By Jaymi Goetze
As long as you don’t count the generator giving out, the deep cycle batteries being over charged to the point of almost killing them, the water pressure dropping and the system freezing completely solid, the pile of dishes that looked like a middle school science project, the two chords of wet firewood we purchased for whatever reason and the 24-volt chest fridge that crapped out on us, we are totally, 100 percent fine. Everything is going just as planned.
Just to clarify, we have a generator because we are not complete idiots. The shortest days of the month are upon us, we live in the rain forest and we are not going to let our solar supply cut out on us around dinner time. The generator took a dive for two reasons;
1. I’m blaming field mice and 2. It was 12 years old. We bought a new one but only have used it twice.
I also should clarify why we bought firewood instead of just chopping down a tree. We did, it just isn’t seasoned yet. It was poor planning on our part. I am certain that next year we will have it “all” together, hopefully.
Since our water level is below the pump and is frozen anyway, we can’t use it. The pile of dishes got clean by heating up our rain water we save in our water barrels. Phil was a doll and did them. My brother Tanner and my other half, Alajiah, let us shower at their homes. I’m very thankful for them.
We started a trail to the first cabin (we have two) but only got that far because the girls got cold. We went inside to heat ourselves in front of the fireplace and eat some vegetarian shepherd’s pie. Did I mention I live with a vegetarian and a borderline vegetarian? Alright, one is a pescatarian (fish and shrimp but no other meat) and the other one I can still force to eat chicken.
Since the sun has been out, we found the energy to lay down some tarps and cardboard boxes to kill the grass where our vegetables will grow. We got a good look at all the work that needs to be done out here. The chicken coop is calling my name. I’m going to make it my … well, you know (I’m trying to stay classy at this point).
We came up with a solid plan for the big fenced area where all of our fruit trees are. Potato and strawberry towers are getting ready to go up; the second greenhouse also is ready to be put up. All the extra windows and lumber under our house will more than likely turn into a third greenhouse. The planning is pretty fun; we stayed up for a couple hours last night talking about rows of beans and patty pan squash (I’m determined to grown them). It’s going to be wonderful.
The sun is out and it’s doing its job! I wake up; the TriStar Solar System Controller is telling me we have 24-25 volts. Around 10:30 in the morning, the solar panels are charging at 9.3 amps! Those amps jack our voltage up to 29! It’s really incredible to see the sun work for us! It makes me want to run every light in the house at once! But I don’t.
Back to the cabins, I am pretty sure I’m going to use my creative skills to make the smaller one an incredible place for the girls to play. Maybe we will build the network of tree-houses around it. I love homesteading.