spot the bacon in this video!

 

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20 thoughts on “A little iNTRODUCTION – Life in the Woods

  1. Very impressive! (at least until the mustache/Bering Sea bit) Looks like we’re going to have to up the creativity component on our blog if we’re going to keep the Burkinshaws on board.

    • Every interaction with dogs goes the same for me:
      1) I pretend to like them
      2) They know I’m pretending and bark incessantly
      3) I stop pretending
      4) They keep barking

  2. Well…where to start. Sad that tannerite missed the cut on the intro, but I’m sure there is plenty of time for that! 🙂

  3. I love that first song! I watched the video a while ago though; what is it called? My grandparents really liked you video too! When Lissie first watched it, she kept on saying: “The Berkinshaws are awesome!”?

  4. Just discovered your blog, YouTube and Facebook accounts yesterday via a search on YouTube for gridless homesteads. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experiences with us! Beyond the awesome content, your video production skills are top notch! We’ve been watching your videos and reading your content almost non stop since we found them. Your blog and videos really need to go viral! The kids are ready to move to BC, hey we are all ready to move to BC! Anyway, I have a few questions if you’d be willing to answer them. Approximately where is your homestead located? What do you do for income? Is your townies gathering by invitation only? In case you are wondering about your fan base, we are a family of 7 with kids ages 2-12. I’m from St Louis Mo and my wife is from South Carolina. We now live in Shipshewana, IN, home of the third largest Amish community. We’ve taken a detour from the American Dream with a goal of maximizing time together as a family. We both dropped our professional jobs (computer programmer & physical therapist) to take a job building RVs (25-30 hrs a week). Right now we are exploring homesteading / gridless idea. Like you we love he freedom that homeschooling gives us. Next step is to shed the 7 bedroom house in the spring along with the mortgage. Maybe we will move next door, lol. Anyway, thank you so much for sharing, your story is so inspiring!

    • Hey Mike, Im glad you appreciate our stories, and its nice to hear you share a lot of our interests and values. We live in the northern interior about a 9 hour drive north of Vancouver. I am an engineering technologist and work mostly from home. Without any debt, I can choose to work less and spend more time “playing” with the kids (which often involves working on our 40 acres). As a programmer you might also have opportunities to work on a flexible schedule or work from home. So far, especially with having a handful of kids, we’ve found that a balance of money generating work and work around the “homestead” has been great.

      I think the mot valuable work we do for ourselves, our family and our country is that of raising our kids to be exceptional people.

      Keep us posted,

      Jeff,

  5. Hey jeff how is the family these days. Love watching all the fun you all get into. I will be out to bc next year at the selles place. Looking foward to saying hi again to you all. I might start looking at property out there as my mom has past away now.Next year i think i will start being the selles camera man and film all their fun and put it on the web lol. Keep up the good work together. Rose keep a eye on jeff. Mark Fair

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