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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Couple Nurtures Green Living in Walworth County

From a story by Susan Bence on WUWM radio, Milwaukee:

Catherine McQueen and Fritz Kreiss describe themselves as partners in life and business, who decided to put their money where their green talk is.

I’m invited to their home to see for myself.

You drive into their five acres – it’s a former mink farm – through lush trees. A circle drive pulls you into their brightly white-painted home, surrounded by perennial beds.

Then WHAM, you spot the 50 kilowatts wind turbine throwing giant shadows along a line of trees.

Fritz says they’re goal is to use no more energy than they consume. They seem to be off to a good start.

“The 50 KW is about enough electricity for 15 homes,” Fritz says.

When the couple transplanted from Illinois five years ago and took on the fixer-upper, Catherine says they weren’t on an environmental mission.

“This was our Shangri-La. We were going to go out toes up from this house,” Catherine says.

They had just rolled up their sleeves to tackle the project, when Fritz says they learned their quiet country road was slated for development.

“We went to a town meeting and the town basically said, listen Highway 50 is meant to be a commercial corridor in the long term plan,” Fritz says.

Catherine says after pulling their jaws off the floor, they started brainstorming. Why not transform their vision to a B&B? Next summer they hope to welcome their first guests.

“`Where you’re sitting is going to be the area where people can get their breakfast and I’d like to serve tea at 4:00 and we’ll have like a cookie of the day,” Catherine says.

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