Solar Test Pender!

I n April, the newest piece of Full Belly gear was displayed to USDA representatives on the Terra Vista Farm in Pender County, NC. Dubbed the Solar Hand Cart for its ease of movement and multifunction, our latest development plays an integral role in a complete off-the-grid irrigation system for farmers and ranchers who have water but lack an economical means to access it. Hosted by board member and organic farmer John Lacer, USDA representatives were intrigued by Jock Brandis’ most recent invention and could readily see its application to small farmers and cattle ranchers. Although the Solar Hand Cart was originally conceived as a water pumping device, its uses extend much further when combined with its capability to generate energy. Rutherford County farmer and Site Engineer on the SHC and GWP project Duncan Edwards noted that in rural areas where power outages can be fairly common due to ice storms, hurricanes, and summer thunderstorms the Solar Hand Cart becomes a multi-use piece of equipment. He enumerated just a few purposes the cart can serve when not pumping water including; recharging deep cycle batteries, lighting at night, 12 volt power when the sun is shining, and a source for charging cell phones and laptop computers. While some carts are already in use with local cattlemen and farmers, Edwards plans to present the Solar Hand Cart to local groups who have not seen the machine in order to emphasize its versatility. With support from the North Carolina Cattlemen’s Association we hope to continue to supply those wishing to use a sustainable power source in agriculture livestock management.