News : From 'Off the Grid' To On - Just Barely

Jul 15, 2013

From the Portsmouth Patch and the Exeter Patch and Seacoast Online

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 quaint main quarters and the sturdy studio, the 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.

To read the full article on the Portsmouth Patch, click here!

To read the full article on the Exeter Patch, click here! Or Seacoast Online here.