Also the driveway is nicely shaped.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
The house that we started on campus in 2008 is called ARC08.
We intended to name ARCs by the year they were started, but now we are starting several per year. Then we noticed that almost any letters you put in front of ARC forms a word.
ARC 09 is on campus and is Small and Practical, so we call it the SPARC.
Newbolds are building their NARC just off campus.
Dug's new cabin tends to be called the DARC.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
ARC 08 was built with just a temporary kitchen at first. We had to get a feel for the place before we could design the real thing. This week it is coming together. Stay tuned for the outcome.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Perhaps not so dramatic an entrance but none-the-less I have finally arrived! If you don’t know who I am or what I am doing here, wait no further as I explain. I recently became a member of the environmentally focused Americorps program called Minnesota GreenCorps. The GreenCorps program was created by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency as an opportunity to reach out to communities wanting support in achieving various green initiatives and to help aspiring environmental professionals gain valuable experience.
I come to the Pine River Area to serve as a Local Foods Specialist. I attained this position due to both interest and experience in local foods and planning execution. I am excited to utilize my current skills and learn new ones as my year here progresses.
I am originally from Red Wing and the small town of Bellechester both in southeastern Minnesota. I attended the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, MN where I graduated as Natural Science major.
I am here to help the Healthy Green Communities Partnership and the community as whole carry out two specific food goals, creating a community garden and establishing a food co-op. I'll also be helping to strengthen the Pine River Market Square (the local growers' and crafters' market). I look forward to meeting and working with you on these exciting projects. Until then, feel free to contact me at email@example.com with any questions or comments.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
If you are ever going to crash a party because of its good food, this is the one to choose; a pot luck in a group of local organic food producers.
Monday, October 5, 2009
So far, there is still no furnace, no solar panels, no other way to heat the house. This past week has been cold, cloudy, rainy and has averaged about 40 degrees F. Even though we have pretty efficient fluorescent lights, we found out we can keep the whole house at 70 degrees just by leaving the lights on about 12 hours per day.
I think I am going to love having a super insulated house.
Sign up to get yours today!
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
We are finally to the point of building the solar panels for the ARC. The trick is to make them so they look like they belong on the building. In our case, that means making panels. Of slightly different widths so they come out roughly even around and between windows.
Wayne has done several detailed drawings, but it's always a bit different when you really try it out. So we built this wall mockup to prove out the idea.
Here we see a shot of the "Table Saw of Death" that has 3 blades and can process the 6 foot by 19 foot sheets of the twin wall into more manageable pieces. In this case, we needed several different sizes and widths, so this saw is just for the rough cuts.
Wayne is stacking the rough cut pieces before he trims them to size for assembly.
Meanwhile, Marlin is making the mounting rails that will frame the panels.
Tune in next time to see them going on the wall of the ARC.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
This group of teachers from the Brainerd school district came here to Happy Dancing Turtle. They spent most of the day getting an intense tour, and brainstorming on ways to help kids learn about ecological living and how to remove activation barriers to actually do it.
It was fun to give tours to these folks because they asked lots of very good questions.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Campers paused for an even shorter moment for this picture next to the giant trash piles. It was quite the sensory experience.
This morning the Eco Campers went on a garden scavenger hunt. Each camper received a clue and a picture which they had to find in the garden. Many hands were needed to harvest the potatoes - when they were done collecting vegetables they made stone soup, garlic-mashed potatoes and baked french fries. YUM!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Dave is making pesto from garden basil and garlic.
Ellen is cutting vegetables for the marvelous stir fry that they presented to anyone lucky enough to be around for lunch.
I am getting more excited about the third part of our mantra regarding what houses should do...
1) Heat and cool themselves
2) Recycle all water and nutrients
3) Feed the occupants
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
This is the main sign near the road.
Complementary smaller signs like this show who is where on campus.
Now that we have a new kitchen, some of Barb's dreams are turning real. For a long time she has been working toward the idea of a kitchen garden and picnic area just west of Old Main. The spiral garden and little bridge are two elements of her dream.