Here at the DP we believe in three sustainabilities: environmental, economic and emotional. Investing in a third planting of carrots in mid-July grows our savings, and earns us interest. Growing carrots increases soil capacity, by breaking up the soil and attracting beneficial organisms. Pulling and eating crispy and sweet carrots in December makes us giddy. Invest in a third planting of carrots next summer, it’s the responsible thing to do!
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A few of the Dacha Project’s members helped start a company this year, and they are just unveiling their second product. They have been working very hard from conception to production, and we’re very proud of them! Check it out, it’s EcoJarz and they are nice-looking, super-useful and will go a long way to help prevent waste.
Their new product is a silicone version of their first. It’s a hot green drink top that makes any small-mouthed jar into a to-go container. Not only that, but the tops are completely non-reactive, with no-BPA, and no leach. Try as hard as you might, this is very hard to find. With one of these lids you can have an all glass, steal and/or silicone drinking vessel, and that is still rare in the marketplace.
Rain or shine. Come out and support the Dacha Project, by putting in some horsepower this upcoming Sunday! That’s right, we’re having another work party weekend.
Last weekend, we built a structure for recycling and garbage, constructed a firewood cutting station, and put the final coat of plaster on an entire quarter of this passive-solar earth-bermed wonder, amongst other things.
This weekend, there will be much much more. Hurrah!
Any number of people that show up motivate us to get more projects done. Besides, it’s beautiful out here right now and it’s pretty much everywhere you want to be. Yey!
Thank you for <3ing the bedazzle out of us, and coming out!
Let us know if you’ll be joining us by emailing dachaproject at gmail dot com.
It is no secret that here at the Dacha Project, do-it-yourself (diy), is often our preferred method of getting the things we need. Our latest homemade adventure is building our own solar panel mounts. Why would we do such a thing? It’s three to five times cheaper, which is significant given that often the mounts nearly equal the costs of the panels. In all honesty it can be a bit complicated to securely attach the mounts, but our effort has been worth it in cost-savings alone.
Building our own also allows us to add any amount of panels at a time. Our latest addition includes two new solar panels that we named Lapland and Lucy. I just made those names up, but feel free to refer to our solar panels by those names anytime. This will result in a total sum of five solar panels. With our new battery bank, and the addition of Lucy and Lapland, we will run the Jenny (our beloved generator- real name) way less. Read the rest of the post for some more specifics on the materials used. More specifics are included below, but please note that this is not meant to be a comprehensive guide on how to do this, but a general description to inform of this very real possibility.
Specifics: We are building the mounts out of 1/8 inch (beefy) slotted struts, otherwise known as unistrut, and simple hardware that can be bought at the hardware store. This is easy to assemble, once you know the dimensions of your mount. The unistrut can be cut with a cut-off saw, and you’ll want to make sure to smooth out any jagged edges.
When mounting the mount to the roof make sure to include cross-braces (not pictured below), these can be made out of thinner gage struts. You have to make sure that you brace it enough that the wind doesn’t catch it and blow it off into the yard.
One day our roof will be covered in solar panels nestled into homemade mounts, put up two to three at a time!
Thanks to those who participated in our Vision + Mission survey! We used your answers to the question “How would you describe the Dacha Project to someone?” to create this word cloud.
This visualization played a big role in our first Vision + Mission meeting, which we had this morning. We are using it alongside our own list of words and ideas to create a Dacha Project tag line. So far there are many in the works that we like. If you didn’t get a survey, but would like one reply with your email address!
We will surely share our new tag line and mission statement as they solidify over the next two weeks. There might even be a community vote regarding the tag line!
Hey Greater Ithaca Community, it’s mad nice out, and we’ll be working outside all weekend and today long. Come and join us today or Saturday or Sunday for getting your hands in the dirt and getting up close with squishy worms. Planting, mulching, cleaning and building. Let us know if you are thinking of coming out, by dropping a line. If enough folks wanna come out maybe we’ll bbq! Love, the Dacha.Hey Greater Ithaca Community, it’s mad nice out, and we’ll be working outside all weekend and today long. Come and join us today or Saturday or Sunday for getting your hands in the dirt and getting up close with squishy worms. Planting, mulching, cleaning and building. Let us know if you are thinking of coming out, by dropping a line. If enough folks wanna come out maybe we’ll bbq! Love, the Dacha.
On a blustery early spring day, I was juicing carrots, oranges and parsley, when my juicer suddenly stopped working. I love this juicer and did not want to throw it away, so heart-broken I asked for advice. Joe and Danila said, let’s take it apart and see what’s wrong. After a few minutes of fiddling with a Philips head, we found a blown fuse on the circuit board. You know a blown fuse when you see won, because the filament inside the glass tube is broken, and no longer continuous.
We promptly replaced the fuse with one we had lying around (.25 cents at the hardware store), and in just ten minutes my old but sturdy juicer is back in action!
Joe says: Today, many appliances are made in such a cheap fashion that they don’t even have a fuse. Still, checking the fuse, or for the fuse is always a great idea. In this case, it saved us 80 dollars.
Danila says: Tips to remember- Label your wires and keep track of your screws.
I say: Fuses come in different gages. Look for the gage number written on the fuse or on your appliance, and replace it with one of equal value. Fuses are easy to replace, you can pop one out with your finger, or a butter knife, and they pop back in easily as well.
LeaLSF Cultura: art, film, writing, multi-media, DIY alternative building, empowered: power from the people, excerpt, film, finger lakes, fingerlakes, homestead, intentional community, ithaca, sustainability, tompkins county, upstate ny, video 0 Comments
Laugh, cry, and marvel at how messy dacha land is. A group of amazing women make a movie and the Dacha Project is in it. If you haven’t seen it yet, check check it out. The clip below is all about us! See the whole thing and learn more about this ongoing project, and how you can get to screen it near you at http://empoweredthemovie.com/.
September 27, 2009. Photo by David Korman
This photo was taken at the Lake Street house in Ithaca well before any of us moved out to the dacha. Outlined on the blackboard were three words to describe our agenda for that specific meeting: energy, dedication, warehouse. Gawd knows what it meant to us back then, but let’s have a stab at it.
“Energy,” could have been referring to a generator, but then again it could also be referring to human power. Yes, looking at the date, I think “energy” refers to the personal energy we all needed to have to button up the shell of the common house. We had worked all spring and summer, and the cold weather was descending, eventually. Therefore we needed to discuss “energy!” I’m pretty sure at this exact moment Joe is saying, “And, why not? We’ll just keep building.” Go Joe!
“Dedication” well I think that went really well along with the first agenda item. Case closed. We hardly had to discuss that after talking about “energy,” and that is why Danila looks so happy.
And of course, “warehouse.” If I remember correctly, its referring to that crazy idea we once had of opening up a magnetic toy company, and needed to decide on the type and size and color of the warehouse we’d need. Oh wait, that was something else. This actually refers to the time when a lady invited us to scoop odd things like industrial sinks and brand new wooden doors from her warehouse in Ithaca, and we needed to vote on whether we wanted to trade her raking leaves for the stuff. The next few weekends saw us raking leaves on her various properties around town. The doors are now protecting our bathrooms from unwanted intruders, but something tells me new leaves have gathered on her lawns. I think we know who got the better end of the deal, and that is what I, Lea am sitting there smirking about as I look into the future, or just into Joe’s ear.
Everything is possible in the past. And what does the future hold for the Dacha Project? Stay tuned in 2012 for a brand new season of this Brand New House.
…we are posting our notes from our last meeting, held yesterday Dec. 14, 2011. The notes should mention that the meeting was concluded by each member drawing a name out of a hat for Secret Santa, and that the whole affair was followed up by a sauna. Please no inquiries about who got who for Secret Santa, as our byway-laws forbid us from ever divulging anything that might ruin a surprise, and hence cost someone a burrito.*
Dec 14 2011 All Dacha peeps present.agenda:
turning off genny
friend says 135/watt, 240watt – $324 a panel. Rack can fit 2 more panels. No other wiring required. $644 for 2 panels plus tax. Lea says she will buy one panel. Do we need LED bulbs so that the batteries will make it? When will we get the batteries? Maybe Spring, maybe August. We agree that we should buy both then. Yey!
monthly grants each of 1,000. Could this be a DIY lighting grant? We are using CFLs but we can take this from good to awesome. We can contrast the two realities. Metering systems for Dacha might be a possibility.
Driveway sucks – ruining lives. 125 feet of material joe has left over. Can we use that? It’s not enough, but how about for walkway?
Joe thinks crushed concrete would work best. How long is the driveway? 425 long is the length of the roll. $488. do we need to try to get people to park other places in the future?Can we do something before Spring? Prob not. Should we have a driveway fund? Or just put that on the shopping list? Maybe! Buy a foot of the driveway dance fundraiser? Maybe mid-March?
Danila is going to tile the shower. Yey!
We will try the putting in money thing and if it doesnt work then we’ll revamp.
What do we want to have on common things list:
Lea will make a bulks list on google docs. We can pay at the time we pay taxes?
Cubies and glass need to go to dump. Joe and Lea and Marina will load and take on Friday.
Open boxes above crappy table part of kitchen? Maybe the boxes don’t need to be too deep. Lighting, maybe at top of shelf? Push over stove to make full length. Make some low shelves slide. And drawer for utensils, too. Magnetic knife rack and spice rack. Hanging stuff for pots and pans.
How can we make the best of the site? We can post even links to articles – easy! Pre-spring time media party? We should also give Ari veggies and make a meeting with her.
Next year will be more agricultural. Maybe we print maps and give to everyone, set up perma-library, and people can put ideas down. You don’t need to be an expert!
Lea will make bulks list
Joe will contact solar friend
Sharon will look at grant application
Price real driveway cost – Joe?
Put tractor chains on.
Stack the wood – this weekend
Marina will mark the water level.
solar panels – 330
thing for tractor – 30
125 ft of
dump run – 30 and some gas.
old shopping list:
One more window for sun room – $100
drywall – $28
plywood – $15
another bag of insulation – $16
door for hallway – $125 look at sig elements
radiant floor – pump (AC) – $200
* burrito– a form of currency. ie. I will bet you a burrito that it will take longer to finish building the bedrooms than three months. To date- the author of this post is owed a burrito from Lily. Marina also deserves a burrito from Lily, and Danila is owed a burrito by me, and by Lily. Joe probably owes all of the people here burritos do to a health dose of positive thinking, and it won’t be long until Sharon is owed some burritos, even though she just moved back to the area.