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Old 06-25-2012, 09:30 PM
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rickoff rickoff is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Maine, USA
Posts: 3,343
Originally Posted by Bizzy View Post
Hi Rick
How is your progress on your new place? The wife and I are looking for a different place further out in the country where the taxes are cheaper.

Would love to see more pictures of your place and your work.

Progress has been slow here, because there is so much to be done, and also because I have 3 properties to contend with - the new property in the countryside, my previous home 110 miles to the southwest, and my summer cottage 120 miles to the east. Once I can unload the expense and worry of maintaining my previous home things will get much easier. I've also been quite busy practicing, rehearsing, and recording with a Celtic/Irish/Maritime musical group that I play with, and that demands countless hours of my time.

I did manage to prune some old apple trees in front of my home early this spring, and am hoping they will become productive. I know there are more apple trees on my 20 acre woodlot too, but I'm sure they won't get much sun. I'd like to canvass my woodlot and determine exactly what types of trees I have, and how many. I know there is pine, yellow birch, white birch, cedar, oak, and maple, and a lot of tall timber, but I'd like to see if I have enough maple trees to start a maple syrup business. A gallon of the syrup goes for a lot of bucks these days. Then too, I need to get busy cutting firewood for the winter months. The big trick is going to be in gaining access to the trees I will prefer to cut, so that I can haul a wagon behind my tractor when I harvest those trees. To gain access, I have to get through some heavy brush growth and also cross my stream.

I have noticed that nearly every afternoon there is always a strong breeze here, so it would seem ideal for a wind powered generator. Before I get involved in that project, though, I'd like to work on a water wheel to tap the power of my stream. In that regard, I have been looking for the best place to set up a water wheel along the 1600 foot run of the stream through my property. The brush overgrowth is really thick, especially at the edge of the woods, and makes access and exploration quite difficult, but I have managed to cut a swath down to the stream where the stream reaches its widest section (about 60 feet or so), and that does seem like it might be a logical candidate for water wheel placement, as the stream narrows to about 10 feet just prior to that. If I go down there following a substantial rainfall, the water flow is impressive, and I'm sure that if I could harness and save all its force for just one day at that rate, I could probably supply all the power needed to operate my homestead for a year. Of course that isn't realistically possible for me to do, but there definitely is a lot of power to be had for the taking. I had originally hoped that I could generate more power each month than I would use, and sell it to the electric utility. Maine did pass a law several years ago that utilities had to purchase excess power from in-state suppliers, but I found out that things have evidently changed. Now the utility only has to purchase power from commercial suppliers who can produce megawatts. They still are required to give consumers credit for power sent back into the grid through a meter, but are only required to credit the amount of kwh that equals any usage during the month in question. Therefore, if I used 100hwh, and produced 300 kwh, the utility would be getting 200kwh of free power they could sell to consumers, while I'd get nothing but a cost reduction on my 100kwh usage. In addition to that, I'd still have to pay the monthly "transmission" charge on my bill (it's broken into transmission and supply portions) just to stay connected to the grid. Sucks, huh?

I will start taking some photos and video soon to show some things I have in mind. Thanks for your interest.

"Seek wisdom by keeping an open mind to alternative realities, questioning authority, and searching for truth. Only then, when you see or hear something that has 'the ring of truth' to it, will it be as if a veil has been lifted, and suddenly you will begin to hear and see far more clearly than ever before." - Rickoff

Last edited by rickoff; 06-25-2012 at 09:35 PM.
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