So you understand the potential for solar energy technology to help us grow more food? Then you may also know that small-scale farming throughout the world needs an energy update in the 21st century.
With small-scale solar energy systems, we can not only impact food, but also bring solar energy to places that don’t have any energy. Using these systems and the right appliances, we can also lessen our work around the garden and farm by making tasks more productive and efficient.
It’s a perfect combination of technology getting cheaper yet more capable, while at the same time the demand for healthy, local food that is grown using sustainable practices increases. The work involved is mostly in designing these small solar energy systems to help with the growing practices.
That’s where the DIY community, the backyard farmer or the homesteader can really play an important role. We need to learn how to build robust systems that are easy to set up and use — it’s the only way that these technologies will grow and create impact.
Over the last four years, we at Cavaleiro Farm have expanded our own solar energy project, and learned how to grow more food using solar technology. The learning is continuous, because we knew very little when we started, and there are so many different applications to explore.
But since we began, we’ve showed our systems to visitors, facilitated hackathon events, and talked to other farmers at conferences about how using solar energy systems can help make our lives easier. We’ve always received great feedback, and the project has continued to grow with all of the new insights we’ve collected along the way.
In 2017, we realized that creating an online course for others to build their own solar energy system would be the next logical step to take. This course would fill the existing information gap, reach people who value this solution globally, and could scale with the knowledge and experience of students in the course.
If more people could quickly get to a level of fun and experience working with solar energy systems, then they would undoubtedly want to continue learning and making those systems even better for the community.
With an online course, people without a technical background could learn the simple step-by-step process that helps them design, build, and maintain systems that make gardening more productive and less effort.
If you could trade a little upfront work for countless hours saved with your garden, what other things would you do with your newfound free time? How about more time taking a nap in the garden or trailing new plants? Maybe you’d experiment with new foods or play more with your children.
We’ve designed a course that is focused on helping you meet your goals by using technology that grows more food with less work, leaving you with the energy and time you need for the things you love. Learn more about it here. See you in class!