- from a report by Kathleen Lavey, Lansing State Journal, November 30, 2015


For many urban and suburban folks, “off the grid” signifies survivalist, and “straw bale” seems like a code for shoddy construction.  That’s not the case with the home built by Joe and Shelly Trumpey and their family, Grass Lake residents who were among families named Homesteaders of the Year for 2015 by the magazine Mother Earth News.


Their 2,200-square-foot, two-story home has a dramatic timber-frame entrance with huge windows, rust-colored stucco walls, a green metal roof and a cupola. It has an herb garden in front and every modern convenience inside.  Outside the house you'll find heirloom animals like American mule-footed pigs, long haired highland cattle, four-horned Jacob sheep, chickens, and turkeys.  They sell the wool and eat the rest.


Trumpey is always looking at new possibilities for sustainability, but admits his family may have reached a peak.  Other than adding a dairy cow, we’re pretty maxed out at this point,” he said.

This link takes you to the story and photographs of their off grid home, a far cry from yesteryear's Yurts.