Sunday, March 14, 2010

Daylight Savings

A few people have asked for more photos of the Solar Living Centre, so I've posted some of my favourite on-site features. Solar 2000 is our 132 kilowatt solar array that straddles the south side of our property and a neighbouring vineyard. It was the first grid-connected solar array built in California to sell exclusively into the deregulated electricity market of the late 1990s, and is my all-time favourite backdrop for photo shoots. In addition to Solar 2000, the property has a number of off-grid solar photovoltaic and thermal panels that supply clean energy and heat to the SLI offices and the Real Goods flagship store, which is the centre piece of our property.

The Real Goods store is located in the central oasis and was built to maximize the use of passive solar design -- in the summer months, the building is shielded from the intense summer sun through a combination of overhangs, outdoor grape arbors, and a central fountain with a "drip ring" that provides evaporative cooling qualities. In the winter months, the building is insulated from the outdoor air through super-insulating straw bale walls.

The north side of our property contains a beautiful organic garden where we celebrated daylight savings tonight by transplanting baby radishes from our greenhouse into our freshly dug garden beds. Next to the garden is our heart-shaped pond (I am not joking) that is home to a number of friendly ducks, including Frank who is pictured above.


  1. the blue skies and sunshine look wonderful. especially on a gray, rainy day in Toronto.

  2. Great crop of photos Emily. 4th photo, what is that large brown humanoid figure off to the right? I'll have to take your word that Frank is first glance I thought he looked Aqua Teen Hunger Force type of crazy, possibly a robot chicken (solar powered of course). Keep up the photos/blog. Looks surreal. I'm sure it's even better in person.

  3. Hey! Great pics! Frank is looking pretty sharp too. And check you out in those overalls - you mean business with those on!
    It's great to see more photos from where you are now, keep them coming.
    Love, Sar

  4. Did I say Frank was a chicken? lol, that's why I think he looks crazy because he DOES look like he's half chicken (head) / half duck.