Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Our living situation is in flux so computing the current terron would be of limited value, and embarassing too boot.  

so I won't do it.  ;-p

The new-to-us house¹ is a two story adobe built in the 1910s so it's a real adobe with 20 inch (50.8 centimeters) thick walls.  That thermal mass is a real boon and keeps the interior temperature such that only minor energy input is needed to cool  (ceiling fans) and heat (wood stoves)the place.  Most so-called adobes being built now only use a half-brick as a facade.

A serious problem I faced when I started the re-model was the building codes.  The location is ideal for wind power and we really wanted to get 'off-grid.'  Alas, I would have needed (1) to get a variance which meant going before the county board (a bigger collection of buffoons t'would be hard to beat) and (2) spend $25,000 to establish the system.  

No go.

So I built the electrical system such that we can easily retro-fit to wind when we can slip it past the board and we have the capital.  

We will use propane for cooking and water heating.  I really wanted to put in a solar hot water heater but it would have taken a complete rebuild of the roof and a total retro-fit of the plumbing to do.  

We do have a well tapping the local water table.  Solar powered pumps are readily available so we intend to replace the current grid-based system and install solar to irrigate our gardens and orchard.  Along one south-facing wall I plan to establish pear, fig, pomegranate, peach, and cherry trees.  Pistachio trees will be planted.  I'm going to try to grow oranges, limes, and lemons.  They are marginal but hope is eternal.

We will put 4 raised gardens on the east side of the property.  A movable hoop greenhouse will be used for food production during the short winters.  I haven't decided where to put the herb garden but on the east boundary I plan to establish a rosemary hedge for privacy and as a source.  If our distillation equipment has survived the various moves - I haven't dared to look - we will be able to supply organic tinctures to the local herbalists as barter goods.

Less than an a half a mile (1 kilometer) away are two apple orchards.  They irrigate so I'm hoping to be able to talk them into letting us raise some baa-lambs on their grass.  We don't eat much meat so 4 lambs would more than cover that requirement.

Several people already raise chickens so we hope to be able to tie into that network.  I'd like to find someone who raises ducks, geese, and other 'exotic' poultry.  

No diary that we can find, dammitall.  Unless we can find someone, or talk someone into it, we're going to have to buy our milk and milk products: butter, cheese, yoghurt, kefir, & etc.  mumble-grumble  We prefer sheep's milk, that's past hoping for.  Goat's milk is seasonal and only at obscene prices.  Jersey moo-juice is third and in many years haven't found a supply of that either. We can't even purchase a cow and have it miked for us.  I guess the state of New Mexico is afraid we'll turn into IslamoCommieTerrorist cheesemakers.  "Submit to our demands!  We have mozzarella balls² and we're not afraid to use them!"  So it looks like we're going to be stuck buying that damnable, watery, tasteless, Holstein garbage.  

The point here -- what is the point? -- oh yeah ...

Our Terron rating will be bad from an energy demand/use standard but we should more than make that up on the food supply side.

¹  The place is huge.  The house is over 4,000 square feet on six large lots.  The purchase price was well below $30k.  It needed much work but we were able to buy it so cheaply only because my fellow Americans are insane.  Also we got lucky - we found out it was for sale before anyone else and made our offer quick, quick, quick.

²  Sounds like a "social disease" don't it? "Not right now, dear.  I have mozzarella balls." ;-)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Jul 7th, 2007 at 02:31:05 PM EST

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