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10 Ways Solar Power Can Benefit Your Farm and Garden

We all love to read how green technology can be used in our day-to-day activities and help us preserve the environment and save all that important money at the same time.

Threehugger published a great piece by Derek Markham showing useful ways to use solar-powered devices on your farm or in your garden, and we could not resist reporting them as well. So here they are.

arr1. Producing Solar Power. Surely this is not the cheapest of technologies to have in your garden, but given that you have enough space to place the array of solar panels, you might be able to generate enough solar electricity to cover the basic needs. The market now offers plenty of packages that any keen fan of “Do-It-Yourself” could try out. It is definitely worth the shot.
solarfencing.jpg.492x0_q85_crop-smart2. Solar Charged Livestock Fence. It is very well known amongst farmers, that electric fencing is more than required in order to keep the farm protected and the animals in place. Furthermore, the market not only provides fully functional electric fences powered by the sun, but also there are many affordable parts that can be put together by the keen DIYer.
centerpivotirrigation.jpg.492x0_q85_crop-smart3. Solar-Powered Water Pumps. Solar powered pumps are very common nowadays. The most simple designs do not even require any battery storage, although any additional improvement to the system would increase the capacity and control.
solarhotwaterheater.jpg.492x0_q85_crop-smart 4.Heating Water with Solar. To heat water using a solar panel is not  a fancy or new technology, but it is certainly very useful. Besides being used directly for various daily needs, water heated by the sun could also be put in greenhouses as a thermal mass to maintain the temperature.
Screen_Shot_2012-07-10_at_11.15.24_AM.png.492x0_q85_crop-smart5. Heating Air with Solar. Here, the solar panels are fitted onto walls of buildings or greenhouses, provided a cheap way to heat up a space without having to rely on gas. Considering how many parts are now available, to build one of these solar heaters, you need mainly creativity and determination, not money.
images (101)6. Solar Powered Ventilation Systems. Ventilation is one of the most important components of a farmhouse. Usually, solar power is used to open and close the vents, or power exhaust fans
download (8)7. Solar Powered Dehydrators. Dehydrators are an essential component of any fruit or vegg farm. As  it was with the Air Heater, because no moving parts are needed here, the construction of a solar powered dehydrator can be very cheap and use ordinary building materials.
MAXSA-solar-security-light8. Providing Solar Light at Night. Lights are very important in farms and gardens. Solar lights come in various sizes and shapes, and can be found in literally any lighting store.
download (9)9. Monitoring the Farm With Solar. Sensors in farms have proven to be a valuable asset in monitoring weather conditions and soil moisture. In addition, remote solar-powered sensors are taking over the market nowadays, providing means to monitor feeding and watering of animals.  You can get some great flowers and plants under £20 (at Interflora, for example, if you live in the UK) which you can easily monitor with solar-powered sensors.
solartractor.jpg.492x0_q85_crop-smart10. Solar Powered Vehicles. And last but not least, farm equipment and vehicles powered by solar energy could just be the thing you need in order to have efficient, quite and environmentally friendly working technology.
flip-flap-solar-powered-flower11. As an extra funny bonus, we can guarantee this solar powered flower will definitely be the “greenest” item  in your backyard. Or maybe a solar powered silkflower? I just found out you can actually make money off silk flowers and plants online, so maybe if you plant a couple of these, they’ll spread out, who knows? :)

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About the author

Mila is a researcher and scientist with a great passion for soils, rocks, plants, water and all environment-related aspects of our surroundings. For the past 10 years, during the course of her educational and professional development, she travelled all over Europe, Africa and Asia, driven by her passion for the environment and urge to seek challenges.

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