Digital Windgrove and 19th Century Farming, Part One

Windgrove Solar Panel

“Make hay while the sun shines.” – an old saying that is probably so old that most people haven’t heard it. It’s probably that my childhood included working on family farms in the mid-west of the U.S., but I am loving this daily situation where if I want this big computer to render for hours, the sun needs to be shining. The saying is now “It’s sunny?! Hit the render button.”

That solar panel is about 10 feet from my studio and computer. It and the batteries can power simple things anytime of day or night, but large loads need to be done on sunny days.  I am not sure if I could do this work here in the winter when days are short and weather is gray. The common digital practice of working all day on the computer and then setting up large renders to run all night is not really possible – unless we ran a generator.   Windgrove’s philosophy is to live lightly on the planet.

Windgrove has brought in a number of shipping containers to serve as work buildings.  The blue one is primarily for the solar power.  Opening the huge heavy squeaking door is like entering a dark vault.  At the back are all the digital readouts that I am learning to read to check the power usage.

Planning for the residency here required bringing everything in on battery power – they charge slowly over the day and work well. I now have a battery farm.  The following is part of my charging battery farm chores.  The problem is that if I forget to charge just one battery the whole project for the day probably grinds to a halt.  I am actually deeply enjoying the daily rituals of my work and how they directly relate to the time of day and weather. It’s a different time frame here – things move slowly and revolve around the natural world.  (Oh, notice that if there isn’t enough power, you could just grab a wet suit, boogie board, and head to the ocean – or grab one of the many sea kayaks here and head out).

2 thoughts on “Digital Windgrove and 19th Century Farming, Part One

  1. As usual, you amaze me. Very different from the goofy, loud ,laughing, inventive, kid. Best wishes for success. Thanks for sharing.

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