Flaccavento and Open House by Floyd EcoVillage

Join us, Friday, September 14th for a ribbon cutting to celebrate the introduction of the Floyd EcoVillage’s Village Center and for a talk with Anthony Flaccovento, Virginia Congressional Representative candidate for the 9th District.

3:00-5:00pm, refreshments provided.

Contact 540-745-4434 for more information.

718 Franklin Pike
Floyd, VA 24091

About Anthony Flaccavento:

Anthony is a family farmer, community leader and small business owner. He has worked on community environmental and economic development in central Appalachia for the past 25 years. In 1995, Anthony founded Appalachian Sustainable Development, which has since become a national leader in sustainable economic development.

Anthony has also started or helped start a number of farming, business and community programs over the past 20 years, including:
• A homeownership program for low-income residents that has now built nearly 200 homes in the district
• Appalachian Harvest, which has helped more than 60 farmers (including many former tobacco farmers) to increase profits and sell to supermarkets
• The Abingdon Farmers Market, one of the strongest in the state, and several other farmers markets around the district
• A local merchants association
• Healthy Families, Family Farms, which provides local organic produce to families in need while supporting local farmers
• A local green building coalition that helps promote businesses in energy-efficient building, solar and wind energy and geothermal energy

In 2009, Anthony founded SCALE, a consulting firm dedicated to developing and supporting sustainable regional economies and food systems. SCALE works with farmers, small businesses, economic development agencies and community leaders in Appalachia and other communities.

Anthony has spoken extensively about economic development, sustainable farming and Appalachian issues. He has received several awards and honors for his work, including the Ford Foundation Leadership for a Changing World Award and the Arthur Smith Environmental Stewardship award. Anthony was selected by Blue Ridge magazine in 2009 as one of central Appalachia’s most important agents for positive change. He was a Kellogg National Food and Society Policy Fellow during 2007 and 2008.

Anthony has a BS in Agriculture and Environmental Science from the University of Kentucky and a Master’s degree in Economic and Social Development from the University of Pittsburgh. He is married with three children.

Ban Uranium Mining in Virginia – Live benefit concert at the Pine Tavern

This Friday night September 30th 2011, you have an opportunity to help Keep the Ban on Uranium Mining in VA. Just show up at the Pine Tavern Pavilion and for a suggested donation of $5.00-$10.00 you will supporting Floyd County Virginia efforts to Keep the UBAN effors alive.

Come hungry for dinner or a late night snack because the fabulous Natasha Shishkevish (Natasha’s Market Cafe) will be on hand serving up some delicious food. (Note:  Suggested donation does not cover the cost of food). At 7:30  pm you will be able to experience some great music from Mighty Shakey (a new band on the Floyd scene).  Mighty Shakey is made up of Michael Kovick, Dave Fason, Rusty May and Brad Miller. (I hear that Michael Kovick has some original music concerning clean water and uranium mining in VA).

At 9 PM Ember Swift will take the stage. Ember is an internationally touring musician and songwriter. Ember Swift is bringing her music to stages throughout Canada and the US with a months worth of CD Release performances.

Styles include folk, jazz, swing, R&B, funk, pop, folk-rock, and blues. Ember sings in English, French and Mandarin.  Ember is known for her unique, jazz influenced guitar playing and elastic vocals. She will be joined by her multi-talented percussionist and accompanist, Kelly Zullo. So come on out…it’s time to show your support to Keep the Ban!

611 Floyd Hwy N
(Rt. 221 N)
Floyd, Virginia 24091
Phone: 540-745-4482
Fax: 540-745-4433

AECP Green Living Energy Expo in Roanoke VA

AECP is proud to announce its 12th Annual Green Living and Energy Expo. Learn about energy conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy, green building, and sustainable living. Enjoy the exhibits, demonstrations, and seminars. Join us in our efforts to save energy, save money, save our natural resources, and save the environment!

10am to 6pm on Friday November 4 and 10am to 4pm on Saturday November 5 , 2011 at the Roanoke Civic Center.


The Roanoke Civic Center is conveniently located at the intersection of Williamson Road off Interstate 581 and State Route 460. Air transportation is available just five miles North on I-581 at the Roanoke Regional Airport with several major airlines to choose from. For ground transportation, Valley Metro city buses pick-up and drop-off in front of the Civic Center every hour (every half-hour during morning and afternoon rush). Taxi service is also available and convenient within the city.

Interested in learning more about AECP?   Keep up with Green Living Expo news and other educational opportunities by joining our mailing list. Information submitted to AECP is only used to update you on our educational programming, never for commercial purposes.

2010 Green Living & Energy Expo Exhibitors

Advanced Building Performance Group / Efficiency First
Bath Fitter
Best Distributing of Roanoke
Bookbag Santa, Inc.
Breakell Inc.
Burnopp Metal LLC
C&J Signs and LED Lighting and Products
Chesapeake Renewable Energy
Clean Valley Council
City of Roanoke
Community Design Studio
Community Housing Partners
Conservation Strategies
Cundiff Heating & Air Inc.
Cycle Systems, Inc.
Dabney Lancaster Community College
Direct Connect Solar & Electric
E-Green of AAPCO LC
Energy Price Cutters LLC
Evergreen Basement Systems
Evergreen Insulation
Energy Management Services
Illuminating Engineering Society
Investment Energy Solutions, Inc.
Kitchen and Bath Max
Krull and Company
Magic City Motor Corp.
Natural Awakenings SWVA
New River Center for Energy Research and Training, LLC
New River Community College
Oesch Environmental Design
Outside Heating, Inc.
Owens Corning Basement Finishing & Solace Windows
Powermark Electrical, LLC
Premium Steel Building Systems Inc.
Renewable Engineered Systems
RIDE Solutions
Riverbend Nursery, Inc.
Roanoke County
Roanoke Group of the Sierra Club
Roanoke Tree Stewards
Roanoke-Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission
Roanoke Valley Cool Cities Coalition
Roanoke Valley Greenways
Seven Springs Farm
Shelter Alternatives and Energy Check
Solar Connexion, LLC
Solar Tech, LLC
Southwest Sunroom & Window Co.
STEP, Inc.
Structures Design/Build, LLC
Thaxton Elementary N.E.E.D Team
The Distinctive Landscape
The Green Power Company LLC
Total Action Against Poverty
Town of Blacksburg Recycling
Valley Business Front
Virginia Foam Insulators, LLC
Virginia Ready-Mixed Concrete Association
Virginia Tech Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team
Virginia Western Community College
Virginia Workforce Network
VT College of Natural Resources and Environment
Waterfurnace International, Inc.
Western Virginia Land Trust
Western Virginia Water Authority
Window & Door Design Gallery
Window Max Inc.
WSET, Inc. TV-13
Wytheville Community College

The Village Green Installs the Largest Solar Array in Southwest VA

The Village Green has always been envisioned as a project that would help Floyd in a variety of ways. It’s a commercial building that is part of a leading edge green movement in Floyd County Virginia. I recently bumped into Woody Crenshaw one of the owning members and manager of the site.

He explained that a year ago an application was submitted for a grant with the Virginia Department of Mines Minerals and Energy. There were a lot of people who applied for the grant and everyone knew it was a long shot to be granted any money. To the surprise of everyone involved the members were notified that they would in fact be granted seed money which amounted to 30% of the total cost of the project. Without hesitation an array of solar panels were installed on the roof of the Village Green.

The solar panels are fairly easy to install and go together very quickly explained Woody. The panels were put on the back of the building because it’s almost due south facing with very little shade. The roof is almost flat making it idea to absorb the maximum amount of rays from the sun with very little energy loss. The panels are almost unnoticeable and will generate about $4000 worth of energy per year. The hope is to educate people about alternative renewable energy and is part of what we all need to be thinking about.

The panels were purchased by the members of the Village Green and installed by David Wall of Affordable Energy Concepts. The entire system creates about 25 kilowatts of power. Compared to the average home system that creates about 4 kilowatts of power. The solar array will generate enough electricity to power the entire Village Green Complex about 70% of the time. It’s also a grid tied system so all the surrounding buildings are actually benefiting from it.

Floyd County Virginia continues to be a leader in innovative renewable energy concepts and is a trail blazer in this industry.

Many thanks to everyone involved in this project.

CEED Center A Better Energy Education For Our Children

In each of the past issues of FLOYD VIRGINIA Publication, Master Electrician David Zachow has described for us various aspects of Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation.  These topics have a “direct connect” with how we live life and use resources.

The author, David Zachow is a Master Electrician who lives in Floyd County. His company Direct Connect Solar & Electric installs renewable energy systems that generate electricity for homes and businesses.

This time, David will discuss with us a subject of great importance toward our future: The principles and practices we teach our children related to conservation and energy use.
“I hope this topic will encourage readers to have a discussion about this with their families and with the wider community—

We don’t use energy very efficiently in our country and although there has been improvement in several areas in recent years, we are still woefully unprepared for the energy challenges that the future will hold. Some readers will remember the gas lines of the ‘70’s, while others cringe as they remember paying $4.00 or more a gallon just a couple of years ago. Now, once again, we find ourselves facing the prospect of very high gasoline and oil prices due to political instability in the part of the world where most of the oil comes from. And, when the price of oil goes up, the price of everything else that we need and use in our lives goes up along with it. I believe that one reason we find ourselves in this energy fix over and over again is because we are not paying proper attention to the education of our children, even from an early age, about energy use and conservation. The basic transportation and electrical infrastructure in America is not much different than it was 50 years ago, except for being more congested and overloaded. Where are the new ideas and breakthrough technologies?

Our friends and neighbors in Franklin County must have had this in their mind when recently opened the doors of a NEW public educational facility in Rocky Mount which will help to teach students a different way of thinking about energy and how it is used. This facility is called the Center for Energy Efficient Design, or CEED Center. It is a living classroom filled with leading edge technologies related to efficient design and construction and it allows students to experience first-hand what it means to study and work in an energy efficient building. The CEED Center is the first educational building in the United States to be designed and built according to PassiveHaus standards, a new and rigorous design approach for commercial and residential buildings. What makes the building unique is that it requires almost no external inputs for heating and cooling. This is because it incorporates advanced window technology, super insulation, the production of solar electricity, solar thermal water heating and many other technological advances.

While the building is unusual, what sets it apart from every other public school building in the nation is the fact that the building and its daily operation provide the teaching curriculum. Instead of sitting in a classroom and reading a book or looking at a computer, students study, observe and manipulate how the building uses these technologies in daily operation and they are able to see how small changes or adjustments in these “inputs” affect the building’s energy performance. Teaching modules track energy usage in real time and give students an opportunity to see how waste and inefficiency can take their toll. NOTE: In the near future, the teaching curriculum will be available, at no cost, through the worldwide web, to any teacher in the world who may use it in his or her own classroom. All of this helps to give students a direct experience in problem-solving and finding new ways of resolving these problems. These students are developing a different set of skills and understanding about how we use energy in everyday life. And the skills they acquire while attending the CEED Center will be developed and passed on as they continue their education, become adults and work and teach in society. Perhaps one or more of these CEED Center students will make a discovery which will help to address our energy problems, because they were offered this unique education related to energy use.

At this point, you might be saying to yourself that this cutting edge building cost an incredible amount of money to build. It didn’t. The final price was little more than a conventionally- built classroom using standard building materials and techniques.

The CEED Center would have never come about except for the tireless work of two dynamic Franklin County educators, John Richardson and Neil Sigmon. Inspired by what they and their students experienced while attending the Annual Green Living  & Energy Expo (hosted by Floyd County’s Association of Energy Conservation Professionals, AECP), they asked themselves: “Why they shouldn’t be having that kind of experience everyday instead of just once a year?” Realizing this dream of education took many years of thoughtful planning and labor, and the end result is an amazing public educational facility. A school building that will, hopefully, inspire other communities to create similar educational facilities and opportunities for their children.”

Luis A Garcia
Proprietor / Graphic Designer
FLOYD VIRGINIA publication
(540) 320 1045 – luis@floydmagazine.com

This story was published in Floyd Magazine Spring/Summer 2011 ~Senior Editor Dee Wallace

Written by David Zachow & Dee Wallce

Holistic, Alternative Medicine for Floyd

A group that is bringing widespread notoriety to Floyd (besides our artisans, musicians, etc.) is our field of Holistic Health Practitioners.  They bring a diverse offering of talent, skills and experience to the Floyd community.  While some practitioners are indigenous to Floyd and others are transplants, they all call Floyd “home”, and they are helping clients and patients achieve health, wellness and self discovery.

Holistic Medicine was the Only Medicine – Holistic medicine has been around since human history was in its infancy.  Plants and herbs were the first medicines and they have been used throughout the ages to relieve symptoms and to treat underlying conditions which lead to illness.  Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, was born approximately 460 B.C., and was said to have cured every disease known to man with herbs only.  The Bible even makes reference to the use of herbs for the healing of the nation (Ezekiel 47:12 and in the Psalms).

The Early Years – The actual term “holistic” was coined in 1926 by Jan Smuts.  The holistic approach to medicine views the person as a whole rather than symptoms or a disease.  Instead of treating just the symptoms, holistic practitioners treat the entire person including the mental, physical and spiritual aspects.  This is reminiscent of the country doctor who not only knew his patients from the local church or community, but visited them in their homes, and was willing to listen, console and address their specific needs.

The Modern Doctor – In the 1800s, Doctors began to learn more about anatomy, physiology, and the concept of bacteria and virus causing disease.  Just after World War I, Western conventional medicine came into the forefront, diverging from the tenets of the holistic community.

More pharmaceutical remedies were developed and used; there was an increase in lab testing, vaccines, surgical techniques and a better understanding of the causes of disease.  Consequently, Western medical schools emphasized these techniques over ancient herbal, holistic medicine and homeopathic remedies.  The U.S. government encouraged and funded research into drugs and vaccines rather than investing in natural plant-based cures.  Also, pharmaceutical drugs saved lives and prevented suffering for serious and life-threatening illnesses and diseases.

The Journey Full Circle – By the 1970s, some people began to shift their support from Western medicine to a more holistic approach as new information became available regarding the harmful side effects of pharmaceuticals.  More and more, people sought natural cures which led them full circle back to the roots of medicine: holistic remedies, herbs, diet and nutritional therapies, as well as chiropractic treatments.

While some conventional doctors remain skeptical about the efficacy of holistic therapies, others are starting to refer their patients to holistic practitioners.  Doctors are also becoming concerned about the harmful side effects of many drug therapies and they want to preserve quality of life for patients with chronic diseases.

Sometimes holistic treatment, nutritional therapy, and/or herbal remedies offer a gentler treatment.  Many doctors are now seeking holistic education to learn how they can incorporate the various remedies into their conventional practices.  Although the two sides often do not see eye to eye, holistic medicine is once again being integrated with conventional medicine as a viable alternative.

Just the Facts – While there are many people who include herbal and natural medicine in their healthcare regimen, some are skeptical about its effectiveness and remain on the fence or choose not to engage in holistic medicine at all.  Here are the facts, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH):

4 out of 10 U.S. adults use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).  The term “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) encompasses a wide array of health care practices, products, and therapies that are distinct from practices, products, and therapies used in “conventional” or “allopathic” medicine.  Some forms of CAM, such as traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine, have been practiced for centuries, whereas others are more recent in origin (reference www.fda.gov).

83 million U.S. adults spent $33.9 billion out-of-pocket on visits to CAM practitioners and on purchases of CAM products, classes, and materials.

Non-vitamin and non-mineral natural products are the most commonly used CAM therapy among adults.

The use of deep breathing exercises, meditation, massage therapy and yoga are on the increase.

Recognized CAM therapies include Naturopathy, Energy, Movement and Diet Based Therapies, Physical Manipulation, Deep Breathing Exercises, Traditional (Folk) Healers and Native American Healer/Medicine Man.

Many of the CAM therapies have been proven effective in the treatment of pain and other chronic diseases.

Your Holistic Alternative – Holistic, alternative medicine has many qualified practitioners here in Floyd and is one of the fastest growing areas of interest.  People are exploring holistic alternatives, in part due to the rising cost of medical care and the unpleasant side effects of pharmaceutical drugs, as well as a desire for whole-body wellness.

Some common health complaints that people have that may be addressed by holistic therapies include:

Back, Hip, Knee and Joint Pain, Neck and Shoulder Problems, Headaches, Anger Management and Emotional Imbalances, Digestive Disorders, Gynecological Problems, Fatigue, Insomnia, Stress, Parasites and Fungus.

In general, Holistic treatments are best suited to address long-term, chronic conditions and are often an effective alternative to drugs or surgery. Regardless of the ailment, it is prudent to consult your medical doctor first, and in emergencies to go to the hospital.  There are many conditions that may be treated successfully by holistic medicine; and, here in Floyd, a wealth of practitioners are ready to assist.

Thomas Edison recognized the value of holistic medicine when he said, “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”

Written by Ivan Anderson Co-owner of the Healing Tree Wellness Center. He is a certified Shiatsu Therapist. His primary focus is pain relief and health recovery.

Luis A Garcia
Proprietor / Graphic Designer
FLOYD VIRGINIA publication
(540) 320 1045 – luis@floydmagazine.com

This story was published in Floyd Magazine Fall/Winter 2010 ~Senior Editor Dee Wallace

Renewable Energy

Wind turbines are lovely machines to look at as their blades spin and they turn in response to the wind. Though they might seem simple, a wind turbine is a complex machine and installing one requires careful thought and planning. While many folks in the Blue Ridge Mountains feel like they live in a pretty windy place, the reality is that there are very few locations in this region where a wind turbine can be installed and generate electricity in a cost effective manner. However, if your property has a good wind resource then a wind turbine may be the most effective way to generate a lot of electricity cheaply. So read on and we will look at some of the things you need to know to end up with a quality installation.
Fact #1: Turbines need a steady turbulence free wind. To operate efficiently, a turbine needs to be placed in an area well away from obstructions such as buildings, trees or topographical irregularities like hillsides. There is a reason why all those big wind farms are installed in the Midwest and Texas…. It’s flat.  In our mountainous area, some ideal locations would be clear ridge tops or long open valleys. A conservative rule of thumb when siting a turbine is: “the bottom of the turbine blades need to be 35 feet above the nearest obstruction within 500 feet” If you really think about that, this is not so easy to accomplish in an area of rolling hillsides and forests. A tall tower (>35’) may be required to place the turbine above the zone of turbulence but a tall tower will increase the installation cost. Perhaps you have the ideal site on the back corner of your farm but that location might be a thousand feet from where you need the electricity. It is costly to trench and bury wire. Obstructions make the wind turbulent and turbulence makes the wind speed vary.  And while you cannot see the turbulence, turbulent winds severely increase the stress and strain on the moving parts of a turbine. (more on this later) Yes, you can install a turbine in a location that does not meet the 35/500 rule, but you need to know that the performance will suffer.
Fact #2: Turbines need minimum wind speeds to generate electricity. All turbines have what is referred to as a “cut in speed” which is the minimum wind velocity needed for it to produce electricity. This speed is typically 8 mph and that is a fair bit of wind. There are just not that many places in these mountains that have constant winds above 8 mph year round. It is important to understand that just because the blades are turning, that does not mean the turbine is producing electricity you can use.
Fact #3: The relationship of power to wind speed is cubic. As the wind speed increases, the power triples. Most manufacturers rate their turbines in terms of instantaneous power output, typically measured at about 25 to 30mph. A turbine rated at 2000 watts in a 25 mph wind will generate about 300 watts in a 12 mph wind and probably less than 50 watts at its rated cut in speed. Now you can see why Facts #1 & 2 are so important. As you can see, when wind speed drops off, so does the power output. And sustained energy (power over time) output is what you are really looking for.
Fact #4: Power vs. Energy:   Power is measured in Kilowatts (KW) Energy is measured in Kilowatt Hours (KWH).  When you burn a 100 watt light bulb for 10 hours you have consumed a KWH. That 2KW wind turbine referred to above will make 2KWH in an hour ONLY if the wind blows steadily at 25mph the whole hour.  When the wind speed varies between 10 and 25 mph because of gusting or due to turbulence, the energy output will drop. When you consider which wind turbine to buy, you should always look at the Monthly Energy Production and NOT the Power Output.
Fact #5:  Wind Turbines are NOT maintenance free. A wind turbine is a moving piece of equipment continuously subjected to variable & extreme weather conditions. Heat and cold, rain, ice, dirt, dust and hard gusting winds combine to make a turbines job of producing electricity very demanding.  And all of that is located on a very tall tower that you either have to lower to the ground or have a specialized equipment to get to. Moving parts will wear out eventually and a quality wind turbine will be built of robust materials that are designed to take a beating. Typically, an inexpensive and lightweight machine will produce a less power and need a lot more maintenance.
Having second thoughts about a wind turbine? Don’t despair, Floyd County has some good wind resource locations but they are not everywhere. In the right location they can be effective power generators but if you are not one of the “lucky” ones, then a Photovoltaic (PV)  installation may work better for your needs. If you can’t install a turbine or PV system, there are many ways to reduce your energy consumption and lower your electric bill. Just look at the back issue archive of Floyd Magazine for other articles on how to save energy.

The author, David Zachow is a Master Electrician who lives in Floyd County. His company Direct Connect Solar & Electric installs renewable energy systems that generate electricity for homes and businesses.

Luis A Garcia
Proprietor / Graphic Designer
FLOYD VIRGINIA publication
(540) 320 1045 – luis@floydmagazine.com

This story was published in Floyd Magazine Fall/Winter 2010 ~Senior Editor Dee Wallace