Off-Grid-Living Couple Aims to Share Their Self-Reliant Skills with Others


Couple builds off-grid homes with recycled materials; teaches sustainable living

James S. and Krista E. Juczak have spent decades creating a self-sufficient livelihood by building their home, and others, using what people leave behind.

Whether the task involves building walls or roofs, installing plumbing and appliances or crafting furniture and decor, the couple believe they should do so with their own hands from local and recycled materials. The homesteaders also value the ability to grow their own food and generate their own energy from renewable sources like solar and wind.

Using a mantra they fostered along with passion, hard work and determination, they have transformed an approximately 50-acre gravel quarry at 14910 Fuller Road into a landscape including their own two-story home, about five other homes, a produce garden, an orchard and a workshop. All facilities have become part of their sustainable community named Woodhenge.

The two retired teachers from the South Jefferson Central School District don’t withhold their tactics as trade secrets, but rather share their knowledge with a multitude of students through lectures, workshops and helping people who wish to join their community.

“I always liked to teach people how to do stuff,” Mr. Juczak said. “I want to be known as the guy who can teach simple technology to a society that has forgotten it.”

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