Friday, April 10, 2015


There was quite the lightening storm last night.  It woke my hubby and I up several times.  Once we awoke to a particularly intense clap of thunder and through the plastic on our half-finished little cabin we saw a quite bright light and perhaps what could be thought of as a shower of sparks.  We figured a transformer had possibly been hit, and started to drift back off.  Before we were completely back asleep, at about 3:30 am, our eldest knocked on our door and informed us that the "tarp shed" had caught fire, but that he and his brothers had put it out and not to worry.  And by the way there is no electricity over at the house.


As the sun rose our curiosity overcame us and my beloved went out first to survey the damage. Crazyness. Batteries from cordless tools that haven't been used in several years, believed to be long dead, had EXPLODED in the corner of the shed.

Not only that, but the lightening blast apparently bounced about hitting almost everything metal in the shed, even melting some of the aluminum of the band-saw table.

(this isn't the band saw table, I didn't get a pic of that yet)

This happened, mind you in a low lying shed, built with a wooden frame, covered with a fire resistant truck tarp, and resting on concrete piers.

There are tall trees all around, and uphill from this insignificant building are several connected metal sheds.

It gives the lie to everything we are ever told about lightening strikes.

As it happened the only thing in the other sheds that seems to have been affected is the very expensive set of electronics that regulate and transform the power from our solar panels into usable electricity. For the first time since we installed this system we were without electricity while our neighbor's lights were on!

This all puts us in an interesting position.  We had just been discussing the morning before; sustainability and what level of such we had or had not reached. Now, we are at a crossroads.  Which way do we turn. We already needed to replace our nearly useless batteries, but replacing the inverter and charge controller would likely double that price, or worse.  We have been very dependent on the freezer that our system supported. Can we wean ourselves back off of that? How significant is the internet to our ability to market products from Groundwell Farm?  We haven't used it that much yet, but we haven't tried to sell much either. Can we do all of our internet work on a weekly trip to a wireless location in town? We are movie junkies, but how important is that in the long run? Ultimately, if we are really striving for a sustainable life, does it make sense to be so dependent on a system that is so very fragile?

We have a lot of questions to discuss and find answers to.  It will be interesting to see the outcome.


  1. Sad to hear it Barb - but it sounds like you've got your chin up. Let us know if we can help somehow.

  2. Thanks ladies, we are certainly considering our options right now. The idea of going back to non-electric does not seem bad at all. We'll let you know for sure.

  3. Thankful that nothing breathing was hurt. {{{{{{{{Barb et al}}}}}}}

  4. So glad that you are all safe, and it was only things that got damaged!

    1. Thank you and welcome back! Yes indeed, stuff is just stuff and we have way too much of it anyway. The lack of electricity has been nice actually, we are all talking more!