Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Garden Improv

So you had a plan.  Then the gophers showed up.  Or the mercury hit 70 in February.

Sticking to a rigid plan with gardening can be dangerous.  Historical data is informative but should never drown out what we see and hear in a garden.  Looking for cues from plants is the best way to proceed with gardening tasks.

Make it rain. Or turn on your irrigation system for half a day to simulate a rainstorm.  Antsy to start your frost tender plants now?  What will you do if there's a cold snap in April?

Gardening is one of the few professions where experts often try to eliminate change [see hedges in Webster].  Course-correcting nature requires constant adjustments because nature constantly changes. 

Improvising will produce its share of comedic moments.  Hopefully some unexpected and beautiful ones as well.


Sunday, February 2, 2020

Powering Through 2020


Plants rely on the sun.  People rely on PG&E.  People should be smarter.

Thankfully there are groups like Silicon Valley Clean Energy & Powerhouse that are building a healthier more resilient energy ecosystem.  Gridshift Hackathon was part of that effort.  Teams presented apps that display billing data intuitively and take the guesswork out of saving energy/money.

In layman’s terms, pricing signals are as antiquated as PGE’s grid infrastructure.  Intelligent use of computing power and smart devices would reduce spikes in demand.  Storing power in the growing fleet of electric vehicles could capture renewable [solar] energy as it is created. Note: a battery in a Tesla Model 3 could power a dryer [the most power thirsty residential appliance] for 20 cycles.

Supporting Sonoma Valley Clean Power and paying more attention to how you use power is the best way to create a safe and smart energy system.