Food & Landscape

Small pleasures…gutters, downspouts, rain chains and diverters!

It took all of a week for Mother Nature to transition from a nearly perfect autumn ‘gutter-mounting’ day to today’s overcast rainy afternoon, but it’s really great to see rain water heading to the fields, the rain gardens and, eventually, to our cistern, just as we’d planned.

Most of us don’t really think much about […]

Continue Reading »


Sunday afternoon we burned grass in the open areas south and east of our house and into the edges of the woods. It brought us one step closer to planting our prairie, which sounds pastoral but isn’t as simple as strewing seeds!

We started preparing in July, when the existing, non-native grass was sprayed. We […]

Continue Reading »

Looking at how water moves on our land

My work communicating about streams literally came home today. A creek bed winds through the corner of our land near the highway, moving water from fields on the ridge and hillsides, under Highway 16, through the field to the north, and into the Root River. It’s usually a dry creek, but when we get a good rainstorm […]

Continue Reading »

Garage progress and help from a friend

When I arrived Friday afternoon, peaks were on the trusses, stairways were in, and I could walk through the garage, the storm cellar, the workshop and room above, and the storage area to feel how big they are. It was great—it’s sturdy and quickly becoming our place.

As Jeff filled me in on next week’s plans, Joe Deden arrived […]

Continue Reading »

Sand in the cellar

We woke up early today and headed out to move some sand in our storm/root cellar before rock goes into open areas in the floor this week.

We designed this space for shelter from storms, but also to keep garden food fresh all winter and to hold a 1000 gallon rain water collection tank. Water […]

Continue Reading »

Placing the forms

It’s a quiet, cool, overcast morning as I arrive at the site around 8. Our ‘neighborhood’ wildlife have been up for hours, but still linger; songbirds singing, an owl ‘hooting’ across the valley, a deer or two strolling along the edge of the woods and into the nearby fields. It’s easy to imagine how the […]

Continue Reading »


Lanesboro, Minnesota
Climate Zone 6 (cold/moist)
Latitude: 43° 44' 18'' N
Longitude: 91° 54' 48'' W

House Size

Net Treated Floor Area: 1,514 SF
Gross Square Footage (House only): 2,210 SF

Building Envelope

Roof: R-99
Wall: R-61
Ground: R-53

Windows & Doors

Glazing: U-0.10 BTU / hour / sq. ft.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC): 0.48”
Frame: U-0.19 BTU / hour / sq. ft.

Modeled Performance

Specific Primary Energy Demand (Source Energy Demand): 12.1 kBTU / sq. ft. / year

Specific Space Heat Demand: 7.0 kBTU/sq. ft. / year

Peak Heating Load: 7,047 BTU / hour

Space Cooling Demand: 0.44 kBTU / sq. ft. / year

Peak Cooling Load: 3,625 BTU / hour

Pressure Test Goal: Whole House Air Changes Per Hour (ACH) = 0.4 ACH 50


Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.