6 Things we would have done differently living off-grid as total newbies

hi guys welcome to our channel so today first of all we'd like to 
say hi to all our new subscribers   hi hello so for those of you that don't know   me and Sarah are both from malta which is 
basically a big city at a big island city and so   so pretty much city folk not now obviously you 
can tell from the hat gone a little bit country   now but we've been living here in central portugal 
for the past three just over three years over   three years yeah um off grid as total beginners 
so today we just wanted to go through six things   and that we've pretty much learned and things we 
would have done differently if we were this wise a little bit more experienced number one tools especially fuel-powered tools 
like petrol-powered or these are powered whatever   um yeah definitely go for better branded tools 
i've learned that the hard and expensive way   um yeah i do love my chainsaw it's not one of the 
worst ones you can get it's a stir wins which i   think is owned by oregon but if i could turn 
back time i would have bought a still now i'm   a bit wiser like i said so yeah no use crying 
over spilt milk but if this can help any of you   who have no experience like we did or the better 
um also streamers or hedge trimmers whatever   um yeah i bought two chinese branded ones and 
they're both dead now so if i had put the money   that i spent on those together and bought a still 
it most probably would still be working um so yeah   definitely go for better tools they are double or 
even three times the cost of the cheaper versions   but in the long run well worth it number two 
is the garden now we've obviously learned so   much in the last three years we've had a lot 
of fails and a lot of successes but the things   that i would really do differently are these 
three things so plant more perennials because   this year these were a lifesaver actually i 
didn't have time for the garden and all we had   to do was water and voila we had a garden 
once you get your herbs set up and your   like berries that come back every year the garden 
looks so amazing beginning of spring so it's   it's really nice to have all these perennials and 
it also makes it easier for the irrigation system   because if you have this set up and then you set 
up your irrigation for it and then just plant your   animals in between them so yeah that's that also 
plot stuff closer to where you're living so you   can see it every day and check up on it every 
day and see if something is struggling or not   gardening is hard work having a garden is 
hard work you need to take care of it and   you need to know if you need to prune 
them give them more water less water   so yeah this is really important when we first 
moved here we saw how much land we had and we   thought okay i want an orchard there and i'll 
have a garden down there where we hardly ever go   the garden that was too far away that we weren't 
passing luke had to set up its own irrigation   system so there was a lot of wasted pipe going 
all the way down there plus i wasn't taking care   of it because i wasn't seeing it every day 
so it was kind of a waste of time and effort   and the trees that i decided to plant way down 
in the next valley i had to water them every day   but walk there and back with buckets many times a 
day and then come summer come the heat of summer   it was getting too impossible and they ended 
up dying anyway so yep i wouldn't do that again   also this might be an obvious one to you guys it 
wasn't to us i don't know why it wasn't but plant   stuff that you like eating we had so many seeds 
we got excited bought a bunch of seeds planted   everything a lot of things did really well that 
first year and we had good amazing harvests but   we had a lot of stuff that we didn't want to 
eat back then we had hardly any friends so   we were still new to the area we hadn't met too 
many people so exchanging veggies wasn't the thing   we were doing at the time and also once you have 
a lot of stuff you don't want you have a lot less   space for stuff you do like so my advice to you is 
just plant more stuff that you like if you really   like something plant a lot of it number three 
land clearing now i'm not talking about clearing   grass and making hay with my new love my 
beautiful scythe um but i'm talking more   about the hardcore heavy duty stuff on our 
land we have a lot of broom we have a lot of   sistus which is the rock rose we have another 
tree which i always forget the name of   and hawthorne and loads and loads of brambles one 
of the reasons apart from having a cheap strimmer   why i broke my strimmers was because of the 
madness of the overgrown situation of all these   bushes and brambles like in one of our videos when 
we unearthed an amazing ancient uh granite wall   and a small lake it was just insane in there there 
was basically at least a meter of dry compacted   dead brambles and then another two meters high 
of live rambles all intertwined into hawthorne   and and broome so you're kind of streaming away 
all the brambles and and you kind of hit the   thicker trunks of the of the hawthorn and that's 
where i ruined my my streamer um so this year   we're hoping now that we've kind of tried a lot of 
different ways to do it over the past three years   because we're constantly cleaning the land even 
though we can't really burn in the summer season   in the high fire risk season we do still pull out 
and clear land because we've got 17 hectares you   know 42 acres of land to clean eventually so we 
are always at it now over the past three years   we've learned a lot the first year we went old 
school and it was really hard physically demanding   and slow but what's that chucky doing there get 
out of the garden go get her molly good girl   good girl sorry about that i'm sure sarah will 
tell you about the problems we've been having with   the chickens in the garden but that's point number 
four i think um yeah so the first year we used   our trusty hose not the the street walking type um 
and dug out all the all the bushes by hand one by   one with the roots and everything like i said very 
slow very hard but as they say here in portugal which means slowly you go far and that's kind of 
uh a mantra of mine since we've been in portugal   now because it really is true the second and third 
years i kind of did a bit of mix of of doing it   all by hand with the hull and using the trimmer 
and chainsaw and we did find that even though   the strimmer apart from i mean you do damage it a 
bit and wear and tear it but it's super super fast   especially when it was with the sisters with the 
rock rose because it was just cleaning out patches   of it in in a day you know where normally it 
would take us a week or two um but the reward is   short-lived because the roots are still all in 
there and you have to take them out i mean you   could wait a couple of years but by then you get 
little shoots coming out of the the stumps that   you leave behind plus when you're walking you're 
falling over all these stumps so we've decided   now to go back to the ho and do it the hard way 
but the better way everywhere we cleaned in the   first year with with a hoe and pulling out all the 
roots hasn't come back at all it went into green   green grass straight away instead of having to 
wait a couple of years you do get little shoots   coming up from other seeds but you can pull them 
out pretty easy so yeah from now on we're going   to take a bit more of a surgical approach and 
attack it with a chainsaw like for the bigger   trees to pull them out especially when they're 
entangled in brambles pull those out and then   use more hand tools like the hoe even the scythe 
and especially a hand scythe which is really good   for brambles i've just started using it 
after a subscriber suggested we try it so   yeah land clearing go old school where you can a 
chainsaw always helps and it's always fun to use   number four is adams and i mean when i say animus 
i mean livestock these beautiful fluffy things   um or feathery things as in our other case we 
have a pretty small animal family compared to   most other people i guess but i mean 
start even smaller than that because   we know nothing and when you know nothing you 
have to look up everything so that is super   challenging and any little thing that happens 
to them is suddenly a big thing because you   know nothing about it so before i continue you 
want you want to see how she this is super cute i give them these little treats every 
day because i love watching them   eat as many good times as you have with them 
you have a lot of troubling times too so if   you take it in baby steps and learn a lot about 
them maybe from the females and then once you   feel a little bit better you can add males to 
the mix but otherwise it's pretty challenging   look at them how cute they are 
okay here you dropped it yeah is that yummy our first livestock 
were chickens so we started very small   and they were pretty easy but 
when we introduced the roosters   which was almost straight away the problem started 
happening so the chickens started getting hurt   and then i had to learn how to take care of them 
to clean their wounds and anyway it will it was a   lot to handle when we had just first started 
out so had i had to do it again i would get   less and females and once i learn a little 
bit more and i'm more comfortable then i can   throw maize into the mix also once we're on 
this subject i will talk about fencing too   i think the most important thing is fencing before 
you get the livestock when we first started out   we only had molly and timmy so when we started off 
the garden we only had to protect it from them too   just telling molly not to get in was enough most 
of the time and then we got chickens and we wanted   them free range so they got into the garden and 
they are still getting into the garden until   today so the main reason was that we bought good 
fencing and then we cut it in half to save money   and then yeah the chickens can jump over it so 
that's not a good idea so if you have a garden   i suggest protecting it anyway so fencing it 
from even wild animals and then once you get   goats protect your trees too because it's crazy 
how fast these little things can destroy a tree   so my advice is start small so you can learn 
with them and it will be so much easier and   less stressful and fence everything 
so yeah over to luke number six is insulating things let's call it that this has 
cost us dearly um like we said we come from a   hot country monitor where it 
never goes below freezing point   um so yeah last year this past winter 
apart from the fact that the butane   always freezes it has for the past three years 
um and the water pipes freeze but this year it   was an especially cold winter i think it was the 
coldest in seven or eight years or maybe even more   um and we we lost our electric water pump our 
petrol powered water pump from the well to our ibc   we had to fix our gas water heater so that cost us 
like a good two or three hundred euros um yeah we   never had experience with this kind of thing and 
the first two years even though the butane used   to freeze and the water used to freeze the 
pump it didn't get that cold that the pumps   burst basically and so that was an 
expensive lesson so if you've never   lived in a country where it goes below zero 
this is something to think about obviously um   as for butane go for propane which i have to do 
these things i'm talking about now we're going to   have to do before winter because we haven't done 
them yet so we need to be prepared for next winter   and these are the steps that we're 
going to be taking basically the   exchange the regulators and the cylinders from 
butane to propane luckily here in portugal you   can exchange any old regulator even if it's not 
from the same country and they'll give you the   one they need you need for free and also you 
can change any cylinder to anyone you want so   we'll definitely be changing into propane so that 
will solve that problem the water pipes that are   running under this gypsy caravan extension um i 
plan to buy some of those uh pole noodles slice   one side and insulate all the pipes i'm going to 
build a box around the water pump with ventilation   and the gas heater um also the gas heater on 
particularly cold nights i'm gonna drain it   and make sure i drain it also the water pump down 
by the well drain it after i use it so i don't   have to check the weather report and then say hmm 
if i forget to check it then and it freezes i'm in   the same situation so i will have to get it into 
our routine that in winter when we use the pump   because we do use it less since we don't water all 
the garden and we only use it to fill up the ibc's   to serve our shower and kitchen sink and whatnot 
and to drain it every time we use it in winter so   this doesn't happen again number six spend money 
more wisely and it's only fair i start this by   sitting next to the car this was the first 
thing we bought when we got to portugal   first waste of money does this look like 
a farm car to you no it doesn't so what we   would have done differently is bought something 
that's more suitable for our land and our roads our first home and now our chicken coop yes 
we did recycle the home and we built our gypsy   caravan on the chassis of this but still it was 
a lot of money we paid over 3 000 euros for that   and it was falling to pieces so i think if we 
had we shopped around a little bit or thought a   little bit about where we wanted to live first we 
would have saved a lot more money in the long run   well i might have got you here for nothing because 
the second our second home is no longer there it   was a bell tent and due to the hot summers and the 
cold winters and the the wind it was a terrible   condition for a belt end and it only lasted 
nine months so that was a big big waste of money   so with the money of the caravan and the money of 
the belt end we could have bought straight away   the last thing i'm going to touch on spending 
money more wisely is our beloved digger which is   just a feature on our land right now which is 
really unfortunate this is a tricky one because if   it was in good working order it would be the best 
thing for our land and for what we need on our   land but it doesn't work what we could have done 
differently is taking a mechanic to see it what   we did was we had a friend of us who understands 
a lot about cars and trucks and all this and we   had him on the phone explaining stuff to us and 
we're telling him what we're seeing which was a   very bad idea we would have still gone to see it 
but would have taken a mechanic which would have   probably resulted in not getting the digger here 
this was probably the most upsetting thing because   luke really wanted it he wanted to drive the dig 
a huge smile on his face molly was riding with him   we're thinking about all the possibilities that 
we're going to be able to do with the land fix the   road dig out a pool and that was all our dreams 
were all shattered in the first five minutes of   owning this pile of what's becoming rust so our 
advice to you guys is before you buy something   that's going to cost you quite a bit of money 
that's going to dip into your savings do a pros   and cons let's see if you really need it see if 
there's something you can buy that's better that's   going to save you a lot of money instead of going 
through other things like it did our homes we went   through the chicken coop could have been built 
with just pennies instead of three thousand euros   the belt end could have not been and we could have 
gone straight for the year had we done this that   there would have been a lot of saving of money 
but it's done and we do not regret it but we would   like to let you guys know what happened so you'll 
be able to learn from it and maybe not go through   the same experiences or waste money like we did 
so over to us to finish this video okay so that's   our six things we would have done differently 
um if we could turn back time but we can't so   hopefully you guys have learned something from 
this and if you have give us a nice thumbs up   yeah well and also there is a kind of number seven 
we kind of wish we did yes we do we we do wish   that we when we had first started on this amazing 
journey that we started filming it right from the   beginning maybe started our youtube channel 
back then too because or even before i mean   we not to brag or anything but we've been 
we spent about 10 years traveling around   we've done so many road trips and and traveled 
around so many countries and different means   of transportation and lived in vans built fans we 
traveled all around new zealand australia vietnam   asia and yeah america mexico you know it 
would have been awesome just to to be able to   to record it all and have it there so in 20 or 
30 odd years if we're still alive and kicking   it would be awesome just to look back and and 
see it all i mean we do have photos we have   photos but who looks at those very few 
photos actually as well who looks at   them you know yeah hey poppy and even like 
when we first got onto the land we found   nothing yeah so we have absolutely absolutely 
nothing so apart from hopefully entertaining or   entertaining you guys um well i'm pretty sure 
we'll be entertaining ourselves in the future   yeah and laughing at ourselves maybe before 
we go we would like to thank stephen wells   for joining our patreon family thank you so 
much and also um peter hayward peter hayward for   donating on buy me a coffee he bought us some goat 
treats yes thank you very much very much we really   appreciate it we really appreciate it and also we 
have a few firsts and i will start by mentioning   our first commission from border thank you so much 
kathleen and richard for giving us this chance   a bit of affiliate marketing guys 
are yeah and we sold our first nut so she's going to be cycling around on her 
bicycle with it she said so we'll be getting   some free advertising if they can read it because 
it's pretty small oh yeah it is pretty smart also   at first we had a really really nice chat with 
carl monson on the good morning portugal show from   expats portugal we'll put the link up above and 
down below so check it out if you want to it was   really fun talking to him it's really a cool show 
and it's definitely really good if anyone wants to   move over to portugal because it's like so much 
information they have a show i think monday to   friday and they have other posts and it's language 
moving here business ever it covers everything   it's really really interesting if you're into 
that kind of thing and think of moving to portugal   that's it from us i think we just have to thank 
you guys for watching so thank you very very   much for watching and have a nice weekend 
see you next week bye guys say bye molly but sitting when i find these in the piles of hay i keep them 
separate because i just love feeding them to them   they're just so cute daisy daisy would you like one as 
well and eat it for the camera yummy okay on to number six with sarah take it away 
siren number six what am i doing what's that   if you enjoyed watching this video 
then why not watch this one or   this one and if you don't feel like watching 
but you feel like shopping then go here

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