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9/15/11

Prefab SIP House Work Continues, Certifications, And B Corporation

We head to the off grid prefab house this weekend!
We continue to work on finishing the interior of the structural insulated panels of the prefab modern house.


Note: Y'all do realize that cutting wood and hanging plywood all over the prefab home's SIP on the interior - the walls, those gorgeous-yet-high ceilings... to then paint it and hang wall paper... you DO realize that's going to take all winter and into spring, right? Anyone want to come visit and help? 

On a business note: At the huge Richmond Unite event, (You remember that event, right? Where I spoke about urban hens and had panic attacks in front of a huge convention hall full o' people including Sir Richard Branson and a bunch o' astronauts?) there was much discussion and presentations on B Corporations.

I also read an article in the UK's Guardian: Businesses should link environmental and financial impact, investors urge. The USA equivalent seems to be a B corporation.

From Wikipedia:
"A Benefit corporation, is a new class of corporation in several states of the United States, required by law to create general benefit for society as well as for shareholders. Benefit Corporations must create a material positive impact on society; consider how decisions affect employees, community and the environment; and publicly report their social and environmental performance using established third-party standards."
Just as we in green building talk about LEED and Passiv Haus certifications, I believe we should hold hand in hand with certifications on energy efficiency the certifications on how our business is done.

That's not to say I'll become a B Corporation - y'all know how *I* feel about paperwork!
I say let the data talk, and walk the walk! But I do understand the value in all these certifications. Learn more:




Any-hoo, regarding last weekend: We were sad to see our Kenyan family leave! It was a pretty raucous, unexpected, ended-way-too-soon 24 hours. Lots of hugging, baby kissing, generation mixin' (and with Kippy- long nights talkin'-and-beer-drinkin')...

All prior plans were nixed because any time Phyllis Keino breezes through is a rare gift you never take for granted. She doesn't get off the farm often, with all those children to chase!

And Kippy, well, Kippy is like my little brother so I do get to take him for granted and tease him. ; )

Best quote of the visit:
Phyllis, to Sister, reflectively and approvingly:
"Ah, four children! It's such a nice, easy number!"
Sister: "Um, YEAH, coming from the woman with ONE HUNDRED AND SEVEN!"


[Learn more about Phyllis and The Lewa Childrens Home, here: http://www.lewachildrenshome.info/]

On 9/11, we watched the coverage on tv in the morning, then brought the laptop into the kitchen, turned on BBC (the regular tv networks had quickly lost interest and resumed scheduled programming) and live streamed the coverage, until it was over, until every name had been read. While it streamed I shelled beans and made the first fall stew from summer's garden bounty.  The children would wander in, wander out, stop, look at the faces, the families reading names, wander off... they were curious- "What, they're STILL reading names?!?" and I felt they were absorbing whatever was appropriate, for their age, while living their day... but I know it sunk in. They had so many questions.

Watching the 9/11 commemoration with young children that are now old enough to begin to understand:
We instilled the history & grief of the facts, while emphasizing the strength & love that grew from this act of hate: So many feats of great love, great strength- deep bonds of love and community that were borne *BECAUSE* of that day.

Copeland's I Love You Stew
I gathered a bunch of things from the garden - lots of beans, lots of cherry tomatoes, some onion, a few spicy peppers, I sorted out some of the tiniest potatoes to give it more richness & depth (but not too many)... These potatoes are *delicious,* a deep buttery gold. I ordered these Yukon Golds from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange

From the garden: Slow cook tomatoes + different beans, some shelled, some not + onions + minced hottish peppers + the smallest potatoes dug. Added sliced local beef  + dollops of hot Indian chutney. You could replace the chutney with some home canned, diced pears or some jam + Amish hot-yet-sweet pepper relish... The key is that this is a *savory,* mainly vegetable stew with meat / broth with sweet *and* hot moments.  

This simmered in broth I had earlier frozen, in the crock pot, all afternoon. 
Finally I couldn't wait - it was so hot when I succumbed to a bowl that I burned my tongue when I ate it, but it smelled (and tasted) so good; it was worth it. ; )

This will go great, made on the cook stove in the passive solar, off grid, prefab house with fresh crusty bread made by Handsome Husband this winter...
Windows might be open now in the prefab house, but winter arrives soon!
Get ready for some cook stove cookin'!

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