Saturday, August 18, 2007

Irish Cobbler Potatoes and the heat woes of Summer...


The Irish Cobbler Potatoes should be ready to harvest. Champ, if you want to call me and setup a time to come over with your pitch fork, or just drop it off, that would be great.

Megan: I still have frozen homemade marinara sauce for you. Maybe some tomatoes, plenty of cayenne and jalapeno peppers.

There are plenty of peppers for everyone, so feel free to stop by and just pick some, or come collect some that are in the house.

The heat has really hit the garden,
and I'm not sure if either of the cucumber plants, one of the eggplants, and quite a lot of the tomato plants will actually make it. The heat has been intense, and even though I've been watering at night, the heat is too much. We've also had ant problems with the back melon patch. Fortunately, we should have plenty of butternut squash, and if any would like, I could post a very simple butternut squash lasagna recipe that is delicious and filling. The corn seem to be hanging on, and ~ dozen husks are visible. On a bright note, the sun flowers seem to be basking up the sun.

After the garden has stopped producing this year, I'd like to have a workday to try to flatten and better irrigate an area of the yard for next year's garden. This could possibly involve a trip to the dairy farm to apprehend some poo. Trust me, its great fun at 8 o'clock on a saturday morning.

Anyways, I hope everyone is doing well as they get back into town. Stop by and say hi if you haven't in a while :-)

~Sir Knabe

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Energy Efficient Renting


Top 10 Tips for Renters : ENERGY STAR  Annotated




  • My question is, why don´t we as renters have rights to request greater energy efficiency from our landlords? Especially for students in Manhattan, KS, of whom a large number rent old, outdated homes that have had little or no repairs in 30 years. I have been following each of these tips at least to the extent they recommend, if not more so, and I still pay out the ass in utilities. At what point do we, as a society, deem energy inefficiency to violate safety and thus to be against code? Could there be government subsidies allocated for this purpose? Especially since those worse off economically are going to be stuck in the least energy efficient homes, thus furthering their financial burden. Wes Jackson once outlined that efficiency actually increases usage. By this account, it is easy to see why. Those who have, get more efficient, so they can have more.  - post by kjc6688



Top 10 Tips for Renters!



Lighting is one of the easiest places to start saving energy. Replacing your five most frequently used light fixtures or the bulbs in them with ENERGY STAR qualified lights can save more than $60 a year in energy costs. ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) provide high-quality light output, use less energy, and last 6–10 times longer than standard incandescent light bulbs, saving money on energy bills and replacement costs.

Considering purchasing a room air conditioner? Consider an ENERGY STAR qualified model. They use at least 10 percent less energy than standard models.

If possible, install a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust your home's temperature settings when you're away or sleeping.


  • Consumer electronics play an increasingly larger role in your home's energy consumption, accounting for 15 percent of household electricity use. Many consumer electronics products use energy even when switched off. Electronics equipment that has earned the ENERGY STAR helps save energy when off, while maintaining features like clock displays, channel settings, and remote-control functions.


  • A ten minute shower can use less water than a full bath.

    Make sure all air registers are clear of furniture so that air can circulate freely. If your home has radiators, place heat-resistant reflectors between radiators and walls. In the winter, this will help heat the room instead of the wall.


  • During cold weather, take advantage of the sun's warmth by keeping drapes open during daylight hours. To keep out the heat of the summer sun, close window shades and drapes in warm weather.



  • Save water by scraping dishes instead of rinsing them before loading in the dishwasher. Run your dishwasher with a full load and use the air-dry option if available.


  • Wash your laundry with cold water whenever possible. To save water, try to wash full loads or, if you must wash a partial load, reduce the level of water appropriately.

    Don't over dry your clothes. If your dryer has a moisture sensor that will automatically turn the machine off when clothes are done, use it to avoid over drying. Remember to clean the lint trap before every load. Dry full loads, or reduce drying time for partial loads.

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