Wednesday May 20, 2015 2:37 pm
Long time farmers’ market customers are probably more aware that total electrical requirements of our ranch are derived from solar power. This may be news, however, to our online customers and we apologize for having neglected to inform you of this fact previously because it is something that we are very proud of and feel you should know as well. In approximately 1997, we started an ambitious 10 year project in which we first installed radiant heading in the house on the ranch and then 3 years later we invested in a comprehensive program of a geothermal heating and cooling and the installation of a water furnace that provides the complete requirements for heating and air conditioning of the ranch. This system encompasses more than 10,000 feet of one inch diameter water lines buried 6 feet below the surface in trenches 5 feet wide, holding 6 water lines spaced 1 foot apart. These water lines come together in a distribution manifold which connects underground to lines from the water furnace beneath the main house. This system utilizes the natural heat reservoir of the earth as the temperature exchange median circulating approximately 72 degree water continuously through the water furnace. The resulting savings is approximately 25 percent of the cost of conventional heating and cooling, not to mention the advantage of a continuous supply of hot water without the requirement of dedicated water heaters. In 2004, we realized our goal of making the ranch a net zero electric energy user by installing an approximate 60 kw solar system consisting of 360 solar panels and the supporting infrastructure to provide 100 percent of the ranch’s electrical requirements. This was obviously an ambitious undertaking that required a considerable commitment of both time and monetary investment, that my wife and I felt was more than worth it and would pay for itself 10 times over in personal satisfaction and good business sense in that we would be literately putting our money where our mouth is! The decision to embrace organics and convert to solar/geothermal believe it or not, was all accomplished within approximately the same time period. Both of these decisions put us on the course we are on today and without a doubt have been the absolute best direction for us. We hope you appreciate our commitment and ‘course’, and invite you along to share our endeavors in the future.