Peeing in Yogurt Containers, The Romance of Off-Grid Living

By Jack
(this is a re-post – Jack wrote this early on in our blogging effort just a couple months back and it did not get the attention it deserves…)

We were hangin’ last week laughing about all the “romantic” things that turn out not – the constant “grass is always greener” kind of imagining about living this way or that, and the more seriously unfortunate romantic notions like eager young men going off to fight in a war for “an honorable cause” only to come home (if they’re lucky) with post-traumatic stress disorder and painfully disillusioned.

Well, living off-grid has not so much life-death drama (well, can have…) but many off-grid-wannabe’s do over-romanticize the whole she-bang just out of plain in-experience.

romance and adventure just a click away (maybe…)

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YIPEE! 18.4 BELOW Zero Outside, 31.6 In!

Challenges of the Solar Greenhouse by Jack

It’s the dead of winter here. No – it’s not like, say, Minnesota, where I spent some time in that un-holy frigid icebox. But the 6500 foot elevation of our high desert plateau is still no tropical island paradise. Last week when the snowstorm gripped the whole of the US and the jet stream dipped into Mexico and swooped across the southern states as well – we got slammed. I thought our rows of bok choi, chard and mizuna were goners.

On the coldest night, the temp slid all the way down to 18.4 degrees BELOW zero Fahrenheit (only 6 degrees short of a century-record low!). The greenhouse is almost 2000 square feet – so we’re talkin’ a pretty big space with only plastic for sides to keep warm. But by morning, when the sunshine happily broke over the far mesa and immediately started relieving the chill inside (it was still 14 below outside till noon), the greenhouse stayed just the tiniest nick under 32 degrees – 31.6.

No big deal, you say? Well YES it is! You see, we’re running a “solar” greenhouse, not a fossil-fuel guzzling heated greenhouse where ya just set the thermostat and close the door (and listen to the dollars wizzing up in smoke…).

warm up by reading about this cozy place in our frigid season