Tuesday, August 10, 2010

solar energy rules

Tristan is now eight years old as of yesterday.

Last week I attended a solar conference in St. Louis. It was great. There were some technology improvements and many more on the way. Five years ago when I was installing solar in San Frisco bay area inverter efficiency was 85% at best. Now efficiency is closing on 99%. This is huge since you needed several thousand dollars worth of P.V. panels to compensate.

I got all excited, met many interesting people and learned about all the new inverter technologies. Tabitha survived my being away for two nights--barely. The kids were so excited to see me my first morning back.

The water heater went out immediately after I left the house for two days. I came home and needed to replace the water heater first thing. I have cleaned it and replaced the elements enough times to make it unreliable. I bought a water heater with a clean-out port so this one should last longer and be easier to maintain.

The broiler chickens have grown like crazy. We have them on an improved feed formula. It is based on Joel Salatin's recipe. Part of the protein is fish meal. This means that the birds eat vegetable and animal protein in a proportion that makes them grow healthier and slightly faster.

The problem is most feed mills won't mix animal protein unless they have a dedicated facility. Our mill has us buy the following batch of a different formula to be sure the that the system is cleared. Our layer ration usually is a good follow-up. We are good customers for them and they work with us in a way that is difficult to find. Finding out that standard (*chicken chow* and the like) almost always has Arsenic in it was really scary. Arsenic is poison both forms of it. If you are feeding your chickens chick-frye or layer-ration call your corporate feed supplier and complain.

I am going to collaborate with Tabitha and make a large post about our chicken raising operation. Promoting healthy local food in an open-source way can only have benefits for everyone. Health conscious people should be aware of what you eat, eats.


Kevin and Beth said...

Karl, that picture of Tabitha is beautiful! Tristan is pretty handsome too. Wonderful family you have.

Jen said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TRISTAN! I hope you had a wonderful day!

Karl, I'm glad that you found the solar event very informative. Thank you for sharing good and useful information with us. ~Jen

Woody said...

Happy Birthday Tristan!

A whole house water filter has been a very good investment for us. The occasional flush of sediment from our well would shorten the life of all our appliances.


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