Home

blog invitation2

Below you will find descriptions of our various books and DVDs. You may purchase them directly from us using the “Buy Now” buttons. These have been set up for purchases of individual items. If you would like a quote on the price and shipping costs for multiple items, send us an email (m.d.mather at gmail dot com) for a quote.

Little-House-3D-web

Little House Off The Grid

Our latest book tells the story of our family’s move from suburbia to an off-the-electricity-grid, century-old farmhouse on 150 acres of bush in Eastern Ontario. We share not only the joys but also the many challenges that we experienced as we learned to live in our new environment. The book chronicles the ups and downs of being pioneers in the renewable energy world and in working towards a more self-sufficient lifestyle, not only in terms of producing our own electricity but growing our own food, as well. – $19.95




thriving-during-challenging

Thriving During Challenging Times

The converging challenges of peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis require dramatic action on the part of individuals to deal with the shocks our system is experiencing. Thriving During Challenging Times is a personal roadmap to allow North Americans to transition to a challenged future and make themselves more independent and resilient to shocks. – $19.95




gardening-handbook-cover

The All You Can Eat Gardening Book

In an age of increasing fossil fuel costs our diets are going to use up more of our budgets. The All You Can Eat Gardening Book shows how to grow food organically on a small city lot or large country property with minimal energy inputs and addresses rain water management and drip irrigation to deal with a climate changed reality. – $24.95




wind-turbine-dvd

The Wind Turbine Installation DVD

Cam recorded the recent installation of his new wind turbine and hosts the “Homescale Wind Turbine Installation” DVD. It provides practical hands-on training on how to install a small wind turbine on a tilt-up tower. – $19.95




grow-your-own-dvd

Grow Your Own Vegetables DVD

Spend the summer with Cam in his large organic vegetable garden as he shares his approach to growing food. This two hour guided tour of his  diverse garden provides viewers with lots of useful information and is highly entertaining and humorous. – $19.95




44 Responses to “Home”

  • Maggie:

    Hi.
    I’ve never read any of your books and I don’t really know who you are, but I just recently read an article you wrote about sustainable harvesting of firewood from your property in 2011.
    I wanted to tell you about beavers. Maybe you already know, but like I said, I don’t know you and I feel that beavers are really very, very important.
    Now I know those maples you took were going to just die, fall over and rot to put it simply, but it’s not that simple.
    When a beaver creates a pond, they start this epic cycle.
    As the pond is created, it does kill surrounding trees, grasses and other flora, but it gives a place for decomposing matter from this flora to aggregate and become available for insect larvae like dragonflies and others to feed on. The nitrogen and other nutrients released can cause algae blooms, which also turns into food.
    In turn, the local fish population increases drastically, up to 9 times in some cases. The pond provides a place for fish to spawn and a safe, low current place for fry to mature and there’s plenty of food of all different sizes available. The pond also provides a place for salamanders, newts and frogs to spawn and proliferate.
    These larger food sources then provide sustenance for many species of birds, turtles, muskrats, raccoons, bears; you get the picture. Moose are attracted to beaver ponds for a variety of reasons, mainly Lemna species, or the lowly duckweed, are early colonizing plants of newly established ponds that like overcast areas and little current. Duckweed has a high protein content, it’s a super important food source.
    This abundance of wealth and prosperity comes from the ‘nuisance’ beaver. Not saying you feel this way, just saying that many people do. I greatly admire how Michelle said they get to stay because they were there first, but you should know how much you can benefit from them. And it gets better!
    Beavers, after a period of time, destroy their own dams or leave them unrepaired which allows them to disassemble naturally and the course of water to resume. The pond recedes from it’s banks and leaves barren, but rich, ground behind.
    Pioneer species of grasses move in, providing grazing species like deer with new forage. The low brush species move in, providing cover and additional forage material for a multitude of different species.
    Then, tree species germinate. The cool part is that since there are no competing trees in the immediate area, more species are given a decent chance and reaching maturation and propagating themselves. A beaver pond can increase the diversity of tree species by up to 10 fold and the density of the forest by up to 30% because of all the extra deposited nutrients.
    There’s your families future firewood. :)
    If given the chance, beavers and their offspring with spread out along a river and continually move up and down stream from the original dam creating these wonderful habitats. The trees they fell create cover for wild game species like grouse and pheasant and clear the canopy for young saplings to get much needed light for strong, rapid growth.
    There’s other reasons why beavers are great, like how they affect the total surface area of water on our continent and how that affects the rest of the world.
    Or how they provide outlets for flood waters and how abundance of natural dams can slow currents that could wipe out communities or what have you.
    If your house or town could be flooded out from beavers though, they definitely need to be relocated.
    Some places even want them around.
    But anyway, beavers are neat, hope you see how useful they are, especially if you’re an angler or hunter or just a nature nut.

  • Will:

    I have the same issue with batteries ticking the MX 60 into thinking they are charged. I would love to share solutions etc with you.
    I live in Northern Ontario.

    thanks,

    Will

  • Antoinette:

    Hello Cam and Michelle!
    You seem to have wide readership here as well. We would like to pose a question. As of next summer we will be in the London Ontario area. Are there any farms in the area that a family could still commute to London (two in family at Western University) and still survive? It does not need to be a large plot of land, just close to London. Anyone know of any?

  • Hi Cam

    this is my second email ,i don’t think my first one reached.i just came across your book and dvd while surfing the net looking for dvd’s and books about growing vegetables.
    well i just wanted some answers for the following questions
    1-does your dvd “grow your own vegetables play all over the world (i live in Jordan)
    2-in your dvd do you talk about winter vegetables too?
    3-are you going to release a dvd that talks about growing fruits?

    thanks and take care.

  • Lynn Everson:

    Hi,

    I have read your “All You Can Eat…” and it is wonderful resource that I return to often. As we continue through these wintery days – I was wondering if you have shared anywhere Michelle’s general recipe for Tomato Basil Soup? Sounds nice to have the summer’s frozen tomatoes simmering away. I imagine it is not complicated, but hate to waste the summer’s harvest if I do it wrong!

  • I am thoroughly enjoying your website tonight, having just discovered it through Mother Earth. When I saw that you were living sustainably in Ontario I had to dig deeper. Love your blog posts! We’re in Greater Sudbury and want to start some sort of sustainable community thing nearby; have to find some young ‘uns though because at 60+ we can’t do the hard work ourselves and so far our (adult) kids are not interested! We’ve been building up our garden over the past couple of years with a greenhouse to cover tomatoes, peppers, and squashes. Next year I’m planning to add strawbales between the raised beds in what used to be our back lawn. And hubby wants to start potatoes. We haven’t gotten as far as producing our own energy yet or even having a woodstove but that’s next on my list–perhaps it’s awaiting a move to an out-of-the-way property. I would love to do a retreat at your place and will talk about that with some friends. ;) Keep up the good work!

  • Don:

    Excellent web site and I really enjoy your blog. We live on 40 acres in Snowflake, AZ completely off grid for the past 13 years and loving every minute of it.
    Don & Judy Walker
    Janddranch
    Snowflake, AZ

  • Steven Moore:

    Great website. You might think about listing the most recent comments first (as in Post from the Past), otherwise at first glance it doesn’t look like anyone has responded since March 2010.

  • Ruthie:

    Hiya from Thunder Bay Ontario. Next month I am moving to an intentional community in Nolalu, about an hour from here, that has 3 people, 90 acres homestead, already putting permaculture elements together like solar, raised beds, pit greenhouse, orchard, and chickens. we have an idea to apply to CMHC’s secondary suite program, for the $24,000 grant to build/renovate. Its actually a forgiveable loan that is paid out by agreeing to rent it to a a disabled person or senior, for modest rent, for 15 years. We want to build strawbale with passive solar. CMHC specs say it must have kitchen and bath, and 2 exits. The size must be “modest” and is dictated by the municipal bylaws, which I have to research. But do you think this is doable with $24 k in Northwestern Ontario?!! I wonder how much firewood it would take to heat? Just discovered your blog. Must get your books. Thanks, Ruthie.

  • Troy:

    I wish they would as I still have not been able to find one yet.
    Sooooo, what do you say Michelle and Cam?
    Thanks and have a great day!

  • Michelle! You an Cam can publish this mag with the help of the old staff! Think about it.

  • David Pabon:

    Hi Cam, I have just read the whole blog. First, congrats on a wise move to off grid your lives and secondly yes it takes alot of hard rewarding work. There is an underground year round water source on your property, find it, you will not have any more dry summer problems.Keep up the good work, God bless you.

  • Troy:

    Hi Michelle:
    Thanks for the info. I was afraid of that being the case.
    Does anyone out there know of any other magazines that deal with homesteading/country living in Canada?
    Thanks and have a great day!

  • Hi Troy. I wondered about Harrowsmith when I noticed it as a search term for people finding our blogs. According to this online source http://www.mastheadonline.com/news/2011/20110808745.shtml the staff have all been laid off so it doesn’t look good for this magazine….

  • Troy:

    Hello:
    I have a question for anyone out there…
    I read about harrowsmith country life magazine in Cam’s blog and have been trying to find it online but have not been able to. Is it still being produced or did it come to an end? I’m looking for homesteading in Canada magazines.
    Thanks and have a great day!

  • Troy:

    Hello:
    I’ve just started reading your blog. Found it through “Mother”. I noticed that there has been no reply to Clinton’s post…
    I’m also interested as my wife and I are planing to move to Canada in a few years. We are interested in about the same amount of land that you have so that we my have a farm off grid. I’ve done alot of research on visa’s and such (we live in the U.S.) and have found a few places listing property (would want to build our own home), but I’m not sure where land is less costly and fertile to support a farm.
    Any help you could give would be great!
    Thanks, have a great day and I look forward to reading your blog!

  • Hats off to whoever wrote this up and posetd it.

  • No. We bought it at Canadian Tire.

  • Michael Lockhart:

    Wondering if you did the e-bike by yourself?

    Mike

  • Kevin:

    Hi to you and all,

    Thanks for the blogg and your energy.

    I love this stuff and look forward to reading you ideas and maybe sharing a little.

    I plan to get off the grid very soon.

    All the best,

  • Hi Dennis. I’ve forwarded your question on to Bill Kemp and once I get his reply I will respond to you directly via email. Thanks!

  • Dennis Price:

    Greetings Cam

    I took a couple of your workshops recently at the RBG in Hamilton ( Solar and Wind power and Gardening). In the first one you gave out your email address in case we needed to contact you with any follow-up questions, but it did not work for me (copied it down wrong?). So, I am trying to reach you through this blog.

    The item I need clarification on is in William Kemp’s book “The Renewable Energy Handbook”, figure 6-12 on page 246. The figure gives reduction in solar panel electrical output when the panels are not facing solar south. The example given is at 45 degrees from solar south where there is a 25% loss. The figure shows that as the angle increases from solar south the output drops to only 30% at 90 degrees (ie, not worth the effort). There are no other factors involved and the meaning of the illustration seems clear to me.

    I had a solar assessment done at my place and they recommended that I could put panels on a west facing roof. I have heard others say that solar panels are feasible on west facing roofs. I find that confusing when I see William’s figure 6-12. You said that you have contact with William from time to time and I wonder if you would please check this point with him and get back to me to clear things up. This is important to me since I may be faced with deciding on a west facing roof.

    I thank you for your help.
    Dennis Price
    dprice@quickclic.net

  • Bea:

    Hi There, love your web site,we would be interested in making a retreat at your place, what is the cost? We live in Canada and have a large parcel of land , we are finding it hard to manage by ourselves as my husband works long hours,perhaps i can encourage my daughter to take in the retreat and have more of an idea what we should be doing.We are bless because this used to be a small resort, we live by a lake, have other sleeping quarterters.I know you are vegetarian but we haven’t decided to go that way yet. WE HAVE 30 ACRES OF PASTURE, A BIG BARN AND MANY OTHER ADVANTAGES, WE JSUT HAVE TO LEARN TO HOMESTEAD.CLINTON WAS ASKING ABOUT LAND IN CANADA tHERE ARE FARMS AROUND THIS AREA FOR SALE, NORTWESTWERN ONTAIO.IF HE IS INTERESTED.
    ANXIOUSLY WAITING TO HEAR FROM YOU. BEA

  • christina:

    Hi there!

    In case the chickens are still nameless…how about cocky & doodle? Love the picture with the cat (looks just like mine)

    Christina
    Perth, Ont

  • We don’t have any control over the subscription function of this blog, so I’m not sure why you’re having these problems. Sorry I can’t be more help! ~Michelle ~

  • queen of string:

    Hi Cam, sorry if this is a noob question. When I hit the rss feed button it subscribes me, but only in so far as it adds the blog to my feeds list in favourites. Is there a reason it does this rather than allowing me to add you to my google reader subscriptions? Is there a way to rectify this? thanks.

  • Clinton:

    I have a group of people who are interested in getting off the grid. We currently live in Minnesota. How do we go about searching for land in CAnada? Are there any rules you might be aware of? What suggestions can you give us about getting started? thank you

  • Al Quiroz:

    Oh by the way, we call smut huitlacoche

  • Al Quiroz:

    hello, just read your smut article. yes , we do eat smut in mexico. its delicious in quesadillas. wiki is not pulling your leg. your articles are great. keep up the good work!

  • Thanks Eric
    The combine field trip story was great. I read the Oil Drum regularly. I was just driving home the other day and saw a really old combine I’d been looking at for years in a field but hadn’t given it any thought until I grew my own grain. I’m going to stop in and see what they want for it. If it’s under $100 I’m buyin’ it!
    Cam

  • Hi Felicia
    I don’t know of any homesteaders organizations off the top of my head. My thinking is that alot of people like me keep a low profile and may not join formal organized groups, but let me see what I can find.
    Cam

  • Eric:

    Cam,

    Here’s a link for a fun article about visiting a combine: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6871#more

    I know you’ve been wanting one!

    Eric

  • Hi. Am currently in NJ and anxious to move to Pa. or NY. I’ve looked but can’t find contact info for a Homesteaders organization in either state. I’m starting to look in Pa. I have 4 large dogs and must travel with them, so 90+ is not a time I can travel to look. I need some input about whre to look with some nearby HS type people. Both are big states and looking randomly is not an option that appeals to me. Any suggestions will be throughly welcomed and appreciated. I’m going to a Fair in Pikes county hoping to make any connections. I will be looking for small acreage in a rural community but hopefully not as far out as Washington and Greene county. My clients are in NJ and NY suburban areas. I’ll go that far if I must but would prefer closer to NJ. Renting land is surely and option for me. I live alone and am 75.

  • Thanks for the comments – they are very much appreciated!

  • Cindy:

    “Thriving” is a solid book with lots of good info. Even if you don’t agree with all of Cam’s conclusions, the explanation of how we got into this financial mess is straightforward and understandable/

  • Hi Cindy!
    Unless you have an opportunity to build your alternative home in the near future, I would agree that you are best to do what you can with what you’ve got right now. Cam and I were challenged with big shady trees in our previous home, so we grew our food in our FRONT yard! Cam writes about this in “All You Can Eat Gardening Handbook.” As for making your existing home as energy-efficient as possible, our book “The Renewable Energy Handbook” would be an excellent resource for you. As for money challenges, Cam’s book “Thriving During Challenging Times” will really help you to prioritize your spending and provide a roadmap for all areas of your life in terms of sustainability.
    You can order our books directly from our website (www.aztext.com) or if you’d prefer to order them from amazon, please use the link provided as we get a very small commission from those sales.

  • Cindy:

    I was excited to find your website and books! I live in a Virginia suburban neighborhood and need information on how to transform my house to be as off the grid and or green as neighborly possible. My true dream was to build an alternative home with gardens so that I could gain financial freedom and create a more meaningful life. Perhaps my calling is to work the dream with where I am right now. Money is a big problem and I have so many shade trees that a decent sized garden is challenging. Do you have any success stories to share of people who did just this? Thanks!

  • Hi Eric
    As Cam describes in his book “Thriving During Challenging Times” you don’t have to own a plot of land or all the latest green equipment to take the steps to prepare for the coming challenges…. Living out in the country is only one possible scenario…. and of course not everyone can live in the country…. there are many things that city people can do!

  • Eric:

    This is all great if you have money for plots of land and all of the latest green equipment but what about the rest of us?

  • rocco mastrangioli:

    Greetings:

    I am happy to find anoher prep/change/peak oil person with positive and evidenced based steps in the changes that we face ahead. Thank you for the pratical, useful and reality based ideas.

  • Hi Cameron,

    Great new website, and I’m glad to see all the things you’re doing. We’re pretty busy with our focus on materials exchanges and recycling websites, together with farm2farm and farm2pantry food trading websites, so haven’t had time to look at energy and more general stuff lately.

    Regards and best wishes,

    Norm Ruttan
    iWasteNot Systems

  • Joan:

    Hey Cam. This looks fabulous. What software do you use for web design? I should get a lesson or two. Just ordered two copies of Gardening. Yahoooooo!

~ TIP JAR ~
Do you enjoy this blog? Why not show your appreciation with a donation? Big or small, we are grateful for them all!
Do You Shop at Amazon?
If you use one of these links to access the amazon website, we will earn a very small commission on anything that you purchase.

About Cam
Cam Mather and his wife Michelle live independently off the electricity grid using the sun and wind to power their home and their business, Aztext Press. Cam is working towards the goal of making his home “zero-carbon” and with his extensive garden he aims to grow as much of his own food as possible. He is a sought after speaker for conferences and keynotes and has motivated thousands to integrate renewable energy into their lives, reduce their footprint on the planet and get started on the path to personal food, fuel and financial independence.
Posts from the Past
Topics