Tuesday, December 21, 2010


In years past HUG employees have contributed to other non-profit organizations on behalf of Paul & Lynn during the holiday season. This year we took a slightly different approach.

Employees, past and present, were asked to donate their company logo'd apparel. Representing the Hunt's businesses (old and new), the donated items were converted into a very large, very cozy, memory quilt.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Harvest time

This is the first time that I have had to brush snow off of my
raspberries before eating them.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

How does your garden grow?

Paul can reach eight feet high, but he can't reach the sunflowers in the campus garden. Nearly everything is growing thick and rich this year.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Saturday brunch; Really local, Really fresh

It started with Dave asking if I wanted some of the shrooms growing out of his cardboard box Mushroom garden.

Dave cut a bunch of mushrooms for me.

Then we went out and collected fresh green onions.

Then I went to the hoop house for spinach.

All those fresh ingredients called for and omelet. So we went over to Ryan's house for some really fresh eggs.

I chopped and Ryan cooked.

It was really good!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Update on the chicken fortress

Now the roof is on.

It is a great place to hang the garden tools too.

Today the new baby chicks learning how to use their new home.

Makin' Mushrooms

Dave and friends are packing soggy straw into cardboard boxes. With each handful of wet straw, they sprinkle a handful of mushroom spores. When full, the boxes get stuffed into a closet for a month.

Then the boxes come out into the light and the fungus starts to grow fruiting bodies (edible and tasty).

After a month in the closet, the fungus ate through this box and is already starting to fruit.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Playing chicken

These little peepers are in their little playpen now. They still have to do a little growing up before they can play outside. Dave (the chick magnet) is keeping them in his house until they are ready for the fortress (see posting below).

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Chicken fortress

This is the start of the summer home for Dave's new chickens.
Last year he lost his birds to a fox. This year the accommodations are being built more like fort knox.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Robot Team Compettition Wrap up

Our team did very well for a first shot at this whole robot team. In the course of three exhausting days we had our ups and downs. On Thursday we missed our practices while trying to get our lifting arm working. Despite valiant efforts, we had scrap the arm idea. So Thursday ended up kinda down. Then on Friday we finally got out on the field and after dealing with slipping sprockets we did well. We played great defense with our bot and we flipped a few other robots. We ended up in 4th place by Friday evening and then got the Rookie Inspiration Award. Friday night we were floating on air! So we were scouting hard on Saturday just in case we had to pick teams for the finals. Then our last two matches ended up not going so well. On the last one we lost radio signal for some reason. We ended up in 17th p lace. (Still not bad for a first shot.) While we were still hoping to get into the final 24 teams for the final we ended up getting passed by. The finals were still fun to watch, though, and on another level we are very relieved to not have to worry about going to Atlanta this year.
Time to get a jump on next year!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Early spring

By the end of march frogs are already singing. Flowers popping up and
buds turning green. I hope it doesn't backfire on us.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Conservation Pyramid

MN Power's Conservation Pyramid is one of many tools I'm referencing as look at decreasing our carbon footprint. The residential pyramid focuses on energy conservation and starts with the basics of understanding energy efficiency and inexpensive improvements. The pyramid illustrates additional conservation measures that gradually increase in complexity and consumer investment.

At this point I'm focusing on the bottom two tiers of the pyramid. We had a home energy audit performed in October 2009. The audit results were somewhat surprising, areas I anticipated would be huge inefficiencies (i.e. our windows) weren't all that bad. Other areas that I hadn't even considered being an issue were showing up as problematic.

Here's a brief list of what needs to be done:
  • Caulking around windows and ceiling/floor trim
  • Replacing the bathroom fans with more efficient models and making sure they are vented correctly to the outside of the house
  • Venting the range hood outside
  • Adding insulation in the attic to achieve R-50 and sealing up the attic hatch
  • Insulate rim joists
I missed the boat on Project ReEnergize, a program that rolled out in fall 2009 which offered rebates for specific efficiency improvements performed by certified contractors. As a result we will likely be doing most of this work ourselves. Typically this translates into Scott doing the work, but since it is my idea I have a hunch he'll have plenty of grunt work for me to do.

On the up side there may be tax credits available for some of our projects.

So far we have purchased replacement fans for the bathrooms and ventilation tubing and I am going to attempt to coordinate caulking under the trim with the replacement of the kitchen floor. Now the big challenge will be finding the time to get this done.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Carbon Makeover

Our home was constructed in 1980 or thereabouts and has undergone some remodeling over the years, however the list of projects that I can create for my better half is endless. One of the main things I'd like to address with our home is weatherization (and of course there's the never ending list of cosmetic changes I'd like to do...eventually, but that's another story). On a similar note, a recurring theme that I have heard voiced has to do with weatherization and renewable energy options for those that don't qualify for assistance yet can't afford to pay for everything out of pocket. These were just a couple of factors that got me thinking about a "carbon makeover."

Although weatherization is a huge part of the project it is only one of several components. My goal is to look at several aspects of our home, living, and transportation habits; record what we are already doing; and make improvements that will lessen our carbon footprint. While doing all of this I also want to identify available resources that can assist me in accomplishing these goals.

The areas I'd like to address for our home and family:
  • Home Weatherization & Efficiency
  • Transportation
  • Food
  • Waste
  • Daily Living & Household Chores
Stay tuned for future updates on where we're at with our makeover.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Minnesota Winter Test

by Paul...

ARC08, Our new home just faced another first.
Mid day on January first we turned off the lights, turned off the heat, and headed for the cities.
The temperature January second reached 32 below zero.
January third woke up to 31 below.

After more than two days of bitter cold weather with no heat, the house temperature was still 66 degrees.

I like my ARC!

ps... I have to remind myself that it will get better. This is an unfinished ARC that has no solar panels and no air exchanger, so we still have some windows open.