Living Off the Grid on a Homemade Island Made From Old Fish Farms

by Simplify

Catherine and Wayne have been living off the grid on a homemade island in Tofino, BC, Canada for 27 years, and are still going strong.

This couple always knew that they wanted to live self-sufficiently. They even spoke about it on the first day that they met. So, they decided to try living off-grid for the short term, to see if they liked it, 10 Years later, they checked in with each other and agreed to keep going - and they haven’t looked back since.

The off-grid home was made using old fish farms

The island homestead has grown organically, with more parts added over the years to accommodate Wayne and Catherine’s lifestyle and expanding hopes and dreams. The homestead is made out of floating recycled fish farms that are tied to shore with big ropes in a spiderweb formation. The floating platforms move back and forth in one piece during storms, giving them an extra layer of protection from the elements.

Wayne and Catherine started with a house that’s half the size of their current place, but wound up expanding the house to add a dance floor because Catherine loves to dance.

The couple knew they wanted to grow their own food, so they started with a salad garden, first on one float and then on another float - and kept going. Today, they have four floating greenhouses, and grow most of their own food. Catherine is a vegetarian who relies primarily on beans and legumes for protein.

Growing produce on the water can be tricky; the greenhouses have coverings to protect the plants from wind and storms. Peppers and tomatoes are especially fragile.

Catherine and Wayne see storm damage as a natural part of their lifestyle; they see their island and home as a changing piece of art, and every time they rebuild after a storm it is a chance to change and expand on that artwork.

Living off the grid on a homemade island

For Wayne and Catherine, living off the grid on a homemade island has been a dream come true. They can’t imagine any other way to live, and love waking up to the beauty they have created around them every day.

For more stories about living on the water, discover why this man mounted solar panels on his boat or meet this couple living on a sailboat in Mexico.

To see more videos, check out the Exploring Alternatives YouTube channel.

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