By Cam Mather
Mother Earth News
More than a decade ago, my wife, Michelle, and I moved from a busy suburban street to 150 acres in the Ontario bush, where our nearest neighbors are three miles away. Ditto for the nearest utility pole. We moved off the grid with little knowledge about renewable energy — or electricity, for that matter — and had to quickly put into practice our home-schooling mantra of “lifelong learning.”
To say that the learning curve was steep is an understatement. Back then, there were no good books on the subject of renewable energy for homes, and the information you could find was pieced together by pioneers who were learning as they went along. Consulting with any local electrician was a waste of time, so we learned by the seat of our pants. Luckily, we developed a network of helpful and skilled friends along the way.