About

Me - summer 2015, on the porch of my tiny house.

Me – summer 2015, on the porch of my tiny house.

My name is Cassandra and I’m an educator and writer. In 2003 I moved to the Hudson Valley  to pursue my dream of living a simpler life. Ten years later, after many false starts and dead-ends, I finally got the opportunity to make my dream a reality.

Today I live completely off-grid in a tiny house  that was built for me by my partner and his friends. I decided to start blogging about my experiences so that I could share my story with others who may be thinking about taking a similar journey.

In this blog I write about my self-discoveries with regard to what its like to try and live a more sustainable existence in a world that isn’t ready to do the same. I write about how living tiny and off-grid has influenced my art and my teaching. And I write about the challenge of promoting/creating culturally diverse spaces in sustainable communities – the majority of which tend to be overwhelmingly white and upper middle class.

It is my belief that the little anarchies some of us create every day have the power to grow into resilient communities that can inspire social movements to help and heal the world. Our life, and how we choose to live it, matters.

Ashé,

Cassandra

littleanarchies(at)gmail(dot)com

22 thoughts on “About

    • I titled this blog “Little Anarchies” because truly believe the choices that we make on how we live matter. Kick-backs we give to oppressive systems (i.e. the “little anarchies” that we create), have the power to grow into empowered communities that can then create important social change. 🙂

      • Is it hard being one of the handfuls of black women choosing to lead this type of lifestyle? I’m black myself, and I aspire to be a minimalist, have my own 100% salvaged small house, with a garden, and a fishing pole, but I find it incredible challenging to find other people who are interested in living this way, and I find it impossible to find other blacks who live this way, who are conscious about the environment, and their footprint, or who know about things like the Anarchist movement. How is that for you? Are you like most black people? Y’know, like rap music, neck-rolling and B.E.T? But your small house is the only thing that separates you? I hope I phrased that correctly. Thanks for answering my original question! Hope to see your reply!

      • Hi candygurl. It is tough being one of a small handful of people of color living this way. I know that there are more of us – but we are so spread out it’s hard to make/maintain contact and get together.

        I think I’m pretty typical when it comes to blacks in my age group (except for B.E.T. lol). And I think there are more blacks and latinos who understand environmentalism, etc than you might think. They are just pursuing the “urban farming” route rather than trying to live in more rural areas.

        But I think rural is the sustainable route – not urban development. We need to get back to our agricultural roots – all of us, black, brown, and white – if we are going to have any kind of positive change on the future. There is a group called Soul Fire Farm here in New York whose philosophy I agree with 200%. People of color and recent immigrants are often ashamed of their agricultural roots and, generationally, I know African Americans have done a lot to distance ourselves from that part of our history – because it’s painful. But it’s time to reclaim it and erase the negative connotations and begin to look at our parent’s/ grandparent’s /great grandparent’s former way of life in a new light.

      • Thank you for you thoughts and for the information about Soul Fire Farm.

        Personally though, I think that the reason most choose the urban green lifestyle is because of convenience. If I were ever going to pursue my career goals, I would probably have to move off the grid on the countryside, later in life. There would be simply no way to drive to a university (I have ambitions to become a professor), and drive back home, every single day… Then again, my mother worked that way (traveling from the countryside into the city every day) but most people thought she was nuts for doing so.

        Now, if I had a job where I worked on my computer every day, that would be different. But most people do not have those type of jobs.

        Rural life is ideal for me, and I would love to see a global transition, but the truth of the matter is I worry how we would be able to advance with medicine and technology if we’re simplifying and going back to homestead living.

      • To be honest most people looking to work in academia find city college positions hard to come by these days. My friends who have become professors found jobs at small, more rural, colleges. Many live in small towns near their schools – on-grid, but still small town/ rural-centered.

        I agree about convenience – easiness is hard for people to let go. But easiness is destroying us, too. Living off-grid has some challenges at first – but the transition gets smoother as time goes on. And what makes it get smoother is having help, community.

        We may not be ready yet for a global transition to a more rural/small community lifestyle … But I believe, at some point, we won’t have a choice. The earth is going to choose for us and, at that point, people will be forced to adapt.

        As for medicine – I hope we can find a way to advance in that area and still live simply. So much of it is tied to technology though. And technology is tied to exploitation. And we are all guilty in participating in that exploitation. I wish I had answers … It’s quite the hot mess we find ourselves in. :/

  1. Greetings Cassandra! I found your blog on something of a dare from my husband. He asked if I had every seen any black people in a tiny house. Rather than address the obvious (E. Baltimore is full of black people living in tiny houses), I came to the internet and your blog is the top in the search list.

    I’m very attracted to tiny house ideals and would love to live off grid, but I’m also committed to community change and youth development. I’m committed to living where the need is, but I agree with you that the future is in a more rural and sustainable existence.

    I don’t think it will work for my partner and I’m engaged in amazingly meaningful work that requires me to stay where I am, but I would love to be off grid, in a somewhat rural area. I’m a gardener and have a lot of home craft skills

  2. Geri, thank you for contacting me! I would love to hear more about the work you do. We are in the process of reaching out to more education-based initiatives and see how they have addressed issues of diversity and social change in their environmental work and/or curriculums. I would love to hear more about what you do!

  3. Great to know about what you’re doing. I’m very interested in sustainable living and small homes. Very encouraging to see other black folks on the same page. I’d love to attend the next food share. Keep up the good work!

    And please let candygurl2013 know that it’s possible to love rap, BET AND neck rolling and still love the earth! 🙂

  4. THERESA HARRIS says:

    I just found your site today. I have been looking for someone of color to tell of their experience. I so desire to do this, but husband will hear none of this. I just want simplicity and after obtaining all the I wanted in life, I find myself longing for a simple life. Thanks for this small glimpse of what life could be like in tiny home or off grid living.

  5. Pinki says:

    I am here ladies and about to get started with the tiny living, down sizing, got the land, just need to pack, donate, trash things, sell, give away and then move. Will be living off grid

  6. Leesh says:

    I also live in the Hudson Valley and my partner and I dream of going off grid at some point, but I’ve heard that it can be a real headache in New York (legally). I was curious to know if you’ve run into any issues with going off grid?

    • It depends on where you want to live. There are people who want to live off-grid but still live in urban or semi-urban areas. Off-grid living isn’t going to fly in municipalities.

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