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Building  raised garden beds—Heyokah Homestead style

Building raised garden beds—Heyokah Homestead style

by Leigh Mills I learned the value of raised beds when I first started high-desert gardening in the Arkansas Valley over 20 years ago.  My next garden in the Baca Grande subdivision near Crestone had beautiful, sandy ground that was easily worked and I made short raised beds there to keep the amended soil in […]

A passive solar cold frame

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A passive solar cold frame

by Kelly Hart Last spring I built a simple cold frame to get an early start on plants to set out into the main garden later, and also as a place to keep some plants that particularly love warmer weather.  It worked very well for these purposes, providing tomatoes, cucumbers, cauliflower, squashes, peppers, eggplants and […]

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The 100% solar heated home

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The 100% solar heated home

story & photos by Paul Shippee  unless otherwise noted On a clear sunny day in southern Colorado the sky is turquoise and there is enough solar radiation falling on your home to supply all your domestic energy needs. To examine the feasibility of a 100% solar heated home, we’ll focus here on how to achieve […]

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Storing the sun

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Storing the sun

by Nicholas Chambers In speaking of such feats as storing the sun, we are also discussing methods to bottle wind, yoke water, or cruciblize earth. Accessing the sun’s energy when it is not shining is a matter of modern alchemy—of tapping into the other living and elemental facets of nature. We all owe our existence […]

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A 100% solar-heated home

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A 100% solar-heated home

In the fall of 2010 Paul Shippee of Colorado Sunworks and the Crestone Solar School designed and installed an eight-panel active thermal system on a new home in Salida, Colorado. The homeowners are the Rebecca Owens family and the building contractor/ architectural designer was Steve Holmes. The complete solar system is designed to provide 100% […]

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Masonry heaters

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Masonry heaters

by Kelly Hart There is a centuries-old tradition in Europe that is only beginning to be known in North America: the use of masonry heaters. For some reason Americans are entirely familiar with wood stoves and fireplaces, but have only a hazy notion of what a masonry heater is. This is unfortunate because these devices […]

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Why distributed electrical generation?

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Why distributed electrical generation?

by Kelly Hart You hear a lot about “distributed generation” these days as the best model for moving toward a sustainable energy future using renewable sources. Just what is “distributed generation,” and how would it work? The basic idea is that instead of having large central power plants for generating electricity that are often quite […]

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Passive Solar Architecture

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Passive Solar Architecture

a review by Kelly Hart Here is a hefty book with a lengthy title: Passive Solar Architecture: Heating, Cooling, Ventilation, Daylighting and More Using Natural Flows. Written by two veterans of the Passive Solar movement, David Bainbridge and Ken Haggard, this book actually exceeds the promise of the title; it covers everything mentioned plus quite […]

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Book Review Tiny Homes—Simple Shelter

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Book Review Tiny Homes—Simple Shelter

A review by Kelly Hart Lloyd Kahn has done it again! He has published another seminal work on the general topic of shelter. This one is devoted to the art of living in small spaces . . . in style. Tiny Homes, Simple shelter: Scaling Back in the 21st Century is another amazing book with […]

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