Monday, May 6, 2013

PDC Homework - Behavioral Strategies for Energy Usage

These are behavioral strategies we plan to use on our land/farm.

An overall focus on health and well-being, both personal and environmental, makes a huge impact on behavior and, consequently, energy usage. Our lifestyle is moving steadily towards one where the only generated electrical energy needed would be for Internet modem, phone, and computer use, recharging batteries for walkie talkies, a low energy fridge (using a chest freezer with an adapter plug to make it run at a far lower voltage as a fridge), back-up lights, and the odd power tool when needed for projects. We plan to utilize a 600 watt solar generator to handle these needs.

Use of light will be changed drastically, basing our working day around daylight timings. For the limited amount of lighting needed at night/in the dark, solar lights will be utilized using the sun's energy during the day to charge them for the night. Eventually, once bee keeping is established and we start having a supply of beeswax, we will make our own candles, providing a preferable, alternative, and natural source of light. Kitchen appliances will be replaced by a hand-crank blender, a hand operated basalt grinding stone for flour and dry grains (will last for generations, maintenance free), and a hand crank stainless steel beater. Cast iron pans and Dutch ovens, stainless steel pots, plates, bowls, cups, utensils and cutlery will all last for generations.

Water cooling will be managed by burying 55 gallon steel drums 3/4 deep into the earth with a steel hand pump  Showers are by hung 5 gallon steel buckets of heated water, with holes punched into the bottom and a lid to stop the flow when finished. Hot water will be either by a simple homemade solar heater or heated in pipes running under a compost heap. Laundry will be done manually, with a washboard and steel tub, soap nuts or homemade castille soap.

Cooking will be done on a rocket stove, in a cob oven, and underground in charcoal pits - minimal fuel required, long cooking times, no electrical or gas energy requirements.Heating of the house can be from the rocket stove, as cob can store the heat well.Cob house, storage, animal pens all mean no cooling and minimal heating with small amount of wood from trees grown on property. They also need nothing more than human energy to build

All materials are to be as natural, healthy, environmentally enriching (or at minimum, safe), high quality, and long lasting as possible.

Transportation mode will be dependent on distance. For local travel transportation will be walking, cycling, or horse (either ridden or with a carriage), with a pick-up truck (V6 for better fuel economy but still the ability to tow and haul) for longer distances and when picking large things up. We are a family that enjoys walking and cycling, so they are viable forms of transportation for us. Walking will be fine for distances of up to 5 miles each way. Cycling for distances reaching further afield, and horse and carriage up to 50 miles. Of course, we need to travel smart - get as much done in a trip as possible and prevent unnecessary trips back and forth or retracing our route due to disorganized planning.


  1. Assalaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah yaa ukhtee. I was wondering if you could have your husband email me at, or maybe send me his email insha'Allah. I've looked over your blog and subhanAllah I think what your doing is amazing. It is exactly how I wish to live right down to the cob style mud house lol. Now that I finally graduated high school my intention is to head to Egypt and study the deen for however Allah ta'alaa allows me. When I head back to the states I may have to come see new mexico :) May Allah aid you and your husband in your plans. Assalaamu Alaikum

  2. Bismihi Ta'Ālā - in the name of the Most High
    as salām alaykum wa rāhmatūllāhi wa barakātūhū - peace, Allāh's mercy and blessings on you (and yours)
    Āmeen - May Allāh make it so, now and forever through all of eternity. Āmeen.

    May you kindly advise whether the following offer/invitation/notice dated DECEMBER 1, 2012, that I stumbled upon on the "Living in Madinah" website/blog page is still open as of today's date?

    "Healing Earth Wants You!

    Are you looking for a peaceful place to live, work, and raise a family that adheres to the Da’wat us-Salafiyyah… where every day has purpose? Join a progressive thinking, Islamic based, and service oriented organic farm/Islamic retreat as a steward of the land that lives on-site and works towards establishing the farm and retreat in Roy, New Mexico.

    We are looking for a few families (US Citizens or Permanent Residents), who will be dedicated partners in the establishing of natural/off-the-grid buildings and the running of Healing Earth LLC as stewards of a 51 acre farm/retreat. This position offers an extraordinary opportunity for those with a passion for permaculture, spiritual growth & practice, and environmental stewardship.

    If you are looking for a different way to live and a chance to make a difference in the world, but don’t have the financial means to make it happen, let us help one another. Email us at: with your contact information, why you want to be a part of our project, and demographics of yourself, family, and Islamic practice.

    To learn more about our vision, please visit:
    Posted by Abu Binaat at 9:30 AM, Saturday, December 1, 2012"

    If possible, kindly reply to me at

    Allah, I take refuge in You from any speech that creates confusion (Allāhūmma inni a’udžu bika min qowlin yūjibū hiratan) or [that causes] discord (ow yā’qibū fitnatan) or which sows doubt (ow yūhimū shūb’hatan) for it is from You that all words are received (minka tūtalaqqi-l kalim) and it is from You that all wisdoms are obtained (wa anka yū’khathū-l hikam)

    Was salaam

  3. As'salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa baraktuh. Have you thought of adapting your hand grinder to a pedal powered contraption. I've seen one before, and makes for lightening the load of hand grinding. the contraption looked like they combined a grinder to a stationary bike. You pour your grains in a funnel at the top, start peddling and there you have your flour!


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