This blog is about our travels in our solar powered "Airstream" and living off grid, in our passive solar home, near Bancroft, Ontario, Canada.

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Saturday, 24 August 2013


This morning we are off to the Maynooth Farmers' Market. It is about 20 minutes north of Bancroft and has a good variety of locally grown produce, home baked breads and an assortment of other products local craftspeople produce.  

If time permits we may go further north to the Combermere  market as well. It's smaller but is an excellent source of homemade baked donuts.

Our solar system was down to 81% Friday morning, the lowest it has been all summer. We added the freezer to the electrical draw on Tuesday, Wednesday we filled it with seventeen birds and Thursday it rained all day. Friday morning Mary did two loads of laundry, used the electric kettle several times to make coffee, we used the toaster, well pump, charged our phone, computers and camera batteries and had the lights on. When I checked our solar display it read 81% at 9 a.m. but by 4 p.m. we were back to 100% thanks to a bright sunny day. 

So this summer with the addition of an electric kettle and a freezer our system is still able to keep everything working without running the generator. Once we get into the shorter days and longer nights then I expect we will need the generator for about 6 hours of run time every five weeks.

Our system is only ten months old so until we've actually had it in use for 8-10 years it is difficult to give a true picture of the cost and efficiency of the system. We are very happy with how everything has worked to date and really only need to see how long our 16 batteries last.

If you are considering a solar system for a cottage or remote off grid house I would highly recommend it. The systems today need very little maintenance and are very easy to monitor. Having a stand alone system spoils you as we use all the modern appliance everyone else uses and are not aware of the disruptions our neighbours who are grid tied often experience. 

One appliance we do not have is an air-conditioner. Our house stays cool thanks to its high insulation values and passive solar design. Even on the hottest days of the summer our house was 8-10 degrees cooler than outside.

Thanks for stopping by and safe travels everyone.

Update 1:30 pm

You never know who you will see at the market. Since we are relatively new to the area we don't expect to see anyone we know but today was different.

While at the Combermere market Mary spotted Jeamaie and family, a teaching colleague from years ago. It was great to see him and his family and we hope they will drop by next time they are going through Bancroft.


  1. Glad to hear that your solar system is working well with the extra load. I've been home for 3 days now and already I miss travelling with my bike...

  2. Hi Tina;

    I'm sure you miss the bike and all the adventures and people you met along the way. Just think of all the possibilities that lie ahead.