Monday, March 05, 2012

Living Off-grid

I left the grid six months ago and never want to go back. I did not replace my energy consumption with an expensive solar array. I do have two 30 watt panels, using them to charge a single car battery which is mainly used for Ipod, cell phone, kobo(e-reader) and a portable dvd player. In fact I have little purpose for the mass use of electricity. Having rewired a few solar spot lights for inside lighting and use an oil lamp in each room and some double AA's in the radio I am fully satisfied. It's funny how we spend so much time and energy on entertaining ourselves. Refrigeration is the most practical use we actually have for electricity and I have thought long and hard about it. But with it being winter here in Canada I can't be bothered ( -14 Celsius right now). But even warmer weather as I experienced in early fall I found refrigeration unnecessary. Other than dairy and meat most things in your fridge do not require refrigeration. Sure things do go bad, but a careful and thought out larder will have little waste. Our ancestors got by just fine. We are simply accustomed to many luxuries. When visiting Finnish Lapland I stayed in a cabin which only had a small concrete lined hole in the ground with a lid (of course) to keep perishables. It has its limitations but so does anything. The raw milk we got from a local farm kept quite well.
Being Canada and the winters are cold wood must be cut for the wood stove. Since I came in the fall I had little time to stock reserves but have the great fortune to have numerous "standing dead wood" maples on my land and enjoy and relish in harvesting them for heat. I promise you that warmth is happiness.
I am more than lucky to have a bubbling spring a mile up the road. It's waters are amazing and I honestly have never drank anything to match it. Even in winter green plants grown in its flowing stream and in summer it will freeze you to the bone.