As the year winds to a close, I reflect on yet another historic year for Earth Harmony Habitats and its drive toward creating homes that have net zero impacts-self sufficient homes that harvest their own energy via solar panels, collect all its water through rainwater harvesting, have zero waste through nutrient recycling, grows all its own vegetables through vertical and raised bed gardens. (more at www.earthharmonyhabitats.org)
Thanks to the dedicated volunteers, advocates and the myriad other invaluable contributors who have taken strides toward manifesting Earth Harmony Habitats.
Highlights of 2012
- Two Vertical Gardens prototypes-(the wall mounted garden eventually to be used on South, West and East faces of Earth Harmony Habitats) are finished and ready to be researched! The main focus of attention for 2012.
- Attending Living Futures Institute’s ambassador’s conference on Living Building Challenge.
- Janice Levenhagen joined in coaching development.
- Calsak Plastic acrylic glazing donated for Earth Harmony Habitat’s Vertical Gardens
- Held well attended volunteer/educational meeting at library January 12th.
- Badger Meter’s donated two flow meters for Vertical gardens.
- Attended meeting on composting toilets at Tryon Creek Farm.
- Terri Lojacono, Koyel Sikdar, Sarah Albert volunteered for various projects.
- Attempted to create a marketing arm with Portland cohousing collaborative
- Held well attended volunteer/educational meeting at library Feb 16.
- Hunter Industries donated two I-Core Irrigation control units.
- Tom Hopkins of Sustainability Today shot and edited a full length presentation of Earth Harmony Habitats (http://youtu.be/6cD9AA-IayM)
- An opportunity to have a booth at Better Living Show was turned down due to lack of funds.
- However, did get an opportunity to table a booth with Sustainability Today at Better Living Show.
- Held well attended volunteer/educational meeting at library March 15th
- Base Line soil moisture monitors donated for Vertical gardens.
- Aaron Hill and collaborative incubator group established.
- Ewing’s irrigation design and parts donated and received.
- Built irrigation system from Ewing’s design and assistance.
- Neighbor Maxine Raisel donated sunny site for vertical gardens to be tested. Son and daughter-in law David and Karmyn Raisel recently moved into home and are thankfully keeping it going.
- Normal Sandy Loam soil not adequate for vertical gardens.
- Phillips Soil donated and placed into Vertical Gardens.
- Greg Stokes assisted in developing a business plan and Strengths, Weakness, Opportunity and Threats (SWOT) analysis.
- Passive House training through PHIUS begun.
- Certified Energy Manager through Association of Energy Engineers.
- Vertical garden irrigation system debugged.
- Soil temperatures of over 110 degrees were observed with acrylic glazing greenhouse!
- Territorial Seed Company donated 40 packets of seeds for Vertical Garden.
- Certified Energy Management exam passed!
- Germination of all but two species was observed within 8 days of planting!
- Brian Steensma updated website and corrected compromised hack.
- Offered PSU business students opportunity to work on Earth Harmony Habitats as a capstone project.
- Midsummer’s Green booth and presentation.
- officially became Certified Passive House Consultant after passing both written and design Exam.
- 60 days after planting, crops (kale, beans, spinach, bok choy, lettuces, are ready to be harvested.
- Water use-currently 13 gallons per day. Actively seeking ways to reduce water use to a goal of 5 gal/day/unit.
- Insect infestation with Vertical Gardens are observed.
- Harvesting of squash, zucchinis, tomatillos, pole beans, and remaining kale and salad greens.
- Attended Live Large build small conference through Living Futures Institute.
- Infestation challenge with Vertical Gardens! People are not the only ones interested in vertical gardens!
- Solexx contributed white glazing to test on the systems ability to hold temperature.
- Reconfigured control system to fully utilize one soil monitoring system.
- Achieved zero water use and maintained 27% moisture in soil.
- Investigate market opportunities for sustainable housing via like minded realtors.
- Studying for LEED GA certification.
- Brainstorming low energy ways to increase soil temperature and air moment to increase germination rate, reduce mildew of plants.
- Applying for Angel Investment funding from Oregon Entrepreneurs Network.
But we also have much to do. Including developing a business plan and investment strategy for 2013 to attract eco-conscious urban families, couples or individuals who wish to flourish within community and an equitable share of earth’s carrying capacity.
If you are new to Earth Harmony Habitats and want to follow its history over the years, link to https://earthharmonyhabitats.org/highlights-of-2011.htm
For a full list of the opportunities that await participation, go to https://earthharmonyhabitats.org/existing-opportunities.htm
Celebrating the achievements of the past year, I look ahead with optimism. The economic and political winds continue to shift, but with the spirit of sustainable, self sufficient homes, Earth Harmony Habitats continues to thrive, and the stage is set for a remarkable 2013.
Thank you for your significant interest and contributions to this journey towards creating homes that flourish within an equitable share of earth’s carrying capacity.
Professional Engineering (PE) Mechanical License #26503 WI
Certified Energy Manager (CEM) License #19102
Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC) License #1397
Earth Harmony Habitats™
4917 SE Aldercrest Rd.
Portland, Oregon 97222-4757