Introducing Susan Krumdieck……

14 10 2012

Some ten years ago, when I first discovered we were up against it, I read a great book titled “Factor 4”, written by Amory Lovins, his then wife, and Ernst von Weizsacker (isn’t that a great name?!)

In that book, Lovins proclaimed himself a lover of cars with “the Hypercar”, a hydrogen/fuel cell contraption built out of Carbon fiber, hyper aerodynamic, etc etc….. having just googled it looking for a link to give you reveals not much has happened.  But at the time I was mesmerised by all this technology, it all seemed so likely?  I lurked in forums full of fans of the Hydrogen Economy, and Lovins’ green car…. and there, I found one person who argued it was all BS.  Her name is Dr Susan Krumdieck, an American engineer from Colorado who now lives In New Zealand where she’s an  Associate Professor at Canterbury University and teaches sustainable systems around fuel cells, alternative energy technologies, energy conservation, energy systems engineering, and materials for energy systems.  You know, someone I can really get on with?

Susan is very approachable (if very busy) and replied to an email I sent her, fishing for info.  It turns out what she doesn’t know about fuel cells isn’t worth knowing!  She actually lectures about this stuff all over the world, and surprise surprise, has come to the same conclusions as me.  We will have to make do with a hell of a lot less in the future.

On the 20th of July, she made a presentation to the Leadership New Zealand Programme in Christchurch, New Zealand which was filmed and is now on Youtube.  It explains our dilemmas very well, and I want to share it with you.  Hopefully, you will share it too.

Garlic’s out

14 10 2012

This a follow up post from Garlic’s in.

Last Friday, I went to my mate Serge’s place for a social event where he showed us all how to make bread and cheese….. and he had pulled all his garlic up, drying it under his solar pergola.

I wasn’t really expecting to pull mine up before November, but I have to say it was starting to look very dry, and never having had a successful crop due to too much rain, I wasn’t sure if it looked withered from lack of water, or whether it was simply ready for pulling up. Serge said pull it up, so up it came…… and what a crop!

Serge said it was his best crop, and so it is here at Mon Abri. Nothing like a dry Mediterranean winter for the stuff to do well. As soon as it dries sufficiently, I’ll tress it up to hang…. my very first organic home grown crop! I’m over the moon with it.

Hopefully, there’s enough there to last me until next March when I’ll replant.  IF I’m not in Tasmania by then, I could have some exciting news on that front soon.  You’ll just have to be patient…