A Sort-of Minimalism Day

mustard cover crop

Beautiful views off of Rt. 100.

Six months ago, the state of Vermont had quite a few Level-2 charging stations, but zero fast-chargers. Fast chargers, or Level-3 chargers, use 440 volts and will charge an EV like a Leaf to 80% in about 30 minutes. We got our first two this spring, but I checked the other day, and that number had grown to six. The new ones are all in a line right near I-89, in Burlington, Middlesex, Montpelier, and Barre.

So, last Saturday it was a beautiful day, and I decided to take a mostly-solar-powered EV drive in a big loop, and go find the new chargers. A Sunday drive on a Saturday, if you will. My wife and two of the kids went along, and we spent most of the day driving and sitting in parks reading and looking at various sights and visiting farmer’s markets along the way. I’m not sure how much of the drive was powered with renewable power—we charge with solar here at home in the summer, and some, but not all, of the public chargers are net-metered to solar panels. Though, even standard grid-power here in Vermont is partly hydro, solar, and wind. Suffice it to say that a good chunk of our motive power was renewable.

In terms of Minimalism, the walking and nature and sitting in parks qualifies, but we did go to a restaurant for lunch in Montpelier and had a nice meal. I suppose we could have had simple picnic food in the park, but we didn’t quite plan that all out. So, we’ll just call it a “sort-of renewable energy, sort-of Minimalism day”. Some pictures—

camperdown elm

A Camperdown elm in Bristol. These unusual trees are all descendants of one single tree in England. They don’t propagate naturally, and have to be grafted onto rootstock from another elm.

black walnut

A beautiful, thriving black walnut in Bristol. They aren’t overly common here; we’re at the northern edge of their native range. This is the largest one I’ve seen in Vermont.

Local produce at one of the farmer's markets.

Local produce at one of the farmer’s markets.

The new fast charger at Red Hen Bakery, in Middlesex.

The new fast charger at Red Hen Bakery, in Middlesex.

The farmer's market in Montpelier.

The farmer’s market in Montpelier.

Local and organic...

Local and organic…

The red Leaf, headed up Lincoln Gap.

The red Leaf, headed up Lincoln Gap.

One of the popular swimming spots on the New Haven River.

One of the popular swimming spots on the New Haven River.

So, we drove about a hundred miles on mostly solar power, got sidetracked on some dirt roads outside of Warren, found all the new chargers, and juiced up while we were eating lunch. In the end, a nice day, and some signs of progress on our collective road to more sustainability—charging stations, renewable power, and farmers markets full of organic, local food. Not a bad day.

DSCN0724

(Note, 20 Jul 2014— I’m removing references to cover crops in this post. While mustards are sometimes planted as cover crops for pest control, I’m not sure the mustard in the top image was planted intentionally. I don’t know enough about the subject; I plan to look into it.)

Photos: Me.

2 thoughts on “A Sort-of Minimalism Day

  1. Wayne Michaud

    Hi Taborri – loved your tour and photos. There’s nothing better than treading gently on our planet and improving our air quality while having fun. I envy you for not having to rely on oil.

  2. Kamlesh Mallick

    Hi Taborri – loved your tour and photos!
    I did something similar in India and i saw your comment on my site (www.pluginindia.com)
    Its all about showing the world that u can have fun days outside the city too, with your electric vehicle!

    And DC quick charging stations will really help. We still are waiting for the first station. But the company has promised few.

    These travelogues really help showcase EVs in much better light.
    Vermont is so beautiful in the summer!

    I’m following you blog from now on!

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