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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Homesteading Update 14 December 2011

Things have been pretty quiet on the homesteading front lately, which is primarily due to the weather being strangely cold and dry for these parts right in the middle of the rainy season, and my working an average of fifty-plus hours every week, which doesn't include the commute. It's cold and dark when I leave in the morning and cold and dark when I get home, and I'm pretty wiped out by then anyway, so not a whole lot is getting done around the homestead. I have been working on the dining nook on and off, and have the back panels done. I probably won't pick that up again until after the holidays.

Tonight Steve bottled the Apfelwein he brewed four weeks ago using Ed Wort's Apfelwein recipe.  We bought six gallons of Tree Top apple juice cheaply at Costco just for the purpose of brewing them into a potent potable. The wine should be ready in about three weeks, maybe a little longer with these cold temperatures. I'll let you know how that goes.

In other news, this month's electrical bill showed that we used 6.3 therms in December of 2011, partly because we're not using the dryer, and partly because the solar panels have been producing more energy than we anticipated for this time of year because of all the sunny days we've been having.  I should say we used only 6.3 therms, because last year we used 12.7 therms, so this December's use was slightly less than half of last December's use.  Pretty good.

I'm happy about it anyway.


click clack gorilla said...

Go solar warriers go!

Cat said...

Yes, the joys of working long hours... Hope your beverage is memorable. (And hopefully it doesn't explode, like my Grandfather's did one year... Ahem) I wish we could set our house up with solar, but I am pretty sure it wouldn't work.


Miriam said...

That's great news about your power bill! We've been getting the same strangely sunny weather up here, too, which is going a little way towards making us feel better about the really short days. At least solstice is right around the corner!

Jennifer Montero said...

Congrats on the electric bill. And soon you'll have the apple wine to warm you on the inside!

The UK government has just 69'ed the tax break / subsidy for installing solar panels. So much for OUR green energy commitment.

Paula said...

Bummer, Jennifer.

Maybe a windmill would be better for you guys anyway. The solar water heater would probably work for you and they're not so horribly expensive as solar PV, like roughly a quarter to a third of the cost.

If you have a year-round brook running through your property you could think about micro-hydro.