A big piece of Shade Stone Farm's mission involves sustainability. Like many farms we use a number of operational and management practices to enhance our agricultural sustainability (covered manure storage, riparian buffers, pasture rotation, etc...). We will highlight some of those in a future post, but some of our "sustainability" is built right into our property. First, all of our water is supplied from a spring (that also feeds the pond visible in the banner photo on this page). Our on-site septic system processes and recycles our waste water. All of our winter heat and domestic hot water needs are met with an efficient wood gasification boiler. This device, in combination with some passive solar sun collection windows, allows us to heat this old farm house with less than 8 cords of wood. That makes optimal use of a plentiful, renewable resource we have right on our property. Finally, our grid-tied solar system is sized to produce all of our electrical needs over the course of a year.
This photo of the back of the house shows that this 180+ year old structure has a few modern tricks. In addition to the solar array, you can see the large south facing windows on the addition. These allow winter sun to warm the large thermal mass of the original stone wall located inside the addition. You can also see fuel wood stacked under the deck stairs and our on-site septic system in the foreground.