Eric Chrisp

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since Sep 11, 2019
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goat composting toilet greening the desert
Wife and kids on 3 acres just South of a Major Southwest City, USA. Trying to build a model for an adapted life-way that might be suitable for the coming epoch of environmental chaos. Chickens, turkeys, llamas, goats, rabbits etc. helping us do the job. Anti-racist white guy, public health researcher by day.
Albuquerque, NM
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Recent posts by Eric Chrisp

We had our first light freeze last night. I'm in zone 7, high desert valley. What time of year is the best time to plant them?
1 year ago
Potential tribe members reaching out from far away!

You sound delightful so I thought I would write.

So we've got mountains, forests, rivers (ok, so only one river, but its called the Rio Grande!) and it get's cold here, but I won't lie to you: This is the desert and it ain't for everyone! We've got a pretty green corner of it and our ambition is to make it greener.

My wife and I are interested in building community around the homestead we are tied down to in the urban/rural weirdness that is the South Valley of Albuquerque, NM. We've got just under three acres on which we practice regenerative agriculture. Presently we are heavy on the animals (Turkeys, chickens, goats, rabbits, llamas, possibly soon pigs) but we've got the beginnings of a food forest established and have a good track record with vegetable farming. We can't offer more in the way of lodging than a place to park a camper or a few nights in a bed. But the neighborhood we are in has great potential and we need more like minded folks around us. We've made one good farmer friend just a half mile away and A several others within 10 miles. After six years we feel like we are beginning to get a taste of the community we hoped we would find. If you venture out to find your place to put down roots, you might consider putting our area on your visit list.
Thanks everybody for your input! That was a great discussion and my first post so thanks for showing me how awesome Permies can be! My partner and I really used your input, mulled it over, and have consequently decided to stay on grid for now. There are a number of reasons for this, mostly owing to the particulars of our situation. Energy prices are expected to keep rising in our area. Our solar system will be financed and will pay for itself in about 8 years. After we finish paying off the loan, its free power until the darn things wear out, warranted for 25 years, likely to last longer. So solar, on-grid or no, makes financial sense for us. Also, the Federal 30% tax credit is still good for the remainder of this year. Furthermore, we plan on putting on a badly needed new metal roof at the same time. This costs more than the solar, will also receive the 30% discount, will add another R-7 insulation to the house, will come with gutters and allow the clean capture of rain water in our greening desert, will increase the value and equity of the house etc. Talk about stacking functions! So rather than choosing between a roof and a battery back-up solar system, we are getting the roof with all of its functions, along with a lower power bill for the next 25 years. I actually probably can't raise the money for the batteries, solar AND the roof. So in the end, it was largely about limited finances.

I have wanted to live off-grid for decades (almost made it happen but that pesky divorce got in the way!). As one of the respondents said, I don't like the idea of the power company having the power to turn off my system at anytime (The word "Power" here has manifold meanings). But in a great downturn, SHTF type situation, as many of you pointed out, knowing how to live without electricity will be a virtue. We want fewer THINGS in our lives anyway. So while we will have solar panels and the energy they provide right up until the hammer falls, we will be simultaneously working on our post-apocalyptic skill set.  
Thanks again all!
1 year ago

Devin Lavign wrote:

Eric Chrisp wrote:Does it really matter if you are off grid and you live close to a major city?

On or off grid, I would say more rural you can get the better.

Generally I agree with you. I my case, that decision has already been made. We got a screaming deal on 3 acres with a house on it, just outside of city limits but in a mostly suburban area (but with a distinctly agricultural presence, lots of hay fields between the houses). In a SHTF situation it will be a terrible location, though not as bad as being in the middle of big city. The neighbors are a mix of suburban and rural in their mentalities. Some will be great in a crisis while others will likely be trouble. Until said crisis strikes it is fine. We are not counting on SHTF, just wary of it. For now, we need employment and services so we can't get too far from an urban core anyway.
1 year ago
Travis Johnson, You raise some interesting issues, such as the overall fragility of our grid,  pretty much nation wide. In my area (New Mexico) I don't believe there is any talk of a flat fee. However, I think that there has been talk of charging fees to grid-tied solar owners. That's not what you were talking about was it? I'll have to look into that.

William Bronson, I appreciate your position. Yeah, I can see living like the Amish.  Though I'm not sure anyone else in my family of four can! We are homesteaders, (Chickens, turkeys and goats for milk, eggs and meat) but if there is a continuum of homesteaders from extremely mainstream (all the modern amenities and comforts) to extremely radical (Amish or otherwise primitive lifestyle) we are somewhere in the middle. Until the lights go out I'd like to have electricity. What you are saying, in a way, is that when the grid goes down, life without electricity might not be so bad, eh? So I can adapt and perhaps the additional money for batteries is not worth it.

Any other pros and cons that folks can think of?
1 year ago
Hive mind,
For those of you tuned into the roiling waves of political instability, energy depletion, impending economic collapse, ecological fragility etc. [insert your possible dooms-day scenario here]:
If you had the choice to put your resources into either going off-grid solar with battery back-up, or on-grid solar for less than half the money (just 20% of the current electric bill), what would you choose? Does it really matter if you are off grid and you live close to a major city? What, given the interesting times we live in, are the relative pros and cons of off-grid versus on-grid living?
Your kind and thoughtful words will be appreciated!
1 year ago
Hey, I'm not in Catron but since no one had responded I thought I'd hollar and let you know you've been seen from the far off metropolis of Albuquerque!
1 year ago