Posts Tagged ‘energy’

The Chickens’ New Home

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Our first snowfall was the perfect portend to our chickens' move into their new fully-functional coop.

While our Icelandic chickens were faring well in the open "tractor" coop that was generously leant to us in conjunction with the chickens' arrival into our lives, they need an enclosed coop to take them through the winter.


Team Meteek was up to the challenge, and put together an ingenious design of passive light (fiberglass panels) and passive solar heat gained on the south side of our shop.

We constructed the coop with lumber on-hand and reused various materials left over from other projects. The coop includes a run, where the chickens can hunt and peck outside on warm days.


Two chickens do not quite make a flock--we hope to add a few hens to increse their number. And next summer we'll build a new "chicken tractor," a mobile coop we can move around on our front meadow, where they can forage for insects, mice, and other tasty morsels...

Duluth Graduate Design Studio

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How does Duluth create more resilient physical, economic and social infrastructures? What might Duluth need in the next 20, 50 or 100 years? These are a few of the complex questions a group of graduate students from the UMN Minneapolis campus will address this semsester as they use Duluth as their design focus.


We hosted the group of 36 students and three instructors from Landscape Architecture and Architecture during their three-day visit of the city and environs. They toured the landscape and structure of the city, and heard presentations from the Port Authority, city officials including Mayor Don Ness, UMD campus planning, and about the underlying geomorphology of the area.


The students have much to think about for their upcoming analysis of Duluth. This information will then be used in teams on selected projects and sites within Duluth, culminating in design presentations at the end of the semester. We are looking forward to seeing what they create!


Thanks to all the presenters and folks who assisted in organizing the visit. At the City: Mayor Don Ness, Jessica Tillman, Chris Kleist, DyAnn Andybur, Chuck Froseth, Steven Robertson, Pakou Ly. At the Port Authority, Ron Johnson and Adele Yorde. At UMD, John Rashid, John Green, Erik Brown and Christine Strom.


Dark Sky Duluth

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This week at our latest Meteek Workshop event we rolled out a vision for establishing Duluth as a "Dark Sky" city. We hosted a presentation by Tom Nelson and Eric Norland from the Arrowhead Astronomical Society about the Milky Way and light pollution, and talked about a vision for making Duluth a city where more stars are visible.

Here is an info sheet we generated


Besides the presentation, we had live DJ music from MAR ( and a new show up in the gallery, mandalas from Cynthia Lapp. We were having so much fun we forgot to take any photographs of the event. Below are some of the gallery. Enjoy!


and a link to the Arrowhead Astronomical Soceity's website

Our Meadow

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We've been thinking about turning the lawn around Meteek into a meadow, and this year we did it!

How did we do it? It was simple--we just stopped mowing. We wanted to find out what was in the seed bank on the property, and the results have been lovely! We have native plants that require no irrigation, and we are not using the fuel, generating the emissions or paying the labor of weekly mowing--as well as not applying the fertilizer and herbicides that are commonly used on a lawn.

The meadow at the end of June:


Changing through the summer, the beauty of the meadow has been delightful, and we have noticed more birds and small animals enjoying the property. We have been mowing a strip around the edges to give the meadow a "trimmed" look, and will do one cutting in the fall before snow.

The meadow in August:


Supporting Energy Innovation

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Meteek was featured in a PEW foundation project highlighting energy leadership from various businesses in Minnesota. "Economic and Job Growth Starts with Policy" is their nationwide effort to influence energy policymakers to adpot energy policies that create jobs and attract private investment.

Andy Hoffmann, Laura Larson, Randy Larson and Molly in the Meteek meadow


You can go to the link below and click on Minnesota to see the feature on Meteek: