Our corn-burning stove is clean, and ready for the upcoming heating season. I’ve cut the top off of a 55-gallon plastic drum, and will be using it as a storage bin for corn. Because the bagged corn contains cob and stem pieces that could clog the stove’s auger, I screen the corn as I fill the bin. I’ll store additional bagged corn in my shed, and screen it into the bin as necessary.
While I once used fire starting blocks to light the stove, I’ve found that alcohol-soaked wood pellets are a much less expensive alternative. The bucket of pellets (below) should last all season.
Check this blog’s archives for more information about our corn-burning stove.
Julie and I finally decided to get a new refrigerator. I’ve tested our old one with a Kill-A-Watt meter and found that it uses over 2000Kwh of electricity per year. We selected an Energy-Star-Rated 25 cubic foot Kenmore model that uses only 499Kwh per year. Not only will this save $$ on our electric bill, I can use the PV system to power it in the event of a grid power failure. And, when I add a few more panels to my array, I’ll be able to run the new refrigerator full-time off of solar power. For additional information, see my blog post of July 27th.
As we go from summer to fall, the sun’s position in the sky is noticeably more southern. I’ve adjusted the tilt of my solar panels to better align them with the sun during the fall and winter months. My blog post of February 15th provides additional details.
I have a few tomato plants started in my sunroom, and I expect to have fresh tomatoes before Christmas. I don’t bother to grow tomatoes indoors during the summer, because my outdoor garden provides an abundance of them. For more information about growing tomatoes indoors all-year-long, see my August 24th blog post.
It’s a little early for leaves to be turning, but Julie and I had a pleasant drive in the country anyway. I’m hoping to find a three to five acre piece of land where I can build a retirement home. An ideal location will have wind and hydro resources, as well as unobstructed sunlight, allowing me to continue toward my goal of sustainable living.