Annie Gibbons

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since Sep 23, 2014
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Recent posts by Annie Gibbons


I hadn't thought about the possibility of an llc.  At one point, we did create a business entity, thinking we might pursue a farm business.  We've still got the name, so we could potentially resurrect that.  

Does anyone have any thoughts of a good place to learn more about the possible benefits/problems with taking it in a non-profit vs. for profit direction?  My main reasons for wanting to go one of these ways vs. simply renting straight out would be to be able to offer the opportunity at a cost significantly below the going rental rate in the area so that it would be affordable to those choosing to live a life not dependent on 9-5 work, but at the same time make it possible for my family to do the same.

As for stimulating interest, we live in an area that on one hand is very built-up suburban sprawl, but that on the other has a vibrant local food community and a few really good connections organization-wise that I think we could use to help get the word out.  I'm hoping?
3 years ago
I really am not sure where this question best belongs, so please feel free to move it as needed.

My family (DH, two kids) live on 2.75 acres in a suburb with a rural setting.  We've been here 7 years and have been developing it into a working homestead (garden, orchard, animals, solar, greenhouse, etc.).  For a couple reasons, I have been kicking around the idea of potentially renting it out for a year to someone/a family who would like to either give living on a homestead a try, or someone who doesn't own land but has a project that would fit within our vision for the place that they'd like to try (maybe playing around with forest gardening, or mushrooms, etc.).  The idea would be to find a way to share what we have here by providing a space at low cost on a temporary basis to someone who could benefit from the experience and then find a way to pass along that benefit by teaching others, or sharing some of the results of their work.

My questions would be:
1. has anyone done this or know of someone who has
2. do you think there would be a market for this
3. any idea if there might be grants out there/a way to create a nonprofit of sorts to help make the cost of rent minimal, so as to make it a possibility for folks who don't have lots of money

In the interest of trying to be brief, I'm sure there are lots of details I've left out and I'm happy to fill in the blanks.  

Thanks for helping me think this through!
3 years ago
Thanks everyone - will look into those options!
5 years ago
I'd like to get our well water tested but am not sure the best way to go about it. Our county will test it, but only for bacteria, lead & nitrates. I'd like a much more thorough check - with pesticides, VOCs, metals, etc. I found a national lab that does that, but it's so expensive! So - not really knowing what I'm doing I wanted to learn more about what kind of cost I should expect, if there are any particularly trusted labs, &/or anything else that would be helpful to know. Thanks!
5 years ago
Thanks - that's really helpful. I'm definitely leaning toward optimizers as the way to go, as we will have multiple orientations and possibly a small amount of shading on a portion.

Are there any downsides to optimizers?

Sean Kelley wrote:As far as maintenance if you did ever have to replace an optimizer or micro it usually involves removing a few modules to access the problem child, which is not a big issue as long as you have that detailed in the contract that you sign will your installer.

Can you explain what it would look like to have that detailed in the contract?
5 years ago
Thanks - that's what I like about the micro inverter system, from what I know. But also a concern about more parts to have trouble with. I've been told that central inverter systems are more efficient - anyone know if this is true? We might also have a split between south and west, and I hadn't thought about how that might be a good reason to go with micro, based on the different faces.

I also just learned in conversations with two different companies today about optimizers - a hybrid, it sounds like, between micro & central? Anyone know more about this? Any idea if optimizers would address the issue with the split between south & west facing arrays?
5 years ago
Apologies if this topic has already been addressed - did a quick search but didn't find the answer - feel free to point me to it if it's out there.

My husband and I are working on contacting local solar companies about our options for a grid-tied system. So far we have had one company quote on a micro-inverter system, and one on a central inverter system. They've both told me the reasons they do each particular type. But I'd like to hear from folks who are objective, and who have experience with one or both re: pros/cons/things to consider.

Happy to provide any info about our site/needs that would be helpful.

5 years ago
Thanks everyone! I did go ahead and partly disassemble the wheel, then wipe it down with a wet rag soaked in a mild soap/rosemary & tea tree oil mix. Once it was dry I rubbed it down with tung oil with some rosemary & t.t. oils added. So far so good!
My husband and I are doing some thinking about what route we want to take going forward with our homestead. One of the ideas in play is to buy some land and build a small house largely on our own. But - it seems like an overwhelming process to even think about. We'd love to connect with someone(s) who have had the experience roughly in the NE Ohio/W PA area, though a bit farther afield would be welcome, too.

We have lots of questions, from what to look for in a piece of property, to how to go about planning and siting the house, to the building process. Any input would be great - thanks!
6 years ago
Great - thank you so much!

Yes - sewing machine oil just on the moving parts! I've already got it, so that's why I'd use that.

I really don't think the wheel has a finish on it, though I can look around to see what options might have been available - it just doesn't feel or look like it's got anything on it.

So I'll just plan to use a mix of soapy water with some anti-fungal essential oil for cleaning (will take a look at the diagram - I was lucky and it came with the manual - to see about taking it apart or cleaning as is). Then rub some wood oil on. I think we have some tung.

I'm not crazy about plastic bags, either, but as "everything" made of natural materials seems to be molding at the moment, it's the best solution for now. I'll try adding some lavender oil, too.

Yikes on the patchouli = pot misunderstanding

Thanks again for all your help!