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Weekend Update

June 21, 2009

June 21 2009 (12)The great thing about gardening is that it gets exciting all at once. The pole beans and cukes are working their way up the fence, and the bush beans are flowering (above). Tomatoes are coming along quite nicely too!June 21 2009 (16)

Speaking of getting excited, I braved the morning downpour (and subsequent humidity) and went to the Piedmont Alternative Energy Expo Saturday. If you didn’t go, you missed a great show- bookmark RLEP’s website, and make sure that next year’s show gets on your calendar!June 21 2009 (1)

The indoor exhibitors were a mix of solar power dealers and installers, architects, geothermal heating companies, a company out of Fredericksburg selling residential wind turbines, and several other providers and organizations. I picked up a ton of literature, met some great, passionate people, and learned a lot. Among the outdoor exhibitors were electric cars and their builders. On the one hand, it was a little discouraging to see how far we still have to go: the incredibly awesome-looking car pictured above would never get me through a 200-mile day on just one charge. But the technology changes so fast, who knows how far the next generation will go?

On the other hand, it was great to see the innovation going on. I’m not just talking about big companies, either. I got to talk with someone who converted an older Mazda pickup truck to a completely electric vehicle. Now, he’s not your average tinkerer- he’s an auto mechanic- but still, the technology is available today, and within the reach of those of us who aren’t independently wealthy. With what I do, I’m not yet in a position to get away from the internal combustion engine, but electric cars are getting much closer to a viable option for many.

So, the bottom line? The show is a great way to spend a few hours, and the five bucks is a ridiculously good bargain. I’m glad I went; it was a great way to recharge my batteries! (Get it?)

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