Northern Calif/Redding area : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I am considering building my retirement home on land east of Redding, CA. Anyone in the area familiar with solar/windpower? Is there a reputable source for construction planning and installation, since I am not "mechanically inclined!"?

If you live in the area, what do you think of it and what have been your homesteading experiences? My land is mostly volcanic rock, suitable for cattle, but I do not plan on raising cattle. Mainly just some gardening and maybe a few chickens.

My other not-so-important concerns include the summer heat and rattlesnakes. Would love to hear from my future neighbors or anyone with suggestions!

-- Sandra Pierce (, January 17, 2001


Hi Sandra, I am from Redding and was so shocked to see my old home town mentioned in the forum. I havn't lived there in many years but can share my memories if that is any help. The summers are hot, I remember one day it was 118, now that was unusual but it happens. Of course the good side is there is lots of water around, Shasta lake, Whiskey Town Lake, Sacramento River and many more creeks to cool yourself off in. Swamp coolers work well there. How far east are you going to be? Feel free to email me, I will share what I can.

-- Tina (, January 17, 2001.

Do you know about RealGoods? They sell many solar products, including photovoltaic panels (PV), inverters, charge controllers, etc. They will help you plan your system requirements. They are trying to have a list of contractors that can do installations, but I don't know if they'd have anyone in that particular area. They have a Solar Living Center (you can tour, and they have workshops) in Hopland (I think), near Ukiah anyway. Don't know how close that is to you.

Many think that they are too expensive. Only you can judge that for yourself. They are on the web: Whether you decide to buy anything from them or not, you can probably learn a lot from them, by reading their site, maybe by getting some of their books.

HomePower magazine would probably be of value to you too, although I find them a too technical most of the time.

If it's hot there, you might want to think about building thick walls to keep the temperatures from fluxuating as much. Adobe, cob, strawbale?

-- Joy Froelich (, January 18, 2001.

sandra: not many responses from the redding area. i bought 60 acres just east of redding off of 299 east a little over a year ago and am in the process of clearing land for my road/driveway, etc. we do have snakes but, a little caution and common sense will keep you safe. as for solar/wind, solar in our area makes the most sense. i am building my water heater system myself and have found several sources for good used solar panels & system components. as for wind generation equipment we only have one really windy month and thats around october, so thats not a good option. if, you let me know what you really would like to do as far as solar, perhaps i can refer you to some good people. now for what to really look out for is the poison oak it's gotten me real good several times. (nasty stuff). ha! good luck, bob m

-- bob mccaffrey (, January 21, 2001.

My Dad and his sister's family, own about 100 acres outside of redding at a place called round mountain. I use to spend several weeks every summer there as a kid. I really loved it. My uncle had a little aframe house and used solar for electricity and a spring for water. Raised beef, pigs, chickens and grew tons of food. We still take camping trips up to lake shasta every few years. It does get very hot there in the summer though. 110+ is very common, I have seen as high as 118-120. My grandma also lives outside of redding in anderson. I like the area but it is just a little too hot for me. Sadly though my aunt and uncle are going to sell the land and move. Some day I will have my own little homestead, I just haven't found the right place yet.


-- Sean Parker (, January 23, 2001.

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