News : Deerfield Man Takes Off-Grid Living to Next Level

Jul 15, 2013

From Foster's Daily Democrat:

By Jim Cavan

Few ideas in the world of sustainable development carry more romantic weight than “off the grid” – the ability to eschew completely the fossil fuel-dependent infrastructure on which a vast majority of us continue to rely. In most cases, only the most necessary of appliances make the cut: a refrigerator and freezer, a handful of lights, and little else.

For the better part of 50 years, this was Al Jaeger’s life – a life he loved with as much vigor and aplomb as he had the spacious 186-acre Deerfield property from which it unfurled. Between the spaciously quaint main quarters and the sturdy studio, stone walled garden and “community kiln,” Jaeger has sculpted from the hardscrabble land a true testament to living the simple life, and living it well – and all a full half mile from the nearest road.

So when Jaeger, now 71, decided he wanted to add a few basic amenities – heated floors and regular hot water, flush toilet, freezer, and good studio lighting – a major concern was how to do so without compromising the property’s steadfastly Spartan ethos.

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