Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wind turbine update

Thanks to Barb who suggested that wind turbines need a lot of yearly maintenance. Based on her comment, we continued to talk and research and we finally got the low-down yesterday from a local renewable energy contractor who definitely put our plans to rest (as in RIP).

No deal. The most we can expect to get is 100 - 150 kWH. It would take multiples of decades to recoop the cost that way. That isn't even factoring in the yearly maintenance.

I feel like we just saved $15K+.


We were accepted to the Farm Beginnings class!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Market Farming is some work

I returned from Montana after working three days on the market farm where my friend has been interning. These folks are not fooling around - this is a serious farm growing serious food.

They sell at farmers market, 3 local grocery stores and a montana growers coop.

I learned a lot and worked very hard - 12 hour days of physical labor. It was great!

I will post photos soon.

Montana is really beautiful - but I admit, I am a midwestern gal. This area of MT only receives about 12" of rain per year. They rely heavily on irrigation.

I was also able to attend a discussion group on rural healthcare hosted by Center for Rural Affairs. If you are not familiar with their great work, please check out their website!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


I'm taking 4 days off of work to visit a friend that has been interning on an organic farm in Montana. I hope to be helping with the winter squash harvest.

I'll be back on Fri.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

At the end of 3 days of great work

There is this kinda crazy stone horse that came with the house. It is so heavy. At first we thought it was corny, but it has grown on us. :) We moved it to guard the wellhead - that is what is under the black barrel. Since we are going to have excavators, etc doing work, we thought this was a good spot. I put the purple halter on her - and I named her Sally.

My project is over. I cleaned up all of the lumber and we hauled it in the bucket of the tractor to the barn and lifted it up into the 2nd story. It is safe and will stay dry.

There used to be a little building here.
We have had so much fun!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Labor Day Weekend - means Labor.

I learned to drive the tractor. Granted I only drove 100 yards, in 1st gear and straight. Good first day.
Happy Corn Moon.

My summer project comes down!


The tractor to pull the building down was overkill. In hindsight, I think Bill and I could have pushed it down.
I've continued pulling out the materials - the cross beams, and any salvagable material. I'll post more pics soon.
We had an excavator come out - a guy we know - he is giving us a quote on removing this foundation, installing a new culvert in our problem area and digging a swale in our other watershed area.
And Bill announced over a New Glarus tonight - he has the solution to solving the barn problems. I knew he just needed to mull it over, then he would come up with the plan.
We continue to move forward, slowly. I feel with each passing work weekend - especially these long weekends - we turn this farm a little bit by little bit - to more of our own. It is a great feeling. We move forward into turning this into a sustainable homestead.
We got the quote on a wind turbine. $15K+. A lot of money!!! We need to consider this carefully - it is a bit of a gamble. Do we have the winds to support this expenditure? Will it pay for itself and how long will that take? Is this the right direction regardless of cost because we can supplement or provide for ourselves with burning coal. Lots to consider.