Every year we put aside a portion of our farm income for infrastructure and equipment that will improve our farm, increase efficiency, or solve a problem. For many years now we have hoped to install solar panels to offset the energy use of our farm and home, and lighten the environmental footprint of the work that we do. Growing food and stewarding the land here has many rewards, and it allows us to contribute in other ways to a healthy environment. However, even a small organic farm consumes energy and creates waste--things that we think a lot about and hope to find ways of reducing.
This year we are thrilled to be solar powered! Our system was completed a couple of weeks ago, and I'm already addicted to the app on my phone that tells me our power output. On shorter and cloudier days, we do not quite meet our energy needs, and we utilize the grid. On long, sunny days, we may produce more than we need and we will sell the surplus power. Over the course of the year we hope to net zero. It's so exciting!