Friday, December 19, 2008

christmas card!

Friends! Did you notice that the Green House is featured on the Sewanee Christmas Card that was sent out to all of the parents? You should track it down in your parents' Christmas card pile if you haven't already seen it and check it out. The caption on the back describes the Green House as "a welcoming residence for eleven student leaders of Sewanee's rapidly developing environmental initiatives." Pretty exciting :-)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Diesel, Made Simply From Coffee Grounds (Ah, the Exhaust Aroma)

Here is an article from NY Times:

Published: December 15, 2008

In research that touches on two of Americans’ great obsessions — coffee and cars — scientists at the University of Nevada, Reno, have made diesel fuel from used coffee grounds.

The technique is not difficult, they report in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, and there is so much coffee around that several hundred million gallons of biodiesel could potentially be made annually.

Mano Misra, a professor of engineering who conducted the research with Narasimharao Kondamudi and Susanta K. Mohapatra, said it was by accident that he realized coffee beans contained a significant amount of oil. “I made a coffee one night but forgot to drink it,” he said. “The next morning I saw a layer of oil floating on it.” He and his team thought there might be a useful amount of oil in used grounds, so they went to several Starbucks stores and picked up about 50 pounds of them.

Analysis showed that even the grounds contained about 10 to 15 percent oil by weight. The researchers then used standard chemistry techniques to extract the oil and convert it to biodiesel. The processes are not particularly energy intensive, Dr. Misra said, and the researchers estimated that biodiesel could be produced for about a dollar a gallon.

One hurdle, Dr. Misra said, is in collecting grounds efficiently — there are few centralized sources of coffee grounds. But the researchers plan to set up a small pilot operation next year using waste from a local bulk roaster.

Even if all the coffee grounds in the world were used to make fuel, the amount produced would be less than 1 percent of the diesel used in the United States annually. “It won’t solve the world’s energy problem,” Dr. Misra said of his work. “But our objective is to take waste material and convert it to fuel.” And biodiesel made from grounds has one other advantage, he said: the exhaust smells like coffee.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Cookies!

Paul - This is a cookie of you!

We made cookies for this week's Love & Joy. Each cookie was made in the shape of someone in the house.

This takes a super long time to upload pictures, so the rest can be found on my snapfish account, which you can access here:

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Here is a link to a NYTimes article that mentions Barb and eating organic food for three years:

Here is the whole article:

Fruits, vegetables and animals can be 100 percent organic. What about people?

In a fascinating experiment — on himself — Dr. Alan Greene, a pediatrician and author in Danville, Calif., decided to find out. For the last three years, Dr. Greene has eaten nothing but organic foods, whether he’s cooking at home, dining out or snacking on the road.

He chose three years as a goal because that was the amount of time it took to have a breeding animal certified organic by the Department of Agriculture. While food growers comply with organic regulations every day, Dr. Greene wondered whether a person could meet the same standards.

It hasn’t been easy.

“This isn’t a way of eating I could recommend to anybody else because it’s so far off the beaten food grid,” said Dr. Greene, 49, the founder of a popular Web site about children’s health, “It was much more challenging than I thought it would be, and I thought it would be tough. There were definitely days where there was nothing I could find that was organic.”

Other writers have ventured off the traditional food grid, notably Barbara Kingsolver in “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” and Michael Pollan in “The Omnivore’s Dilemma.” But what makes Dr. Greene’s experiment remarkable is the length of time he devoted to it, and his effort to incorporate organic eating into the routines of everyday living. His findings offer new insight into the challenges facing the organic food industry and those of us who want to patronize it.

Organic farmers don’t use conventional methods to fertilize the soil, control weeds and pests, or prevent disease in livestock.

Organic methods often lead to higher costs, and consumers can pay twice as much for organic foods as for conventional products. Last week, the financial advice Web site reported that to feed eight people an organic meal of traditional Thanksgiving foods, a shopper would pay $295.36 — a premium of $126.35, or 75 percent, over a nonorganic holiday spread.

To cut back on the cost of an organic diet, Dr. Greene said he had to cut back on meat. “Whenever you go up the food chain, the costs pile up,” he said. “If you don’t eat meat at every meal, if meat becomes more of a side dish than a centerpiece, you can fill the plate with healthy organic food for about the same price.”

Questions remain about whether organic foods are really better for you. The data are mixed. This fall, researchers from the University of Copenhagen reported on a two-year experiment in which they grew carrots, kale, peas, potatoes and apples using both organic and conventional growing methods. The researchers found that the growing methods made no difference in the nutrients in the crops or the levels of nutrients retained by rats that ate them, according to the study, published in The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.

But other research suggests that organic foods do contain more of certain nutrients — almost twice as many, in the case of organic tomatoes studied for a 2007 report in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Dr. Greene said he was inspired to go all-organic after talking to a dairy farmer who noted that livestock got sick less after a switch to organic practices. He wondered if becoming 100 percent organic might improve his own health.

Three years later, he says he has more energy and wakes up earlier. As a pediatrician regularly exposed to sick children, he was accustomed to several illnesses a year. Now, he says, he is rarely ill. His urine is a brighter yellow, a sign that he is ingesting more vitamins and nutrients.

At home, he said, the organic routine was relatively easy. Organic food is widely available, not just at stores like Whole Foods but at traditional supermarkets. He also shopped at farmer’s markets and joined a local community-supported agriculture group, or C.S.A. Because he bought less meat, the costs tended to balance out. And his family (two of his four children still live at home) largely went along with the experiment.

On the road, though, life was more challenging. In corporate cafeterias and convenience stores, he looked for stickers that began with the number 9 to signify organic; stickers on conventionally grown produce begin with 4.

When dining out, he called ahead; high-end restaurants were willing to accommodate his all-organic request. He also found a few lines of organic backpacking food that he could carry with him.

Dr. Greene reached the three-year milestone in October, but his diet is still organic. He hasn’t decided whether to keep going full tilt or to ease up in the interest of cost and convenience. In his latest book, “Raising Baby Green: The Earth-Friendly Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth and Baby Care” (Jossey-Bass), he advocates a “strategic” approach, urging parents to insist on organic versions of a few main foods, like milk, potatoes, apples and baby food.

The biggest surprise of the whole experience, he says, was that many people still don’t know what “organic” means.

“It’s surprising to me how few people know that organic means without pesticides, antibiotics or hormones,” he said. “In stores or restaurants around the country, I would ask, ‘Do you have anything organic?’ Half the time they would say, ‘Do you mean vegetarian?’ ”

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Greenhouser in the news...

One of our own housemates has made Sewanee headline news!

Read about Helen's chemistry research at the University of Oregon here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I just wanted everyone to see this picture of Paul.
Note the (lack-of) height difference between him and the 3rd graders.

I also wanted to wish Paul a safe and fun journey!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Minutes for November 16, 2008

Minutes for November 16, 2008
· Christmas tree – native tree Becca and Jonathan?
· Paul’s email – dance or get together for senior citizen home in monteagle - post pone till Paul’s here
· Thanksgiving – Thursday at 6
· Saturday Thanksgiving dinner at 5:00 – look from last week’s minutes for to see what you greed to cook - don’t eat pecans
· Tomorrow November 17, 7:30 am in kitchen, Elspeth and Helen are making pancakes for love and joy
· Condoms in the living room if you need them
· Money for Christmas present for Regina
· Farmhouse Design Committee – Emily is going to do a independent study on subject of green living in Sewanee

Sunday, November 9, 2008

meeting minutes- nov 9

meeting minutes nov 9
Chore wheel- thanks Emily for making a new one! It looks great

Garden days- this week
monday 3-4:30
Tuesday 1-3
Friday sometime
Jonathan will send out e-mail

House garden update from Carson
Planted lettuce, turnips, etc.
Tom macfie wants to work
What do we do?
Water, Carson will make a chart and we’ll sign up for days.

Events this week
Thursday music jam
Bentley will send out e-mail

Nov 16 house tour
2:00 house tour at the land trust
Let Emily know if you want to come

Becca wants to plan an event with children from the community.

Mcclurg- Thursday the 20th
Elspeth will sign up for a table
Helen, Laura, and Elspeth will send out invites to professors

Thanksgiving at the house
Saturday Nov 22nd, bentley’s birthday

Elspeth will make invitations
What are we cooking and who is cooking?
Turkey- Elspeth (she and Laura will pick it up from the Keener’s)
Garden veggies- Helen
Pecan pie- Laura
Sweet potatoes- Emily
Pumpkin- Kate

Who is in charge of clean-up?
Carson, Helen, Emily

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I know we aren't supposed to be political but....

Here is an article about Obama from New Scientist about green energy:

November 5, 2008 10:15 AM

obama1.jpgColin Powell called the prospective Obama presidency "transformational". He wasn't talking about the climate and energy. But he could have been.

The wraps will soon be off. Before long we will know whether Barack Obama meant it - when he said that, whatever the financial traumas, a national surge to equip America with home-grown, green sources of energy was his number one economic priority.

Even as the votes were being cast, some said going green would have to wait. But the president-elect has been saying it has to be done now: for the planet, for American energy security - and for the good of an economy that badly needs government investment to kick start growth. Green jobs for a green economy.

Much of the blueprint is there. I reported last month from California, where they are busy legislating a carbon-cutting programme deliberately designed to be translatable into national terms. And where entrepreneurs, backed by billions of dollars of venture capital from Silicon Valley, are ready to invest in solar and wind power, and second-generation biofuels and much else in a huge scale.

All they want is a green light for the legal fast-tracking and modest tax guarantees that will make it all profitable.

And we are not talking about bits and pieces here. We are talking very big time indeed. As David Mills, head of solar thermal company Ausra, in Palo Alto, told me: "In the coming decades, clean energy is going to be ten times bigger than the internet and IT combined."

That's not hyperbole; he means it.
It would not be ridiculous to say that if the world is to save itself from the perils of future climate change, now is the moment to act. And the US is where it must happen.

Only the US can yet drive the change needed, because only the US has the markets, the capital, the technology and now, with Obama's transformational victory, maybe the political will too. Only the US, by force of example and through the size of its market, can persuade China and the other fast-emerging economies to embrace the new technologies.

If the US wants green technology on the scale being talked about, China will break its back to provide it. And it will transform its own energy system in the process.

Some say none of this will happen any time soon. That the world has economic problems more immediate than climate change. But the world is also in a state of great political flux. And it is at times of such flux that big new initiatives are possible.

Compare Obama's arrival in Washington with that of Franklin D Roosevelt at the start of the New Deal in 1934. The New Deal remade America and the world by driving governments to centre-stage in managing economies. Environmentally in the US, it brought soil conservation programmes to fight the dustbowl and hydro schemes to bring power to those still languishing without electricity.

That drive sparked similar initiatives round the world, right through to the 1970s. Reforming zeal - whether the green revolution or family planning programmes - did make the world better then.

We need something similar now, to fight climate change and the iniquities of unbridled global markets. Why not?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Meeting Minutes 10/26/08

GreenHouse meeting minutes 10/26/08

Leader _ Ms Emily Ezell
Minutos_Mr Carson Wright

1. Evaluations – supportive, not critical
a. House warming Party
i. Worked – a lot of people came including faculty, community members, Buddhist blessing, great advertising (adds in messenger, flyers, facebook), not using disposable materials
ii. Improvements – more diverse group of people, see the same ppl at our house a lot although we did see new people at the Garden Party this evening
iii. (Chelsea just spilled hot liquid on herself)
b. Music jam
i. Pros – very diverse, a lot of new people,
ii. Improvements – GH members feel they have to instruct the crowd, maybe make it a little more open and let – tell everyone to bring 3 or so songs and do the circle/take turns
c. Game nights
i. Pro- fun things
ii. Improvement – maybe suggest to play games that se actually have, advertisement – maybe cfaculty and messenger
d. Potlucks – ER and Environmental Studies potlucks
i. Improve – advertisements (only by word of mouth not very effective) – needed to be an email invite
e. Garden Party
i. Pros – opportunity to learn/teach others – rolling out pie dough – awesome to see how a feast like ours is made – learning experiences – showing everybody the garden – seeing how excited people get rolling dough
ii. Improvement – like Hartman said, make everything a community learning point, no faculty came – the invite was sent two days ago and this is a little to short notice – invite fac earlier – work on flyering – maybe make huge banners – maybe a job for bannering? - could have done facebook – mostly freshmen came – maybe get more people from other classes – not cool to let one person clean up the mess
f. Random Dinners
i. Improvements – more people cooking, usually people cook and people who don’t cook eat all the food and don’t help – also doesn’t work for people to show up to help like 5min before the event - need a list of jobs for any event
ii. Resolution pact – make checklist for stuff to be done before and after events and draft during planning
h. Community Service – need more of, Dr. Haskells food and hunger class helps with CAC thnksgiving dinner
2. Front Door - Heating
a. Please don’t leave front door open
b. Someone please set at 62
c. Maybe lets all sleep in the unfinished attic
3. Halloween
a. Donations – should benefit community action committee – maybe should go to environment committee – Elspeth is gonna get some flyers to inform people about the CAC
b. Roles! – Video: to thriller song, Flyers: TO BE CONTINUED
c. Time: 6-8pm cause there is a wicked party at SAE
d. Halloween Candy: just one bag for random trickertreaters
e. Advertisement: cfaculty
f. Bentley is going to start setting things up
g. NEEDS – Sheets dyed black or dark color
4. Garden Hours
a. Next week – Wed 11:30-1:30, Monday sometime
b. Maybe add pictures – need to send to Angela
c. “Get fresh with a farmer” “Make out in the mulch!”
5. Middle School Mentoring
a. This Thursday – 3:15-5:00 – 12 kids doing some art project at the Garden
b. Pine cone bird feeders – pinecones, string, other crafts? Paint cans – make potted plants
6. Garden Work-----→ “Recycling” chore
7. Saturday – 8am – Trip to Keeners
a. Six of us want to go – shuttle ourselves
8. Sustainability Conference
a. Whos going?
9. Seeds
a. Spring front flower bed?
10. Cast Iron – Don’t WASH PLEASE
12. Carson to clean pumpkins stuff and becca to dry dishes!


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Medley of discoveries.

A few of us have dreamed about installing solar panels on the top of all saints.... well apparently the Vatican has one upped us - they have not only installed such solar panels, but soon will actually be carbon neutral.

Consilence Journal, recently founded by a group of Columbia U. undergrads (i.e. kids our age), is an online journal on multidisciplinary sustainable development. Impressive.

This one is for Helen more than anyone, but perhaps a few profs would find this interesting, too. There's a group called Chemists Without Borders. Nothing too fancy, but it is just one example of people realizing that we have the solution to most of the problems in our world (such as lack of water & food & health) - it is more a matter of getting the right people to the right place with the right information.

The Global Viral Forecasting Initiative is a group of biologists who go around the world looking for the next HIV, bird flu, etc under the premise that prevention of epidemics is much easier than control, as we have learned so dramatically as HIV ravishes our world.They were just featured in the New York Times.

Dot Earth is a fantastical blog out of the New York Times which focuses on sustainable development. Also, Green, Inc. is another NYT blog you should check out.

My reading for oceanography today was about "ocean biogeochemical dynamics" - what a mouthful! Anyways, in between pages of very large equations with lots of big variables, I was shocked to learn that the current influx of anthropogenic carbon into the atmosphere - assuming we manage to stop spewing carbon out into the sky and stop the deforestation - will be around for a looooooong time:
After several tens of thousands of years, about 8% of the initial pulse remains in the atmosphere. On timescales of several hundred thousands of years, this remaining CO2 will react with igneous rocks on land, so that the entire initial pulse will disappear from the atmosphere on timescales approaching a million years.
Crazy, isn't it? Not only have we altered our world today, but we have altered the world for the next 1,000,000 years! Humans as we know them have only really been around for ten thousand, and in two hundred years of industrial activity we've seriously altered the planet. We apparently have also created (starting back in 1800) a new geologic age with all this anthropocentric activity: the Anthropocene. Hopefully we won't be extinct soon.

And here's a really cool image of a forminifera, a unicelluar organism that is important in climate change research. There's other great images (that look like galaxies in outer space) out there of these little guys, but I can't seem to find them right now.

Monday, October 20, 2008

New layout for long posts!

So I just updated the blog to allow for "Cuts". This means that from now on if you want to post something that is just ridiculously long, instead of making everyone scroll forever to get past it, you can just add a cut and those who want to read more can just click the link. So if you want to read more about this and how to do it, click the link below!
This is where you will want to hide all of the extra info! To simply explain how this works, there are some HTML tags that are being put around this text. It lets the blog know that this is all of the extra text and should be hidden on the main blog page.
If you are making a new post and want to use the cut then you should highlight the first sentence, "Type your summary here", and then start typing so that that sentence is replaced. To then add something "after the cut", highlight the second sentence, "Type rest of the post here", and add whatever you want to there.
If you would like a demonstration of it, just ask me!
Also, the necessary code was borrowed from Hackosphere! So thanks to them for this awesome hack.

Additionally, I went through all of the old posts and fixed them so that they all use cuts. Let me know what you think!

Piggly Wiggly/market letter

Hey- I'm printing this out and putting it in the front hall soon, but I wanted an electronic copy on here so you can read it and comment- If there are any comments I can fix them before I print it out:

Whom It May Concern:

As students of the University of the South, your store is the closest and most convenient place to buy our food, entertainment, and cleaning needs. As students who are socially and environmentally aware, we feel the need to suggest that if you were to stock organic, natural, and fair trade goods, you would have a market for them.

These items could include non-perishable goods to reduce your risk, such as basic natural cleaning supplies like dish soap and laundry detergent, as well as specialty items like fair trade coffee, tea, and chocolate. It is extremely difficult to find these items outside of Chattanooga, so we feel that you would have an advantage being located in a college town where the curriculum includes environmental and social justice awareness.

There are many websites you can explore to help you get started, such as,,,,,,, It is rapidly become a popular, global movement, so it is much easier to find organic and fair trade wholesale providers.

Thank you for your time,


Students of the University of the South, initiated by the Green House

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Meeting Minutes for 10-19-2008

These are the meeting minutes for 10-19-08

Homecoming Weekend Activities:
Elspeth will secure pumpkins for Sunday. 25 pumpkins.
Pumpkin Carving 1-4pm, Garden Party 4pm
Kate-advertising sign
Helen-email cstudent
Laura-pumpkin bread
Becca will get ingredients -will put a list on the fridge

Emily & Elspeth:
we could have a house & self-evaluation next meeting

We could have an open meeting to involve people not living in this house - once a month?
--not an open meeting, but a meeting of all environmental groups: we will think about this, talk about it next time.

Garden Hours:
Emily - Wednesday, 2-4
Kate & Laura - Monday, 4-5:30

Glass Recycling:
where should we store it? --basement.

someone didn't recycle

kitchen wall: Kate will repair

Laura is missing a pair of running shorts

Bentley is setting up a clothesline
we have clothespins...somewhere

PKE has volunteered people and $$
Sigma Nu will discuss at their next meeting
Hunter might give some $$
will ask for 2$ donation from attendees for CAC

We could have children's activities at the house (Helen will ask the Bachmans about a good time)

Emily & Chelsea are overwhelmed with the Greenhouse Planning Committee welcome!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

For all you cyclists out there..

Here is something I stumbled upon while reading about some really weird, random patents- here is the website for that:

And here is this crazy invention that cuts down on drag for hard-core cyclists:


Tuesday, October 14, 2008


So I'm at Boston College right now. A few random questions/thoughts follow...

Any updates on a Food/Gardening class next spring? Registration is next month for Easter '09 and we better have it sorted out before then if we want to do it. BC has a class this fall called "Food and Politics." Here's a quotation by the professor: 
"Fortunately, we will have a next generation of farmers. Not because they are inheriting land and wealthy enterprises. Not because government policy encourages the maintenance of American traditions of husbandry, land stewardship, and frugal entrepreneurship. Not because there's any money in it. But because a generation of young people wants meaningful work, and they want to heal the earth, our relationships, and our economy. And they see these things are related. They are clamoring to learn farming, real farming, the kind you do by knowing nature, knowing a piece of land, and producing in a context of community. The big ag schools, with textbooks full of fertilizer formulas, are aghast. The grand universities who thought farming was out-of-date are scrambling to build interdisciplinary knowledge about food's origins and meanings. And students, desperate for hands-on skills, are building scrappy gardens at their stately universities, vegetable gardens that light the way to a newly respectable career and industry."
And here's a quote about their garden:
The garden provides recreational and educational activities for students and faculty of Boston College as well as the local community. It is a place for people to gather and work on a fun project together outside in the sun. Once further established, groups of students from Newton’s local schools/summer camps, as well as Boston College’s Campus School will be welcomed and encouraged to take educational fieldtrips to the garden to learn about sustainable agriculture, how to garden, and the benefits of eating local. These trips have the potential to be led by students of the Lynch school and/or interested volunteers.
And this seems like a cool idea that we should totally do at Sewanee...
Furthermore, as a Jesuit school that often quotes the phrase “Men and Women for others,” the garden is also an outlet of service. That is, while other schools usually sell the majority of their produce back to the dining hall, because of the smaller scale of our plot, the idea is to donate this produce to local food shelters and host free community dinners/lunches over the summer months.
Nice links to wander around:

Solar & Wind energy in our backyards?

Check it out! This map site allows you to easily (it's based on google maps) predict for any location in the western hemisphere the potential for solar and wind power.

Monday, October 13, 2008


I stumbled upon this wonderful article in the NYT about a topic dear to my heart: food. Author Michael Pollan discusses the food supply in light of the elections and how interconnected our world is:

You will need not simply to address food prices but to make the reform of the entire food system one of the highest priorities of your administration: unless you do, you will not be able to make significant progress on the health care crisis, energy independence or climate change. Unlike food, these are issues you did campaign on — but as you try to address them you will quickly discover that the way we currently grow, process and eat food in America goes to the heart of all three problems and will have to change if we hope to solve them. Let me explain.

Friday, October 31st

Themes mentioned:
Cell phones ringing constantly, spiderwebs everywhere, Sewanee Ghosts- including the Headless gownsman, Hodgeson nurse, Sewanee stalker

Any other ideas?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Meeting Minutes for 10-12-2008

These are the meeting minutes from 10-12-2008.

J just showed up! With a mallard! Stuffed!
Carson calls the meeting to order as he walks up and down the room.
First order of business: pumpkin day- pumpkin carving, pumpkin pie, pumpkin seed roasting, pumpkin madness.
When? Sunday, the 26th during homecoming weekend at 1pm: Pumpkin baking, then Garden Party at 4pm with pumpkin festivities- carving contest.
Emily wants to bring up the bowling party on Wednesday night (the 29th) in Tullahoma –half price- being put on by Eli at McClurg.
What people are going to be for Halloween: Helen- Little House on the Prairie, Emily- plumber (Laura’s dad is a plumber), Jonathon- a trash bag, Carson- a prof. Becca should be Sarah Palin. Everyone else doesn’t know what they want to be.
Farm tour: Saturday, November 8th. More details will follow.
Letter to the Piggly Wiggly and the Market- asking for more organic and natural products. Carson will write a separate letter to the Market asking for recyclable solo cups. Kate will write the other letter.
Composting of the coffee grounds at McClurg will start soon, so it would be great if Kate could get some help. Thanks for helping with fruit composting.
Hailey wants to use the kitchen Tuesday afternoon. Elspeth wants to use it Wednesday after fall break, but isn’t sure. Kathryn Kendrick wants to use it Tuesday after fall break. But only the kitchen. Caution tape will be used elsewhere.
Garden hours. Wednesday 2:30-4:30 and Tuesday 1-2:15. Last glass bottle taken out today!!!
Helen wants all receipts. Do we need anymore tools? Hartman wants to buy us more tools. Carson wants to build hoophouses in the back garden.
Laura lost her ID card. Carson hopes it isn’t down the vent. Emily can’t hear very well and thought he said twenties.
Bentley wants to include the GreenHouse in the IFC/ISC organization because Hartman kicked him out of the alcohol meeting (or tried to, Bentley stayed anyway because he is so hard-core). Elspeth said thanks.
Halloween : Haunted House!!!! Bentley wants to make a master plan for the Haunted House. Theme: the world in 2020 if we continue on our current track and don’t save the earth. Elspeth doesn’t want to make it too political, but wants to make it nerdy, of course. Ghosts of Sewanee!!!! Bentley wants to talk to a frat house like Beta and he will. Rooms: cell phones, desert, bubble wrap. Bentley wants to get dry ice, stuff at his house, spiderwebs. Emily’s dad has haunted music.
Jonathan just bought kangaroo leather bike shoes. and Becca got him a phone that quacks.
The potluck was awesome.
Elspeth keeps talking about Walden Pond.
Love and Joy: the Barney theme song?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

sustainable houses.

a different approach by our friends at F.U.

Hey check this out!

This would be sweet on a roof- possibly the shed roof at the garden. Or we could turn the roof of the GreenHouse into a living roof- I'm sure the admin would love that.

Environmental Studies Potluck!

Saturday, October 11, 5:30 P.M.
At the Green House

Come hang out with the Environmental Studies faculty, majors, prospective majors, Environmental Residents, and Green Housers.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Meeting Minutes for 9-28-2008

These are the meeting minutes for September 28, 2008!

all present

Keener Farm
Ashley (ERs) & Caroline (waste not) can contribute $
date tbd (oct 25?)

Garden Time
Some ppl (Becca, Jonathon) think that it should be mandatory to work in the garden each week instead of a chore. There should be a chore list for the garden so that people could work on their own time.
buy chalkboards to make lists for the garden
Hartman said that he could buy us tools.
Garden work time went well this week.

Hartman's meeting:
Carson will call grounds manager about the ivy on trees
He gave us permission to do whatever we want as long as we're not cutting down a big tree or building something without a proposal and a plan to give to him & Mary Beth Walker.
No clothesline unless it's up high

last year's Chen Hall meeting: the point was to frighten people into not applying. Elspeth wants us to clarify the system of rules that we have here as a house. Elspeth wants to set up a system of self-evaluation & rules/mission statement for the house. Evaluation at least once or twice a semester, after fall break.

Kate wants to have another meeting to plant the back yard. Hartman gave us permission to expand it and that there would be money to pay for it. It should be an example garden - dif. types of compost piles, building materials, etc.
Fruit trees? Vineyard? Bentley stressed that Hartman wants us to have a plan and involve the community. Kate says that we should do this soon.

Hartman says that everything that we do should be an educational experience for us and the community.
How much energy are we using? -Carson talked to Kianka and she said that she could get a monthly report. She emailed Kate about acquiring a sign and a bike rack.

Halloween plans?
Haunted House? Bobbing for apples? We'll talk about this next meeting.

Envtl Studies potluck: Sid wants us to have it here next Thursday, oct. 9?

Helen will speak to Julie KingMurphy about money tomorrow.
Helen proposes that we have a game night during parents weekend. She will send out an email.

garbage can lid - put on work order list (Laura will do this & for light in the bathroom)

Fill out your houser info!
Hanna will send us our family photos

Allison wants an Invisible Children dinner next Thursday, but it might be the night of the Envtl Studies potluck.

Emily will write guidelines for (others) using the kitchen.

Recycling was not done this week. (it's picked up by Tuesday)

no minutes were posted from last week, but Becca will post them.
we agree to read the minutes from the previous week at the beginning of each meeting.

Chelsea will be going to greenlife. submit requests & money to Chelsea.

Paul sent Becca an email about chickens/ducks, suggesting we buy them locally.

Kate will update a garden schedule on the map white board in the hall. Emily will ask her parents to bring up another white board. Kate hasn't decided on garden hours.

Laura will ask Julie about people to form an art committee.

No meeting next weekend.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

This Old Recyclable House

This Old Recyclable House

Check out his article on the New York Times magazine about using old houses to create new living spaces.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Meeting Minutes for 9-14-2008

GreenHouse Meeting Minutes
September 14, 2008

Meeting Leader: Jonathan
Minutes: Helen

Jonathan calls to order

Fourth grader at SES has started an environmental club. Exciting! Dr. McDonough told us about this and would like ideas from us. Becca will e-mail him and find out what needs to be done, and then she will take charge of this. We’ll help and we’d like to involve some other Sewanee students too.

GreenFest- bentley’s idea
It would be great if there was a weekend when going to the GreenHouse was the thing to do. But should it involve alcohol? Laura and Elspeth think it’s important to show that it is possible to have a sustainable party. We could get fraternities and sororities to co-sponsor. First we need to talk to Dean Hartman and see what he thinks.

We’re hosting lots of dinners!On Thursday with Emery at 5:30. GreenHouse will contribute meat and Emery will make side dishes. Chelsea will cook the meat on Thursday before dinner.
People who don’t live in either house are also invited.
We need to make sure this is okay with Emery.

On Tuesday with Dean Hartman. He will provide pizza. 5:30 again we think—but we need to make sure this is okay with him first. Elspeth will see what he says and send us an e-mail with what’s happening.

Emily—should we cook on Sunday nights? Or dessert? Kate loves cooking and will do it every Sunday. She will write the information on the chalkboard each week. If you want to help cook and if you plan to eat, write your name on the chalkboard so she knows what to expect.

Anyone cooking must wear the chef hat.

Emily and Fritsl Butler are coordinating a run to raise money for the school in Guatemala.
It’s Sept 27th. Register for $10. Emily would like us to participate if possible. We don’t have to run—we could walk or ride a unicycle.

Julie Putgen suggested having an art gallery in the living room to display student work. This is a cool idea especially since there aren’t many places on campus for students to display work. This means that the walls in living room would be covered with a special art-hanging up material, and the furniture will be moved for receptions. Everyone’s okay with this if the art department pays for it. Laura will head up this project and Hanna will help too.
It would also be really great to display a sculpture in the garden—we could have a contest and the winning work (out of recycled materials!) would be displayed for the year. This could be at the Breakfield garden or at the house. After all, we do have scary gargoyles here.

When will we have a garden party?
In the past it’s been on fall party Sunday

We had a Music Jam on Thursday—good job!
Do we want this every other Thursday (on the alternate weeks of the community center jam)?
Let’s plan to do this for the next few months and see how it works out. We’ll advertise through c-student e-mails.

EMS house wants to hang out too. We’re so popular. Maybe they can co-sponsor greenfest? Maybe a cookout? Laura can talk to Drew Mather.

Enviro studies potluck
1st week of October? Maybe. But there are birthdays, midterms, 150 mile bike rides around that time. We’ll keep in contact with Sid Brown and discuss this later.

Kate’s parents are coming in two weeks. She’ll cook dinner Friday and we’re all invited.

Wash your dishes.

We fried some fruit flies in the microwave, but we’re still battling them. Don’t leave crumbs, food matter, dishes out. Wipe down counters. We’ll take away one drying rack to prevent dishes building up there.

Love and joy—Carson and Chelsea deep cleaned the kitchen. Thanks!

Sustainablity on campus conference—in November. If you want more information, talk to Laura

We have newspaper and cardboard up in the kitchen. Write your favorite quotes there, draw pictures, tack things to the cardboard.

Mission statement. Elspeth will send out our compiled ideas tonight.

Projects update:
Carson and Elspeth wrote a proposal for ACS grant money, but it needs to be updated. The grant was to fund outreach stuff (community gardens, elementary school projects)—talk to them if you have more ideas.

Also Carson is growing shitake mushrooms under the porch, but they won’t be ready until spring.

Becca- chickens. These would be at the Garden. Cost? About $200. Online they come in sets of 25 chicks. Katherine Alvarez was allowed to keep her chickens, so the atmosphere is in our favor. But we need to talk to Dean Hartman before we plan any further.

Emily—events, dinners, jams—going well so far.
Right now we should focus on getting a diverse group of people here. We should co-sponsor events with many organizations—not just enviro ones.

Chelsea has updated her project to focus on green building with Housing Sewanee.

The garden chore is tricky right now because we’re not sure what to do. Once the garden in the backyard gets started things will be easier. Carson can help take charge of the backyard garden.

Can Emily’s bible study meet here on Fridays at noon? Sure! Put it on the calendar.

McClurg has green bananas right now. They match Emily’s jacket which is also green.

Meeting adjourned. Everyone in the GreenHouse picked a different room in Emery and we called them all at the same time. That was fun. Invitation extended for dinner on Thursday.

Bentley- can you show us how to not fill the entire blog with the minutes? link to the full text.


Things to talk to Dean Hartman about:
Backyard garden/ compost bins
GreenFest party

Monday, September 8, 2008

Ethos of the Garden

This is what we came up with last semester:

Ethos of the Garden
The Sewanee Organic Garden believes that the following values and farming practices be upheld and maintained throughout the garden's existence:
• Only non-genetically modified seeds and seedlings shall be planted.
• Pesticides and harmful industrial fertilizers shall not be used.
• The use of electrical and gas powered tools and machinery shall be kept to a minimum if used at all.
• Use recycled, scavenged, and prior materials as opposed to purchasing new ones.
• Transportation to and from the garden should be done only by means of walking and bicycling unless transporting heavy materials.

The Sewanee Organic Garden, through the implementation of the prior guidelines, hopes to achieve the following goals:
• The involvement of the community, student-body, faculty, and staff of Sewanee.
• A commitment to education and enlightenment of sustainable agricultural standards.
• The continual refinement of our gardening techniques in hopes of making them more ecologically sensitive.
• The initiation and sustainment of a community garden program in which any Sewanee community member who wants a garden is provided with the tools, manual labor, and passion to ensure that their garden is a success.
• Work with the local farmer's market and Aramark to provide the Sewanee community with locally and or student-grown foodstuffs.
• The implementation of any and all Sewanee gardens as a necessary learning tool into academic curriculum of the University.
• Encourage and provide the means for tours of local farms, agricultural communities, and conferences and workshops focused on sustainable practices.

I want to add:
To support local nurseries and stores as much as possible and using recycled and reused materials to avoid shopping at chain stores

To buy heirloom and unusual types of seeds from non-GM seed sellers and avoid buying from chain stores

To collect and save seeds from our own successful plants

To experiment and demonstrate different types of green manures and mulching techniques

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Meeting Minutes 9/7/8

GreenHouse Meeting Minutes Sunday September 7, 2008

Kate: Meeting Director
Carson: Minute Man
The Party
enjoying different cultures and social groups coming together, Rebecca - introductions of house members - name tags? need to do a better job to explain who lives here, Chelsea - knowing a bit about the “greenness” of the house - what makes house special is something we need to know

The Treasurer and Scheduler Positions
a new leadership role? says Elspeth
in charge of reimbursement forms - keeping track of garden and house budget
also, a “go to” person for scheduling the house for events (ER meetings)

Chelsea takes the position! THE GREENSCHEMER!!!!!!
Helen jumps up to duty for the Treas. Helen “Money Bags”

Jono says green is also a colloquial term for cash money, someone says something inappropriate

Dishwasher use
Clean as we go would be better - do our dishes after we use them
duty of kitchen chore people to put away dishes?, says Kate - Emily is all like “lets put up the dishes ourselves after we use them”

Low Key Event - MUSIC JAM? - this week
adaptations of haskells food for thought?

Dr Miller, according to emily, not very scheduled would be great

what night asks kate?
a theme, maybe? no! we shall say ACOUSTIC

Becca “thursday night makes sense”
Helen remarks that choir is coming over at 7 and afterward we could jam acoustically
c-student email - elspeth jumps to duty

Greenschemer role
to use house, week ahead in advance
on the bill - tuesday (kairos), thurs (music jam)
emily talks of making delicious muffins
bently says he will walk in his undies

Annie A - Archives
says we can keep records of events in the archives
yes-elspeth, laura, others, general yes consensus

Sewanee Purple
ask to write article? asks Kate
editor - megan plummer

Yes - everybody

Kate’s Indy Study - Farm Tours
indy study - farm tours
kyle and jakes house
every 2-3 weeks - use greenhouse to advertise it
transportation - ok to use money of GH? everybody says heck yes

Jake and Kyle - wanting to teach, beer brewing workshop

GH Workshop
Ideas - jam making, paper making
should we put on the agenda?
compost teaching? worm bins?

lets find the worm lady - get in touch with the worm lady, a local worm expert
elspeth - compost 101
laura - advertise in the messenger to attract - asked by kate to do a paper making workshop - not yet she says

Clearance for back yard
Elspeth says to stop by admins office on wed to get the ok

Expansion Committees
Emily - we should have a meeting with the old list of people, including new people - we need to keep up with the most vocal, most excited of the crew like Dixon and Dr Coffee.
Elspeth - will bostwick also interested
Bentley - represents the Garden Committee, recounts meeting with 5 people, not many people went due to scheduling conflicts
Jono - in the dark, with Laura b/c came late
Elspeth explains... the official history of the GH
Bentley and Els - should people be on both committees
Bentley wants a co-leader for Garden Expansion - Carson jumps to duty
House Committee - look at green designs - green homes tour field trips

Individual Projects
Helen - bike stuff, generators, we already have a trainer, we need two more parts, it would be around 150-60, under two hundred, we need a battery, and a motor that generates, jono - need electrician to verify setup, elspeth answers - tom from pps - jim from woods basement - dr coffee - helen - good to sit down later this week

Chelsea - no house as of right now, working with housing sewanee to incorporate more green technology, inquires Kate - Chelsea kind of sees her project (right now) as a bad idea

Emily - talks about putting a garden in the middle of campus
Laura - Garden Expansion committee shoudl take care of it
Helen - asks Chels about her community engagement anthro class, maybe she could persue a greenhouse project for the class

Kates project - making a cobb shedd with tires and earth pack (sand clay straw), water collecting, building it where the shed is now, Chelsea asks that it usually is a place you live in, Jono offers help, need to ask permission from pps and lady who runs garden (name?)

Bentleys project - GH website, other-getting IFC and ISC spots to REPRESENT - getting spot would be difficult, Carson inquires about what they are all about

Laura - says we should save other half for next week

Buying seeds and Trees
kate - made list of garden tasks, we need to buy trees, is it ok to buy trees?
emily and chels - want a peach tree
carson offers to call buddy who owns a bunch of nurseries
jono - what phase of tree is it in when your buy it

Individual Garden Plots
Emily and jono support idea of having individual places to grow things rather that general tasks - a better way to be personally invested in the garden space

Garden Chores
three work days a week
try to have everybody come out would be excellent

Mint Tires and Cold Frames
kate wants to ok as long as movable
starting to build cold frames for windows

Mission Statement
elspeth will send out compiled documents

make a point to close containers - emily
chelsea - GROSSSSSSS - we dont want to be seen that way
dirty towel box - move to Tupperware container should fix the problem

Table Looking Better
maybe making a table cloth - cons are that it is hard to clean
glass with pictures, quilt a table cloth, a crazy quilt
bentley - maybe we should since it

Elspeth - white clothing needs to be washed
self explanatory

Killing bad vines

everybody is excited about it
kate - having garden work days
elspeth - changing work day to something appealing

chelsea - getting people to allow garden work to count as community service for bad kids

Recycling at Frat Houses
Emily - pps wont pick up recycling, maybe we could get them to recycle
bentley - get someone to talk to IFC ISC
someone could talk to ashley, the head ER

House Party
alcohol at the house? - maybe better to talk about this a little later
solo cups are #6 , and not recyclable, a sham

Love and Joy - hugs all around

CHELsea - “I Think that is the first time I have ever hugged bentley” “but not the first time I ever thought about it...”

the room clears, a good night at the greenhouse, people feeling warm inside

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Green! House

Things that are green about our house:
Dual action, low water toliets
Low flow showerheads
Efficient, mercury free fire/smoke detectors and water sprinklers
VOC free paint
Green products used during carpet cleaning
CFL lights
Low odor varnish on floor
Energy *star* appliances

AND they are talking about putting in a water collection system for our garden.

Numbers of important PPS people and emails will be in the information hall.

Green House mentioned in paper

Here's the article we're mentioned in from the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
I heard that there are different photos in the online and print versions.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Meeting Minutes for 9-1-08

Hello folks, here are the notes from our meeting on September 1, 2008!

Website for the GreenHouse: not tacky, maybe green. We haven't decided on anything definite as far as a website goes. Maybe we're still brainstorming.. any ideas?

GreenHouse picture: we talked about having a picture of all the members of the GreenHouse kind of "like a frat", which I think Elspeth said. Bentley's idea was to have "titles like alpha" and Helen wants us to have "nerdy info like in Woods", so maybe we can make all of that work out. When shall we have it you might ask.. Well, we're going to have it at 1:30 this coming Saturday (September 6th) which is 30 minutes before the housewarming party. Becca's going to ask Hanna if she will take the picture.

HOUSEWARMING PARTY!!: This coming Saturday (September 6th) from 2:00 to 5:00 pm, but everyone should know when it is by now. I'm just reminding you. Here are the jobs to get ready for the party and who volunteered for them AND what day they need to be done by. Tell me if I got something wrong.
  • Salsa with fresh tomatoes - Laura and Elspeth, Saturday morning or sometime before the party
  • Coolers from SOP (3 of them) - Bentley, sometime on Saturday or before
  • Healthy cookies - Kate and Carson, Friday
  • Unhealthy cookies - Emily, Friday
  • Hummus (but we need tahini sauce) - Becca, Friday or Saturday? We didn't come up with a specific day for this one
  • Chopping vegetables - Bentley and Jonathan, Saturday?
  • Bread - Chelsea and Elspeth, Friday
  • Grocery trip - Bentley, grocery list (which will be on fridge) needs to be finished by Thursday so we can get groceries by then at the earliest. SO, that means write down what we need at the grocery before Thursday.
  • Tea - Helen and Elspeth, Saturday morning
  • Ask PPS for folding chairs and a table - no one picked this one up.. we just talked about it, so we need to figure this out.
  • Cleaning - Becca's in charge (because she's super clean and good at it too) and everyone is helping
Music for house warming party: mountain top musicians? Carson, will you see who is willing to play on Saturday? We're thinking more on the lines of background music rather than a concert.

House blessing (during house warming): Dr. Potter will play a song/give a talk. Ask Mae Wallace if she will give a talk (Bentley? I think you said you would do this.. tell me if I'm wrong). Elspeth will say a thank you/give a talk.

Invitations: haven't been sent out, so they need to be sent out as soon as possible. AND Bentley is going to send out a Cstudent e-mail about the housewarming because he is skilled in the art of creating creative cstudent e-mails. We need to send an invitation to the Sewanee local farmers and we need to make sure that we tell the Mountain Messenger about the party as well.

Other meeting news (in the order that we talked about them):
Kate's excited about the two large spools in front of Woods and so are Jonathan and Becca, SO, Kate, Laura, and Elspeth (but not Jonathan and Becca because they have class? I think that's what happened) will go get the spool tomorrow (for the house warming party)? Let me know if this is correct?

"Hippies use back door" was taken down because we didn't want there to be pictures of it in the Chattanooga newspaper. Unsure feelings about the Jackson Hole poster. I don't think people will mind if we take it down (I think that's what we decided).

Jonathan has a black flag with a birthday cake with an X through it.

As far as nails go.. use indoor nails?

Don't leave bikes out in the rain - really bad for bikes. Put them in the basement... preferably not the screened in porch because that room will get really crowded really quickly.

Chore wheel - instructions on the blog and on the fridge. We will rotate jobs after every meeting.

Everyone needs to load their own dishes into the dishwasher and whoever has kitchen duty for the week has to keep an eye on the dishwasher and start it whenever it gets full. Not hard.. oh and we will need dishwasher detergent.

Clean up after yourself in general (as far as shared spaces go... kitchen, living room, porch, etc.... so, it doesn't apply to your room.. clearly)

Meeting duty: 2 person duty. One person heads the meeting and the other one takes minutes. If anyone has anything they would like to have brought up at the meeting then find one of the 2 people that are on meeting duty.

Garden duty refers to the garden in our backyard, so right now whoever has garden duty will just plan for the garden in the future because right now we are only growing grass : (

WORK AT THE GARDEN THIS WEDNESDAY FROM 2-4!!! yea! (highly encouraged.. but not mandatory if you can't make it)

"I would like to direct your attention to the garden game." -Jonathan

Meeting with ERs: vines killing trees, mowing yard (that goes to PPS), everything yard-like that needs to be approved by Hartman

Compost bin in our backyard.. when is that going up?

BIRTHDAY AND CAKES! (no box cakes, they're lameee) and whoever memorizes all the birthdays and favorite desserts gets...... ... ... brownies.. made my me.. no joke. On a first to do it basis. We'll see if anyone actually reads this far into the blog anyway. You have to recite them to me.
  • Jonathan: 10/5, chocolate cake, pumpkin cheesecake, summer berry pie
  • Bentley: 11/22, pecan pie
  • Becca: 2/13, red velvet
  • Elspeth: 10/7, chocolate or carrot cake
  • Carson: 2/24, red velvet
  • Laura: 4/27, carrot cake and ice cream
  • Kate: 12/11, oreo ice cream cake or chocolate cake
  • Chelsea: 1/9, Fudge pie
  • Emily: 3/7, chocolate cake with a whole lot of chocolate
  • Helen: 3/12, Banana pudding
  • Paul 8/28 or 29?, Paul, what's your favorite cake or dessert?

"I would like to direct your attention to the family creative workshop books." -Jonathan

Speakers to present to the lecture committee? Anyone have any ideas? I think this would be a great way to get people to the house for a small talk or dinner with the speaker after the talk and it would be sweet to get a great speaker here.

Glass bottles in the garden breaking? Not as long as you don't rake the soil or use any hard tools in the beds. We won't need to as long as we have good soil. No glass around main pathways, though, only raised beds.


Richie Hubbard's basic needs program.. we may not sponsor a kid as a house, but if you are interested in doing it yourself then go to Kate. Sounds like a great program.


Bringing classes over to the house? YES! But, I think we need to talk about it as we see it coming just so everyone knows what's going on. Calendar for all the events.. good idea. I think we have one up right now in the main hallway on the first floor.

Stopwatches for timing showers.. we need them right now.

We did have a hummingbird named Tetra last night, BUT, she is okay now! SO SHE FLEW AWAY!!!!! YEA! We'll forever remember her from those 27 hours we spent with her.


Meeting lead by Bentley Cook
and minutes by Emily Ezell

Sunday, August 31, 2008

House Work


Done on a rotating basis.
You and your partner work together on each chore for one week.

Kitchen: Clean kitchen thoroughly by Sunday evening each week. Wash counters, dishes, dry and put away dishes. Wash top of stove. Clean out spoiled food from fridge and freezer. Sweep floor. Wash table (once we have it). Clean at least once a week and as needed (when kitchen is dirty and when it is needed for an event).

Living room: Tidy living room, screen porch and back porch thoroughly by Sunday evening each week. Put away games, books, art supplies, tools, and anything else. Adjust couch cushions, compost wilted flowers, and sweep floors. Tidy table tops and floor space where junk accumulates. (You may need to spend 5 minutes per day on this throughout the week.)

Garden: Varies week by week. Includes, compost duty, watering, mulching, building, planting, and weeding. Talk to Kate about what needs to be done.

Love and Joy: You and your partner do something nice for everyone else in the house.

Meeting: You and your partner must speak with each member of the house before the Sunday house meeting to find out what needs to be discussed at the upcoming meeting. Put together an agenda together. One person will lead the meeting and the other will take notes and post the notes on the blog by Tuesday night.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Programmable Thermostats!

Hello all,
I am just writing to encourage everyone to speak to their parents about installing programmable thermostats in their home. Me and my mom recently convinced ourselves that it was necessary, after about three years of discussing it as something that we ought to do. It cost forty dollars, and took about twenty minutes for us to install ourselves. I think it would be great if we could all commit to having one in our home, as well as making sure we do something similar at the Green House? 

The programmable thermostat that we purchased has an EPA energy star program on it (you can also make your own program.) The EPA program is as follows for the summer: From 6am to 8 am it is set at 78 degrees. From 8am to 6pm it is set at 85 degrees. From 6pm to 10pm it is set at 78 degrees, and from 10pm to 6am it is set at 82 degrees. There is a different setting for Winter months. I'm sure it will save us the forty dollars it cost us within a few months. I hope we can do something similar in the Green House?? Or just go sans air conditioning entirely.

I am soo soo excited about coming back to Sewanee in a few days!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Family Creative Workshop

I just wanted to let everyone know that on Monday morning i purchased the complete Family Creative Workshop 24 volume set. These books are so great. the titles are as follows:
#1 Acrylics to Batik
#2 Beachcombing to Bottle Gardens
#3 Boxes to Card Tricks
#4 Carryalls to Confections
#5 Cosmetics to Egg Decoration
#6 Embroidery to Lace
#7 Glass Working to Hibachi
#8 Hooked Rugs to Lace
#9 Lamps & Shades to Maps & Pathfinding
#10 Marmalades and Preserves to Mosaics
#11 Music Making to Paper Mache
#12 Parades & Festivals to Pinatas
#13 Pin Striping to Puzzles
#14 Quilting to Rope Knotting
#15 Rosemaling to Scrimshaw
#16 Sculpture to Silhouettes
#17 Silversmithing to Sprang
#18 Square Dancing to Sugar Shapes
#19 Sundials to Tatting
#20 Tea to Toys
#21 Knitting to Vegetable Dyes
#22 Vinegars to Winter Sculpture
#23 Wire Sculpture to Zoetrope Toys
#24 Index

There is so much stuff in here that will help in practical tasks for the Greenhouse (like marmalades, preserves, and Tea) as well as impractical things that will just be really fun to do! (like bonsai, glass cutting, square dancing, parades and festivals). The volumes are arranged in alphabetical order, so there are so so many things in between what the titles say. I am excited and you should be too.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sunday, August 10, 2008

New House!!

Hey guys,

Bentley mentioned that he was going to bring some stuff from home to outfil the NEW ECOHOUSE!! Yay!!! I think this year we should make the house really unique, colorful, artsy, and beautiful, make it a place that is inviting and tasteful. So, while most everyone is home maybe if you have a picture, rug, bric-a-brac you don't really want anymore, or like Bentley, old kitchen stuff. You could add a comment onto this post so we can keep track of what all we have so we don't get 50 log cabin shaped bottles, for example.

Personally, I am bringing a ton of food that my mom was going to throw away and some old calender pictures that might look nice framed or collaged, some curtains, and probably some other stuff that I'll find and throw in.

This house is going to be amazing!!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Goals to consider

Yesterday I gave veggies from our garden to Dean Hartman and Kay Brown and
talked to Dean Hartman for a while. We spent much of the spring telling
Dean Hartman what we want
and what he could do for us, so
I asked what we could do for him.
Here's what he said:

1) Think about and talk with him about what students like us
want from college.

2) Share our ideas for programs and projects with him.

3) Think about how to make Sewanee a healthier place.

4) Work towards making the drinking scene less dominant
and overpowering.

5) Think about our house as a model for future
student residences, especially
the student research house.
If we had a budget, how would we want it to be
programming? technology? infrastructure?
is this representative
of what other similar houses would need?

6) Keep the house and grounds looking nice.

7)Work with the Living Learning communities,
esp Our Planet, to make the
LLCs a viable living learning situation.
Some people think that
the LLC's "aren't Sewanee".
Let's help to make them "Sewanee".

8) Make our lives a "transparent living experience".
If a regent who owns a
coal mine wants to know what sustainability is,
our lives should be
examples of that.
Everything we do should be perfectly visible and easy

for people to understand. Hartman described it as a pop up book.
What we do
differently that makes our life and house sustainable
should be so obvious
no one can miss it.
No one should have to ask: "What makes the greenhouse
Think about what the tour guides would say about our house to

explain what we're about and how we live to people who have no
or understanding of the idea of sustainable living.

I think the last two are especially important.
We need to bring the LLC folks over to our house
and get them to keep coming for our programs. I want to take a
trip to Keener's farm early on with a big group of students.
The "transparent living experience" can be helped some
simply by putting up signs and notes about what we do.

Send and post your thoughts.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Meet Spunky

(That is a highland cow who I meet on my walk everyday. I named him Spunky)

Here are some pictures of the farms I have stayed at recently and/or visited. To my left, you can see a thatched roof chicken coop.
That's right, that is for chickens.

Next, (this is for Helen) there is a bike electricity generator, being used as a demonstration piece for the Earthship house I went to near
Edinburgh. The house was completely self-sustainable, made out of bottles, tires, cans, and earth mixes, taking care of its own water, electricity and sewage. Surrounding the house were gardens, greenhouses made out of bottles, children play areas made of reused materials and willow sculpting, and a really scary scarecrow.

To my right, there is the wall that I helped to render (which is like cob but made with less straw and more clay and sand, and is put on in layers). There were two families that had four kids in total who were running a small box scheme and building their straw bale house using very few electrical tools or nails, so I got to learn how to mix up cob and apply plasters to walls. Very educational.

The next picture is from the large box scheme farm I stayed out right next to Edinburgh. This shows the walled garden. There was a large raspberry, tayberry and strawberry patch where we could eat as many berries as we wanted (which we often took full advantage of)

Also, 10 points to whoever can identify this cathedral (hint, its in England, not Scotland and the columns are a dead giveaway)

Hey! It might be fun to have a slide show from all our summer adventures - remember when Angie did a powerpoint on Old Mill Farm?

Tasty Veggies

Hello Everybody,

Here are some pics of some delicious vegetables consumed right out of the garden. Look at me, I'm about to eat that garlic! Elspeth is all like, "woah, check out this carrot. this is the biggest carrot EVERRR!"

Monday, August 4, 2008

Wouldn't you like to know, Jonathan?

I've made a draft...but it's not official till we hear res life's two cents. Which I hope will be this week. Suffice to say, it's pretty close to the rooming plan we made last spring. Look, I promise I'll tell you soon, but not till after I've talked with Nicky Hamilton and Eric Hartman.

So Elspeth, any thoughts yet on who's rooming where/who's rooming with who?

i check this blog every day and theres hardly ever anything new anymore. thus, i will write a post. i hosted a yard sale for emily last saturday in order to raise money for eric's quest for $20,000 and we did pretty well. over 400 dollars well. emily got a bunch of people to donate stuff to the sale, and they brought it over to my house the day before. this gave me ample opportunity to rummage through the rubble and buy what i wanted before the sale happened, and i was quite pleased with what i found. in my living room was a 1960's Smith-Corona Super Sterling Typewriter in pristine condition!! i picked it up and i could tell that somehow it was smiling at me. i knew that we were meant to be. since then my mother has teached me the in's and out's, and the half-ways between in and out about using a typewriter. needless to say, i have used it nonstop for the last 2 days, and i would have used it to type out this post, but i was afraid the keys striking my computer screen might have damaged it, so i will type it using this new-age computing device instead. after discussing it, emily and i decided that on april fool's, or just whenever i wanted to, i had to go to the ATC and tack away loudly on a paper or some notes or something. And yes, i will be using it in the house, and yes you will probably get very annoyed, at which point i will go to the attic(which i discovered has a crudely carpeted floor/room, unless they removed it during construction) and finish(out of earshot) the beautiful poem or letter i am typing, maybe even for you, the person who expresses their annoyance. And then won't you feel bad about expressing that annoyance. that's right, being annoyed should have been a sacrifice in exchange for a beautiful gift, but you bastardized that gift in your unwillingness to be annoyed for a few measly hours. that is going to be great, and i hope all of you are looking forward to that in a month. i also purchased a bottle in the shape of a perching eagle, which i will be drinking water out of at the dinner table. and i also have a bottle that is shaped like a log cabin, if anyone would like to join me in that endevour. maybe we could have a club in which you have to drink out of an oddly shaped bottle at the dinner table, but then it just becomes so common and everyday that we forget it's a club. that would be cool. These are just some of the things you all can look forward to with longing, anticipation, maybe even groaning in the pains of yearning. i know i already do.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

movies on the (GreenHouse) lawn?

hey, so I know that the general consensus is that we shouldn't have a TV in our house, and I agree. BUT, I do think offering movies to the campus is a good way to get more people over to see us. SO, what if we could somehow get a hold of a projector and a large screen (or white bed sheet) so that we could watch movies in our front or back yard? What are your ideas on this?
so elspeth, any thoughts on who's rooming where/who's rooming with who?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

GLOBAL GREEN is sweeeeet!


I'm currently in New Orleans and have been exploring this exciting city, which has been great, BUT one of the more exciting things I've done while I've been here is to take a tour of one of Global Green's houses.

Basically, Mary, who I'm visiting, and I showed up there and they gave us a tour of the whole house. I don't want to overload you guys with too much information, so I'll try to just cover the most exciting stuff.

Hightlights of the house:

  • 28 solar panels (you can see them on the roof from this picture)
  • tankless water heater: heats water as it is needed that way you don't run out of hot water AND it uses less electricity
  • dual flush toilet: has two buttons on it so that one button uses more water to flush than the other. if you only ever push the button that uses less water then you are saving 40% of the water you usually waste! crazy!?
  • non-toxic paint: this is something we can try to get used on the armentrout house unless it has already been repainted... this paint has less pollution causing chemicals in it so it helps imrpove the indoor air quality.
  • a lot of furniture and rugs made out of bamboo and banana leaf fibers

Also, everyone had to take their shoes off when they entered the house because it helped with the air quality... doesn't bring all the dust particles and pollution that shoes have on them, so that's something we could do, if you guys are interested..

There's a heck of a lot more information where this small portion came from. Go to if you want to see more about this house and the other houses they are going to build in the 9th ward of New Orleans. I think this information will be really helpful for the GreenHouse design committee : ) Maybe we could implement some of these techniques and ideas to the future farmhouse!?

Request for your ideas

Hey kids,
I'd like to put together a list of things that we would like to do in the house and surrounding yard, so that we have something to go on when we start meeting with faculty and staff about planning the house. This whole year will be the beginning of the house and so we probably won't have everything from the very beginning but we can begin to plan for things. Please send me an e-mail or post a comment with a note about what you want to see or make at the house. These can be immediate changes (clothesline) or goals for the next couple years (rain water collection) and they can range from big things (like building a mud or brick oven) or small things (some particular thing you want in the kitchen).

Next, I'd like to prepare a rough schedule of things to host in the first two months of school. We won't put together a specific schedule of events till we're all on campus; this is just a list of what we'll host. If we have a list prepared, we can go to Dean Hartman, the Activities Office, or other clubs and ask if they'd like to cosponsor the event or help us out. Can you also send or post your thoughts on activities and events you want to host this fall?

Thank you!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Clothes lines!?

HEYY, so Mary Matthews brought up this great point.. why don't we have clothes lines in Sewanee? I mean, yes they would cost more money to put up, but wouldn't people use them and ultimately save more money from using less energy? Is this something we have thought about before? Just wondering.. and if it isn't, then could we put some up? 

Thoughts? Answers?

Friday, July 18, 2008

oh and not to use propaganda techniques but

look at this cute bird - and also ducks could also be a possibility-

Sewanee Chickens

Soo I've been biding my time waiting for some sort of resolution with the "Save Sewanee Chickens" battle to see how viable it would be for us to try and obtain permission to raise chickens next year. It now appears that the decision has been deferred until August and has been moved from the Lease Committee to the Community Council. Katherine Alvarez seems to think that Sewanee officials are "are indeed considering the greater issues of sustainability and local food, right and wrong, and common sense." So do we think this would be the best time for me to push onward in the battle for chickens? I felt weird even starting before we knew for sure that we had a new house for the fall - I didn't want Hartman or others to view it as a sign of trouble to come and think twice about giving us the house. But now that we know the house will be ours in the fall, and now that Katherine Alvarez seems to be encouraged rather than discouraged about the prospects of Sewanee chicken as pets or otherwise, then I think we should step out in a strong way pro-chicken. Unless there is an opposition to this in the House, I'm going to finalize my proposal for Green House chickens for the upcoming year. I can post it to the blog in the next few days and you guys can make comments or changes in plans or whatever and then I'll send it to the Community Council and Katherine Alvarez and Zigler and Haskell and whoever else needs to be involved in the process.

So I guess what I'm asking is if everyone thinks now is a good time for me to do all this or if we should wait until Alvarez gets a more final verdict? Or until we are more nicely settled in our new home? I am open to whatever everyone else wants. Soooo feedback please!


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Okay so I walking through the Scottish countryside last night, thinking about the Organic Garden and had this brilliant image of the walkways lined with wine bottles and beer bottles- upside down with the necks pushed into the ground, being used as the sides for the raised beds. Since we can't recycle glass, why don't we just use them for something incredibly practice, instead of having to buy or scavenge for wood.
What do you think?

In any case, I think this calls for help from the ERs, to collect glass from all or some of the dorms (maybe start with one or two), and definately if we start collecting now from our homes and those living at Sewanee this summer, we could see how it works. So start saving!

P.S. when do find out who is our new ER leader person (aka new Lynn)?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Yea, Sewanee's Green! -New Student Info

The website for new students has an entire section dedicated to environmentalism at Sewanee with information about how much energy and water we consume each year. Note the photos of Kate's lovely signs for the organic garden:

Yea, Sewanee's Green

Thursday, July 10, 2008

the Greenhouse

We'll move in this August!
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