Changing Times

The time has come where we all must start thinking about changing our ways. With the talk of gas being $10/ gallon in a few years and the electric companies warning of blackouts lasting several days John and I are seriously considering alternate ways. Above is a picture of a wood cook stove I would love to own. Something that is definitely on my “I want” list. I would be happy to get one from a camp or maybe I can get one at an antique shop. I’m in no hurry on this one but eventually I’d like one. So any of you Mainers reading this, if you see a good deal somewheres let me know. With the weather in Maine a wood cook stove could be run 9 months out of the year.

The two big investments that John and I are considering and researching are a wind mill and an outdoor wood furnace. I work with a man that has a windmill that makes 900kw/month. On average that is about what we’d use. Depending on the time of year we consume 550-1200.
He said installed his cost $15k but the actually windmill was about $5-7K, it was the installation that costs so much. Well you all know how handy dandy John is so we could do at a reasonable price I think if he did the installation.

Some may object to the thought of an outdoor wood furnace because they are known to be pollutants but I think what contributes to that is what some people burn in them. We have plenty of wood to burn so that would be what we are burning, not trash. And I cannot see that it is any worse than a wood stove. Regardless, I do have more research to do on this matter and maybe I can find an eco-friendly version. If we had a outdoor wood burner I could heat my house, my shed or a portion of the barn keeping my critters warmer, a greenhouse, and my hot water. I figure between gas for hot water and electricity with those two items alone we’d be saving about $300/ month and we would be less dependent on others to provide for us.
What do you think?

Amy at Twelve Acres and Don at A View From The Green Barn had some posts regarding what people are doing in these changing times. I did not respond on their posts because I knew that I planned to make a post about what we are doing so here goes? What are you doing?
I must say I do regret that I was not more mindful about the environment, reducing wastes, conservation, and self sufficiency in my twenties. I can say that buying this farm has been life changing for me and the rising prices of everything and maturing as I age has certainly contributed to me finally seeing the light.

*We recycle cans and glass bottles by reusing here on the farm, there are a million uses for them. I seem to never have enough now.

*Egg cartons we save and reuse.

* Scrap paper/newspaper when I buy it is reused for starting fires outdoors or in or is cut up as note paper.

* When I cook a meat (chicken/beef…whatever) I reuse the broth into soups.

* Save plastic bags and reuse as trash bags for bathroom trash can and for our compost bucket. John also is making a bow target out of the rest of the excess bags.

* We compost all vegetable/fruit scraps, coffegrinds, and egg shells

* After John bush hogs we rake up and pitch fork the downed hay for bedding/composting/mulch

* Give all the kids clothes/shoes that out grown to friends for their kids.

* Reduce electricity consumption by turning the lights off as much as possible and unplugging unused items. Also I’ve been hanging towels and blankets to dry i/o using the dryer. We use the A/C as little as possible and run only the one in the bedroom when someone is working nights and needs to get some daytime zzz’s.

* I no longer grocery shop all in one store. I am more aware of the prices of items and buy more when things are on sale.

* We are raising some of our own meats, hope to get pigs next and we grow lots of vegetables and I am learning to do more food preservation. Next summer w will be getting milk from our goat Annabelle.

* John usually shots 2 deer/year. One with a bow and one with a rifle. That saves us a ton of money in beef. I am going to try harder this year to get one because we really do utilize the meat. We just ran out of hamburg from last fall.

* We are buying more products locally then from the big box stores.

* John saves us a TON of cash because he is such a handy man.

* We rarely eat out and I am making a lot more homemade goodies.

* We stay home often, there is plenty of fun and entertainment right here.

* I am sure there is more but I need to get a move on around the house this morning. The last thing I will mention is the gas preservation piece. We have 3 vehicles, all older and paid off thankfully. We rarely use our suburban, only if we have to haul something like the boat/shaving/farm supplies. We do not just run to town to pick one thing up, we make our trips worthwhile even though we are not far out. I work more locally now and if the kids are not with us with travel with our smallest vehicle that gets near 30mp gal.

To end with a big thanks to Farm Mom at Children in the Corn for the Awesome Blog award.
It means a lot especially for the Newbie to both the blogging and farming world. She too has an awesome blog that I learn so much from, thanks again!