Wind Chasers

February 1, 2016

Home About Us Turbine Construction Product page Energy Conservation Contact Us Links Turbine Adventures Saturdays News YouTube Video's Earthship Workshops Old Stuff Fun things to do Wind Turbines & Wildlife earthship visitors

 

Welcome to Wind Chasers.

It's hard to tell from these pictures, but the tomato plant in the planter, is an incredible 8'9" tall ! That's from the planter up. It grows about 4" per day! When it was planted in the planter, about mid March, it was about 8" tall. There are lot's of little tomatoes on it and we can't wait to taste them!

 

Our banana tree isn't quite as tall as the tomato plant, but it's still a respectable 7'4". Hard to believe it's the same plant I brought home in June last year in a 4" pot! What an amazing house!
Tours of our Earthship

In the first three years that we have been living in our "Earthship", we have welcomed well over 500 visitors to tour our home. We have met an amazing array of people from all over Canada, the U.S. and beyond! All of the people we have met have been extremely interested in our way of living and share a common goal of living lightly on the planet as well as living a more natural lifestyle. We welcome people to tour our home, by appointment, on most Saturdays. If you are interested in a tour, please contact us at 519-586-7122 or by e-mail at windchasers@execulink.com. Please be aware that we do not have an answering machine, nor do we check our e-mail every day, so it may take a few days for us to respond. Also, we are, at times, booked up for several weeks, so you may have to wait a while. Please be patient, it's worth the wait!

Donations for Michael Reynolds Humanitarian Projects

Many people over he years, who have toured our home, have asked if there was a charge for the tour. We have always said no. We share what we have learned because we enjoy meeting people and seeing how they respond to being in our home. Some people have brought us a gift of some kind anyway, which is nice, but it is not what we intended when we decided to open our home to visitors.

Last year, we began to think about how we could help with Michael Reynolds vision of helping people who are in need around the world following disasters. Since people seemed to want to show their appreciation to us in some way to us for taking time out of our life and opening our home to them, we thought that maybe we could ask for a voluntary donation to help Michael Reynolds when people visit our home. We called "Earthship Biotecture" and spoke with the people there about this idea, and they were thrilled! They told us that no one had ever offered to do anything like this for them.

In April, 2015, we made a trip to Taos to visit "Earthship Biotecture". It was great! We met a lot of great people while we were there and saw a lot of really cool stuff! Unfortunately, we were not able to meet Michael Reynolds personally since he was not there at the time. Anyway, we knew that Michael and his crew travel all over the world to disaster areas to help people to re-build homes after theirs have been torn apart by Mother Nature. What we didn't know, until we talked to some of the people at "Earthship Biotecture" is how they have been struggling to pay for these humanitarian trips. Taos, New Mexico is not an affluent area. Most of the people who live in the area are struggling themselves, and yet, they rise to the cause when Michael is trying to raise money to help people who have lost everything. None of the people who live at the "Earthship Biotecture" community are wealthy people, including Michael Reynolds and yet, when the call comes to help, they all pitch in, in whatever way they can.

Since we started taking donations, in May, 2015, we have raised over $1,000 Canadian for Michael Reynolds projects. A donation is not a requirement to tour our home, but if you are so inclined, we would be very greatful!

The project to which we are directing the donations is a Canadian build that will, hopefully, be taking place this summer, 2016, on the "Six Nations" reserve, near Brantford, Ontario. They will be looking for volunteers to help with this project if you are interested. It will be a great way to get a lot of knowledge and meet a lot of great, like minded, people! 

   

 

 

 

 
   

 

  Tammy, Dave, Tim, Valerie and their little girl came to visit February 28th. They were really excited about the idea of being able to live in an earthship. Great group of people!
Our friend, Mike, brought a group of people to see our house from Ingersoll ON. This group is trying to build an earthship in Ingersoll as an information centre as well as a base for their "transition to Less Waste" group. These people are doing amazing things in their community to bring environmental awareness and to fight a large company that is trying to put a dump right in the community's back yard to bring trash from Toronto and dump it there. They have been fighting for a few years to try to stop this from happening. Keep up the war guys! Patrick and Brad visited us on a very cold winter's day at the end of January and were very impressed with how warm and cozy the house felt. Amazing!
Sarah and her family came from Cambridge ON. to check out the house. Sarah is planning to do an internship with Michael Reynolds this year so that she can gain as much information as possible before she begins building her dream home.

Emily and Ann came from Michigan to see our house January 17th. They are our official first visitors for 2015!

Here's some pictures of our almost completed grey water planter. Our cats love it! Another view of the planter. Awesome! All of our little plants that we recently started waiting to go into the planter. Can't wait for fresh tomatoes!
We got some great shots of deer this week with our trail cam. There is a bit of a wildlife trail in our field that goes from our property through several adjoining properties. That day, there was a small heard of ten deer traveling  through our field. We've seen all kinds of animals traveling this route. Deer, coyotes, and lot's of wild turkeys are frequent visitors. Who say's there are no animals living around the wind turbines!

We have started keeping track of the animals that we spot on a regular basis on our farm and to date we have seen lot's of deer, coyotes, turkeys, two different types of hawks, owls, bald eagles, turkey vultures, and many other birds that we have never seen before.

Morgan is taking life easy as it snows and snows and snows outside our earthship!  Everyone's loving it here in paradise!

We finally got internet at the new location so we will be able to update the web site more often. We will be posting lot's of pictures and new stuff over the next few weeks, so check back often!

 

 

 

Earthship Update

Well, it's been over a year now since we moved in to our earthship, and we are loving it here! The performance of the house continues to improve every day as we continue to work on it to seal things up and add insulation and thermal mass. We finished putting in our grey water planter in November and we have noticed a significant difference in how warm the house stays over night. The earth in the planter helps to hold the temperature and keep it more constant. Craig shoveled over 15 square yards of stone, sand and soil into the planter and we added a layer of potato stone (potato sized field stone) on the top surface to add even more thermal mass, as well as to keep the cats from using our planter as a big litter box ! We have several plants, including two banana trees, several herbs and many flowering plants and my favorite, a gardinia ,thriving in the new planter. They love the light and the temperature! The cats think it's a jungle!

We have been working on plastering the walls and hope to have them finished by spring. Contrary to what most people have told us, you can  mix up the sand plaster in the winter if you bring the sand into the house in containers and let it warm up first. It seems to be drying almost as fast as it was during the summer and not adding any extra moisture to the house because the water we are using, was in the house to begin with!

Here's our new contact information:

Craig and Connie Cook

227, 7th Concession ENR

RR#1, Clear Creek, Ontario, 

Canada, N0E 1C0

Our new phone number is: 519-586-7122

 

They're Here!
Hugh Piggott's 2011 wind turbine plans, Imperial edition.

 We now have available Hugh Piggott's latest axial flux turbine plans. The new 2011 edition "Wind Turbine Recipe book" is a 65 page manual with step by step instructions on building an axial flux alternator, including blade carving and metal works. Included are plans to build a 2', 3', 4', 5', 6', and a 7' version. There is truly a turbine size for everyone! All measurements in the new plans are in Imperial. (inches and feet)

 The plans are available at $26.00 Canadian each  and $3.00 shipping to anywhere in Canada.

We accept PayPal    
                                    

 

For more information, please check out our products page.

Contact us

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These are some recent pictures of our earthship. Our friend, Roger, is a landscaper and has access to bobcats and other cool equipment for moving stuff around. He brought the toys to the house and scraped the floor smooth for us and brought in all of the gravel that we need under the slab. His kids, Carlee and Jessie were big helpers in this endeavor!

We have since then put the sill plates in place on the front and back wall to attach the roof in the spring as soon as the weather breaks. Can't wait !

 

This site has been constructed to give people information about home built wind turbines, energy conservation and more. The turbine we are currently running ,is a twelve foot diameter, homebuilt axial flux turbine designed by Hugh Piggott. This turbine was put up three summers ago, after running the ten foot axial flux for a year. This has been a fabulous turbine! It makes way more power than we need. We use the extra power to heat our domestic hot water.

Since installing our first turbine in January, 2004, we have been very busy. Our home has become somewhat of a landmark in the area. We have had people from all over southern Ontario coming by to see the turbine. Most of these people have been very interested in building a turbine of their own. This made us think that we should have people come to the house to build turbines in a workshop setting with other people. This idea was very well received by everyone since most were somewhat leery about doing this on their own without any help.

Since we first opened our home to helping people build their own wind turbines in 2005, we have assisted in the building of approximately forty turbines. Not all of them are up and running yet, but hopefully they will be soon! New people are coming here every month to start on their adventure in the crazy, and very addictive, art of wind turbine building.

The following pages have lots of information about turbine construction, designing a home power system to suit your needs and lots of things you can do to dramatically reduce your energy consumption in your home without having to go to extreme measures or spending huge amounts of money.

Please note that we will be working on a new place for our turbine building get-togethers next summer (2013) and we are hoping to be able to start again next fall. We really miss our drop-in turbine building sessions. We have met a lot of wonderful people over the years and hope to meet many more in the future. Watch this page for updates!

 

 

 

 

 
We recently had a visit from Peter and his wife and two of Peter's shop students who are building a wind turbine in their class. Peter was one of the students who came to build a wind turbine with the group from The University of Western Ontario a couple of years ago. He now has a class of his own and is passing on the turbine passion!

 

On November 15th, we had a group of student's from the University of Waterloo engineering department come to visit our earthship. It was a great visit and there was a lot of enthusiasm from the students. Our dogs, Gus and Abby were very popular with the students as well as you can see in the group photo, just before Gus gives Sarah a big sloppy kiss!
                                                                                EARTHSHIP 101
Earthship started, only two years to go.

The fun has begun!

More pics on earthship page (Breaking ground)

We have had a bunch of new people start their turbine projects here lately. Everyone is very enthusiastic about wind energy! The wave is getting bigger!

Here's Wayne and Ginny and Al and Paul working on their turbines.  Everything looks great so far!

Jake, get your hands off our new blades!

Jake looking sheepish after getting caught! Nice try!

 

Electric Car Video

Turbine Video

Check out the video page for more videos!

 

Saturday Fun!
Craig and Pippa are putting the finishing touches on Pippa's turbine while Mike makes witty remarks about how they're not doing it right. Thanks for your input Mike! 

News!

Check out our new page "News" for news and information about happenings and upcoming events such as workshops.

Due to a great deal of interest from people who are unable to attend our weekly get-togethers here, we have decided to offer one day workshops here for people who live too far away to come here on a regular basis. For more information, check out our "News" page.

 

 

Check out the "Saturday's" page to see a really big turbine that Ben is working on!

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Since the turbine gang is getting quite large now, and it's nearly impossible to get everyone here at the same time to get a group picture, we decided to put thumbnails on of everyone instead. Our little group has now grown to about thirteen regulars and several others who just pop in occasionally to visit or to get a little help with something.

    (Check out our new section featuring turbine adventures from other people and places!)

                                                            

            If you are having problems locating the magnet discs for your turbine, we can get them for you. 

These disks have been laser cut and have the holes for the hub and bolts already cut out.

The  discs are 12" o.d. x 5/16" thick. 

The 12" discs are available at $30.00 each Canadian plus shipping.

We also have 14" discs available at $40.00 each Canadian plus shipping.

For more information, click on the products page below.

Contact us.

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