Home Alternative Technology

Alternative Technology and Renewable Energy can be great fun and very rewarding, especially if done at home. On this blog I share my ideas and tips for mainly simple and inexpensive alternative technology projects.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Hens laying again!

I'm pleased to report that my three hens have started egg production once again. They slowed up in October after their moult, but things seem to be getting back to normal now.

We are getting two good sized eggs a day so I am hopeful that they have been saved from the table. There seems little point in keeping chickens unless they lay eggs for you, or am I being cynical? They are now in their second year of life so egg yield is bound to slow up a bit. I will let them continue into the summer and review the situation then.

While egg production was low they were definitely eating less of their organic layer's pellets, seeming quite happy to scratch around the run finding tasty insect morsels. They really enjoy various kitchen scraps too, particulary leftover cooked rice. I'm really looking forward to the better weather, when I can take a glass of wine up to the run and sit in a deckchair watching my girls!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Home Power Magazine

I recently took out a subscription t0 Home Power Magazine which is an American publication dealing with renewable energy on a domestic scale. The American's are really into Alternative Technology and the articles in the mag are very interesting.

The first edition arrived today and I'm sure I will read it cover to cover. You can either get a hard copy subscription or a PDF download and they have a demo copy available free. I suppose I should have got the PDF version and saved paper, (and money!) but I really like having a hard copy magazine that I can take anywhere with me.

I'm not aware of any similar publication in the UK, unless someone can advise me otherwise? Maybe the home renewable energy market here is too small to support such a venture? I really think it will grow as time goes on, particularly with energy prices set to rise by huge amounts in the future.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Christmas Holiday

Been away on holiday for Christmas in the Azores. Beautiful volcanic islands in the Atlantic, 1000 miles west of Lisbon in Portugal. First time we've been away at Christmas in 32 years!

Spectacular scenery, but a little disappointing as far as alternative technology is concerned. Didn't see a single wind generator or solar panel while we were there and yet the islands have plenty of wind and sun. There is also some volcanic activity in the form of hot springs and bubbling warm mud. The Azoreans do use the hot mud for slow pot cooking of some stews.

They do apparently generate 10% of their electricity from geothermal sources, but we didn't find where the power plants were. Thoroughly recommend Archipelago Azores who we booked with and found them to be very attentive. Everything went very smoothly, with no horror stories or delays.