February 2018
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Solar Array

Solar Array

My name is Jack. For more than 20 years, our family had lived in suburban neighborhoods with all the limitations of HOAs. I didn’t realize it for a long time, but I yearned for more space and less restriction. My roots are deep in the farms in Appalachia, but I had never lived that way. Somehow, it hadn’t disappeared from the back of my brain. In 2006, our family moved from our suburban home north of Atlanta to a 3 acre property with fewer restrictions and unlimited possibilities. Suddenly we had no HOA to tell us how often to cut our lawn. There was a horse across from us and cattle at the end of the road. When a good breeze picked up, we could smell the animals. We had our own farm, and I had no idea what to do with it!

I work in the IT industry. My job involves building things. As a kid I was always buildings things. Before we moved, my hobby was model railroading. That’s a great hobby if you like building things in your spare time. Now I had 3 acres on which to build things. The nature of my projects has switched from toys to more practical endeavors. You will see that I’ve built quite a few things here since 2006. My wife thinks something new could appear anywhere there is unused space – and she is right! Early on I lacked direction. I built things just to satisfy the need to create. Over time the projects have become much more focused on the goals of self-sufficiency, sustainability, and independence. Along the way I learned about permaculture. I was resistant at first, but now the principles of permaculture guide everything I do on the property.

Our property was once part of a 90 acre farm. In the 1970’s, it was divided up into smaller parcels but kept the agricultural zoning. When we first moved here, the previous owners had done their best to turn it into a typical suburban property with a yard and landscaping. We have spent the past nine years converting it back to a farm.

Today we are still early on the path to turning our property back into a productive farm. Over time I kept adding more and more projects. You can do a lot with three acres and not too many rules. The projects we’ve done over the years include:

• Annual garden
• Perennials
• Food Storage
• Watch Catchment and Storage
• Composting
• Aquaponics
• Chickens
• Energy Efficiency
• Solar Panels
• Solar Water Heater
• Biodiesel
• Permaculture

Yeah we’ve been busy.

In the past couple years, my son and I have gotten very interested in permaculture. There will be more on that later but we think it is extremely cool. Going forward, we plan to continue to develop the property into a productive farm with a focus on permaculture. We will share the future progress in the blog while documenting the past projects.

Please follow along as I document what we’ve accomplished so far and what happens next.

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