photos of the solar panels.

off-grid hen

Mar 1, 2011
Upstate NY
People have asked for a pic of the panels, so here they are! ( The panels on the pole mount are getting their tracker worked on, so they aren't at the right angle.)


We have 3765 watts to power the house and the cabin. We use propane to run the backup generator, cookstove(s), water heaters, and one fridge. The other fridge is electric. We have about 8.5 acres, but we are almost in the center of about 320 undeveloped acres. The place was built in 1900. The driveway is about 7/10 of a mile long, which is tricky during "mud" season, when we take the HUV in and out. Otherwise I drive a 4 door sedan with studs in the winter. We maintain the road ourselves, which is an improved horse and buggy trail. The bobcat with front bucket and backhoe is our best friend. There was originally propane lights and kerosene lanterns, an outhouse, (which is still useable) and a well that you dropped a bucket down to collect water. My husband lived here as a kid, when they didn't have a plow in the winter. They used to cross-country ski out to catch the bus for school in the morning, and pull groceries in on a sled. NUTSO! The well is a 20 ft deep hand dug well, which we will drill deeper someday. It's on the list. We have had to basically rebuild the whole place, and we've done it all ourselves. and we're only about halfway done. I am not the one who convinced my husband to run power up here, it was his idea.
We still heat the place with wood, only now we use an outdoor wood boiler with hot water baseboard heat. (House is not well-suited for radiant in-floor heat or we'd have done that.) We still have a woodstove for those chilly nights.

Getting chickens just kind of fits in for where we live. The man who built the place had an orchard and kept bees- based on old equipment that was found in the shed. I have tried to put in some raised beds for gardening, but I have a black thumb. I'm *sure* I just need to have my soil tested and do some amendments, but SHEESH- I can't even grow scallions. I'm hoping a little chicken manure will help with the soil amendments, and my compost is finally ready to mix in this year. Until the soil is ok, I'm just getting veggies and stuff for canning from the CSA down the road.

I'm really excited about getting chickens. We haven't had animals around since the dog died last year. Fred the Ridgeback, may he rest in peace! I am very allergic to cats and dogs but am fine with birds. Yay! I joined this forum to ask a bazillion questions and learn from the experience of others. Thanks for having me.
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Batteries are not fun to look at, plus they are in a vented box, so not much to see. You really want me to show off my inverters? XD I don't have the chickens yet, but the order has been placed, so there's no turning back now!

Here's a pic of the house with new siding. The porch decking has since been rebuilt, have to do railing work next.

Edit: Sorry, the pic is large-ish.

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Beautiful house! You are living my dream!!!!! Off the grid. *sigh*

My husband and I are about to tackle a soda pop solar panel this summer. I'm sure its just the first step in solar panel for us, but I'm excited.

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