Notes from Windward: #67


Fun Times

Becca reports on the latest happenings

     The past five days have been fun and have gone by fast. The duck palace is now up so that the ducks have a place to go swim around in a place where the coyotes canít get them. When we first put up the structure the ducks were a bit apprehensive and kept trying to escape, but now theyíre happily quacking in their new environment. Since the place where the ducks are swimming around in is the aquifer for the medium aquaponics system, Iíve been testing the chemistry so that when we get the medium system up and running the duck and fish waste will be the right proportions to be a sustainable system.

the ducks at home in their palace

     If sustainability is the perfection of perfection then we should strive for systems in which all parts of a project form a symbiotic relationship where there are no downsides. Like the authors mention in Cradle to Cradle, we should stop trying to make our systems less bad for the environment, we should instead redesign our systems so theyíre beneficial from the start.

      Weíve also been digging to find a conduit thatís buried so that we can dam the water during the rainy season and put in some miniature hydroelectric wheels. Instead of the industrialized model of having one answer with negative externalities for ten situations, itís much better to think of having multiple solutions for each individual problem with positive externalities. For example instead of using coal fired electric plants to get all our energy with enormous costs to the environment in mining, refining, and transporting, we can use a combination of wind, solar, geothermal, small scale hydroelectricity and biomass. We control our destinies so we donít have to get caught up in the mentality that we have no alternative but to use fossil fuels.


      The other morning we also went on a beautiful bike ride ways to this area owned by the logging companies with a gorgeous view of the gorge and the plateau around it. The whole area around Windward is storybook beautiful and this place was definitely no exception.

      Yesterday we worked on salvaging parts from an abandoned cab over camper for reuse. As Walt says "We're surfing the wave of consumption." If we can get materials for building without having to inpput additional energy into manufacturing raw materials and transporting them, why not do so?

      Especially when we find ourselves in a situation where so many things that can be reused just end up in landfills.

      Alisonís homebrew came out well which was exciting. We used the "brownie mix for beer" this time where all the materials came together prepared, but weíre researching ways we can use the wheat we have here and other materials on site that we can grow to make the brew ourselves. When youíre figuring out how to do a new thing, first you have to make sure you can repeat what other people have done- then you can move on to experimenting to how it can be done to better suit the environment you live in. However if you canít replicate whatís already been done, itís hard to move on to other things because youíre probably making some fundamental mistake.

Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 67