Friday, December 26, 2008

Green wishes do come true

A couple of posts ago I mentioned that one of my goals was to build a coldframe.
Well, my farmer, Brian -- from the family that grows the food for the food co-op I belong to "Paige's produce"-- called a few days later to say he read the post and that he had a cold frame that was too small for the farm to use. I could have it if I wanted it. Someone had given it to him, and he would be happy to give it to me.

Sigh. Sometimes wishes do come true. I am so thankful for this opportunity.

Inspired by this new-found coldframe, I picked up the book "Four Season Harvest", by Eliot Coleman. It is fantastic. While I am not foolish enough to think I can grow enough food to feed my family even in winter, it did give me some ideas on how to make the most of the coldframe for seed starting and for growing cold-hardy veggies like spinach and carrots later into the season.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Energy project No. 1: Garage door insulation

All right. I am gearing up for my first energy-efficiency project for the new year. As I mentioned, we want to reduce our annual electricity consumption by 20 percent next year.

Now that the weather is cold, it's become clearer where our heating and cooling Achilles' heels are, and right now, it's the kitchen. Our kitchen is freezing, and it's obvious that the garage is the culprit. Our kitchen is separated from our very cold garage by one measly hollow-core door.

So, first we are going to insulate our garage door. Lowe's sells a kit by Owens Corning that will cost us about $65. The walls of our garage are actually pretty thick, so the garage door itself is likely the biggest culprit for heat transfer.

Second, we are going to replace the hollow-core door leading to the kitchen with a solid one. Cost? Not sure yet. We just started shopping.

I hope to have supplies in hand right after Christmas, and have these projects finished by early in the new year. Have to get those resolutions off to a good start, don't I?