Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Farewell, My Subaru

By Doug Fine

Doug Fine wanted to reduce his carbon footprint and yet still enjoy all the advantages that modern life offers. His solution -- move to a ranch in southeastern New Mexico and raise goats and grow vegetables. But that part of the world is rather arid and so one of the first things he had to do was install an solar-powered water pump to provide water for the house, the livestock and irrigation for his garden. He also bought himself a used diesel pickup truck which he then had converted to run on waste grease procured from restaurants at no cost to him. He also acquired a couple of young female goats intended to provide milk in due time. This was a vital part of his plan because he loves ice cream and the idea of giving up ice cream was intolerable. He also raised chickens for awhile but eventually lost most of them to predation. In fact, at times the threat to his livestock became so bad that he had to sleep out in the goat pen to protect his two goats. But all in all, he found that he was meeting his carbon footprint goals and pretty much really enjoying himself in the process.

This was a fun and amusing book to read. Doug has his struggles and manages to cope pretty well and he seems to be really enjoying his new lifestyle, raising vegetables and taking care of his goats and chickens. Of course, one thing became pretty apparent after awhile: Doug has plenty of money with which to indulge his fantasy life style: a solar-powered well pump which, with just two hours of sunlight a day, will be able to fill 500 gallon water tank; a Ford F-150 pickup truck; a super-efficient drip-irrigation system and $12000 dollars worth of solar panels. Not to mention buying a whole ranch on which to live. But even though most of us can't do what Doug Fine did, it still made for a very enjoyable and even exciting read.

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