About the project
Create your own is our project in which we would like to inspire and empower you to take the first steps towards different life that makes a difference: food from your own garden, water from your spring and electricity from your solar panels. That is what we call “off-grid, low-cost, low-impact natural living”.
We want to do this by sharing all that we have learned since we our journey on this topic began in 2012.
In the years that we’ve lived here since 2012, we learned what it takes to start over somewhere new trying to live as self-sufficiently as possible. Sometimes we had to learn the hard way and saw weeks of hard work going down the drain in a matter of seconds. For the most part though, we enjoy our new life and love to find ways of making it even more pleasant and simpler.
We’d also love to share our knowledge and experiences with you.
- if you’d like to follow in our footsteps but need help, inspiration and a map of where the pitfalls lie
- if you’re curious about a whole different way of living
- if you just want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and feel like a king of the mountain
A few words about the hosts: Jasper & Steph
In 2012, we (Jasper & Steph) embarked on a special journey that would turn our lives around. We visited many places where people lived in harmony with nature in a different, self-sufficient way. You can find information about our trip and the movies we’ve made along the way here.
Before this life-changing journey, Jasper had been an independent entrepreneur working as director, cameraman and video producer for broadcasters, companies and governments. Check out some of his work here.
Jasper: “The skills you need to direct and successfully produce a television program came in amazingly handy when we got here: solution-focused thinking, getting the most out of a limited budget and especially not giving up: continuing and adapting after disappointments is very important here.”
Steph had been involved in the fields of event, tour & music management before her life changed completely. She has always been a family girl who wanted to raise her own children close to nature, a dream that sprang from her childhood in the former GDR, where her grandparents, passionate gardeners and flower farmers themselves, taught her the importance of happiness while living behind the Iron Curtain.
Steph: “It’s the tiny moments in life that change you and make you smile. And life is always better with a smile on your face … and birds singing in the morning.”
About the Land
When we made a fairly impulsive decision to move to Spain in March 2013, there was nothing on the land except for a ruin and four chestnut trees. The plot, located in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, had not been inhabited for forty years. The soil was depleted, eroded and stripped bare by the neighbor’s goats and cows.
Perhaps not immediately very inviting, but nevertheless we fell in love with the view and everything else about it when we first walked here in May 2012.
As a result the 2 hectares of land was like a blank canvas for us. First of all we had to create all basic necessities like a compost toilet, a drinking water supply, and places to sleep and cook.
And then the things we think of as luxuries like: hot showers, places to relax, vegetable beds and a pizza oven.
Now five years later, you wouldn’t recognise the land. We planted a lot of trees, dug new terraces and started searching for water. But it can always be more beautiful and greener so it probably will always be a work in progress.
About the Region
The Sierra Nevada contains of the highest mountains of the Iberian Peninsula. The highest peak, Mulhacen, rises to 3578 meters. The winter snows that fall on the peaks, melts slowly during spring to give the region its gorgeous green colors. The southern side of the Sierra is called ‘Las Alpujarras’ and is characterized by small white villages.
Our land is located at about 1200 meters above sea level, in the ‘Sierra Nevada Natural Park’.