How does your garden grow?

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Cauliflower in front surrounded by tomatoes plants.

I haven’t written anything about my garden project in a while.  This is part of my push for self-sufficiency and reducing my carbon footprint.  Why drive to the store and buy food that has traveled in a truck or train when you can grow it in the back yard?   Now, if I could only give up chocolate.  Unfortunately you can’t grow that anywhere in my neighborhood.

After weeks of rain, we now have the opposite — long, hot days.  I have to water every evening, carrying my two water cans back and forth to the standpipe to fill them, and then repeat.   I finally got a hose to attach to my existing one to reach the garden, and a spray attachment.  I promised to keep you informed about what was working and what was not.  Mostly, it has been successful, but there have been some challenges and some failures. Continue reading

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The Out of Towners in Florida

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Anyone who has seen the classic movie “The Out of Towners” knows that it’s about a couple from the mid-west who visit New York because the husband is there for a job interview.  During the visit a series of bad things happen to them.  This past week we traveled to Florida to visit Larry’s family.  I’m not saying that our visit was like that experienced by the poor couple portrayed in the 1970 movie by Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis, but we did have some issues at our hotel.  For the first time we  packed up our bags and walked out. Continue reading

Energy independence, stage two

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Stacks of solar panels waiting to be installed.

Two weeks ago we had solar panels installed on our south-facing roof.  This is the second stage in our journey towards energy independence.  Last fall we put in a geo-thermal system.  It lowered our electric bills and made our house feel more comfortable with even temperatures throughout.  Next, we replaced all the lightbulbs with energy efficient ones, lowering our utility bill even more.  And now the final chapter:  solar power. Continue reading