Spring Chores

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By: Jannie Vaught

The cold howled down on us again and the ice cycles were hanging heavily on the fence.

We had to break the ice for water for the critters and everyone is hungry, needing heat calories to keep warm. We wrapper our flowering fruit trees with burlap and clothes pins last night. This cold snap looks to be short, but we never know. I have a apricot tree that has doubled in size and was just breaking the flowers last night when we wrapped it up. It looks like a big helium ball, and we hope this will be just a bump for this trees production.

Gardening is always an experience in the spring. Made my first batch of garden tea last week and mowed then weeded the garlic and pruned the roses ,whats a gardner to do. I went into the house and started my Spring Chores. This is a must to do as we are solar and wind powered and as winter creeps along we tend to get not as mindful of our electric use. I found this great youtube sit “Cut your electric bill in half” By Missouri Wind and Solar. This a a good place for learning and a refresher for us who do this already. He starts with the Shower head. Heating and hot water are the biggest draw on electric use. So we cleaned our on demand water heater. Our local electrician had a free to use pump and hose what you hook up run C L R thru it and It works like new again and is fast. When using a high pressure shower head it uses less water and there is less water to heat. Double plus! Less water, less power used and you get a nice hot shower. He had a device called a KILL-A- WATT. It plugs into your wall then your appliance like your microwave and tells you how much it is using just sitting there!. Then on to instant the T.V. radio, record players, anything that is running a light . It is using your electric just sittiing there and making that bill higher. A surge protector power strip with a off on switch will keep this at bay. Just click it on when you are going to use it. Light bulbs were on that also. LED bulbs were the best for electric usage. Although more exspensive to buy, they use less power and last many years. Here is another culprit for us fixer upper and garden folk. The re-charger tool pack! Those little black boxes with a cord. They are real electric hogs! Don’t let them just keep feeding off your electric. Use only when needed. Then we cleaned our freezer and refrigerator. Vacuumed dirt and a a lot of lint from the front and back, keeping them in good service. And they need to be serving us efficiently. All this and the celing fans too. Use on the second setting and they should turn clockwise for summer and counter clockwise for winter moving the air up or down from the ceiling!

Whew, I was tuckered out by then. Our house was clean and more energy efficient. There are many more things to do, like his great use of pop wrap and water to seal glass windows. Everything we can do to keep our electric use down is a combined total on the meter. Have a look at this site and get creative for less electric usage. Now onto those pesky garden charts!

Growing Green and more user friendly with Jannie

Next week solar cooking and solar food drying!