AIR 403 + small is beautiful

Wisdom demands a new orientation of science and technology toward the organic,     the gentle, the elegant and beautiful.”

E.F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered


This is our AIR 403 wind-generator.  Producing 400 Watts @ peak wind,  that is small indeed. However, along with solar and water power, it is (was) well matched to help run our 14 – 2 watt LEDs lights, numerous older 13 watt CFL’s, and the computer and satellite dish I’m writing from.




We are electrically independent from the power grid, and on the stormy days I head to town I’m surprised if I come upon no lights and power. On my previous post entitled Believe love relax live – and climate change? (click here)  I wrote about a weather event where we became stranded, and other folk around the North Island became powerless.

What I didn’t tell you is what lead me to link that event, to my photo story of our rustic stay in Billingsly Lodge and Retreat, Idaho.

I now confess that it was my reading of another bloggers description of her families experiencing a recent snowstorm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of the USA . . .



As the old adage says, give credit where credit is due.

The blogger I refer to, Jackie,  has achieved a  B.A. in Geology from Yale and a M.S in Natural Resources Planning. She lives on “ten acres” with “four chickens, two kids, and one (really) old house.”  The cast also includes her husband  “the outdoor and home renovation guru.”  –               (paraphrased from Jackie’s about page).

Growing Our Green Beans is a wonderful and practical blog, and the recent post of March 21 entitled Power Outage; Water, Heat, Food, Light (click here), outlines what to do and what you need when the power goes out .  A particular tip unknown to many people is #2) Have a non-cordless phone (the old-style) to plug in that doesn’t need electricity. The March 20th post details Power Outage Living: Using a Small Generator (click here). The March 19th post which originally inspired and reminded me of some of our own weird weather events, was 5 Days Without Power (click here).

Thanks for some great posts, Jackie! A recent gem discovery & one of the “Blogs I’m Inspired By”.


This was a sad day – March 4th – 2011




After crucifixion in a recent violent windstorm, the Air 403 now lays (on a shelf on our shop), waiting for resurrection.



Being inspired by a climate change event may seem odd indeed! Here is a closing thought to ponder – numerous studies have shown a correlation between power outages and increased birthrates! And that might be, arguably, an upside to down!

For more photos of our wind turbine and off-grid cabin –

click here to Weekly Photo Challenge: Home in the Country

Cheers – Bruce


5 thoughts on “AIR 403 + small is beautiful

    • Thank you. I read your poem ‘blessed dust’ and it is absolutely beautiful – ‘golden blessed dust/changing live for ever.” Wow! And the photo of what I’m beleiving to be is a Mosque, is beautiful too.

      • Oh thanks for reading the poem! Its actually a photo of a temple.I just uploaded form internet for it suited the lines!

  1. Thanks, Bruce, for your kind words! I love those pictures, especially the first one, of your wind turbine. We always look enviously at them, it is neat to hear how it has worked for you.

    • Thank you too Jackie. Wind power, like solar is very site specific – no nearby obstructions, little shading etc. In general, after 30 years with wind and solar, I would choose solar first. I look foward to more “growing our green beans” – we need to get our peas started – peace x 2 🙂

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