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4/15/13

Passive Solar Prefab Home In Spring, Off Grid... Beautiful.

"I stuck my head out the window this morning and spring kissed me bang in the face"
~ Langston Hughes

via Twitter:
@GallaGirl44:
"@greenmodernkits I was driving w/ my face out the window and a butterfly smacked ME in the face! Lol! Kinda gross, but still spring-like!"
Ahhhhhh, SPRING.

It is SPRING at the off grid prefab house
Spring means every day is a 100% solar battery bank charged day.
Spring means I get 25 baby chicks out of the prefab and into the hoop house.

Spring means we continue to plant more strawberries, more raspberries, and check on the existing fruit trees, grape vines, and berry shrubs.
I added a bucket o' manure to fruiting trees...

Spring means I take 115 degree solar hot water showers.  
-IN THE MORNING.-
Spring means hunting morels...
Off to hunt morels!
No morels here... but isn't it beautiful?
...and spring turkey.

I have noticed that my off grid passive solar prefab house blog posts seem to be dominated by the weather. It's not just an off grid thing, it's a country thang. Every second of the day, every season, you are just so... aware of the changes, each hour, and a part of everything moving in the dark or soaring in the sun. When in New York or DC or even Richmond, it is not cause for remark unless it is a Major Weather Event.

I love being this aware of, and living accordingly, to each change in weather...

Spring means that back in Richmond, our community group, CHICKUNZ, convinced Richmond city council to finally legalize chickens. We might have escaped Richmond, but that doesn't mean I don't continue to help others fight for their sustainable food rights.
Here's an interview with Yours Truly, about livable cities and urban chickens.

Spring also means I make lots of "To Do" lists for the prefab house and farm. Here's what's on my agenda:
  • Put down more grass seed around the prefab house home site now that it is spring and we can actually grow something vs. when they excavated in November.
    HOWEVER, each time I sow seed, this is what happens:
    "Seed! Wheee! It must be for us!"
  • Finish covering the SIP (structural insulated panels) inside the prefab home. The electrician is *almost* done... and then we can begin to cover up the SIP along the ceiling, etc. (Any green OSB you see are the SIP panels, still not covered... you can see the ceiling SIP, here:)

  • Install a basic solar no-freeze submersible pump well.  This does two things- 1. it will water livestock 2. *while* providing a backup water source for our rainwater collection cistern if the summer is too long and dry. With a hose made for potable water, I could just run the hose downhill and into the cistern. The existing WISY rainwater treatment system will take care of the rest.
  • Continue amending the soil, and bush hogging to improve the pasture. 
  • Get ready for canning season by replacing worn parts on my vintage pressure cooker.
The drive, flanked by red buds. T'ain't half bad.
I'm enjoying every second of spring I can. 
No more cookstove, now lots of solar cooking.

Cool temperatures at night to open the windows to, then close, early morning, thus keeping the SIP house (along with its passive solar design) nice and cool...
Because before you know it... it will be the dog days o' summer...
And we'll be using old and new methods of keeping cool in the off grid passive solar prefab house.

"Siiiiigh... I'm a dog... and WHAT A DAY."
Reading Club:
  • Eating With Our Eyes Closed
    "Factory farms, like all homes and businesses, are already protected by law against trespassing. The so-called “ag-gag” laws now being considered by several states, including California, Illinois and Indiana, have nothing to do with protecting property. Their only purpose is to keep consumers in the dark, to make sure we know as little as possible about the grim details of factory farming. These bills are pushed by intensive lobbying from agribusiness corporations and animal production groups." 
  • Copenhagen's Ambitious Push To Be Carbon Neutral By 2025
    "Clearly, Copenhagen’s plans face significant challenges, especially since city planners expect Copenhagen to add more than 100,000 residents by 2025. But at stake is the notion that a growing, modern city with more than a half-million inhabitants can systematically wring carbon from its economy. The battle to slow climate change will be won or lost in cities, which are responsible for more than 70 percent of global CO2 emissions and two-thirds of worldwide energy consumption."
Homeschool
The 3rd grader struggled with the concept of fractions & decimals. Here's some videos that helped make the lightbulb go off.
She has about 10% more to do, because I spent longer on some of her skills so that she really *got the foundation*,  and yearly review, before taking her annual test at the end of the month.
The 4th grader has now finished 20% of 5th grade math. And is spending April reviewing and improving any scores below 90% in science and social studies. 

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2 Comments:

At 4/15/13, 2:10 PM , Blogger George said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4/15/13, 8:43 PM , Blogger George said...

The place looks beautiful and your fruit trees look as if they are coming along nicely. When they added the addition to my House and put in the underground propane tank 13 years ago, most of the area around the House was bear earth. I didn't have any chickens, but I did have plenty of birds chowing down on all the grass seed I put down. It wasn't until I went around and worked the seed in that I started to get a nice thick lawn growing.

 

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