Possum Living >>> Living Off The Land, Living Well and With Hardly Any Money

We here at Spirit Of Spider, being me and my boyfriend that is, have stationed ourselves on a farm in Southern Ontario where we have discovered the joys of living simply. As you might imagine this has ignited a great passion to discover the ins and outs of living off the grid, off the land, and with little money since we don’t have much of it to begin with. (Those ads on the sidebar weren’t paid for my friends!)  My newfound curiosity lead me to discover the subject of this post, Possum Living, a cult-classic book from the late seventies written by an eighteen year girl on the five years her and her father lived off the land on a half-acre lot outside of Philadelphia on $1500 a year. Today, that would be roughly $7500…I think! I also found a great short documentary on the author Dolly and her life with her father. It’s a great watch for anyone interested in getting “that Protestant Work Ethic monkey off your back” as Dolly wonderfully puts it in the book. Here is an great excerpt from the book followed by all three parts of the documentary.


“Let me re-emphasize that we aren’t living this way for ideological reasons, as people sometimes suppose. We aren’t a couple of Thoreaus mooning about on Walden Pond here. (Incidentally, the reason Thoreau quit Walden Pond was that he was lonely—I don’t care what he said. You need the support of a loved one.) No, if some Wishing Fairy were to come along and offer to play Alexander to my Diogenes, I’d pretty quickly strain that Wishing Fairy’s financial reserves. We live this way for a very simple reason: It’s easier to learn to do without some of the things that money can buy than to earn the money to buy them.

There actually are people living somewhat similarly for ideological reasons, though. In fact, there’s a growing cult of this sort of thing going on, as you may know. Unfortunately, many of these people tie in all sorts of outlandish religious, mystic, and/or nutritional theories with their possum living and give us all a reputation for weirdness. Many back-to-basics types also buy expensive and unnecessary equipment, clothing, and health-nut food (and wind up back in the money economy because of it) and so give us all a reputation for phoniness.

So if you’re thinking spiritual or sociological thoughts, don’t waste your time with me, but if you just want to easy-up your life somewhat, why, then, you’re talking my language! We’ll get that Protestant Work Ethic monkey off your back!”