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Amit Enventres
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For Garden Design or Consultation: (216) 245-2367; imitatingeden@gmail.com
For Garden Design or Consultation: (216) 245-2367; imitatingeden@gmail.com

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Weather watch. Will it freeze or will we grill? Do we curl up next to a fire or run in the rays? The gardener who plays with plant babies may wear their tread hauling seedlings in and out, while staring at their water app. I know I do. But, that's my choice. A garden doesn't need that sort of energy. The first things to green the garden are those six months old or older. The hardy ones. For each year and each zone these may be different, but here in zone 6, Cleveland Heights, OH, the following selection thus far works well with me: French Sorrel, Corn Salad (Mache), green onions, dandelion, white-stemmed chard, and some hardy lettuce and carrots. All do better with a little bit of cover, even better with a well-placed cold frame, and all can be eaten now. Bon Appetit. French Sorrel below.
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Keeping warm requires the input and output of a living space to be basically equal. Traditionally there's two ways to handle this. More heating and more insulation. I.e. make more heat or keep from losing it. Net zero houses are so good at the not losing heat, they require a special air exchanger. They have an R value of 30-45 (approximately 10-12" of insulation) and lots of good sealing around openings. Windows are well positioned for sunlight and not cold wind.

Most traditional homes, however, have to have a heat source. They may have some insulation, but not enough to keep heat loss from being greater than heat gain, thus leading to a temperature drop.
I'm not comfortable with an air exchanger, but I don't believe it makes financial or logical or environmental sense to rely on environmentally destructive sources of fuel to the degree we do. Instead, I think a happy medium can be found in finding the insulation holes, and sealing those up. Windows are usually R3 or less, yes- double pane. So, window treatments are important. Simple plastic curtain ones can be made for less than $5 each. Insulation holes (I.e. Where someone simply forgot to insulate or did so poorly) are usually around the bathtub, floor joists, or attic. An infrared camera or hand can usually figure out where these spots are. Filling these holes is probably much cheaper than buying a net zero home and may save you significantly on heating.

In my urban homestead I am working to find this balance and took advantage of our gas company's free energy assessment. It turns out the gas company doesn't want to spend the money to build more infrastructure and are therefore happy to help us keep our furnace use down.
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Thinking of spring!
Imitating Eden
Imitating Eden
blog.imitatingeden.com
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Time to wake up! Spring is almost here!
Imitating Eden
Imitating Eden
blog.imitatingeden.com
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Imitating Eden, garden design, is getting started in Eastern Cuyahoga County, OH.
Imitating Eden
Imitating Eden
blog.imitatingeden.com
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