As a Gemini there are always two sides of me (both very lovable of course), but definitely two sides. As it relates to our journey going off-grid and tiny homesteading the two sides seem to manifest at odds between the “Techy Geek” and the “Back to the Earth Homesteader”. For the past 20+ years of my life I have worked in Information Technology field. As you might imagine I am slightly geeky and definitely a technofile. I enjoy working with technology, learning about new technology, and of course, I love new gadgets. Conversely, I also have a love for all things “Earthy”. I enjoy gardening, especially vegetable gardening. I love our animals, I love being in the country away from lights and noise of the city, I love to have “home projects” to do that allow me to be a little creative and have a feeling of fulfillment and accomplishment, I love eating food that we have grown ourselves, and I love the Spiritual well-being and connection I feel from communing with nature, living by the cycles of the year, and doing things for myself.
Since Nathan and I decided we were going to move further into the country, build an off-grid Tiny House, and ultimately move toward a more self-sufficient, organic, and environmentally harmonious life these two sides of me have been at war. The “Earthy” guy says that there is no place for technology while living off-grid and getting back to nature; The “Techy” guy says that I CAN’T live without some technology, after all, I MUST have Internet access for my job. Basically, the “Techy” guy encourages me to build The Starship Enterprise and boldly go where no man has gone before, while the “Earthy” guy chastises me and tells I should be more hermit-like and live more like my ancestors did before me. Both arguments are legitimate. Both sides of this proverbial coin represent a part of me that I like and that has served me well throughout my life, but how do I get them to agree on this?
After much soul searching I think I have garnered a truce between the two sides. It is very true, I MUST have Internet access in order to do my job; therefore, the Internet is the only on-grid connection we will have at The Hennick Homestead, albeit most likely a wireless connection only. Additionally, after much research, I have found myself fascinated with Solar Technology. In this, the “Techy” guy and the “Earthy” guy have come to an agreement. I have spent countless hours researching Solar technology to find the best solar power system for The Hennick Homestead. In the end, I have settled on a 48v system that will give us approximately 20kw of electricity. The system will include 300w solar panels, 48v battery bank, 120/240v inverter, and the other sundry equipment needed to complete the system. I will be posting more about the solar power system when we start the installation.
In addition to the actual solar power system, I have done extensive research on the appliances we will need to run efficiently on our system without wasting electricity. I have discovered, with the proper planning, we will not have to sacrifice ALL of our creature comforts in order to “go green”, live off-grid, and be modern day homesteaders; although we will have to be more energy conscious and actively conserve energy wherever we can. We will have an energy efficient standard size refrigerator, an energy efficient standard size oven, an energy efficient dishwasher & washer/dryer, an energy efficient ductless air conditioning system, a solar power front gate opener, etc… I will be posting more about the specific appliances we have chosen when the time comes for installation.
Ultimately, I have been able to effectively reconcile what seemed to be two completely opposing ideas of lifestyles into something that will allow Nathan and me to live the life we so deeply feel we should be living and truly want to live. Wish us good fortune and harmony please.