Off The Grid

Living off the Grid on a west coast island

is simple economics

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We celebrated the first day of fall yesterday with a heavy rainfall and a fire in our stove. Water was pouring down our path to the door like a small river. I bet the W’s water tanks are already well on their way to capacity. I dusted off the kettles and put them on top of the stove where they will stay for the winter. I keep them going all day during the winter. The yellow one is for tap water. Instant hot water for washing up in the sink. The green one is drinking water. Instant hot water for tea or fresh pot of coffee throughout the day. I paid a dollar for these kettles at the thrift store.

E checked the batteries yesterday here, at SoHo and at the W’s. At our house, we have 6 X 6 volt deep cycle batteries. The solar panels keep them charged or when necessary our diesel generator. We top up the water (distilled) in the batteries three times a year. We are going to increase our solar panel capacity this winter as we want to use less diesel.. Sunshine is free. E figures it will take two years to pay off the panels by halving our diesel use. Eighteen jugs of diesel which we don’t have to carry over every year.

E also bought three ten foot 2X4’s for a project at SoHo. Our old solar panels (80 watts) are over there and run the water pump. They are sitting on the ground at the back of the garden and need to be raised in the air to get the maximum amount of sunshine possible. When it stops raining he will wander over and get it done.

He has been sitting at the window doing his homework for art class. TK is teaching a class for eight weeks. Skill sets going into the class varied from hidden talent to obvious talent. School comes to end an this week and E has really enjoyed it. He was at the art store Monday picking up more paper and charcoal. For a guy who has only ever drawn me a bath he is having great fun.           Twelve

In November E is going to start carving with MR and DY. He needs to think of something to carve for the entrance to our property. I was thinking a round native type depiction of an otter chasing a cocker spaniel. (otter victim)

Last year we had an amazing pumpkin crop.

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This year we just have one tiny pumpkin hanging on. They are Cinderellas from seeds brought over from France by AW’s friend. Last year we had lots to share around the island. This year there will just be enough for our Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.

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Geraniums blooming in kitchen Christmas 2008

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I transplanted my geraniums to pots for over wintering.. As the temperatures drop I will put them in the studio for the winter and see if I can successfully propagate them in the spring. I will keep a few in the living room for some winter colour. We don’t have a lot of room in here but they will flower all winter if you let them.

We bought more supplies for alcohol production. E is making Port right now and then we are going to make some more Pino Grigio. I gave my Mom the last bottle from our first attempt. When the Port is completed it will make 30 half bottles. E loves his Port on a cold winters day by the fire, book in hand. Maybe a little cheese or chocolate to go with it.

We had to halt wine production during the summer as the conditions were too hot. Optimum temperature in the house is around 20 degrees. Our house was usually 28 over the summer and that would kill the fermentation process. While production was halted consumption increased. Over the winter we need to increase supply to keep up with the demand. It

is simple economics.

Author: Off Grid Islanders

We are a retired couple living on an off grid island on the West Coast

4 thoughts on “is simple economics

  1. Whoa, were you surprised at the bath-drawing guy?! Impressive. Loved how organized you are…even knowing when to top up those batteries….

  2. I have a case of port bottles in our attic if you want them.

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