Mariquita Farm

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Andy's Solar Note:

Sometimes going backwards is the right direction to be taking, especially if it’s the power meter that’s in reverse. This week at Mariquita Farm that’s exactly what happened. IES, or Independent Energy Solar Systems, just finished installing our six pole mount solar panels. Now, every time the sun comes out our PG&E meter starts running backwards and we sell energy to the grid. At night time we’re back on the grid as customers, but the overall flow is in our favor. This is a good thing, because we use a lot of energy at Mariquita Farm and it costs a lot of money. We have a walk-in cooler that’s turned on all day and all night long, all year long. There are two pumps on the property, and one of them runs every day to irrigate the herb plantings, the green house, and keep the animals’ water troughs full. Also, the Two Small Farm’s office is at our home ranch, and it’s a tangle of computers, phone machine, and cell phone rechargers. Plus, since the office is in a trailer, when Shelley and Caitlin aren’t roasting to death and running the fans, they’re freezing to death and running the heater. Then there’s the fact that Julia, Graydon, Lena and I live here, and some of us forget to turn off lights. All the facts and figures that have been marshaled to date suggest that our investment in solar power today will pay for itself in five years, assuming energy prices stay the same. Who knows? Maybe power will get cheap all of a sudden and our investment will prove to have been silly and idealistic. If so, we’ll just have to suck in our pride and try to feel good for putting our home ranch on solar and doing our part to get America off oil.

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