Saturday, 24 December 2011

Just a quick message to wish everyone a happy Christmas and a jolly festive break.

It continues to be very busy this end, getting things sorted for the winter and attempting to get through the list of jobs to do that were left for the long winter period when we have loads of spare time! We have got through a few of them but spring will be here in a couple of weeks and most of that time will be spent doing Christmas stuff. I’m looking forward to my annual Christmas shopping trip in a couple of days, there’s nothing like a bit of pressure to get things done! Why don’t they just move Christmas to a quieter time in the shops? It would be so much nicer. Mind you it sounds from the TV reports that there may be no-one in there when I go anyway.

All the Christmas decorations are up here. We ran our usual competition for the best decor in the style of Blue Peter and I must say the standard was well up, or should that be down, to the usual level. Hugh won with a very tasteful window decoration and Jamie was runner up with his food contribution, shepherd’s pie! My nativity scene which took minutes of my valuable time to put together, was the equivalent of the UK in Eurovision and received nil point in the judging, must try harder.

Our old homemade tree is all decorated again up in the house, so we are ready for all the fun to begin. As we are expecting guests we are considering turning on the central heating, it is Christmas after all!

Eco News

After a quiet November for wind, December looks to be recovering well so far. The storms early in the month kept things moving although we are finding that the turbines tend to be more productive in steady moderate wind conditions rather than in the more erratic storms. We have not quite caught up yet with the anticipated output, due to a sensor problem on one of the turbines, but our continued success in reducing consumption has meant that we are generating more than we are using.

The trial of LED lighting in the lab growth room is going well so far despite initial concerns that the light distribution on our closely spaced shelves didn’t look brilliant. The Phillips units use a combination of red and blue lights, selected specifically for plant growth. They look bizarre, dark and not very plant friendly but the growth under them is really good and may be even better than the old fluorescent tubes. We will continue with the trial until the summer when we will make a decision on expanding their use. They are expensive to install but with potential savings of over 60% on energy use they could save us loads as we do have a lot of them.

Novembers figures on electric use are still encouraging, a saving of 4.5% on 2010 and 36.82% on 2009. If we include the turbine output in the figures that brings it down to 26.65% and 51.50% savings for the same periods. For 2012 we should be in generating surplus all year with the turbine contribution, which will help offset our heating and some of the transport carbon output.

Please enjoy lots of sprouts and parsnips to keep the wind speeds up.

Have a good Christmas and New Year, from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries