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Off-Grid in the Catskills

Spectacular view & bass pond included.
By Fran Sigurdsson

Ken and Laurie Hoffman own the perfect spot for off-grid cabin living. Their New York retreat has a beautiful southern exposure, with full sun from dawn to dusk. “It’s ideally situated for solar gain,” notes Ken.

But the real reason the couple purchased the lot was for the spectacular […]

Solar Energy at the Cabin

Don’t be intimidated by the thought of incorporating solar energy into your cabin – just start small!
By Jim Cooper

The most common solar installation (often called PV or Photovoltaic) relies on a collection of solar panels and an inverter to convert the direct current (DC) electricity from the panels to alternating current (AC) that is required […]

A Grounded, Off-Grid Cabin

Getting the most from an off-grid retreat.
By Fran Sigurdsson

Rome. Maui. Buenos Aires.

Mike Andrews routinely touches down in glamorous destinations around the globe. But when this United Airlines pilot is not flying the friendly skies, his favorite stopover is his off-grid hideaway in Bradford, N.H.

Andrews grew up in Hampton, N.H., and fondly recalls boyhood summers on […]

Tips for a More Energy-Efficient Cabin

You don’t have to be building from the ground up to make your retreat more energy efficient. Whether you’re remodeling an older cabin, replacing Grandpa’s old icebox, or just changing a light bulb, here are some tips to make your cabin a little more green – take a “leaf” from this green tree house.

From roots […]

The Efficient Cabin

11 tips for saving energy and money at your efficient cabin.
Story, photos & sketches by Dale Mulfinger

Gone is the day when cabins were principally for summer use and a modest wood stove cut the chill on a gray, damp evening. Today, our vacation time is rarely defined by summer alone as we can find snippets […]

5 Tips for Fruit Tree Success

How to ensure years of delicious produce from your very own fruit tree.
By Randall D. Schultz

If you spend enough time at your cabin to actually enjoy the harvest, there may be nothing quite as satisfying as plucking a fresh, ripe piece of fruit from your own backyard tree.

Fruiting trees, such as apple, pear, peach, citrus […]

Trees & Shrubs for Your Cabin

Which trees and shrubs do I plant? Where do I plant them?
By Jennifer Baker

I don’t think my grandpa gave much thought to either the type or placement of pines that he planted around the cabin that he just built on the quiet shores of Oneida Lake. The four red pines were personal tributes to each […]

Raised Planting Beds

If you want a garden without too much fuss, this landscaping project may be for you.

“Don’t forget to water the plants when you get there,” my mom reminds me, as we wrap up our phone conversation on my way to the family cabin. “They haven’t been watered since last Friday when your Aunt Sharon was […]

Gardening at the Cabin: Just Add Water

At our cabin and home, I just let Mother Nature take care of the gardening. It’s better that way.
Last summer, my 8-year-old son busted into the cabin holding a white foam cup filled with dirt and a speck of a leafy plant. “Mom, this is for you!” Kyler said proudly as he handed me his […]

Tips for Trimming and Pruning

I’ve never wanted to tame the wild garden that surrounds my cabin paradise, but I do recognize that pruning and trimming is essential to maintaining the health of many plants.

It is sad to see clumps of perennials choked with dead foliage. Overgrown shrubs and trees that restrict air flow let mildew develop, and their broken […]