Off-Grid Living with Emma at the Lilly Pad

 
 

Emma's family cabin

Though Emma's family has lived in this cabin for just a few months, they've been living off-grid for years. Emma laughs about her middle school homework that requires WiFi - they don't have it. They don't even have running water. But, her experience at an advanced school before moving to Tennessee gives her an advantage, and she can often easily finish her homework on her school's network before heading home. 

Emma's mother Tasha and stepdad Tony often run the food truck, The Sauced Frog, at the brewery during peak hours. During the rest of their time, you can find Tasha making herbal products like soaps and salves, teaching Emma how to forage for plants, and taking care of her home. Tony is an experienced trapper, sustainably trapping wildlife within the Lilly Pad grounds and tanning the hides, which he and Tasha make into bags and other accessories. 

Their cabin, smaller than an average family home, is made largely from found, reclaimed, and woodland materials. The floor plan is wide open, featuring a dine-in kitchen, a bed nook with a loft bed above, a laundry and living room extension, a bathroom, and Emma's small loft at the top of the structure. Outside is a shower house and a few sheds where various tools are kept. It originally belonged to the owners of the Lilly Pad, Del & Marte, who built the cabin by hand. The cabin has expansive windows that are reclaimed from a bar Marte frequented in college, a worn-in wood burning stove that in Tasha's words is "the perfect bum warmer!", and a built-in rock wall and repelling area where Emma is almost always monkeying around. 

The photos below were taken in and around their home in East Tennessee - welcome to the cabin!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Experiencing life through Emma's perspective and her home was beyond inspiring. They live comfortably off-grid, running their own businesses, raising a whipsmart and confident young lady in the glory of East Tennessee mountains. As we plan to move off-grid, seeing lively homes and loving families like Emma's make us even more excited for the journey ahead.