Sunday, February 22, 2009

Firewood economics follow-up:

It was October 12th when we were getting ready to burn our first woodstove fire and we contemplated home heating economics with this much commented post. Well, now we are a little over 4 months into winter, hopefully nearing the end of it. We are very nearly out of wood. We have maybe 2-3 weekends worth left, but it is mostly the oddly shaped pieces that won't fit in our stove. An hour with a saw should set them straight.

I came across this article that asks the question that I was asking last year, but now on a national scale: "What if everyone wanted/needed to heat with trees at the same time? Would there be enough trees to go around?" I bet that you already know the answer: No.

There's a lot of math and graphtasticness in the article for the kinda folks that enjoy that sorta thing. Here's the bottom line:

"Of the 532 Trillion BTUs that could be generated annually from forest growth, approximately 55% or 297 Trillion BTUs would end up as ‘actual heat’. Natural Gas and Heating Oils collectively generated 5,074 Trillion BTUs of ‘actual heat’. Thus, this analysis indicates that we could sustainably replace 297 / 5,074 Trillion BTUs or 5.8% of fossil fuel home heating use with home heating from wood. Alternatively, the entire United States forest stock of hardwoods contains 364 billion cubic feet of wood, or 2.84 billion cords which would throw off 24,024 Trillion BTUs (note, this is only 24% of the total annual energy usage of the country). So the good news is if we were really cold and sans fossil fuels, we could chop down trees for at least 4 years before the US would resemble Easter Island (24,024/5,074= 4.74 years)."

In demand of spring

We are confident that spring will come soon. I mean, it has to...right??? So, we are burning our wood with near reckless abandon and it is wonderful.

We've also got seeds for our garden and have been purchasing baby items for our chickens (not pictured as these items are in our car trunk and it know, still winter outside).

We like tomatoes. A lot.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Good Food. Eat Here.

This is the name of our new blog - "Good Food. Eat Here." Here we will be posting our adventures in sustainable eating. Topics for this new blog will be focused on the general theme of food - where it comes from, how we cook it, and how it tastes. Expect posts with recipes, garden misadventures, and the occasional rant. Check it out, add your comments!

This blog will continue with postings as before, house stuff, knitting, the joy of splitting firewood. For now, please enjoy this picture of the 'possum that has been living uder the hood of my car for the past month ( we don't drive that one very much)!

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Ice in other places

Some photos from our recent trip to Chicago, where it was quiet warm:

The Field Museum:

This is, apparently, what molecular biology labs (and molecular biologists) look like:

I prefer this one:

Snow in other places

Some photos Bill took on our recent trip to DC, where it was quiet cold.
(Washington Monument!)

(Capitol Building)

(Bike sharing, ala ZipCar)
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