2 – Goodbye Fad Diets, Hello Simple Living

Hi, I’m Joel and this is my beautiful wife Amy…

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The following is our story. If you’re looking for a romantic depiction of rural farm life, head back to Pinterest. If you’re the type that appreciates a strong effort but understands that the path to success is rarely straight and that real life is full of mistakes and curse words, we might be your people.

Admittedly, the story starts off slow. I was finding my voice as well as trying to catch my breath. Picture a fat guy trying not to die and learning how to communicate in the process. It was quite the shit show.

The first several posts give a lot of foundational content. At some point it becomes more entertaining. I promise it’s worth the read.


Having fought with weight my entire adult life it’s doubtful that I’ve missed a fad diet. Atkins, South Beach, Mediterranean, juicing- we even went Vegan for 6 months. Up and down I would go, from 200 lbs. to 261 lbs. all while taking medications to treat asthma, back pain and high cholesterol. I knew a change was needed.

We also vowed to do this without taking on any debt. Everything we have accomplished to date has been paid for outright. We have done this on an average middle class income, if there is such a thing anymore. We have gone from being the poster children for excessive consumerism to being ultra conservative and frugal in just 5 years. We started out slow but picked up steam fast when we saw how much we were able to throw at our new life every time we dumped another unnecessary expense. We’ve been pretty bare bones for the last couple years. I drive a 20 year old truck, the wife- a 15 year old truck. No cable TV, grow and produce most of our own food- the list of what we have changed is actually pretty long. Surprisingly, our quality of life has actually gone up and we certainly have not stopped having fun. This life definitely isn’t for everyone (some of our old friends think we’re bat shit crazy) but the response we’ve gotten is pretty positive from folks who dig the mechanics of what are doing. I hope you guys enjoy the ongoing story of our big adventure.

It took over a year to find an untouched 50-acre property that fit our needs which were good soil and a great water source yet still close enough to Lake Havasu to commute while we built our new life.

The continuing story that follows in this blog has been years in the making. It takes you on our “Moving Off the Grid” journey, with the end goal of relying on only ourselves for food, water, power and heat.

Fort Rock Farms was a dream that would allow us to financially sustain our new lifestyle. Building a farm business from scratch is an exciting story on its own but for now we’ll keep this blog focused on our off-grid adventure.

I have never been in the construction trades and had zero experience running heavy equipment when we started. The mistakes we’ve made have been epic, entertaining and sometimes expensive. Feel free to laugh along with us.

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