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May 8, 2006

Solar Applications in the Garden Workshop May 13

By Martha Brown

The sun can do more in your garden than grow plants--it can also power pumps, lights, and other applications. Learn how to harness the sun's power from solar-energy expert Thomas Wittman at a workshop on Saturday, May 13, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the UC Santa Cruz Farm.

Wittman will review some of the existing technologies and discuss how they can be applied at the home or farm. "We'll talk about some simple additions of solar-powered devices to the farm and garden such as water pumping for fountains and other functions, remote lighting, solar showers, communications, electric fences and gates, and automated greenhouse functions," he said.

Wittman will also discuss new advances in solar technology and appropriate system sizes. "We'll especially look at the costs and paybacks under the new government incentive programs," he said. Following the lecture, he will lead a tour of the UCSC Farm to look at some of the applications at work.

Cost of the workshop is $15 for members of the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden, and $20 for the general public, payable the day of the class (check or cash only). No preregistration is necessary. Wear comfortable walking shoes and sun protection. E-mail or call (831) 459-3240 for more information. The workshop is cosponsored by the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems and the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden.

The UCSC Farm is located 1/4 mile up the gravel road above the Blacksmith Shop; free public parking is available across the street from the Blacksmith Shop in the Physical Plant parking lot, just inside the main entrance to the UCSC campus.

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