Guerrilla Gardening

Edmonton has a new movement: guerrilla gardening. A group of Edmontonians has started organizing and enacting gardening events that aim to promote "issues of community ownership, food security, native habitat, biodiversity, and the direct replenishing the environment in which we live our daily lives". Awesome.  read more... »

Potato And Fava Bean Soup

It's harvest time in Edmonton, and that means fresh, delicious food from our gardens at virtually no cost to the environment. Last night I made some soup, with 90% of the ingredients coming from my garden or the farmer's market. If I had a bigger/better garden, it could have been a 100-foot diet soup.

Ingredients:  read more... »

Low-carbon Solar Mass

I was relieved to see the the house at 9805 - 84th Avenue get torn down a couple of weeks ago. Once it was gone, I figured, I wouldn't be obsessively compelled to recycle it anymore.

The day before the tear down, though, Peter Amerongen started talking about reusing the foundation bricks as a mass wall inside the Mill Creek NetZero Home (MCNZH). I had raised the idea a few times previously, and he hadn't seemed all that enthusiastic, so I was going to let it go. He's the expert at reusing old material, after all.

The night of the demolition, this is what the site looked like:  read more... »

Heating System

I've thought about the heating system for the Mill Creek NetZero Home (MCNZH) for months now. The home will need a very tiny amount of heat because it's so superinsulated, super sealed, and passize solarized. The computer model that simulates the energy performance of the house (using HOT2000) has the MCNZH using 2500 kWh. That's roughly 6% of the heat that my renovated (with new insulation and windows) 1950s bungalow uses.  read more... »