Powering your hobby farm:
Homesteading is alot more popular these days as it was way back then. There are many options for living off the grid. The best options in my opinion are wind, solar, river powered. You could also power it by biodiesal generators but not only would these be noisy but also you would need a cheap source of biodiesal or vegetable oil and a convertor.
If you live in a sunny area, you can get most to all of your power from having enough solar panels on your roof. You can also get systems that will look up your solar hot water needs, these systems are seperate from the solar panels that power your home. As well as solar panels you need to think about a battery array to store the energy in so that it can be used long after the sun has gone down.
This is basically building a wind turbine and generator on your land. I would suggest at least 50m from your house. This is due to the noise although its probably something you can get used to. Wind power requires wind - but more of a steady breeze than a gusty location. As well as the turbine you will need a battery backup to store the energy.
If you have a flowing river or stream on your land you can make use of a water turbine. In some ways this is similar to the wind power in that the constantly turning turbine generates the electricity. In this case a battery backup is also required.
To make use of any of these ideas you can find the plans online to build many varieties of any of these types of systems.
Benefits of living off the grid:
The benefits of living off the grid are simple:
No monthly power cost, however there is the initial upfront cost depending on the system that you put in.
The freedom of knowing that if anything ever happens to the regional/city power supply - you and your family will be ok.
Knowing that you are contributing to the environment by using a renewable power source on your land.
Things to think about:
You need to think about the following things when implementing a system like this:
Cost - this is a big factor - depending on the system it may cost up to 10k or more to build it - although if you are seriously considering it, ask your local govt official if there are any govt grants.
Build - Who is going to build the system, are you going to pay for an expensive install or are you going with a local contractor you know and trust, or do you trust yourself to build it?
Maintenance - Who is going to maintain the system, and fix it when it breaks? if you aren't learning to do it then are you willing to pay for someone to do it for you?