Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Little Break

, We took a vacation to Whitefish, MT and Glacier National Park. We had a great time. It was beautiful the whole time we were there. Perfect for hiking, biking and just hanging out. The week before we got there, they had just gotten 3-4 feet of snow in Glacier. That made some of the hiking difficult and a lot of the park was still closed, but we found some great trails and saw some great sights.
Hiking in the snow to Avalanche Lake.
We found some trails without snow. And some snow the higher you went. That's Shawn looking
for the trail. We were on the Whitefish Ski Resort hiking trail
and wanted to get to get to the top. No such luck.
Back in Glacier. We wanted to see as much as we could. The Going-to-the-Sun road was closed to cars at Avalanche Lake. But, open to bikes. We took out the bikes and went up.Shawn made it a little higher up than I did. Near the pass, until the snow on the road made him turn around. It was beautiful.
It was a great relaxing vacation. Time to gear up and get back to work.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Living Green Expo

We participated in our first Expo the first weekend in May. We went to the Living Green Expo in St. Paul. This is the largest Green Expo in MN. It is the Expo's 12th year and it had a little over 250 exhibitors. Exhibitors came from all parts of the state. There was a little something for everyone from green architects, organic cleaners, re-used rain barrels, various environmental causes and gigantic sunflowers made from old trucks (bought one for my dad). It was a great experience to be part of such a great event. Shawn spent hours making the booth. The table was made from our timbers for the legs and one of our slabs hand cut by Shawn. The picture frames, benches and larger frame were all made from wood from the old barn. The glass for the pictures came from old windows that were left in the barn. My cousin, Linda was nice enough to paint our Green Gate sign for us. Which I must say, turned out exactly how we wanted it. Thank you Linda.
That's us having a super fun time. We met some great people, had some good conversations, saw some old friends, and had super people in the booths around us. All contributed to make the weekend very successful.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Solar Sundays- Part IV

Okay, my "Solar Sunday" idea didn't work out so well. Other more pressing projects got in the way, along with seminars, expos, holidays and a great vacation trip to Glacier. Once I got back on it, Spring had passed, the days were getting hot and we were already eating salad greens with dinner. I decided to add another dump loop to the solar system to avoid the risk of overheating the raised beds. For this, I dug 40 feet of trench, put down a loop of pex, and covered it with topsoil. Then I extended the main line to the first two of our four raised bed gardens. The dump loop and each of the raised bed loops have their own shutoff valve so I can direct the heat wherever it is needed.
On a steamy day with the temp in the high 80s, I finally charged the system with fluid and flipped the switch- the heat is pumping through the soil and everything seems to be working well so far!