It is December 28th, and the sun is beginning to rise in the sky. For the northern hemisphere, December 21st was the winter Solstice.
It is the time of year when the sun reaches its minimum declination, or height from the horizon. After staying at the low point for three days, the sun starts to rise again. One would think that means it begins to get warmer, however, that is not the case. As you may already know, December 21st is actually the 1st day of winter.
So what do we do with that?
1. observe where the winter sunlight hits your home and your landscape. You can use this information to find warm spots for growing winter crops, warm places to hang out (or should I say "warm out", or designing passive solar systems to help heat your living space.
2. Observe the cold winter winds. When there is a cold front, check out the direction from which those winds are coming. A common permaculture design element is to plant evergreens on that side of the house. For us, cold winter winds come from the north west. So if we put a few rows of evergreen trees on the northwest side of the property, we could influence the pathway of the winds. Note: you will not stop the wind. You can only influence the way in which it moves. In other words, you may block it somewhere, but enhance it elsewhere.
Another consideration is the use of windows and doors on that side of the house. Unfortunately for us, our main entrance to our home is on the north west side of the home, so whenever we come in the house in the winter time, so does the cold wind. That's a pre permaculture design certification design flaw on my part. You may also want to consider storm windows and checking those windows and doors for leaks.
Study this graphic below from the book to get a better idea of how the winter and summer sunlight will affect your home and immediate surroundings, and what you can do to improve your passive heating, passive cooling, and food production.
Please leave your comments below, and let us know in the forum what actions you are taking at your place.
Lots of love,