Shelter, eating, sleeping, boiling maple syrup, bottling food, green house and a work shop all in one multi purpose self reliant cabin.
Today was eye opening as I read through what others have written regarding the escapades, problems and cost associated with obtaining modern services to their beloved cabin. Having a modern system is nice but I don’t have the $40,000 it takes.
Yes, a basic cabin has to protect me from our long winter nights of -30 celsius, protect me from the flies and heat of summer and provide a place in-which to cook my food and to lay my head. But I want more from my cabin. I am putting some though into designing the cabin to be multipurpose. Designing the cabin with the premiss of being multi purpose would avoid a duplication of effort. This would save of a duplication of effort and expense to make a second building in which to boil maple syrup. And this would save a duplication of effort for firewood cutting for boiling maple syrup and more wood to heat the cabin. And this would save a duplication of effort and expenses of running two wood stoves. And this would save a duplication of effort to heat a green house. That is asking a lot from one tiny off grid cabin but I am having a vision of a design that hopefully would accomplish these goals.
Breaking down the problems with an all in one cabin. One of the issue with cooking, bottleing food or boiling maple syrup is the small cabin would steam up. Could all this steam be a problem or could I take advantage of all this vapour and pipe it into my green house. The time of year of maple syrup production and green house activities is in conjunction with each other. So an insulated vent pipe over a well designed wood cook stove that boils the maple syrup could pipe the warm moisture into the gardening beds of the green house. I suspect I would need this piping to have a fan which would mean some electric power because I don’t think a terminal fan would provide enough power to push the volume of steam that gets created during the boiling of maple syrup. With the premiss of being self reliant I don’t want to hook up to the power grid. We have lots of wind and sun so I will need a wind mill and or a solar power system. This will provide electricity to run the fan and the required LED lighting for the cabin.
As for water, there is a spring which I could install a couple of crocks in the ground which would produce lots of great water. I could heat my water by means of a hot water tank and lines that run through the wood stove. One of my friends has such a system where a water line goes through the old wood cook stove, heats the water and my means of thermosyphon, water empties into the 60 gallon insulated hot water tank. I wish for the same which would provide hot water for washing and also I could run some copper pipes with hot water to the green house beds.
As for septic, I am looking at a compost toilet and an outhouse. The outhouse is for warmer days and the compost toilet will be used on cold winter nights when I do not want to face the cold or the bears. Some people garden with the decomposed toilet compost but I do not believe in this method as it has proven to produce health risks. A system that I eat to poop and the poop grows more food is a closed system and bound to cause some problems.