Wednesday, April 14, 2010

11. Living off the land

An interesting friend of Bruce’s I met was Simon, an English gent. He built his house near Manali around ten years ago. It’s a beautiful place with a productive veg garden, but the other interesting thing is that it is completely powered by his own hydro power plant off a creek at the rear of the property.

Manali - 23 - Pumphouse

At the bottom is Simon’s pumphouse. These ancient stone huts line many of the creeks in the region, and a community one can be seen in the background. Inside is a design that hasn’t changed for perhaps thousands of years:

Manali - 25 - Wheat grinder

It’s a wheat grinder. Wheat goes into the hopper at the top, the river turns the heavy stone wheel, and flour comes out the bottom. These are still in use by village folk today.

However, Simon’s pumphouse contains this: 
Manali - 24 - Generator

which is enough to power his home, and the excess power generated goes into an underfloor heating system.

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