if stonelake farm is off the grid, how come the octagon has lights? how come the octagon has running water to cook, wash, and shower? and how am i able to access the internet to upload this blog post? where's the electricity coming from? where's the running water coming from? and how can it be that my showers are hot?
it starts here, at the top of stonelake's property, where pipes and storage tanks collect water from the creek.
the pipes take the creek water downstream and down the hill, all the while gaining velocity.
this contraption, a pelton wheel, inputs gushing water and outputs electricity.
electricity is stored in two car batteries tucked neatly away in this wooden box.
at the same time, stonelake farm derives energy from the sun. multiple solar panels, including these two outside melinda and francis' home, input the sun and output electricity. the first panel supplies much of the farm its electricity; the second panel supplies melinda's editing studio and the farm's internet cafe. access to the internet is limited at stonelake farm and i was able to use it for two hours a day. one thing i learned at stonelake farm was that two hours of the internet a day is more than enough.
the secret to the octagon's hot showers is the nearby solar panel. the water comes from the creek, travels from one side of the farm to the other through pipes, and is made piping hot by this solar panel.
in addition to being a natural wonder, stone lake farm is a technological wonder.
now i'm home. tomorrow morning, i leave for a week at new york university for a faculty workshop on teaching with technology. while in new york, i'll finally get to meet my two new nephews.