Author Archives: Bob & Larisa

Shifting Gears

If your current car gets good fuel economy but it’s no longer fun, or even very easy to drive, maybe it’s less the car’s fault than your own limited driving skills. After all, most of the energy that a motorized … Continue reading

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PV Resurrection

A friend of ours recently decided to upgrade the solar photovoltaic (PV) charging system in his small camping trailer with another PV panel. Not having loads of money to spend, he purchased a used 120-watt Kyocera on E-Bay. But buying … Continue reading

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Sticking With Wood-Burning

There are all sorts of ways to heat a home in the winter, but given the carbon-neutrality, low technology, and local abundance of wood in our region, the wood-stove is a popular choice. In our case this is a masonry … Continue reading

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Baby, It’s Cold Outside

It’s currently around zero degrees F (-18 C) outside on a clear, sunny day. We heat our home both with sunshine and by burning dead or thinned-out trees. Every so often, usually during the annual process of firewood cutting late … Continue reading

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Radio-activity and Inactivity

Back in 2008, since the test kit was free from our county’s office of environmental services, we decided to check our very tightly-built and ground-contacted home for radon levels. We used short-term charcoal test kits in both the pantry, with … Continue reading

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Pack Man

Sometimes you just sort of fall into something. That’s what has happened with me and the reconditioning of Honda Insight/Civic hybrid traction battery packs. What began as mere curiosity, and then a necessity, is turning into a useful service. I … Continue reading

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Homeopathy on the Homestead

Never being one to blindly believe in something, I researched what I could find about homeopathy years ago, and none of its claims seemed to hold up under scrutiny. But these days you have to ask, “Who’s doing the scrutinizing?” … Continue reading

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A Smashing Success

For many years we had a really lovely set-up for crushing apples into pomace and pressing it for cider, but it was just such a pain to clean up, so noisy to operate, and it left the cider tasting a … Continue reading

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From Dead Hybrid to Plug-In Hybrid

We recently purchased a 2001 Honda Insight Hybrid to replace our aging 1999 Chevy Metro while we wait for the eventual production of the Elio Motors trike we reserved two years ago. Paying only $1000 we weren’t expecting a lot … Continue reading

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Second Edition

Good news! We just completed the 2015 revisions and additions to our book, “Feeding Ourselves – The Four-Season Pantry from Plant to Plate” and it’s back from the print shop. This second edition is eight pages longer (194 pages) and … Continue reading

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