Sunday, March 31, 2013

Atmospheric CO2

As mentioned in this morning's post about the documentary SWITCH, the film does not account for accelerating levels of atmospheric CO2. The predictions of switching over to combinations of renewable, nuclear and conventional fuel sources is not presented with a CO2 analysis - will it change the graph below? In which direction?

When I see papers written by researchers from the organizations listed below it is hard for me to see a conspiracy in the works. Further research may suggest other interpretations and that can be considered when available. In the mean time this seems like an appropriate filter for discussions about the future/impact of fuel and energy sources.
Here is a link to the following abstract of a paper cited by

Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim?

James Hansen* 1,2, Makiko Sato 1,2, Pushker Kharecha 1,2, David Beerling 3, Robert Berner 4, Valerie Masson-Delmotte 5, Mark Pagani 4, Maureen Raymo 6, Dana L. Royer 7 and James C. Zachos 8
1 NASA/Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, NY 10025, USA
2 Columbia University Earth Institute, New York, NY 10027, USA
3 Dept. Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK
4 Dept. Geology and Geophysics, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8109, USA
5 Lab. Des Sciences du Climat et l’Environnement/Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, CEA-CNRS-Universite de
Versailles Saint-Quentin en Yvelines, CE Saclay, 91191, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
6 Dept. Earth Sciences, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA
7 Dept. Earth and Environmental Sciences, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT 06459-0139, USA
8 Earth & Planetary Sciences Dept., University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA

Paleoclimate data show that climate sensitivity is ~3°C for doubled CO2, including only 
fast feedback processes. Equilibrium sensitivity, including slower surface albedo feedbacks, is 
~6°C for doubled CO2 for the range of climate states between glacial conditions and ice-free 
Antarctica. Decreasing CO2 was the main cause of a cooling trend that began 50 million years ago, 
the planet being nearly ice-free until CO2 fell to 450 ± 100 ppm; barring prompt policy changes, 
that critical level will be passed, in the opposite direction, within decades. If humanity wishes to 
preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is 
adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be 
reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm, but likely less than that. The largest 
uncertainty in the target arises from possible changes of non-CO2 forcings. An initial 350 ppm 
CO2 target may be achievable by phasing out coal use except where CO2 is captured and adopting 
agricultural and forestry practices that sequester carbon. If the present overshoot of this target CO2
is not brief, there is a possibility of seeding irreversible catastrophic effects. 

SWITCH: An Agenda Free Energy Documentary

Last night I screened SWITCH in anticipation of a small talk I'll give at Principia College next month. A geologist gives an overview of energy forms, production, cost, environmental impact in an effort to describe how a likely shift, or switch, in our primary sources of energy will take place. It is energy 101 stuff, but reasonably informative.

The one thing it doesn't address or factor in is an accounting of the impact of the described transition on climate change. How long will the switch over take? What will the CO2 counts be in the process? What is the likely effect on weather patterns? I guess we'll take this one step at a time?

Here is the trailer for the film:

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Social Practice Art, St. Louis and the NY Times

There is a piece in the New York Times that brings St. Louis to the fore of 'Social Practice Art.' Here is a quote from the piece that explains its make-up:
Known primarily as social practice, its practitioners freely blur the lines among object making, performance, political activism, community organizing, environmentalism and investigative journalism, creating a deeply participatory art that often flourishes outside the gallery and museum system. And in so doing, they push an old question — “Why is it art?” — as close to the breaking point as contemporary art ever has.

Regina Martinez for The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts
A town-hall meeting on racial and economic issues at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in St. Louis.

Here is another quote about The Pulitzer's role:
At the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, a private institution founded by the collector and philanthropist Emily Rauh Pulitzer that opened in St. Louis in 2001, the staff for many years included two full-time social workers who helped former prison inmates and homeless veterans as part of the curatorial program. And in December the foundation, responding to a 2012 BBC report about racial and economic disparities in St. Louis, held a town-hall meeting on the issue. The goal was to open a dialogue with people who live near the institution, which sits near a stark north-south divide between mostly white and African-American neighborhoods.
“We hoped maybe 100 people would show up, and more than 350 did,” said Kristina Van Dyke, the foundation’s director, who collaborated with the Missouri History Museum in organizing the event. As the foundation approached its 10th anniversary, she said, “we wanted to start envisioning art more broadly, as a place where ideas can happen and action might be able to take place.”
“The question became: Could we effect social change through art, plain and simple?” she said, adding that the foundation is now exploring ways to orient its programming toward design projects that would help the poor, for example. “To me art is elastic. It can respond to many different demands made on it. At the same time I have to say that I don’t believe all institutions have to do these kinds of things, or should.”

There are artists and other groups working along these lines in St. Louis, often collaborating in ways that will unite more than one circle of concern for a project.  Theaster Gates and his Rebuild Foundation have been a part of this in Hyde Park and Pagedale here. The St. Louis Artists' Guild held an exhibit (that included a piece from me) on Sustainability and the Built Environment that united artists, architects and the green building crowd in 2011.

This is not something that is met with universal acceptance by any means. Check out this manifesto, of sorts, and the reader comments from this blog hosted by Portland State University


Canadian artist and art and social practice educator, Justin Langlois offers a list of critique questions for artists developing socially engaged work.  This post is included as part of a series of practical tools for artists making socially engaged work:  

  1. Did your artwork involve other people?
  2. Are you uncomfortable with calling your artwork an artwork?
  3. Would you rather discuss this as a project?
  4. Did you refer to the other people involved as a community?
  5. Have you tried to explain at length the ways in which you are defining the terms 'involved' and 'other people' and 'community'?
  6. Are you painfully aware that there are unavoidable power imbalances at play in this project?
  7. Did you document the results or process of this project using a digital SLR, a camera phone, or Instagram?
  8. Are there obvious formal possibilities for exhibiting this documentation?
  9. Did you wonder if it would it be inappropriate to sell this documentation?
  10. Are there power struggles immediately evident when viewing the documentation?
  11. Have you considered trying to present this work as a book, documentary, or play?
  12. How much pressure did you feel to defend the work as tackling political change?
  13. Did you assume that your project needed to continue indefinitely towards achieving some political end in order for it to be successful?
  14. Were you asked about success, measurable outcomes, attendance levels, or evidence of change?
  15. Did you expect there to be answers to those questions?
  16. Did your research for this project lead you to briefly attend a series of parallel community meetings at which you felt the need to excuse a comment or thought as coming from the perspective of an artist?
  17. Did your project dissolve after a public presentation / workshop / town hall meeting / charette / or screening?
  18. Did you feel an unresolved guilt around its dissolution?
  19. Can you work be critiqued by a painter?
  20. Did you feel belittled when approached by a visual artist, theoretician, or architect?
  21. Have there been discussions of 'radical' theory offered from a great distance to the work?
  22. If your project was a math equation, did the sum always end up as a critique of capitalism?
  23. Is your project illegible enough to likely never be printed in Art Forum or your local newspaper?
  24. Can you imagine yourself being awarded a large-scale prize some years after the launch of your project that you didn't necessarily locate as an art project in the first place?
  25. Could your work easily be mistaken for a project found in surveys of Fluxus, Conceptual Art, or Dada?
  26. Did this project align itself to a set of political goals that have already been articulated?
  27. Is there form evident in the project that would allow it to most easily fit into an identified granting opportunity?
  28. Could your project be mistaken for a restaurant, social service, after-school program, or a guerrilla marketing campaign?
  29. Could your role in the project being defined as that of a facilitator, organizer, or teacher?
  30. Were you asked to explain the reason you think your project is art?


I find these questions circuitous and perhaps misleading, bordering on disingenuous. The very fact that this one person thinks it necessary to teach social art by presenting single-minded analytic criteria indicates to me that the rigidity of the person asking the questions counters the spontaneity and original communal effort in any project that is truly collaborative and whose questions need to be decided and agreed on by those who are collaborating. A process I would use is to focus on developing a common set of values among participants who also happen to be those who pay (or not) but come to witness something they are attracted to. Surely the debate about public life of art is part of the process and, in my opinion, should include a broader community. Emphasis is on the concept "community" which is not a substitute for words such as witness or audience, or consumer. In my opinion, any art that is concerned with social justice has to start with the unwavering belief that all humans are part of the process, and that it's necessary to engage all humans in the process.
March 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterstephan geras
What used to be called Philanthropy, or Social Activism, which always had a large creative input, with journals and performances, costumes, depictions, buildings, and manifestos, and was practiced by regular people, even poor people, not just the rich - is now being called Social Practice Art by people with MFAs. I feel this is Special Snowflakism. Trying to say "Look At Me!" while I help poor people. I don't question whether it's art or not. For me the question, as it is for all aesthetic hybridizations: "Something" + "Art" - is it good "Something"? is it good "Art"? because the mediocre stuff isn't cherished or protected, it doesn't last, and when our civilization leaves only the ephemeral behind, then who we are won't be understood or appreciated or criticized. We won't be regarded. And we should be regarded - if only for what sort of people help or destroy the earth and other people.
March 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterScott Bodenheimer
Did you ever consider that a monotonous focus on "social justice" might limit your art?
Do you think that you are being brave, "transgressive", and radical with your art?
Do you understand that mindlessly parroting the beliefs of your peers, teachers, advisers, and the entire art "community" is in fact neither brave, transgressive, or radical?
Do you think that there is stodgy bourgeois that must be shocked out of their complacency, and you are just the artist to do it?
Do you think you deserve a government grant?
Do you think that people who object to paying for art they don't like are philistines?
What if they called themselves a "community"?
March 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteve links to a funded artist's residency in Windsor, Ontario for 'socially-engaged' work.

Though it might not state it overtly this is, essentially, what the St. Louis Sustainable Land Lab Competition is about as well.

At the end of it all I come back to some of my basic questions for any kind of project involvement: What is the goal/product for the end user? Does it serve the people intended to be served by the project? If it only serves the artist it becomes a PR/profit center - the same way retail architecture is can never rise to the level of art - because it does not serve the end user but the retailer whose primary objective is to get you to open your wallet.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Missouri Energy Efficiency Business Association

Today I attended the 1st Annual Meeting of the Missouri Energy Efficiency Business Association (MOEEBA). The agenda included presentations from Historic Green and the Clinton Foundation that contained some great ideas about service/social agenda projects and financing that energy efficiency in within reach of a larger portion of the population. Check out the MOEEBA website and see if it's for you.

Benefits of Membership from the MOEEBA web site:


  • Networking with Industry Professionals - MOEEBA members have countless networking opportunities with fellow industry professionals. Members exchange information on best practices, trade secrets, and tips for dealing better with clients.

    Legislative Advocacy

  • Legislative Updates - Members receive regular updates throughout the legislative session on issues important to the energy efficiency industry.

  • State Legislative Monitoring/Advocacy for Strong Energy Efficiency Policies - On an ongoing basis, MOEEBA educates our membership, elected officials, and the general public on changing energy efficiency policies. MOEEBA also provides other advocacy services for the industry during the legislative session.

    Professional Development

  • Annual Conference - Members receive discounted rates at the MOEEBA Annual Conference held in March, which provides attendees with information, opportunities to network with other industry professionals, and access to vendors providing goods and services to energy efficiency businesses.

  • Discounts on Workshops/Training - In addition to the annual conference, a wide variety of educational offerings are presented by MOEEBA at discounted rates for members, including: teleconference workshops, webinars and on-site presentations addressing timely issues.

  • Access to Special Presentations from Industry Leaders - MOEEBA members also receive insight from leaders within the industry through special presentations on a variety of energy efficiency subjects.


  • News and Social Media - Members stay informed on energy efficiency industry-related developments through MOEEBA's industry-focused e-news and e-mail updates.

  • Board Meeting Updates - The MOEEBA Board of Directors meets on a regular basis to discuss important issues affecting all energy efficiency businesses. Members receive detailed meeting information.

  • Member Company Updates - Members receive regular updates on their peers' accomplishments.


  • Website Recognition - Members receive a free business listing on the MOEEBA website, which includes your business name and logo.

  • Directory of Members - Members are included within an online directory on the MOEEBA website, which is marketed as a venue for potential customers and partners to learn more about the services your company offers.

    Other Benefits

  • RFP's/RFQ's Postings - As they are made available, RFP's/RFQ's of interest to Missouri's energy efficiency industry are listed in the members-only RFP/RFQ database available through the website.

  • Job Postings - As they are made available, job postings are listed in the members-only job database available through the website. 
  • Monday, March 25, 2013

    Snow Days...

    I can remember how happy we were to get some bamboo transplants from a neighbor many, many years ago. We had a little Japanese Garden that provided joy and peacefulness when I looked out the back window or sat on the deck. Neighbors often come by asking to harvest some bamboo to transplant into their own yards and we oblige with the caveat that they should look carefully at our yard (bamboo is a beautiful and sneaky foe) before making the big commitment.

    Fast forward to the present: Yesterday was about the 8th time I've been in the yard with loppers and a broom to shake the snow off the bent and burdened bamboo and cut what must be cut in order to release the weight from our urban, overhead power line.

    This takes about an hour of work and yields enough bamboo to build a bridge over the River Kwai. All the while I cash in what little good karma I have, hoping the line does not fall and terminate me on the spot.

    This spring I will find a way to ensure this does not happen again. That is all.

    Or is it? This morning, in the middle of our block:

    Be safe out there, driving, shoveling, with chain saws, etc.

    Saturday, March 23, 2013

    Update 3/25 - Does Anyone Have Access to this Equipment?

    Thanks for the help, what we need has been found and we're working out the details to have this be an important part of our project. Another win for social media - this went out to a few thousand via this blog, twitter and fb and we had the right answer within an hour.

    I am involved in a service project that is looking to partner with someone who has access to this equipment: DELTA Environmental Handheld XRF Analyzer. If you have a lead please find me on twitter: @rrconstructor - thanks in advance!

    It can be used for soil analysis in the field per this description from their website:
    The analysis of soil for contaminant metals is the most common environmental application of handheld X-ray fluorescence spectrometry. Simple screening for toxic metals is performed by placing the analyzer directly on the soil, in-situ. The DELTA provides ease in detecting metals for site characterization, contamination tracking, remediation monitoring, property evaluations, extreme-weather debris migration studies, construction and demolition waste sorting, industrial or mining community perimeter checks, agriculture soil inspections, and hazardous waste screening for disposal classification. Quantitative measurements of the metals are based on robust preprogrammed calibration methods that may be refined by the user.

    Here is a link to a previous post about our service project.

    Friday, March 22, 2013

    Social Media and a Good Cause

    I am by no means a social media guru, but every once in a while I can see the value of this medium to reach a targeted audience. Almost all my pursuits focus on the St. Louis area. Almost all my Facebook and Twitter connections are with people and organizations in the region. I do not have thousands of followers but these kinds of numbers exist in my 'network.' So if I write a blog post about a good cause, like yesterday's post on volunteer leadership opportunities with Habitat for Humanity and then share with a few accounts I'm associated with on Twitter and Facebook it is interesting to see what can happen.

    Here is an image of some of the tweets/re-tweets that made the rounds last night/today:

    I offer no great conclusions, but it does seem that these kinds of efforts can work. My twitter account has 950 followers. I counted up, a minute ago, the followers of those who re-tweeted the post or re-tweeted a re-tweet. That number is 5,460. I'm sure that in a world of professional media people this may not be much but I suggest that networks of non-profit supporters using social media to advance a worthy cause can have an impact and be of significant help getting the word out.

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

    Become a Habitat Construction Leader

    There are various volunteer leadership roles available on the build site with Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis. Do you have what it takes? It takes an interest in people, helping, gently leading and celebrating the accomplishments of all when the tasks are done for the day and the group gets to stand back and see a mission further down the road to fruition. After several months you will see a new home buyer get a set of keys after much hard work - it is a truly moving and joyous experience. It is what being a member of the community feels like, at its best.

    So please, check out the text below from Habitat's website and investigate if this could be the thing for you.


    Habitat does more than build homes and faith. It also builds leaders. Habitat provides hands-on training and mentorship for new leaders. You will develop new construction and leadership skills while at the same time enriching your community. You will have the opportunity to build a team and build a home from the ground up. Habitat is looking for new leaders to share in this challenge!
    It's the job of Habitat House Leaders, Crew Leaders, Task Leaders, and Site Safety Observers to make sure that a volunteer's efforts are rewarded. Furthermore, Habitat leaders ensure that homes are built and volunteer efforts are well utilized. As the need for more Habitat homes grows, so does the need for more Habitat leaders.
    We know that often people don't volunteer simply because they have not been asked. On behalf of the thousands of people needing homes in St. Louis, please ask your friends to consider becoming a Habitat volunteer construction leader. We need volunteers and leaders so that "one house at a time we can change lives forever." As Jim Kennedy - a long-time Habitat house leader - says, "Go ahead and make the call. We'll teach you what you need to know, as long as you are willing to help others."
    On behalf of Habitat Saint Louis and all of our wonderful partners, we want to give a special thank you to all of our volunteer construction leaders. You make our mission possible.
    How could we build houses without someone who knows what to do? We can't! We are looking for Construction Leaders. If you read the description below and say "I could do that", please see the "Next Steps to Leadership"!
    To join one (or both!) of our construction leadership committees (safety and leading edge), check out our Committees page.

    Habitat Volunteer Construction Leadership Roles

    The House Leader partners with the HFHSL Project Manager to direct and supervise the Crew Leaders, Task Leaders, Site Safety Observers, and volunteers. It is possible for two to three qualified people to share this responsibility throughout the duration of the build. The House Leader should have the experience required to guide the Crew Leaders/Task Leaders through most aspects of residential home construction. This person should also have experience in reading construction documents, developing a work plan for a crew, laying out specific material placement, and accurately explaining the layout to Crew and Task Leaders and volunteer groups. The House Leader also serves as a liaison between Habitat for Humanity and the sponsor group by insuring Habitat equipment is returned and by attending House Leader meetings, training sessions, and other relevant activities. House Leaders are needed Fridays and Saturdays during blitz weekends and Saturdays throughout our entire build.
    The Crew Leader's principal function is to coach the volunteers to produce acceptable results in a safe manner. A Crew Leader can usually guide four to five unskilled or semi-skilled volunteers. Crew Leaders demonstrate tasks, maintain standards, monitor safety, and assure that the volunteers have enough meaningful work to have a satisfying experience. A Crew Leader should be a people person, possess some basic construction aptitude, enjoy leadership, and be able to learn tasks quickly and then demonstrate those tasks to others. Crew Leaders are needed Fridays and Saturdays during blitz weekends and Saturdays throughout our entire build.
    The Task Leader coaches volunteers to complete a specialized task at the worksite. A Task Leader for framing works only on framing days of the blitz week while a painting Task Leader works only on finishing Saturdays. The Task Leader could lead a team to execute a specific task during one or more blitz days or multiple Saturdays. Task Leaders are needed Fridays and Saturdays during blitz weekends and Saturdays throughout our entire build.
    The Site Safety Observer observes the work activities of the volunteers on the build site. This is a person who has become familiar with the HFHSL House Leader's Safety Manual. This person performs audits of the work site conditions and the condition of the tools and equipment that are being used. This person also provides safety coaching for the volunteers as needed. The Site Safety Observer discusses specific safety issues associated with the day's tasks with the House Leaders and Crew Leaders prior to the arrival of the volunteers at the work site and then with the volunteers prior to beginning the work. Site Safety Observers are needed Fridays and Saturdays during blitz weekends and Saturdays throughout our entire build.
    Download a Construction Leadership Brochure (1508KB pdf) today!

    Next Steps to Leadership

    Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis provides extensive training to all those seeking to become construction leaders. The first step in becoming a construction leader is to sign up for a field day. Crew leader trainees will participate in the morning leaderhip meeting and be paired with experienced house and crew leaders who will guide them through a day on site.
    Additionally, HHFSL will provide training throughout the year to all those seeking to become construction leaders.
    To find out more and to begin the process of becoming a leader, contact our volunteer services department or call 314-371-0400.
    What if I need community service for school or for the courts?
    Please visit the Community Service page for more information.

    Wednesday, March 20, 2013

    A Change is Gonna Come: Housing Demand

    A new piece in the New York Times points to a new trend in increased demand for housing and shrinking inventories. Here is a link to the piece. Below is a sidebar to the piece with some graphics. The vibe on the streets, here in St. Louis, seems encouraging, but not yet overwhelming.

    More than six years after the housing bubble burst, the industry is beginning to recover. With the available supply of homes down to levels not seen since 1999, prices have begun to rise and home builders are responding by planning to construct more homes than at any time in the last eight years. The trend is particularly pronounced in places like Sacramento, which was hit especially hard during the downturn. Related Article »
    JAN. 1.74 million
    year change
    Year-over-year change
    Year-over-year change
    + 50
    – 50
    National, monthly

    Sunday, March 17, 2013

    The Cost of Building Green/Active House USA

    The Active House in Webster Groves has received a great deal of press in recent weeks. It has been covered in the Post-Dispatch, Time Magazine and on local TV. An open house at the site drew 2,000 visitors! So there is definite interest and curiosity about what the home has to offer.

    photo by: Laurie Skrivan
    Still, there are many misconceptions about the cost of building a project like this. Skepticism is fine, if accompanied by an open mind willing to look at the performance metrics that will come out next year.

    The Time Magazine piece reads: "The Smiths’ home cost roughly $500,000 to build. That’s more than double the average listing price of homes for sale in the same area code, according to" Maybe the author meant zip code and not area code. Either way it is not specific enough to provide truly useful information. The owner would not get a loan if this project did not appraise on par with similar homes in the immediate surrounding area. It is not hard to find that there are plenty of homes near this one that cost as much or more - but they will have considerably higher utility bills.

    One of the concepts behind a 'green mortgage' is that a buyer can have a slightly more expensive house because his operating expenses will be less. The monthly expenditures will be the same or less in the green home if one accounts for a slightly higher construction cost and a lower operating cost. This is part of the big picture, long term, holistic thinking that needs to be a part of the decision making processes.

    Building a home with the principles that under-gird LEED, Active House, Passive House and other comprehensive green building standards is a guided way to insure energy efficiency, comfort, durability and environmental responsibility. The Active House in Webster is one example of how it can be done in context of neighborhood price parameters and architectural styles.

    Here is the video from the KSDK piece:

    Saturday, March 16, 2013

    The Book of Kells

    The Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland has made high resolution scans of The Book of Kells available, for free, online. Now this is the right way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. And I might add some lamb stew and a couple of pints of Arthur Guinness's finest.

    Monday, March 11, 2013

    The Farm at Kraut Run

    The Farm at Kraut Run and its proprietor, Chris Wimmer, are an integral part of our Sustainable Land Lab Competition team - The Sunflower+ Project: StL. We are integrating techniques he has mastered over 20 years of organic farming practice into our bioremediation project. Tomorrow we will meet with Chris at the farm to review best practices, labor budgets for planting and harvesting and other details.

    In the mean time check out their website in the link above as well as these images of the produce and practices of the farm, and finally, scroll down a bit more and get some great info on their CSA Subscription program.

    The Farm at Kraut Run markets its produce directly to customers through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscription program. Community Supported Agriculture consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farming operation where the growers and consumers share the risks and benefits of food production.  The members purchase a subscription at the beginning of the season which pays for the farms operating expenses, in turn, receiving a weekly share of the farms harvest. Community Supported Agriculture is not about cheap food, which is usually neither nourishing nor grown with care of the environment in mind.  CSA is about each of us being responsible for the food we eat, the farmers that grow it, and the community around us.
    2013 CSA
    • Our CSA program begins in the Spring (around the first week of May) and runs for 22 weeks.  Depending on conditions, the weeks may not be consecutive.  We are working to expand our growing season in order to provide quality produce all year.  We will likely offer an extension of our CSA program into the fall/winter of 2013.
    • Each weekly share contains a variety of 8-12 vegetables, fruits and herbs.  We grow, maintain, and harvest all the produce we provide.
    • In most cases, our produce is harvested, washed, and chilled within 24 hours prior to packing.  The produce is then packed in boxes and refrigerated on the scheduled pick up day.  You cannot find produce this fresh at the grocery store!
    • Our farm is managed using sustainable organic growing practices and most work is done by hand in order to minimize our ecological footprint.
    • We grow over 100 different varieties of vegetables primarily from heirloom seeds purchased from small, sustainable farm co-ops.
    • Click here for pricing and contract info

    Sunday, March 10, 2013

    More on Energy Use at Home

    I have previously written about blower doors, air sealing and home maintenance. These are tools and practices that will make your home more energy efficient and comfortable.When added to a full home energy assessment you can really make smart, informed choices about protecting your family and your real estate investment.

    The image below is of a combustion analyzer testing for carbon monoxide before dilution air in an atmospherically vented domestic water heater. In other words, it answers the question: is this typical gas water heater burning gas in a clean, safe, and efficient manner? This is part of a series of tests which take place during a typical home energy assessment geared towards insuring the safety of your home as it stands.

    There are also a variety of software programs used to model conditions and create reports and recommendations based on the assessor's inputs, the characteristics of the home and the results of various tests. Here is a screen shot from one such program.

    Google' home energy assessment' or 'home energy audit' and 'St. Louis' to get in touch with some locals in the business.