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5/2/10

Off Grid Systems Meeting For The Zero Energy Off Grid Prefab Green House

It was a short but wonderful visit to the prefab green house kit
In contrast to a long, sun-ripened, fresh tomato of a normal two-day weekend, this visit was the tangy, diced, sun-dried tomato version: we raced out, lived well, and skedaddled back.

Handsome Husband, Jason Dorris, Pat Root and I (fleetingly) converged within the off grid zero energy prefab green house to talk about installation of the zero energy off grid systems.

Despite children and dogs going in, and out, and in again, the prefab house was still *noticeably* cooler than the 90ish degree temperatures outside. Arriving just for the day and without the "open the windows at night and seal 'em up in the morning so the house stays cool" routine, the prefab house kit was palpably cooler by about 20 degrees when we walked in.


You can see how the sun is being shaded from heating the house, here, yet inside you still feel lots of natural light about the interior spaces.

FINALLY, we gathered as Handsome Husband outlined his research and compared it with the experience and insight of Jason and Pat.
One of the things I regret about this project is that because we are in Richmond during the workweek, we have not had the interaction I would have liked with our project team. (Maybe that's a good thing - I can't see me in my galoshes galumping after the Amish.) Everything is done from afar. So it was so nice to sit down with Pat and Jason (thank y'all for coming out on the weekend to accommodate us) and listen as they exchanged thoughts and information for the next steps in this project: THE OFF GRID SYSTEMS FOR THE (ALREADY) ZERO ENERGY PREFAB HOUSE!!!

I may be an astute businesswoman in the office, but out here... who do you think was throwing lunch at the whiny children (thank you solar cooker, where I can just throw stuff in during a meeting then serve it piping hot to Pipsqueaks...), water to the dogs, escorting Pipsqueaks behind the hill when nature called so that The Off Grid Systems Meeting could go on, uninterrupted?
Oh, yep, that would be I.
Handsome Husband did the research on this leg of the project, so he and the rest of the team need to continue, despite the chaos. I think we all did pretty well.


After the Off Grid Systems Meeting, Handsome Husband began to mow the field, where, little by little, grasses emerge from where only briers once stood. With the help of soil-improving cover crops, the field will improve and we can regain those acres from the weeds.

While he did that, I cleaned a bit inside while the children played.
(When the bush hog is going, the rule is everyone else needs to be indoors.)

The 5yr old mentioned, out of the blue: "I can't wait until Clara has chicks!"
One of our urban hens has been broody for days.
Breezily, I threw out, "Well, honey, that's not going to happen, you need a rooster for that!"
Both children turned to me with an earnest, interested gaze: "Why?"

I paused, and looked down at the rag in my hands.
"WELL."
[Pause pause pause pause pause and EUREKA!]
"Well, it's like this: See this bottle of vinegar I'm spraying to clean the table?"
They nodded.
"Well, er, the vinegar is all fine and good on it's own, but when you add the BAKING POWDER (here I sprinkled a bit on the table) then spray some vinegar... what happens?"
They watched the bubbles as I continued to clean.
"So, to get some chicks, you need the hen AND the rooster, and together something different happens - baby chicks!"

And Yo: Handsome Husband: Next time this comes up I'm just sending 'em over to you... YOUR TURN.
...

Broadcasting seed with a hand held seed spreader is actually a lot like fly fishing.
...

Speaking of fly fishing, hence catch-and-release, I caught Ron Our Fabulous Contractor Who Retired starting to pay a visit, seeing the trucks of an obvious prefab house systems meeting going on, then starting to try (try!) to back away, when I spied his fabulous Spyder on the field and began waving madly.

Honeychile, Reason #103849023842901348 why I need some water access:
Determined, lift your rod high, quickly, then reel. him. in. slowly. ; )
Resigned, Ron motored down the field, parked, and I even got to see his iPad. (xoxoxoxoxoxo Ron!)
Yes, in our town, population 199, of COURSE Ron has an iPad.

...

Oh, regarding population...
There, in the middle of bush hogging, vinegar cleaning, and in-the-middle-o'-nowhere-being... a car dustily braved the drive, and stopped.
I approached, puzzled: and met Sylvia. : )
THE UNITED STATES CENSUS HAD REACHED OUR LAND!!!
No, seriously!

Census Workers Come To The Land! 

Sylvia is originally from Richmond too!
"Oh, wow, you're from Church Hill? We LOVE Church Hill and have lots of friends there!"
She looked at me long, steady, with an eyebrow raised.
And I remembered living in Northside hitting the ground eight months pregnant in the afternoon as gunfire crackled outside.
Our eyes met, and we smiled. "Yep, it really is beautiful here..."
Sylvia, we'd love to know you, you know how to reach us now!
...

Now, back in Richmond, I am singing the tick check song, covered in mud, shaking clover seed outta my boots.
Next comes more off grid zero energy systems posts for our prefab house kit, with more technical information... and thoughts from Pat Root, the electrician, on the prefab house kit.

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