Sunday, 10 October 2010

Harvesting the last potatoes and the wind

A few last potatoes harvested by Farmer in the sun on Saturday morning. There hasn't been much rain recently and so they have not spoiled for being harvested so late. We picked a huge basket of the very last broad beans (some of them quite leathery) - this year we have had our best ever success with broad beans, making up for the loss of the dwarf beans which disappeared under the forest of chickweed.

These healthy looking pink ones were from seed given to us by a neighbour.

A view of Treshnish headland from Ensay, showing the old school house at Treshnish alongside the farm track.
And down at Haunn, the views were spectacular. Toechtamhor looks out over the autumn colour of the Haunn fields and the faint silhouette of Run is visible in the distance. Our Cheviot gimmers are in the Haunn field, they will go to the tup for the first time in November.

The turbine will be one year old on Tuesday - today the generation meter was at 12,000.7kWh - 2,000kWh more than we had expected to make, so that is really exciting.

How has it been living with the turbine? On the whole pretty positive! Over the year it has generated more electricity than we have used on the Treshnish site (in the office/laundry, Studio, Shian, Shieling, Duill and the farmhouse). An unexpected bonus has been the way it has transformed our experience of strong winds. Instead of lying awake worrying about roof damage, I find myself thinking of the turbine spinning round instead, making something positive out of the gale force winds. And the windier it is the more energy is produced.

Our initial aim was to make enough electricity to cover the usage from all the cottages and the farmhouse in a year, but at that time we thought we were going to be able to put in a very micro micro-hydro scheme (in the end we discovered was not possible) which would have balanced our usage in one go.

So now 5 years on, our sites are lowered, we know alot more about renewable potential here, we are looking at further energy savings, and where/who we buy our energy from.

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