Dave and Anne opened their west Knoxville home and shared with us their solar greenhouse. Before we ever got the tour though, Anne pointed out the laundry hanging on the clothes line in the backyard on a Sunday and during a social event (gasp!).
The rotary clothesline stood right in the middle of the croquet field. The point being that a space can have many functions. (Permaculture principle # 2 stacking functions from Lesson Four: What are some principles of permaculture?.)
In the middle of the field, Dave sunk a piece of PVC pipe as an umbrella holder for shade during the croquet games. When games are not in session, the sunken umbrella holder also serves as means to dry clothes by supporting the rotary clothesline. (And, of course, I had my camera, but did I think to take a photo? No, so I lifted this one from the internet.)
When playing croquet, the laundry would not be hanging up, instead the rack would be put away and the umbrella would provide shade. The laundry line, with clothing, also does a fine job of providing shade. Be cautious though! It may also obstruct views encouraging a little cheating, which may add a new level of interest to the game. The clothesline did nothing to stop 3 boys from reeking havoc on the croquet field.
After everyone settled in, Dave started us on the tour of their solar greenhouse built in the late seventies, probably back before anyone knew what in the hell passive solar meant. Dave and Anne use the greenhouse to heat part of their home and grow plants in the winter. Dave went into a lot of technical stuff, which I understood, but am not able to regurgitate here. Let's say, though, that Dave and Anne provided a wealth of information, and now I want a solar greenhouse more then ever, ever, ever.
After the tour, we talked and stuffed our faces with delicious food that everyone brought. I can't point out a favorite, but let's say that I ate seconds (and maybe thirds) of just about everything. I think that we should start bringing recipe cards. I would like to compile a book of recipes from the guild that we can publish. Proceeds would go to fund the guild. Richard raised the topic of agenda which was quickly "no no-ed" by the women, but maybe this is something to address?
I am going to be bold enough to say that everyone learned a little something and had a fabulous time. Thank you, Dave and Anne for opening your home, supporting the guild and sharing your wealth of knowledge. Oh, and thanks for all the fresh pears, too!