We have a grid-connected as well as standalone PV system and evacuated tube solar hot water system. The house is brick veneer and 35 years old, on 600m2 of land.
We have over 10,000L of water storage and a dozen or so fruit trees. We have also made various styles of solar cookers – stored heat cooker, pot in pot cooler, rocket stove, etc. We have found that while it is easy to plug stuff in to a 240V system or to buy your veggies, to make and do stuff for yourself you need to know stuff and having access to expertise helps.
We have a permaculture garden with elements in the back and front yard including chook tractor, greenhouse, self-watering containers, wicking beds, banana circle, herb spiral, worm tower and worm bath, insectary beds and a strawberry tower.
During 2015/16 we added a constructed wetland to treat our laundry greywater and moved the banana circle to the back to make use of greywater plumbed directly from the spa bath. We installed super-efficient irrigation to reduce water usage in all 14 veggie patches and nickel-iron batteries, more solar panels and an inverter/charger to go off-grid.
We have a street library and seat installed in the front of the house to encourage passers-by to pick up and trade books with us.
Click here to read more about one visitor’s experience in the Blacktown City Council Bus Tour from SHD2017 – the bus visited this house and two others in the neighbourhood.