Off grid living in Kentucky ( The Bluegrass State )

Not a lot of people flock to move to Kentucky, although if you want to live off the grid then this is good news for you. Kentucky has a population of around 4.4 million people, although you might think that this is a fairly large number but the truth is that most of the population either lives in the bigger cities or in rural towns. If you search around the web about your options to live off the grid in Kentucky then you will probably find a lot of house and land listings for sale.

You can live off the grid legally in Kentucky, there are no regulations regarding rainwater harvesting and the local climate is ideal for growing different types of crops. One of the main reasons why so many people choose Kentucky as their off grid state is because the property prices are fairly low and the property tax is also low. The main problem in this state is with the groundwater, as they tend to be contaminated due to the local farms.

One of the great benefits of living off the grid in this state is that you can grow a lot of different crops, my personal recommendation is to use non-GMO heirloom seeds that come in a set of 40 different seeds Click here to check it out on Amazon.com

Generally speaking, people who live off the grid in Kentucky have been born in the state, and not a lot of people consider Kentucky to be a good state for living off the grid. The main problem with Kentucky is not that it isn’t a good state for off-grid living, far from it, the problem is mostly an image problem and how other people perceive this state. There are a lot of people who have probably never even visited the state telling others that it is a bad state to live in.

If you are looking for a state where you could live off the grid as easily and cheaply as possible then you probably shouldn’t take into consideration the opinion of people who complain about something unrelated to off-grid living no matter for which state you are making research. Every state will have its positives and negatives, you alone can decide if it would be worth it for you or not, some negative aspects of a state might be positives for your personally. PS: I would like to recommend you to read my recent article Off grid living in South Dakota ( Easy Living? ).

Kentucky climate

As always we will start with the climate, Kentucky’s climate has all 4 seasons, generally speaking, the summers are hot and the winters are cold. The further south you go in this state the hotter the temperatures are, although it is not as hot as in Mississipi for example. Generally speaking, the summers are around 90°F and the winters 23°F, there will be a temperature difference between north and south as expected, although it isn’t that high as you might think.

The humidity is fairly high, and oftentimes when you enter an old building you will either see mold or smell it. This happens in buildings and houses which do not have proper insulation and without proper ventilation. Don’t freak out yet, as this is fairly common in states which have fairly high humidity, what I am trying to say is if you are looking to buy a homestead in Kentucky then make sure to check for mold. On the other hand, the humidity isn’t as bad as in Mississipi, for more information check out my recent article Off grid living in Mississippi ( Top 12 Pros and Cons ).

Best crops to grow in Kentucky

Generally speaking, Kentucky is a great place to grow corn and wheat, in addition to this, you will have no problems growing vegetables like tomatoes. If you visit Kentucky then you will probably notice a lot of tobacco farms as well, tobacco is big business in Kentucky. If you have a large plot of land then you will be able to grow tobacco, although if you have never grown tobacco then there are a lot of challenges ahead of you.

Freshwater availability in Kentucky

The state has plenty of groundwater and freshwater sources, but there is a fairly big problem in certain areas of the state which is contaminated water. Kentucky has a big mining industry, and it is one of the biggest coal mining states in the country. The problem with any kind of mining is that it produces a lot of pollution, both above and below ground. The pollution often seeps into the groundwater which ends up in people’s wells, oftentimes making the crystal clear well water brown and smelling of rotten eggs.

This problem is not prevalent in all areas, although some experts suggest that this problem will sooner or later impact everybody in the state. So if you looking to buy land or a house in the area, make sure to check the nearby wells if possible, if the closest well has muddy water then odds are that your well also has contaminated water as you both get water from the same aquifer. On the other hand, harvesting rainwater in Kentucky is legal so you wouldn’t have any problem doing it and using it as a water source. If you want to live in a homestead then you will need a well-equipped kitchen, for more information check out my recent article ( Top 18 ) Homestead kitchen must haves.

Kentucky wildlife

Kentucky’s wildlife is fairly rich, you will find anything from small rodents to black bears. The most common wild animals are turkey and deer, which are often hunted. There are some black bears in the state although these creatures are fairly shy and your chances of seeing one are fairly slim. Kentucky has plenty of rivers and lakes where you can easily fish, if you are a fan of fly fishing then Cumberland River will be your best option.

You will need a permit for fishing and hunting, the fees for the permits are average when compared to the other surrounding states.

Kentucky off grid laws

There are no laws in Kentucky that do not allow you to live off the grid, although they take their homeschooling laws very seriously and you will have to look into the specifics as these tend to change fairly often. Basically, if you are homeschooling then you will have to notify the authorities, my personal recommendation is to do this as soon as possible, just so you don’t get surprised by an angry neighbor and with the cops in front of your door, this goes for all states not only for Kentucky. If you want to know the best places for off grid living in this state then check out my recent article Best Places To Live Off The Grid In Kentucky ( Top 6 Counties ).

Kentucky price of land

There is land for almost every budget in Kentucky,  although some areas are extremely expensive even by Kentucky’s standards. The price of land fluctuates a lot from one year to another, but most young people move out of the state and once they inherit their parent’s property they will sell it cheap and as fast as possible, so you might want to keep an eye out for those. If you want dirt cheap land then you could buy a property that has a muddy well, just remember that you will probably never be able to use that well and your only option will be to harvest rainwater.

Kentucky property tax

Kentucky’s property tax is fairly low, it is just 0.86% of the households or the lands market value. Most neighboring states have a lot higher property taxes, and they have more or less the same economic situation as Kentucky. As the price of land is also fairly cheap, you will have no problem setting up your homestead for extremely cheap.

Kentucky cost of living

The cost of living is fairly average when compared to other states, although the prices are a bit higher for healthcare, groceries, and even utilities. On the other hand, if you are planning to live off the grid then you shouldn’t worry about utility bills at all.

Kentucky jobs

The unemployment rate in Kentucky is around 4% and it is steadily going down over the past couple of years, in 2011 it was around 9.5%. As Kentucky is one of the leading states in coal mining you might think that almost everybody is working in the mining industry, the truth is that most people work in the restaurant industry, and closely followed by the education sector. The poverty level is around 18% which is higher than the average poverty level in the country which is around 12%.

Kentucky road access

The road access for homesteads is a mixed bag, most of them do not have asphalted roads and the best you can hope is to have a dirt road. However, before purchasing any land make sure to take into calculation the ease of access during the wintertime, as during some winters the snowfall will be fairly high.

Kentucky solar power

Kentucky is a great state for generating electricity with solar power, so you will have no problem with electricity in your off grid home. In addition, to this, the state also gives you a federal tax credit which is around 30%, although the percentage of this might have changed so you should check it. Although a lot of states give federal tax credits for solar power, but most of them have very strict criteria like how large the project is, in Kentucky, the size of the project doesn’t really matter.

Kentucky crime rate

Kentucky is a fairly safe state, the crime rate is below the median average of the country, however, the opioid crisis has hit this state fairly hard. The death rate due to opioids is almost double the median average of the country, this is one of the reasons why the poverty level is so high and why so many young people are leaving the state. The crime rate due to opioids will be different in each county, and some of them don’t seem to be affected at all.

Kentucky natural disasters

There are several natural disasters in Kentucky, from hurricanes, tornadoes, mudslides, landslides, and floods. One of the most recent natural disasters happened in 2008 when Hurricane Ike has done considerable damage both to properties and the infrastructure. Although it is not considered to be in the tornado alley it is still hit by tornadoes, scientists do consider Kentucky to be in the “New Tornado Alley“, which is slowly starting to shift towards the east.

In conclusion

As you can see Kentucky has its ups and downs when it comes to homesteading and off grid living. The most common issues are with water, as I have mentioned before a lot of groundwater is contaminated, on the other hand, some communities have been hit hard by the opioid crisis, especially the ones which relied on mining in the past. Overall if you can get over the negative aspects then you will find that Kentucky is a great place for an off-grid home.