Our solar electric system is up and running! This project was months (years?) in the making so it's almost unbelievable to see it completed. We can't talk about the panels without thanking the Connecticut Farm Energy Program for their assistance with the grant application. We applied for a USDA REAP (Rural Energy for America Program) Grant, and would've been lost in the paperwork if not for the invaluable guidance of CFEP.
We wanted to install solar panels on the farm for a couple of reasons: one being to cut down our electricity costs. More importantly, though, we wanted to switch to a renewable source of energy. We're constantly trying to improve the sustainability of the farm and this is an important part of that. Just as we collect manure and spent bedding to compost and then fertilize our fields with, it seems right to harness the sun that shines on the farm and use it to power the well, run heat lamps for the piglets......
Speaking of piglets.
Our pot-bellied mama had a litter of piglets last night. Unfortunately, she was completely disinterested in them, and without her motherly grunting the piglets couldn't figure out where to go to nurse. We decided to hand-rear this group, and by we, I mean Kelley had them in a laundry basket next to her bed overnight, and currently has them in a makeshift cardboard crib next to her desk at work. They need to be fed every 2 hours for the first few days, so for now they'll be her sidekicks until their feedings can be stretched out a bit and I can lend a hand.
I also wanted to quickly touch on something that John and I saw in the news recently. Within the last year, the Department of Agriculture has relaxed a ban on the importation of Brazilian beef. Brazil is just one of over twenty countries that the US imports beef from. In general, I take issue with such high importation because transporting all of that beef across the world creates a lot of pollution. Brazilian beef is particularly concerning, however, because cattle ranching is the leading cause of deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest. Rainforests are vital in that they help stabilize the world's climate by absorbing carbon dioxide. Plus, there are 16,000 species of trees and 2.5 MILLION species of insects in the Amazon.
This is why it's so important to know where your food is coming from.
"We don't have to participate in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world." -Howard Zinn
Real food enthusiast following nature's template