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Martha Walker

Title Summary Date ID Author(s)
A Community-Based Food System: Building Health, Wealth, Connection, and Capacity as the Foundation of Our Economic Future

Interest in and demand for local foods continues to grow in Virginia and across the United States. The unprecedented demand for local and regionally identified foods has created a myriad of economic and social opportunities for agricultural producers and communities.

Aug 2, 2011 3306-9029
Agritourism: Ideas and Resources Jul 14, 2009 310-004
Community Engagement: Successes in Virginia Communities Oct 22, 2012 CV-22NP
Cooking with Local Foods Apr 16, 2010 3001-9027
Energy Series: What about the Heating System?

What is Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency?

The efficiency of a gas (natural or propane) or oil furnace is measured by the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE), which describes the heat produced from the energy used. This rating takes into consideration losses from pilot lights, start-up, and stopping. For example, a furnace with an AFUE rating of 80 converts 80% of the fuel it burns into usable heat. New furnaces usually rate in the mid 70s to low 80s, whereas older furnaces will be in the 50s or 60s. ENERGY STAR® qualified oil and gas furnaces have annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) ratings of 83% and 90%, or higher, making them up to 15% more efficient than standard models. Unlike the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) and Heating Season Performance Factor (HSPF) ratings, the AFUE does not consider the unit’s electricity use for fans and blowers.

May 1, 2009 2901-9005
Energy Series: Estimating Home Appliance and Home Electronic Energy Use

If you're trying to decide whether to invest in a more energy-efficient appliance or you'd like to determine your electricity loads, you may want to estimate appliance energy consumption.

Estimating Energy Consumption

Use this formula to estimate an appliance's energy:

(Wattage X Hours Used per Day ÷ 1000 = Daily Kilowatt-hour (kWh) consumption (1 kilowatt (kW) = 1,000 Watts)

May 1, 2009 2901-9014
Energy Series: Federal Energy Tax Credit or Virginia Energy Rebate Dec 1, 2009 2911-9026
Energy Series: What About Refrigerators and Freezers? Aug 27, 2009 2908-9022
Energy Series: What About the Air Conditioning System?

As you begin the process of selecting the most efficient air conditioning system for your home, investigate the critical issues of system size, placement, installation, and contractor experience. Your goal is to obtain an efficient system by: sizing the system for the specific cooling load of your home; selecting and properly installing the thermostats or controls; designing a ductwork system to deliver the correct amount of conditioned air to each space; and sealing and insulating all ductwork.

May 1, 2009 2901-9001
Energy Series: What Can Builders Do to Help Prevent Moisture Problems in New Construction?

Buildings should be designed and built to provide comfortable and healthy levels of relative humidity. They should also prevent both liquid water from migrating through building components and water vapor from being trapped in building assemblies, like walls.

Moisture prevention includes quality construction to shed water away from the building and its foundation; vapor (region dependent) and air barrier systems that hinder the flow of air infiltration and water vapor; quality building products and installation that can help reduce the chance of leaks; and cooling and heating systems designed to provide comfort throughout the year. The following checklist provides a list of actions that you and your builder can do or install in your home to make it less prone to moisture problems.

May 1, 2009 2901-9012
Energy Series: What Does the Shape of the House Have to do with Energy Efficiency?

In a home, heat energy is transferred among all materials and substances that are of different temperatures—within the building materials, inside the building itself, and outside the building envelope. The term “building envelope” refers to all of the external building materials, windows, and walls that enclose the internal space. Heat moves only when there is a difference in temperature, and it always moves from the warm side to the cool side. Heat will continue to “flow” until any touching materials reach the same temperature. However, we usually want the inside of a home to have a different temperature from the outside.

May 1, 2009 2901-9013
Energy Series: What about Appliances? Aug 24, 2009 2908-9015
Energy Series: What about Caulking and Weather-Stripping? Aug 25, 2009 2908-9017
Energy Series: What about Dishwashers? Aug 26, 2009 2908-9018
Energy Series: What about Fluorescent Lighting?

How Much Can I Save by Switching to Compact Fluorescent Lamps?

While compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are initially more expensive, you should see a quick return on your investment when you replace your most frequently used incandescent light bulbs with CFLS. A 26- or 28-watt compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) can replace a 100-watt incandescent bulb, and it will last about 8,000 hours (compared an incandescent bulb, which usually lasts about 1,000 hours). Purchasing the 26- or 28-watt fluorescent bulb saves over 70 watts worth of energy. On average, each bulb can save more than $30 in electricity costs over its lifetime and prevent more than 450 pounds of greenhouse-gas emissions.

May 1, 2009 2901-9004
Energy Series: What about House Design and Room Location? Aug 26, 2009 2908-9019
Energy Series: What about Insulation?

Insulation is rated in terms of thermal resistance, called R-value, which indicates the resistance to heat flow. Although insulation can slow heat flow—conduction, convection and radiation—its greatest impact is on conduction.

Higher R-values corresponds to greater insulation effectiveness. The R-value of thermal insulation depends on the type of material, the thickness and density. When calculating the R-value of a multilayered installation, the R-values of the individual layers are added.

May 1, 2009 2901-9006
Energy Series: What about Moisture? Aug 27, 2009 2908-9020
Energy Series: What about Mold?

Mold has received a lot of attention of late because of high profile lawsuits and television news broadcasts that have highlighted the potential hazards and liabilities associated with indoor mold. What is mold? Molds, along with mildews, yeasts, and mushrooms, all belong to the kingdom fungi. Fungi are unicellular or multicellular organisms that primarily use absorption as a means to obtain energy from their environment, unlike green plants, which use chlorophyll to obtain energy from sunlight. The term “mold” describes unwanted visible fungal growth. “Mildew” is fungi that grows on fabrics or that causes plant disease. The term “yeast” is fungi that are unicellular when cultured.

May 1, 2009 2901-9008
Energy Series: What about Radiant Barriers? Aug 27, 2009 2908-9021
Energy Series: What about Using Ceiling Fans?

Can Ceiling Fans Lower My Utility Bill?

Ceiling fans create a breeze, so room occupants feel cooler and more comfortable. With a ceiling fan running, you can raise the thermostat setting by 2 to 4 degrees during the cooling season with no reduction in comfort. Increasing the room temperature by even two degrees can cut your cooling costs 4 to 6%.

May 1, 2009 2901-9002
Energy Series: What about Ventilation? Aug 27, 2009 2908-9024
Energy Series: What about Windows?

How Can I Determine the Energy Performance of a Window?

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) offers a voluntary testing and certification program for thermal performance for windows and residential door products with glass. The NFRC does not conduct structural characteristics, such as impact-resistance, but rather serves as a complementary program that can test the whole window (including frame) for the following characteristics: U-Factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC), Visible Transmittance, Air Leakage, and Condensation Resistance (see sample NFRC label).

May 1, 2009 2901-9010
Energy Series: What about the Bathroom? Aug 25, 2009 2908-9016
Energy Series: What about the Ductwork?

Air distribution or duct systems are designed to supply rooms with air that is “conditioned”—that is, heated or cooled by the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment—and to recirculate or return the same volume of air back to the HVAC equipment. Your duct system has two main air transfer systems: 1) supply, and 2) return. The supply side delivers the conditioned air to the home through individual room registers. The return side picks up inside air and delivers it to the air handler of your central system where heat and moisture are either removed or added and then delivered to the supply side. All of the air drawn into the return duct(s) is conditioned and should be delivered back through the supply registers.

May 1, 2009 2901-9003
Energy Series: What about the Laundry Area?

Why Should I Worry About Energy Use in the Laundry Room?

The laundry room can be a big consumer of energy—more than 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) a year—and water—and a big producer of unwanted heat and humidity in summer. It makes good sense to think about both the location and the appliances in it if you want to run an energy efficient laundry. And there are new washers and dryers on the market now that make it easier than ever to do so.

May 1, 2009 2901-9007
Energy Series: What about the Roof? Aug 27, 2009 2908-9023
Energy Series: What about the Water Heater?

Heating water is the third largest energy expense in your home, after heating and cooling the entire space; and, it can account for 15-25% of your utility bill. It’s not hard to see why a family of four, each taking a 5-minute shower a day under inefficient showerheads, can use 700 gallons of water in a week representing a 3-year supply of drinking water for one person! There are several ways to cut down the amount you spend on heating water: a) insulate your water heater and pipes; b) reduce the amount of hot water you use; and c) turn down the thermostat on your water heater.

May 1, 2009 2901-9009
Energy Series: What are the Differences Between Mobile and Modular Homes?

Mobile and modular homes are factory-built and generally differ in how much of the construction occurs at the factory. The greater the work at the factory, the less labor is needed where the home will be located.

Mobile Homes

A mobile home (also called “manufactured home” or “HUD code home”) is one that is built entirely at a factory and usually requires hook-up of utilities and certain appliances on delivery. A two-story mobile home generally requires more assembly on site. Today’s mobile home may be installed on a temporary or a permanent foundation and could be considered real property by the local property appraiser. The mobile home owner should consult with his or her insurance company to determine if the mobile home qualifies for real property insurance. On installation, a mobile home’s wheels and axles may be removed, but the chassis must stay in place. A mobile home must be built in accordance with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) code that supersedes state or local building codes.

May 1, 2009 2901-9011
Energy Series: What is the Whole-House Systems Approach to Energy Efficiency? Aug 27, 2009 2908-9025
FACILITATION SERIES: Facilitating Group Discussions Generating & Narrowing Ideas and Planning for Implementation

Facilitators use a variety of tools to guide
groups in the decision-making process.
Depending on the maturity of the group and
the defined goals, facilitators may begin by
discussing the values the group holds and
building the common ground on which
decisions will be based. Many times,
groups are “fuzzy” on what they want to
accomplish and need to spend time
discussing what the end result should be.
To begin this conversation on the vision, a
facilitator might ask “if this were perfect,
what would it look like?” With a clear vision,
the group begins the process of generating
ideas, narrowing down the ideas into a list
of priorities, and finally developing a plan for
implementation that includes accountability

Mar 2, 2012 CV-7
FACILITATION SERIES: The Dynamics of Group Decision Making

Facilitators use a variety of tools to guide
groups in the decision-making process.
Depending on the maturity of the group and
the defined goals, facilitators may begin by
discussing the values the group holds and
building the common ground on which
decisions will be based. Many times,
groups are “fuzzy” on what they want to
accomplish and need to spend time
discussing what the end result should be.
To begin this conversation on the vision, a
facilitator might ask “if this were perfect,
what would it look like?” With a clear vision,
the group begins the process of generating
ideas, narrowing down the ideas into a list
of priorities, and finally developing a plan for
implementation that includes accountability

Mar 2, 2012 CV-8
Facilitation Series: The Things Facilitators Say . . .

There are times when a facilitator pauses a group in its discussion to allow the group to reflect
on what has happened, start a discussion, clarify an issue, evaluate its progress, or encourage
participation from all members. During these moments, the right statement or question will help
transition the group to a new thought process. A facilitator’s goal is to guide the group through
the process for accomplishing the defined task while maintaining a good rapport with the group.

Feb 16, 2012 CV-6
Freshwater Shrimp Boils: A Festive Community Event for Fun and Profit Feb 2, 2012 AAEC-28
Freshwater Shrimp Boils: Experience the Excellent Taste of Virginia Farmer-Grown Freshwater Shrimp Aug 8, 2013 CV-31NP
Living Well Newsletter, Volume 3, Issue 1 Apr 24, 2013 370-102
MANAGING LEGAL LIABILITY SERIES: Insurance Factsheet Jul 27, 2012 CV-16NP
MANAGING LEGAL LIABILITY SERIES: Questions to Ask when compairing insurance coverage Jul 30, 2012 CV-19NP
MANAGING LEGAL LIABILITY SERIES: Virginia Attorneys: Members of the American Agricultural Law Association Jul 30, 2012 CV-20NP
MANAGING LEGAL LIABILITY SERIES: Workers' Compensation & Vendor Liability for Farmers' Market Owners and Operators Oct 29, 2012 CV-24NP
NONPROFIT BOARD LEADERSHIP: Understanding the Role of a Board Member

You have decided to say yes and accept the invitation to serve on the board of directors for a nonprofit
organization. You have the knowledge and experience to be a great board member. But, you also have
served on numerous nonprofit boards and realized that your past commitments have ranged from being
heavily involved in the organization’s work to avoiding the meetings. As you prepare for this new role,
you wonder what organizational differences made you drift in your commitment or created the stronger
connection resulting in either fulfilling or neglecting board member duties.

Mar 7, 2012 CV-9
Using the Energy Resource Guide for Virginia Website

Energy is one of the hottest topics being discussed among Virginians. Whether it is the cost of fuel or how to reduce our consumption of an energy source, we are all searching for new ideas.

May 1, 2009 354-501