Off the grid in Vermont, talk April 9 at Hunt
FALLS VILLAGE — Philip Ackerman-Leist, author of “Up Tunket Road,” will tell his story of living for seven years in a small cabin in Vermont with no electricity or running water. His talk will be at the D.M. Hunt Library on Saturday, April 9, at 6 p.m.Ackerman-Leist, his wife Erin, and their three small children still live at the site in Pawlet, Vt., but they made a few concessions and built a larger house nearby.They are still “off the grid,” though. The new house has photovoltaic cells for electricity; the family uses firewood for heating, in conjunction with a propane-fueled radiant floor heating system.Ackerman-Leist, who teaches conservation biology at Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vt., said that while he and his wife were “a bit influenced” by the writings of Henry David Thoreau, the move to the 12-by-28-foot cabin was primarily an economic decision.“The best shot of owning was to go somewhere no one wanted to be,” he said with a laugh.The Ackerman-Leists bought 25 acres and “a falling-down cabin” for $39,000.During the seven years in the cabin, they had two children. “Things started to get tight.”The new house “is designed around the washing machine,” he added. And they have added a third child. All the children are home-schooled.The family maintains a balance between the scaled-down life and the modern world. They are a couple of dirt roads and miles away from the nearest paved road; they get cell phone service now, and they have satellite Internet service.The talk is free and open to the public. For more information call 860-824-7424 or visit www.huntlibrary.com.