Take the next step on your journey

Informal interviews with homesteaders, cooks, gardeners and employees will help you take the next step on your journey to a simpler life. Escape the chaotic, stressful world for about seven minutes and learn how to live a satisfying life, enjoying time with family and friends.

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OFF GRID with Doug and Stacy

Doug and Stacy of "OFF GRID with Doug and Stacy" join us to talk about what they’ve learned as they moved from a high-pressure world to the simple life of off grid living. They had no idea what it was going to look like but now they teach their Homestead Homies on YouTube and social media how they’ve found the best practices for a simpler life.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: Welcome to Solutions for a Simpler Life. This is Glenda Lehman Ervin with Lehman’s on the square in Kidron, Ohio. We’re glad you joined us. Today we’re fortunate to have OFF GRID with Doug and Stacy. YouTubers with a huge following that moved from city life to country life. Welcome Doug and Stacy. All right. I would like a one minute recap of your journey to the simpler life. That means 30 seconds for each of you and the clock starts now.

Doug: Basically when we were in the city we were just sick and tired of being sick and tired. We had businesses, we were on the go, the rat wheel was turning faster and faster and faster. So we decided that we were going to sell everything and calm it down to a simpler life. And what did that look like at the time? We had no idea but it ended up looking like a log cabin in the Midwest where we grow our own food, raise our own animals, and live a much simpler life.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: That’s awesome. Stacy?

Stacy: You said what I was going to say!

Glenda Lehman Ervin: All right. Well I mean you guys did it together, so if it mirrors it that’s fine.

Stacy: Well and funny thing is, is when I was a little girl I always wanted to work with animals and do animal husbandry. And I just forgot about it. I did what my parents told me to do, you know go to school try to get a job in the corporate you know and do all that. And my soul never wanted to do that. And so now I look back you know and we did this and it was just an easy kind of transition that we did this and I mean I couldn’t be happier.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: Oh that’s fantastic. And I know you guys have a passion for teaching others and that’s really what your YouTube channel is all about. So what do you know now that you wish you had known then about homesteading? If someone could give you a piece of advice 15 years ago what would it be?

Stacy: We always say plant trees because that’s one thing we did not do.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: Why is that?

Stacy: Because it takes a long time for them to mature so that you can—

Glenda Lehman Ervin: So maybe before you build your house off grid or whatever get the trees planted as soon as you have the land.

Doug: Yeah as soon as you sign the property maybe plant some trees. But you know, as we were speaking about earlier is that you want to find out how the land lays and everything else so that would be one thing but for me we get asked that question quite a bit oddly enough and I don’t think I would want anyone to tell me anything because that’s what made us the people that we are right? That we’ve been able to persevere through everything. It’s the trials and tribulations that we’ve had since we’ve been there that have made us better and stronger homesteaders and just has really worked well for us.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: Well that makes sense to me because everyone’s journey to the simpler life takes a different path. Just like our lives in general do so if somebody said well you have to do this you might go down that path but that wasn’t your journey.

Stacy: Our journey wasn’t to be off grid, it really wasn’t. People are like, “Oh are you just going to do that?” And there was a lot of… I was going to have a propane refrigerator I said I’m not moving off grid if we’re gonna do it unless I have certain things. You know and we never went this way until we found out the Amish lived nearby us. So then we were out talking to them and doing things and when we first started you know they had a stove like a potbelly stove. We had it and then they’re like, “You’re crazy if you think that’s going to work, keep you warm.” So then we switched and looked for wood burning cookstoves and so they started educating us. So it’s kind of that path. You know if they can do it we can do it.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: I think it’s so interesting that you learned from the Amish originally which of course they live off the land but now you have young Amish people coming to you looking to see how you’re doing things. So it’s kind of cyclical. You learned from the older generation and now the younger generation is coming to you and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Doug is barefoot right now.

Stacy: [Laughter] I’m barefoot probably 80 to 90 percent of the time you know. It’s just… Especially in the heat, I don’t think people realize the relief that you can get just by freeing your feet just from the heat.

Stacy: They call it grounding. People that may have aches and pains, if you do some kind of grounding or earthing, being barefoot, especially if you have wet soil or sand and water you know the beach or the dewy grass it is just amazing what it can do for your health if you walk on it for 15, 20 minutes a day.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: And that’s certainly a very simple thing that somebody can do is just go for a walk in the dewy grass in the morning and literally start their journey to a simpler life.

Stacy: Right.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: What do you miss most about living off the grid?

Doug: What do I miss most about living on the grid?

Glenda Lehman Ervin: Yes I’m sorry. What do you miss most while you were living off the grid?

Doug: Yeah we get asked that question a lot too and I always say not much. Nothing really.

Stacy: Well we could say…

Doug: She could say.

Stacy: When its hundred and seven degrees, air conditioning.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: Right.

Stacy: Yeah that would be… Other than that, I mean I love the peace and the calm and then when people run and you know they have their power go out or things happening I mean we’re not fazed at all by any of that.

Doug: I think we indulged enough of the on grid life for so long that we’re good for visiting.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: OK. All right great. What would you be doing if you weren’t homesteading?

Doug: My alternative lifestyle would be to like have an RV with the Harley on the back and then just travel. You know, I’m just that kind of a guy.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: That adventurous spirit which actually led you to this journey. So what would you be doing Stacy?

Stacy: Set right on the back of the Harley.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: All right. Last question, what do you admire most about the Amish?

Doug: It’s the work ethic and the grittiness that they have. Amish communities are scattered all over the US now. But when one person has a need they send money, people show up, and that’s something that I think regular just Americans have really gotten away from is that sense of community.

Stacy: Yes it is.

Doug: You can live next door to someone in a standard suburban neighborhood right now in America and not even know their name and I just think that is just the total tear down of our societal mentality that we should have. I mean we’re getting more divided and I think we should be more united and I think that’s one thing that they do very well.

Stacy: Yeah and I have to agree because they’re constantly… I’ll be over there and you know someone will have a baby. If someone maybe has died I mean they’re all together letting everyone know what’s up, people are bringing food, they get together, they help out, when the young girls have babies all the other girls go and help her for weeks at a time.

Doug: As crazy as it sounds we’ve had a frolic at our house.

Stacy: We did.

Doug: Just to do some fencing that I had to get put up so we could expand our sheep area. So we had several of our Amish friends come over.

Stacy: I fed them.

Doug: And we fed them, and we all put in the day at work and got everything done. They brought their son.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: Yeah. They enjoy it which is why it’s called a frolic.

Doug: That’s right.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: All right. Remind everybody how to watch OFF GRID with Doug and Stacy.

Doug: Yeah. So if you never heard of us before we post videos on YouTube about our daily life of living off grid in the Midwest in a log cabin. We do rainwater catchment, composting toilets. Everything about Lehman’s mission statement, which is living a sustainable life. That’s on YouTube at OFF GRID with Doug and Stacy and we hope to see you there.

Glenda Lehman Ervin: Thanks for listening. This is Glenda Lehman Ervin with Lehman’s where we stand for a simpler life. For more visit lehmans.com.

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