Whenever a big storm is headed towards New England, like this weekend's winter storm "Nemo," we don't worry much about losing power. That's because this place came equipped with a massive back-up generator we call "Big Red." It was one of those things that come when you buy a property and get as an additional feature at no extra cost. Big Red, a Winpower diesel generator, was built and installed back in the 1980s, and is equivalent in size to the powerplant of a Kenworth or Peterbilt semi. I took these photos of Alayne standing next to Big Red to give you some idea of its size.
It can run everything with plenty of extra capacity; we don't need to unplug anything to reduce the load. It's connected to an auto-transfer switch in the basement of the house, so it switches on instantly when the power goes out. The generator is so big that it is housed in a separate room attached to the main barn building.
We would never go out and spend the money on something like this, but now that we have Big Red, we realize how nice it is to have a dependable source of back-up power. We have an authorized Winpower generator technician come by once a year to service and test it. I asked the tech how much more life this now 30-year old generator still had; he told me, "With regular servicing, it will last as long as you will."
And speaking of storms, we were fortunate to only receive about 5 inches or so of snow from Nemo. It blew around a lot so I had some drifts to plow out today, but we didn't see anything like the snowfall amounts most people futher south and east of us experienced.
By the way, if you ever look up Lancaster's weather, you're actually getting readings from the Mount Washington regional airport in Whitefield, New Hampshire. That's about 10 miles from here. At the farm, we are usually significantly warmer than that location, and often quite warmer than Lancaster itself, just three miles away.
This morning, for example, the National Weather Service was reporting 21 degrees below zero for Lancaster (the Whitefield weather station reading), while here at the farm we were only 4 degrees below zero. I remember on a recent morning this winter when I drove out of the farm and it was 12 degrees above zero, and by the time I got into Lancaster -- which is downhill from us, along the Connecticut and Israel Rivers -- it was just above zero.
We're on a ridge here, and that definitely seems to help keep us warmer. This is a nice change from the ranch in Ovando, where we were always 10 to 15 degrees colder than anyone else!
But no matter what the weather does, we've got Big Red to depend on!
New Shelter Challenge Contest -- Please Vote for the Farm!
The latest Shelter Challenge started Monday, January 7 and ends on April 28. Grand prize in this round is $10,000, $3,000 for second place and $1,000 for third place, plus $1,000 for weekly winners and $1,000 for state winners. There are also other categories ... please see the Shelter Challenge website for details.
*** You will find us listed as Rolling Dog Farm. The state is NH for New Hampshire. ***
Please remember, you can vote every day ... consider bookmarking the voting page to make it easy.
We just won $1,000 as a weekly winner in the last contest, and thousands more in the previous contests. The Shelter Challenge really does bring in a lot of money for the animals here!
You can vote in the Shelter Challenge here.
Thank you for your votes!