This month's principle is Catch and Store Energy. Energy is defined very broadly in this case, encompassing both the obvious heat and electricity, and less obvious forms of energy, such as water, trees, seeds, food and soil. This principle is important because we live in a time of energy abundance due to the availability of cheap fossil fuels and it can be very easy to forget to plan for energy catchment and storage. We have become accustomed to buying what we need when we need it because fossil fuels have made this such an easy option.
|Energy is both heat and sun energy and less obvious things like trees|
For example, during the flood in QLD two years ago, although some people in Brisbane required food drops after two days of isolation, we did not run out of food after nearly a week (I think we would have been ok for at least a month). This is because we had a well-stocked pantry, freezer and garden to provide for our needs. This kind of scenario can be helpful in planning for a future without fossil fuels. We were very lucky not to lose power at that time, and promptly purchased a petrol generator (which we have never needed in an emergency so far!), however that only lasts as long as you have petrol, so we need to think more about food storage options that do not require electricity. We now have a campervan with solar panels, battery system and fridge, so that will help us as well. I also try to preserve food using fermentation and drying, which can be stored outside of the fridge.
There is so much to write about on this topic, I'm going to spread it over a few posts this month:
- Energy for free - Passive solar design
- Living soil - Biological agriculture
- Trees, seeds and food - Perennial vs annual plants
- Water - Keyline Design
What do you do to catch and store energy in your home and farm?