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7/29/13

Off Grid Prefab House And Air Conditioning, And Bay Breezes Call.

At our off grid prefab house (AND while visiting The In-Town Ramshackle on the Chesapeake Bay), it has been UNSEASONABLY pleasant... cool even, at night...


As I mentioned, in the off grid modern prefab home, I open windows at night, and close up the house in the morning. It works. But once the weather is hot, hot, hot...
One friend asked, "Couldn't you get ANY air conditioning at the modern prefab home?"

It got me thinking. Yes there are all different approaches man has used to cool a house. Evaporative air conditioning / swamp coolers are not efficient when your water use is limited, as we are, with only an 1,800 gallon cistern.

From TreeHugger:
"One of the downsides of using an evaporative cooling system is that it uses water. About 4 gallons per hour for the 6 tons system, or 96 gallons a day."

And in Virginia, unlike dry areas where evaporative air conditioning is popular, we have enough humidity already, honeychiles.

From Enviromental Health Perspectives, on Cooling Concepts: Alternatives to Air Conditioning for a Warm World:
At least this old 150 year old farm house has passive
solar window placement... but no insulation to,
once cool, keep it so!
Embrace the bay breeze. Bring it.

"In addition to placing strains on nations’ power grids, air conditioners pose threats to the environment and environmental health, primarily as contributors to global warming. 'The amount of electricity that’s used for air conditioning is a huge part of an energy load for most countries, and it’s going up,' says Durwood Zaelke, president of the nonprofit Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development. 'You’re putting out more climate pollutants as you’re burning more coal or gas to run the air conditioners, and you’re also putting out the greenhouse gases that serve as the refrigerants in the equipment.'

According to Cox, approximately 80% of the impact of air conditioning on climate results from the draw on fossil fuel–fired power plants. The remaining 20% comes from the units’ refrigerants, the liquid agents within the coils that are used to cool and dehumidify the air."

BUT. For quick, affordable, and temporary conditioning in a small footprint home, used only during heat waves, or when you have visiting guests that just can't adjust to summer's heat, a window unit might be best. An affordable DC air conditioner, even better, but I haven't found one comparable in price, yet.

What if you opened up the windows at night as usual, then used an energy efficient small window unit to *boost* the coolness to a level the SIP house could carry on, throughout the day, before opening the windows late afternoon to embrace the now-cooling breeze?

Here's five energy efficient air conditioners recommended by Tree Hugger.

This article could have been written by my Handsome Husband, whose North German self complains about not being able to sleep on hot southern nights...

Regardless, it is summer.
Grape vine, crepe myrtle, entwined.

We travel back and forth from the off grid modern prefab home to the In-Town Ramshackle at will, eating whatever ripens in our path.

Last year, there were distinct berry, fig, tomato, corn seasons...
This year, with all the rain, everything is confused. Blackberries in late July?!? Yes. Grapes in July and not the end of August? Yes. First crop of figs not ripe yet? Yep. What the heck. makes canning and freezing this year interesting, that's all I can say. 

Here's recipes I made this week to freshen and cool the menu:
Number 25 Chicken Salad
We ate the 25th of our 25 butchered birds. 24 more to go. This I made on Day 2, with the leftovers.
  • Shred the rest of the meat off, with fingers, from a cooked chicken.
  • Yes cut the skin up fine and add that, as well as whatever gelled juice is in the pan. 
  • Mince *very fine* fresh rosemary, enough to be present but not overwhelm the amount of chicken you have.
  • Spritz all over with lemon juice, begin to stir so the lemon does not saturate just one area.
  • Add enough homemade or *DUKE's* mayo, just enough to bind it all, but not be mayonnaise-y
  • Sprinkle with good sea salt, ground pepper, stir up more, then put into the fridge.
  • Serve the next day
Melodrama Melon Salad (Served when relatives or dramatic friends visit)
  • Cube really ripe delicious and dripping cantelope
  • Add in cubes (small, all, you don't want to choke any kids, yo!) of ripe fresh pineapple
  • And bananas, sliced and halved
  • And sliced grapes / kiwi / starfruit / berries whatever looks good! The key is RIPE and FRESH.
  • Over it all pour one can of coconut milk, not the thin or sugary kind. 
  • Stir, serve, watch them eat it up. 
In Deltaville, where the "city house," the 150 year old farm house sitting fifty feet from Main Street rests, we had family visit.




And a stray pig...
I always keep leashes in the car for stray dogs...
Didn't expect to corral a stray pig!
Love the city life of DVL...!

Reading Club:
  • Scientists discover what's killing the bees and it surprises me not
  • What if Google bought Detroit?
    This actually got quite a backlash from a friend, who commented (and had a point):
    "In summation, a for profit corporation should PURCHASE a city, replace its democratically elected goverment ( no matter how inept it may be), then use their ownership as a bully pulpit to test out their new gear and theories on the population and anyone that would do business in Google-troit?

    Congratulations Brandon, you've come up with the dumbest idea since those Jackass guys tried to poop while they ran.
    ...
    Paraphrasing, but Churchill said something to the effect of 'democracy is the worst form of government there is, aside from all the other forms that have been tried from time to time' "
  • More Secret Brooklyn Rooftop Camping Planned For August:   Were you intrigued when you saw the photographs of... dlvr.it/3jmnvH
  • Find out how much your region is investing in green energy: wef.ch/c2aMn 
  • "My name is America, and I'm a dataholic." goo.gl/BkWWoD @evgenymorozov on the "information apocalypse"
  • Even the best laws will not lead to a safer internet. We need a sharper picture of the information apocalypse that awaits us... 
  • How effectively are corporations protecting themselves against hackers? wef.ch/j2dFS
 


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