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Life Off-the-Grid

Tag Archives: Solar Thermal

Winter Solstice at Sunflower Farm

By Cam Mather Remember when you were a kid and your friends would come over to your place after Christmas and you’d show them all the neat new stuff you got, like the BB Gun or the Lego set? (Note that there was no mention of socks or sweaters in this memory.) Well, consider this …

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At War With My Hot Water Heater

By Cam Mather Alternate Blog Titles; Do we really need THAT many buckets in the living room?? or “The Dreaded Whoosh of the Hot Water Tank” I loathe my propane hot water tank. With a vengeance. When I hear it come on I feel like I’ve been kicked in the gut on one of those …

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Super Storm Sandy and the Dustbowl

By Cam Mather Two weekends ago I vegged out and watched a whack of TV on Sunday night. Sometimes Sunday night TV sucks. That night it was awesome. Well at least it was on PBS! It started out with Bill Moyers. He chatted with Naomi Klein about Hurricane Sandy and climate change. She has a …

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The All-In-One Independent Living/Preparation/Homesteading Workshop

By Cam Mather On October 20th we will be hosting the “The Living Sustainably and Independently, Ready for Rough Times, Hands-On, Solar-Powered, All You Can Grow Workshop” again here at Sunflower Farm. I think the workshop gets better each year. Every year we take more steps towards independence and self-sufficiency and so we have more …

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Back to the Future – Freezing Zero-Carbon Corn

By Cam Mather North Americans just have no idea how much energy goes into getting food on our plates. If we did, we’d all walk around in a big grateful daze saying “Thank you farmers, thank you Jolly Green Giant, thank you cheap energy….” and never get anything done. I used the “Back to the …

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The Off-Grid/Green Myth, Part II

By Cam Mather When Professor and Canada Research Chair Phillip Vannini came to visit us recently as part of his research on people who live “off the grid” he had just come from an off-grid home north of Toronto. This couple had indicated to him that they had gone off grid for “environmental reasons.” I …

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Professors, Performing Monkeys and the Off-Grid Green Myth – Part 1

By Cam Mather We recently had a professor come to visit us. Professor and Canada Research Chair Phillip Vannini is doing research on people who live off grid. He is an “ethnographer.” http://communication-culture.school.royalroads.ca/dr-phillip-vannini According to Wikipedia “Ethnography is a qualitative research method aimed to learn and understand cultural phenomena which reflect the knowledge and system …

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My Recent Reality Checks

By Cam Mather Once again I’d like to thank everyone who reads and comments on the blog. Yesterday I had one of those personal epiphanies thanks to our reader Amy. She was commenting on the video blog that we posted about how our chickens had faired this winter. She wrote: “What a great video! I’m …

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The Year of Magical Walking*

By Cam Mather I have written a few too many ranting blogs lately, ranting about the impending collapse of the dollar and my unexplained angst about being a solar early adopter (I haven’t posted that one yet), so figured it was time for something lighter. It’s not hard to write a positive blog when I …

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Time to Stuff the Nuclear Genie Back in to the Bottle

By Cam Mather I was reading an article in the paper the other day about how France’s nuclear industry is trying to dispose of its nuclear waste. France has a lot of nuclear waste because 80% of its electricity comes from nuclear reactors. Many years ago, when the U.S. was preparing to bury its nuclear …

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