Galen Young

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since Mar 14, 2017
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out in the woods of Maine
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Recent posts by Galen Young

Good post.

Except for the A/C and microwave, all of those things are possible.
2 years ago
Here are photos of my watering bucket, the faucet and my battery bank
2 years ago
I took a 5-gallon food-grade bucket. I drilled a hole near the bottom and mounted a brass faucet. Then I connected about 8' of clear fuel line, and I put a plastic beer keg tap faucet on the end.

I was using a hydrometer that looks like a turkey baster. That process was very slow and my knees were in pain from kneeling on my batteries so much. This bucket works much better for me.
2 years ago
[Maize] It does lack two essential amino acids — lysine and tryptophane — as well as riboflavin and niacin. ... Carbohydrate-rich squashes are a great source of vitamin A, and their seeds provide quality vegetable fats that corn and beans lack
3 years ago
Start by considering water availability. Much of our nation is drought-prone. Water might only be available seasonably, and then the aquifers dry up.

I searched for and found one of the regions where droughts do not happen for our homestead.

Where I grew up, by May-June of each year the wild grasses are all brown and dead. Trees that are not 'drought-tolerant' die. You might be able to drill a well deep enough so you can have drinking water year-round. But that is no way to supply a garden and livestock.

It requires energy to pump water. The deeper the well, the more energy it requires.  In a Post-SHTF scenario, ask yourself what energy source are you planning to use to pump that water?

3 years ago

C. West wrote:I was wondering if anyone is running some normal appliances on nothing but solar. By normal I mean fridge, freezer, dishwasher, computer. Is it even possible with current solar and battery tech to run a "normal" house?

My house started as purely on-grid when I built it in 2005. The area where we live is very prone to power outages, we watched for ten years as our town every calendar month had outages, every year. In 2015, we installed 4400 watts of photovoltaic panels and a 48vdc 600ah battery-bank [I can give details if requested]. We can shift breakers back and forth between power sources.

Our house has a fridge, chest-freezer, dishwasher, two computers, two ceiling fans, one wholehouse exhaust fan, a well pump and two septic pumps.

Over the course of 2019, I had continuing problems with the batteries, until they finally died completely this Fall. The individual cells went dead, cascading across all batteries. Now I need to buy an entire battery-bank, and we are strapped for cash.

All along I have been talking with neighbors who run solar-power systems and gaining from their advice, etc.

I blame two things for the early failure of our batteries.

1- Our charge-controller can not perform an equalize charge. I have spent hundreds of man-hours fighting with it to perform an equalize-charge. Next time I will have a separate free-standing charger here [output:53vdc/20amps].

2- My wife insisted on using solar power every day, while our electrical load grew more appliances.
[our market could not absorb how much pork we were producing, so we had to get more chest-freezers.
We fell in love with a hybrid plug-in sedan that re-charges from our solar-power system.]

If we were exclusively 1 fridge, 1 chest-freezer, 1 dishwasher, 2 laptops, 2 ceiling fans, 1 wholehouse exhaust fan, a well pump and 2 septic pumps. We would be fine, once again [if we also had a grid-powered charger for performing an equalize-charge once a month].
3 years ago
My primary criteria was water access.

My fathers family lost their farm in Missouri after the big drought, my mothers family lost their farm in Oklahoma after the same drought. All my family impressed on me the importance of having access to water.

So I needed to avoid all drought-prone regions on this continent.
3 years ago
I am sorry to hear about your problems.

We have been on our homestead for 13 years. We know a lot of fellow homesteaders. Everyone of them [us] as we age, we get older and we all develop problems.

In my case, I have cancer. I have had surgery to remove it, then 4 years later it came back on me. Last summer I spent going through radiation and hormone shots. This year I am still on the hormone shots.

For other people, it might be back problems, or heart issues, etc.

As we grow old all of us develop health problems.

4 years ago
We have a close friend [Jesse] who lives in an off-grid cabin.  All Winter they chop holes through river ice, to access fresh water for their home. They use an outhouse. They have a portable washtub that they take turns bathing in. For hot water they heat the water over a wood stove. Jesse works for the city as their Town Manager. Her husband Josh is the town Fire Cheif, and they are raising three daughters, the oldest girl is a high school senior.

Can you imagine raising three girls, and the entire family has to heat bath water over a woodstove?

Wow, they hosted us for Thanksgiving dinner last year.

4 years ago
In my area a lot of people are fully off-grid.

No laws are broken by it.
4 years ago