Around the neighborhood, this has been the weekend of visitors, chickens, and trees. A new family considering moving in to our village came to visit us from the west coast, and we had a pleasant flurry of get-togethers1 so they could meet many of us in person. Meanwhile, our coop co-op was gifted with 13 chickens that a neighbor’s relative was giving away, and at the same time a different neighbor got a mini-coop (not a mini-cooper) with 3 chickens. On top of that, a third neighbor got his first nursery shipment of the year (a miniature Valencia Orange) and I began digging planting holes for this year’s coppice trees (swamp white oaks and river birch from Musser Forests).
Good: Milk. Beer: At The Haunt’s Karaoke Night – Ommegang Rare Vos, and possibly Bass, although who can tell where the heck this is made now that it’s owned by a multinational. (I mean, Bass is possibly good. Bass was definitely consumed. I might have embarrassed myself on stage, but not because I had too much beer to remember the evening.) Lunch: At Viva Cantina – they source many things locally, although I cannot say with any certainty where all the ingredients in my lunch came from.
Bad: Car Tires. Actually, I was having some trouble deciding which category to put this in, and “Bad” seemed lonely. There’s no question that my car dependence itself is in the “bad” category. But as tires go, I was extremely pleased with the fact that Yokohama Tires has a “Sustainability” link at the top of their web site, and seems to be doing real measurable things in terms of GHG emissions and reduction of landfill-bound materials. I also made the phone calls needed to determine that the actual tires I was buying were made in Salem, VA. Electronic Parts. I bought a power supply for the new LED path lighting I installed from DigiKey. I couldn’t come up with any good way to get something highly efficient to run these highly efficient lights2, other than buying it new by mail order. Technically, I could have built it myself, but I would still be ordering the parts from who knows where… and this is at least UL listed! Still, if TSHTF in the next 5 years (typical LED lifespan: 50000 hours) it’s nice to know I could. But I’d probably have more to worry about than path lighting at that point.
Ugly: Breakfast. I needed something in walking distance of the tire store that was open at 8am, and although there are local options 15-20 minutes away, Panera was 3 minutes away, so convenience got the better of me. I guess they do employ people locally to bake for them, but it’s not like Dolce Delight. Dinner. Wings at The Haunt are probably not sourced from anyplace I would be proud of.
- A side note here: I made Maza (barley cakes) again, only this time I was able to use on-site sourced honey and regionally-produced sunflower oil. However, I added non-local raisins to make them a bit fancier. ↩
- My LED lighting is consuming 1.75W total including the power supply. A quick bit of research concluded that it was cheaper – not counting LED lifespans – to run them full time than to put them on a mechanical timer, because most of the mechanical timers consume 2-3W by themselves. Isn’t that crazy? ↩