Power-energy.. and the never ending rising costs..

First, I should touch on March Challange, its coming along just fine, no issues to note to date, I will do a week round up on Food Storage Friday.

Second, nothing wrong here, just that this amazing (odd) weather has been putting in hours into the yard/garden/training the cow, and it means that time in the house is more limited and I am tired to boot.

So got my power bill in the mail for the worst months of the winter 2012, that would be jan and feb, and I was thrilled to see that we are down 56 kw per day over last winter, which in turned saved us several hundred in power costs, always a good thing, I have been quite pleased that this winter, we have each month been a min of 20% less per day and in some cases as high as 40% less power use.

DH and I are having talks about considering biting the bullet and getting a new energy star fridge and dryer, I know, I know, at least half of you, went.. use the line, and I do! but I have alot of hounds and purrpots and in order to get the hair off the work /good clothes, I have to use the dryer to make it happen.

The question is trying to figure out how much power my machines are using and how many years would it take pay off the difference, the dryer came with the house and is still going strong, the fridge was got for $10 at a farm sale and works perfectly.. So I have ordered a gadget that will allow us to find out what they are in fact using in terms of power. That will help me figure out what to do in that regard..

I have to admit that the there has been a real difference in going back to being a single vehicle family, while I find myself thinking, O I should do this today.. and then remember, I can’t as I am on the farm and the van is with hubby.. I do see the difference in the bank account, no second gas alloted, no second insurance payment etc..

Still the higher cost of oil along with the effects of weather seem to be showing themselves everywhere I turn, my pasture is green!! right now and the cows are being locked up to keep from damaging the land, and as many of the pastures gates are closed to keep the sheep off them, but in the pasture they do have, they are out eating fresh greens in March!

We tend to do pretty much everything on the farm by hand, It means that the skills are learned and worked, and it helps keep us healthy (the farm is our gym) but it also gets us off the power grid.

Doomer posted about her pantry being money in the bank, and I have to agree, but I am going to take it one step further for me here on the farm.. yes, my pantry is indeed money in the bank, and compared to the rising costs of food, I am getting more bang for my buck then I would in a savings account.

Here on the farm, the gardens, the animals are also money in the bank, but so are my tools! Those wonderful old fashion hand tools, tools that let me trim feet, tools that let me work my gardens, tools that let me trim the trees, tools that let me self-butcher at home, tools that let us cut, dry and roll our own hay.. all of these things cost time to use this is true but there have lasted us for years already and I hope they will last us years to come.

They require no shop to spring or fall tune them, they require no oil changes, no gas or propane to run, just elbow grease.. We often see folks talking about getting things in the kitchen that require no power, so I ask, how are you doing in regards to removing power from your outside life? Do you rake your leaves or use a leaf blower or a lawn tractor with a leaf pickup?

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11 Responses to Power-energy.. and the never ending rising costs..

  1. Outside the home we use as little power tools as possible. We rake the leaves and use a hoe in the garden. We believe that manual tools are better for our health because they give us a workout, as you say. The grass is cut with a push mower. Convenience has it’s cost… poor health being one of them.

  2. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    With the way things are going, the only way to (maybe/hopefully) break even is to do it yourself. With things being made “off shore” – destined for the landfill (also known as cheap garbage), possibly containing hazardous/toxic materials; no wonder so many are turning to locally made/sourced goods and the 100 Mile Diet. After all the layoffs and company closures, many can’t afford to be “a consumer” but, what they do have suddenly is the time to become a maker, a self-sufficient, independent producer of goods. To me, that sounds like a pretty good place to be.

  3. There’s a farm sale this weekend, and I want to go. I’m supposed to go visit my mom – choices, choices! However, going by the pictures – I saw a glass butter churn, a hay fork, and a ton of other old-style hand tools. I keep thinking about that passage from Sharon Astyk where she says to “fire” all of our electric servants and stop living like rich people.

    Unfortunately, we have no real “outside life” yet. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Glad to hear that you’re doing well. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Much to the daughters dismay I sold my cloth drier years ago. Don’t cut grass cover the yard with clover. Hubby and I have a thing for hand tools and elbow great machines. Always scouting out the auction for the good old items, hand planers, scythe. And now my tiller need work I’m thinking of just getting the lee Vally big fork thing you stand on and flip the soil, you know about that thing. Upper Canada village is our dream world.

    • Hi Organic Dream, Welcome to the site, thanks for all your great comments, I am so glad you enjoyed poking around the blog ๐Ÿ™‚ Look forward to getting to know you better.

      I hear you about going to the auctions, i think you said I was in your neck of the woods, wonder if our paths have crossed at the sales ๐Ÿ™‚

      I am also have the big lee valley broud fork, they are awesome, just make sure you get the arms measured to fit you if you have folks of a different height working in the gardens, thankfully Dh and I are both 5, 10 so we can share easily but had a friend who is a little over 5 foot and she clearly needed different arms to use it correctly.

      One of these years I need to get to upper Canada Village.. its not happened yet ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. grammomsblog says:

    Agreed, Deb W-C ! Bravo to you Farmgal for being SO energy-conscious! About 8 years ago, I went to an “Eco Fair” where I heard William Kemp and Cam Mather (www.cammather.com)
    lecture. I came home and unplugged an almost empty old freezer and second, almost empty old fridge in the garage……and immediately saved $50 a month in electricity! We bought an energy star new fridge for the house (more electricity savings), and a new front loading energy star washer (uses WAY less pumped well water-$$ and wrings out the clothes SO well -they dry SO fast) and dryer (electric driers all use similar amounts of energy) -invest your money in a new front loading washer first before the dryer.
    Ten years ago, we spent 3X more on electricity at rates 1/5th of what they are now! So it really can add up!
    To me, having a good supply of firewood is better than money in the bank – it’ll keep your food cooked and your feet warm. I also like to use hand tools, inside and outside the house. I’ve never owned an electric can opener!

    • Hi Gramma

      thanks for the tips, always nice to hear from folks, what has worked for them and why.. I hear you about the firewood and great point! I think that if folks have the room that having a few cords of dry firewood put away is a very important thing indeed. funny, I have never had a electric can opener, and come to think about it, I don’t think anyone in my whole family does..

    • JET says:

      I enjoy splitting wood and do it for a while each day. The feeling of hearing the sweet spot on a log pop is almost as good as the growing pile of energy. I had the oportunity to stock pile so much I sold some this year. “stacked cords 200$” a bargain. Most were older folkd who couldnt do it them selves.
      So for me wood can be like money in my hand!
      JET

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