End of 2014

The 2014 season has come to end.  We are finishing amending the beds and prepping for the 2015 growing season.  We wanted to thank all of our volunteers, interns, WWOOFers, and visitors who have contributed to another amazing year at the EcoRanch.  Below are some quick data and accomplishments for your reading pleasure.  Our resource conservation strategies are working and we have not had to make significant changes in our lives.  Sustainability and being more environmentally conscious do not have to be hard or expensive and most importantly do not have to alter our lives.  Please continue to consider ways you can reduce your resource consumption and feel free to email us with ideas.

Quick Facts and Accomplishments

We strive to promote resource conservation, waste reduction, and community relationships and hope that through our efforts we can educate others on the importance of these issues.

Education and Interest

  • 309 hours donated to Flagstaff community (schools, programs) in educational presentations, consulting, volunteering
  • 6002 hrs ($48,000 equivalent) donated to EcoRanch from community members, Master Gardeners, CCC/NAU/ASU students, interns, WWOOFers, neighbors, high schools [NPA and Upward Bound]; all seek volunteer opportunities/ideas about sustainable agriculture/living
  • Local educators tour EcoRanch to provide a tangible operation to reinforce environmental and sustainable theories learned in classrooms. We provide a demonstration site for people to fulfill volunteer hour requirements and practice what they learn in classes. EcoRanch allows us to cultivate community conversations around conservation and sustainability.

Water Conservation

  • Saved 15,450 gal of water from our well and collected another 6,000 gal of rainwater in 2 years.
    • Met with neighbors to discuss/educate about rainwater collection practices
  • In 2 months we used 13,280 gallons of water. The average American would have used 28,718 gal of water; a difference of 15,438 gal and that includes irrigation of our crops.
  • Gardening efforts include buried drip irrigation, multiple water saving techniques, and no synthetic pesticides or fertilizers (only compost, manure, and non toxic chemicals).
  • Low flow toilets, shower timers, collecting and reusing shower water in toilets, low flow faucets/shower heads, and biodegradable soaps for septic tank.
  • Permaculture techniques applied; berms built to keep any rainwater/runoff on our property.

Produce Production

  • 1057 lbs ($2300 value) – donated to Hermosa Vida/Killip – distributed to low income families in Flagstaff
  • 266 lbs ($1092 value) – donated to Flagstaff Family Food Center and other local food banks
  • 1000 lbs sold to Local Alternative, processed into veggie burgers, sold Flagstaff restaurants

Energy Conservation

  • Reduced our monthly energy use every month since 2012
  • Insulated windows, electrical outlets, and all hot water lines – passive heating/cooling when possible
  • Unplug all electrical cords when not in use
  • Move between upstairs/downstairs in summer/winter to conserve electricity and propane
  • Seeking upgrades to inefficient appliances
  • Air drying laundry = reduction in energy of 364 kWh ($60 savings) in 4 months

Resource Conservation

  • Weigh trash and recyclables each month to reduce inputs and outputs
  • EcoRanch = 0.4 lbs/person/day vs. average American = 4.38 lbs/person/day

Wildfire Prevention

  • Gutters are cleaned and spark arrestors are included
  • Trees/branches near house have been thinned, removed, and mulched used onsite
  • Pine needles/duff raked twice/year in a fifty foot radius around house and reused on property for mulching, water catchment, and reducing evaporation
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