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A Solid First Week

Posted by kevinwolz on May 22, 2010

First week down, and I’ve already crossed off/started a bunch of things on my list. I’ve definitely been busy. Here’s a rapid-fire update:

· The Eat Local Diet was a bit rough at the beginning with not much variety. Since then, I’ve gone to two farmers markets and discovered yet another sustainably minded store that sells some locally produced goods. Now, I’m eatin’ good from the neighborhood.

· I’ve worked quite a bit on an awesome alternative energy project: the Methane Midden. It may not be quite as technologically savvy as the anaerobic digesters I’ve seen at school, but the concept is ingenious and definitely puts them to shame. The Jean Pain method of composting has the potential to produce all of one’s yearly energy needs, from hot water and hot air, to gas for cooking and driving! And it’s already over 100 degrees!

· I now finally understand the inner workings of a biomass gasifier! Working with the Community Supported Energy team (a group of local activists from a wide range of professions with the common goal to get off oil and produce local, sustainable energy). I was able to explore all the details of gasifier chemistry, physics, and processes. Maybe soon I’ll be able to go on the Use Local Energy diet as well…

· Out on the farm, I worked hard to prevent any serious farmer’s tans. More importantly, though, I used the monster tiller to prepare sweet potato beds, I learned how to use (several kinds of ) hoe and weed a few hundred row-feet of potato beds (a seemingly simple, yet unexpectedly tricky and important lifetime skill), I planted onion sets, I harvested and washed lettuce and spinach, I dug up garlic and collected perennial herbs, I toured the prolific farm prairie, and I had lots of great conversations.

· At home, I finished the native landscaping and planted a bunch more of my garden. Thanks to Growing Power’s supply of red wigglers, I also started my own worm bin!

· I started triathlon training (okay…I biked like twenty miles).

· At this week’s farmers market, I switched roles: I was the seller, not the customer! With several of my farmer friends preoccupied elsewhere, I offered to man their table for the week. Gotta keep the good food a comin’! It was a very different market experience for me, and I feel that I got a LOT out of it. Getting just a fraction of that real “producer experience” was very eye opening. After harvesting everything for the market, I washed, sorted, bagged, and put my charm to good use. Those old ladies folded every time…


6 Responses to “A Solid First Week”

  1. It sounds like your summer is off to a great start!

  2. Joan said

    So the old ladies love you! The Farmer’s Market won’t let you go back to school!
    20 miles on a bike sounds like a good start! When and where will the triatholon take place?

  3. Mom said

    I enjoyed working the Farmer’s Market table with you! We made a good team!

  4. grace said

    I am looking forward to seeing your organic garden and now the worm farm, grace. I will be up in wisconsin a weekend in June!

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