The Green Chiles, an earthcentric environmental activist group has been unlawfully detained and needs your support to escape the clutches of the Consumer Police.

Just kidding. There was an frost warning the other night so we took some precautionary measures, covering a few tomato plants that are still pretty active and ripening more tomatoes and picking the last of the green beans and a bunch of marigolds for the temple to use for garlands.

We had 6 cayenne plants that had already yielded enough red cayenne for drying so I have more than I need for the next several years in case I didn’t get around to drying any next year. The plants were still covered with green ones and with the shorter days of late October and the long cool nights were unlikely to ripen anymore so I pulled the plants into wheelbarrows and rolled them into the garage. Yesterday I picked off all  those hot peppers and filled a couple of boxes with them, more than a bushel worth. I bagged up 9 pounds (4 kg) for the temple which should be more than they can use as even refrigerated they don’t last forever and there is pretty much just a skeleton crew of devotees there now that the off season has deeply set in.

So if anyone wants any free green cayenne stop by. Calling before you come by is advised because occasionally neither of us are here.

Every year our goal is to make it to November before we light our first wood fire. This means we tolerate interior temperatures down to 60F (15.5 C) which is no big deal if you just wear a warm hat and a sweater or equivalent.

If it gets too cold and too many consecutive cloudy days we aren’t dogmatic and will start heating earlier if necessary but probably over half the years we make it to November.  Having the sun come out really helps.

Yesterday was a good example. The interior temperature was 59F in the morning. The warmest it got all day outside was 58F but by the end of the day the  interior temperature was 62F and it was still 60 F this morning.  We let the sun shine in through the southern windows during the day and then close thick curtains on them in the night.

Plus we get some solar gain out of our attached greenhouse.

We would have gotten more gain but I realized that the castor bean plant we had planted in front of it for summer shading was still unwilted by frost and robustly shading it so I got out my machete and hacked it down.  With the late frost we still haven’t had (average first killing frost here is about Oct. 7th) the maple tree in front has been clinging to its leaves and just started dropping them, so with the sun sinking each day into the South, i.e. lower on the horizon, we also got some early afternoon shading from it.

I just ordered a solar thermal hot water heater. The greenhouse is an example of passive solar, the hot water heater will be an example of an  active ( pump required) solar device. That will go onto the upper roof so the front yard trees won’t be an issue as far as shading goes.

We use an electric hot water heater so I am hoping for substantial savings  in my electric bill which will reflect decreased demand for coal and all the nastiness involved in its extraction and burning.

Apparently the theme for today’s post was “hot” and “heating.” :-)