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Going Green in Northeast Ohio!

Going Green in Northeast Ohio!

A few months ago I was driving in Lake County looking for an address, when a gentleman named Jerry, offered to help me.  He suggested I continue into his driveway and go down to his log cabin home while he looked for the information I needed in the phone book.  As I approached the home, I noticed an active turbine windmill, a straw bale garden, and a log cabin.  Jerry offered to give me a tour of the log cabin, which he had built himself.  He added stained glass windows that his wife, Cheryl, designed.  I was quite taken with everything I saw that day, and knew I wanted to share some of it with you.


Let’s start with the straw bale gardens, also called, “SBG”.  The straw bales used to produce their garden, were of particular interest to me. Although I can tell you a little bit about it, and that I saw first-hand how it works, I cannot print the entire set of instructions for you due to copyright infringement laws.  If you are interested in obtaining the .pdf explaining all the ins and outs and how-to’s of this alternative choice in gardening, it is available for $9.99 from www.strawbalegardens.com.  It is 18 pages (eight chapters) of necessary, worthwhile material.  I have read it, and it is well worth the small investment to take advantage of such an innovative method of gardening. It’s so easy; anyone should be able to do it.

Below are some highlights, but the .pdf goes into greater detail explaining in an easy-to-understand manner, the entire process:
  • Preparing the bales for planting is quick and can be done in 12 days or less.  The process can be started in late winter or very early spring.
  • An SBG can be positioned on almost any surface. The surface underneath the bales will not play a role in the process, and will only act as a drain for water that filters out of the straw bales.  Slight sloping can be advantageous.
  • The site will need full sun exposure for a minimum of 6-8 hours necessary each day.
  • A 24” space between rows is recommended.
  • It’s important to use the cut side positioned upward to allow for water and fertilizer penetration.

Above photos are those of Cheryl and Jim’s SBG and below is the wind turbine.

On August 2, 2012, Cheryl and Jim erected their wind turbine, with the hope of becoming totally energy self-sufficient.  It has computer software displaying exactly what the turbine is doing, which Cheryl finds interesting. It’s 45 feet tall and each blade is about six feet long.  Cheryl and Jim are eagerly waiting to see just how much energy they produce, and will keep us updated. Cheryl stated, “We are trying our best to do what we can to help support green energy.”  I would say so.

Next Thursday, I will share the photos of the log cabin Jerry built, and the beautiful stained glass windows designed and made by Cheryl.

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  • Joanne Loftus
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