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Off Grid Passive Solar Systems Update, and Preserving Local Food And Culture.

We had a SUPER time celebrating at Richmond's Local Food Celebration with the Center For Rural Culture, The Sierra Club, Partnership For Smarter GrowthCapital Region Land Conservancy and Richmond Green Drinks at Thomas Jefferson's boyhood home, Tuckahoe Plantation.

I encourage you to check out all of the aforementioned organizations... they do great things for local environmental, cultural, and land preservation as well as promoting smart growth.

Bluetick Holliday graciously provided bluegrass for the event, check 'em out, below!

Bluetick Holliday : Hire 'em! 804-400-2333

Oh, but you thought this was gonna be a prefab passive solar off grid systems post, didn'tja?

FINE. I'll toss ya a bone.
(Get it? My child throwing a dog a bone in the pic while at the Local Foods Celebration?
See, get it? Okkkkkk-never-mind... )

We placed our order for some of our off grid solar systems for the prefab house kit last week.
(Wow, that was SO FAST!!!! ; ) #JokeToAnyoneWhomHasFollowedThisProject - the house kit went up in a week, the systems, er, not so quickly... )

Here's what we ordered:

Solar systems: Note: this is a gentle, minimal solar system to get us through the coming years as we expect off grid technology to advance for the prefab, as well as that we embrace changing our energy expectations of usage to be less, challenging ourselves to do more, thinking strategically about power usage vs. having mass systems.

Handsome Husband would like to mention that the service and information he experienced at Backwoods Solar was stellar.
I steer people towards companies that can satisfy *anywhere* on the GMK web site, convenience with a large reach is important. But I also always encourage house kit purchasers to explore their local system vendors / solutions as well. In the end, Backwoods Solar's attention to detail and hanging in for the long-haul really created the relationship with Handsome Husband while I stepped back, letting him be the consumer-making-decisions on our own prefab green house kit... So if you're in that region you might consider them for a quote. Handsome Husband really likes them.

Fantech HRV: Read more here.

More on the Envirolet Composting Toilet Information / Regulations: 
  • We bought an Envirolet waterless, self-contained unit.
  • When I kept pressing about septic fields, and why I thought they would be inefficient when used for a prefab house where black and gray water are separated, much less a composting toilet, this is what I learned: 
  • The drain pipe for the non electric composting toilet is actually “just a run off pipe” and this is what people do with it:
  • See what your own state says:
    State of Virginia, Office of Environmental Health Services, Main Street Station, Suite 117, PO Box 2448, Richmond, VA 23218-2448; Ph. (804) 225-4030;;

    REGULATION(S): 12 VAC 5-610-980. COMPOSTING TOILETS: Article 6. 12 VAC 5-610-970. 3. Composting toilets are devices which incorporate an incline plane, baffles, or other suitable devices onto which human excreta is deposited for the purpose of allowing aerobic decomposition of the excreta. The decomposing material is allowed to accumulate to form a humus type material. These units serve as both toilet and disposal devices. Composting toilets are located interior to a dwelling. All materials removed from a composting privy shall be buried. Compost material shall not be placed in vegetable gardens or on the ground surface. All composting toilets must be certified by the National Sanitation Foundation as meeting the current Standard 41.

    GRAYWATER: No existing regulations.
    CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: 12VAC5-640-370. Constructed wetlands are considered experimental and will be considered on a case by case basis by the department. All constructed wetland systems shall be designed to meet or exceed 10 mg/l BOD5 and 10 mg/l suspended solids. Experimental systems are exactly that: experimental. Only the results of testing will determine if they will become an approved method of treating wastewater. Some systems can solve site and soil problems that a conventional septic system cannot handle; however, no system can overcome all of the problems on some difficult sites.
    The Division is looking to find safe, sanitary and economical solutions for every site but some problems still lack a viable solution. In short, not every site "percs" and many, if not all, alternative technologies are more expensive than a conventional gravel system. The Department urges prospective buyers to get an approval letter or construction permit before buying property you wish to build on.154
You may have noticed we have not been able to go to the land, which is very strange for us...Between volunteering for Pirate 2.0 Sailing Campand working out of town, it has been impossible. However, we have some special guests residing at the prefab house in our place; I look forward to sharing their thoughts on their experience in the off grid passive solar prefab house kit with you soon.

At the least, they report back happily that the blackberries growing thick on our dirt piles are ripening quickly and quite delicious.
Next up? New Yawk Invades. : ) So we take 'em sailing! #Pirates

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