Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!

Nevada Passes 40% Tax on Solar Users

Thursday, January 19, 2017

This is a disturbing trend and one that I hope Missouri and Kansas City Power and Light don't get wind of. I think I'll pull out my contract and see what it says about changing terms of the agreement. I Missouri, we are locked into the agreement for 10 years and we're just over 2 years in at this point. The idea that they could retroactively impose this tax in order to add to the profits of a private company is beyond offensive, in my opinion.

What do you think?


[The following article was reproduced under the Creative Commons license from TrueActivist.com]

Nevada Penalizes Solar Energy Users with Hefty 40% Tax Increase

An absurd monthly fee imposed on solar customers was just voted in by the Nevada Public Utility Commission (PUC), virtually penalizing net metering (NEM) users of the renewable energy and in a sense, screwing these guys over after making the investment to go solar. Yip-dee-doo!

Such is the current state that Nevada is in right now after it turns out that consumers opting with solar energy in the state are eating up on the potential profit that NV Energy should have. And in order for the company to combat this, they were able to coerce lawmakers to make solar energy insanely expensive – in hopes of convincing people to just stay blindly on the grid and stop being so ‘hippy’.

Of course, existing users of the renewable energy source feel cheated, with one Nevada resident writing to  the Las Vegas Sun to pinpoint how she feels ”financially ambushed.” You see, getting your home to be solar-powered isn’t cheap and a huge investment has to be made at first buying all those solar panels and whatnot to get your home solar-ready.

The way it works is that with the amount of money one can save from renewable energy, the system will pay for itself and users will get their investments back in no time. Thanks to this new development, though, that will not happen now and understandably, solar energy users feel screwed.

”With the new pricing for [net metering] customers, the value or price of the energy they produce will be vastly reduced,” the woman writes. ”In addition, the flat service charge for NEM customers will rise to three times that charged to non-solar residential customers, a kind of penalty for producing much of our own electricity. The people with solar on their homes feel cheated; solar businesses are closing or leaving.”

Indeed, solar energy providers have already left the state with SolarCity and Sunrun Inc. packing their bags – causing a minimum of a thousand job cuts.

”Big rooftop solar companies say they just want energy choice for Nevadans. The truth is their plan gives you no choice,” -says a commercial now airing in Nevada, paid for by a Political Action Committee called Solar Energy Fairness.

Got seeds?

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

My homemade seed envelope!  Find out how to make these here.

I love flopping on the couch in front of the fireplace with a good seed catalog, but one of the best ways to get seeds is to trade them.  If you've got extras from the growing season, attending a local seed exchange can be a great way to get locally-grown and proven seeds and learn about plants that you are interested in from growers who have experience with them.  Not to mention...pie (see below)!

For those of you in Kansas City, there are a few seed exchanges coming up in the next 6 weeks.  I've added these to the events calendar for you as well.

When:  Saturday, 21 January 2017 from 11:00am to 1:00pm
Where:  Anita B Gorman Discovery Center, Missouri Dept. of Conservation, 4750 Troost, Kansas City MO 64110
Cost: FREE, but $3 to $5 donations are suggested to cover event costs (Seed Savers is non-profit)

This is Kansas City's 5th annual organic, non-GE seed exchange.  Things you can trade include: organic, heirloom, non-GE vegetable, herb & flower seeds, bulbs, starter plants, shrubs, vines, food grade essential oils, tinctures, dried herbs, dried vegetables, ferment starters, fresh eggs, pickles, jams, jellies, honey, garden-environmental-homestead books, etc.  Bring something/get something, bring a little/take a little, bring a lot/take a lot.  Please bring your things to trade in individual labeled containers (envelopes, bags, jars, pots) and date them. 

There will be door prizes and free samples, and a table with flyers, business cards, and magazines.  Learn about our expanding Seed Library, proper seed harvesting and saving and planting, and promoting biodiversity in your community, your yard and your home.   For more information:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1612347692404955/.

When:  Saturday, 11 February 2017 from 9:00am to 3:00pm
Where:  Douglas County Fairgrounds, 1930 Harper St., Lawrence KS 66046
Cost:  FREE

The annual Kaw Valley Seed Fair is a pre-spring celebration where people can share seeds, information and other resources.  The fair features a free seed exchange that includes books, catalogs and other gardening and seed-saving materials, plus exhibits, local producers and food for sale.  Please bring your saved seeds or packaged seeds to share, and envelopes, containers, or baggies to collect the seeds you select.  This is a great place to meet people devoted to sustainability and biodiversity in our Kaw Valley region.  For more information: www.facebook.com/kawvalleyseeds.

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