CFN – Maple Dreamlane Farms is a shining example of what you can do without connecting to the power grid. I was delivering coffee to the Mazurs today and thought that what they had achieved off the established power grid deserved to have some attention. Michael Mazur and his wife Louise Leblanc-Mazur have built themselves a small bit of heaven in between Monkland and Alexandria off Highway #43. It is a bit of mutual admiration as they buy my coffee and I buy organic chickens from them. You see, we both have good taste and appreciate good quality local products.
Michael gave me a tour of his power generating operation and his house. I have to say that I am impressed with the fact that they do not have to pay any hydro bills at the end of the month and the simple energy efficient design of his house. When I asked him why he decided to break away from hydro he replied it was just a simple matter of economics. When they went to build on the property they bought the closest hydro pole was about a half kilometre away and Ontario Hydro gave them a quote of $40,000 to run service to their yet to be built house. Michael had been to a Cottage Life Show in Toronto a few years before and had talked to a few companies who provided turnkey solar and wind generator power systems to cottages. When Michael contacted them again the quote he got from them was also $40,000. It was a quick decision to get rid of the monthly and ever increasing hydro bills. Construction began on their house in 2002 complete with an integrated solar and wind power system.
In the film clip below, Michael is explaining to me at the end of the first segment why he put the solar panels on the ground instead of the roof of his house. The rest of the information is self explanatory.
They did have to make some compromises as far as their lifestyle went. To use this type of system you have to live a life of conservation. They are very aware of their power usage at all times and try to eliminate all sources of phantom power. They only turn their computer on when needed and switch it off after they are finished with it. They only turn on their TV to watch the occasional movie. Their kitchen stove, water heater and dryer are heated by propane. Their house has been designed to maximize passive solar energy and it is heated by wood fireplaces. They get their water from a well and so also practise water conservation as well.
Michael describes the power system in the video at great lengths. At first I thought he might be an electrical engineer because of his understanding of the components of his personal power grid but to my surprise he is a retired political lobbyist for the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association with a degree in horticulture from the University of Guelph. It seemed hardly the background to operate such a sophisticated electrical system but he assured me that it was a turnkey system and, while it does require regular maintenance, it is manageable for the motivated homeowner.
Maple Dreamlane Farms
Specializing in Free-Range Chickens and
Hardwood Species of Firewood – 2 year old seasoned air dried
Rainmaker Soap Company
A Division of Maple Dreamlane Farms
Specializing in Handcrafted Soaps made from Natural Rainwater
A great gift idea for all occasions!
Email us for a listing of soaps, availability and prices!