Little Homestead in the City - A Path to Freedom towards Self-Sufficiency » Transportation http://urbanhomestead.org/journal One family's journey towards a sustainable, more self sufficient life Fri, 03 Apr 2015 14:15:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 AROUND THE URBAN HOMESTEAD pt1 http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/2010/03/18/around-the-urban-homestead-pt1/ http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/2010/03/18/around-the-urban-homestead-pt1/#comments Thu, 18 Mar 2010 23:30:44 +0000 http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/?p=19092 AROUND THE URBAN HOMESTEAD pt1Who turned on the heat?  It feels like summer out! Temps have topped 85 degrees.  Guess winter is behind us as we sprung forward last weekend. It's certainly been a busy week of activity here on the urban homestead, so I am afraid I am behind in keeping ya'll up to date. So once again […]]]> AROUND THE URBAN HOMESTEAD pt1

Who turned on the heat?  It feels like summer out! Temps have topped 85 degrees.  Guess winter is behind us as we sprung forward last weekend.

It's certainly been a busy week of activity here on the urban homestead, so I am afraid I am behind in keeping ya'll up to date.

So once again here's a pictorial dispatch (or two) to get you caught up with happenings here on the urban homestead.

And for all those new readers, a warm welcome to our little homestead in the city.  We hope you stay awhile.

If you have a hankering for more, mosey on over to our YOUTUBE channel

In the Mail

A gift!

Handcrafted and recycled metal sign, Homegrown. Made from scrap metal in the garage workshop of a California homesteader. Offered exclusively by Path to Freedom Urban Homestead on the Peddler's Wagon!

Click here to purchase HOMEGROWN sign

In the Garden

There're up.  Soil blocks and squash

Soil blocks and beans

Planting more soil blocks.

Learn how to make your own soil block - click here

Don't have a soil blocker?  Then a soil block at our online store - here.

Homemade self watering containers.  Out come the potatoes and ollas - in go tomatoes and ollas!

Apricot blooms

Pretty in pink

Garlic

Jungle of peas

Homegrown potatoes

Worms at work

Ruby red chard

Cabbage head warmed by the sun.  Sorry can't get enough of the gorgeous cabbage heads.   Pretty soon they'll all be gone as we are eating them up one by one - just don't tell this one that she's next!

Growth spurt.  The backyard garden starts to fill in after a long winter

One of our restaurant clients deliver oil for Justin's home biodiesel brewing

Hive Happenings

With the warm weather the bees get active.

Time to go in and see what's up

They spot new queen cells and divide the hive to keep peace in the bee kingdom

Sleepy Head

With too much going on at the urban homestead, Fairlight lends her support - not really! Instead snoozes thru all the fun.

There's more so don't you too fall asleep, stay tuned!

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BIODIESEL http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/2009/06/11/biodiesel-2/ http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/2009/06/11/biodiesel-2/#comments Thu, 11 Jun 2009 19:28:34 +0000 http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/?p=12861 Some more incoming links from Sunday We aren't one to laud biodiesel as the answer to the fuel crisis (two wheels, two feet or four would suffice), we look at it as a band-aid solution.  Once every one to two months Justin brews a 30 gallon batch (using recycled veggie oil from one of our […]]]>

Some more incoming links from Sunday

We aren't one to laud biodiesel as the answer to the fuel crisis (two wheels, two feet or four would suffice), we look at it as a band-aid solution.  Once every one to two months Justin brews a 30 gallon batch (using recycled veggie oil from one of our restaurant clients) which lasts us quite awhile because we still conserve how many trips we take using the car.  In fact we clock in less than 4,000 miles a year on our bioburban.

Farmer J & Farmer S chatting at the Freedom Gardens Swap N Meet when Justin is asked a question about biodiesel

FYI I am the voice heard off camera inform Justin that it's a moving camera.... hehe

Here's a little impromptu interview with Justin Dervaes, the “Biodiesel Man’s” Biodiesel Recipe

Also thank you to Motherearthsoup for encouraging your readers to support out outreach.

Don't forget FreedomSeeds.org for safe, secure seeds grown by the people for the people.

BTW the book Justin is referring to is HOMEBREW BIODIESEL GUIDE

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PEAK OIL http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/2008/11/04/peak-oil/ http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/2008/11/04/peak-oil/#comments Tue, 04 Nov 2008 13:52:01 +0000 http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/?p=7571 PEAK OILWe love this used oil delivery set up! The other day one of our clients dropped off 21 of these containers full of used cooking oil.  That's A LOT of GREASE! They pulled up and left the oil on our driveway.  Justin took a photo and said "Look - Peak Oil."  Very funny, very funny.  […]]]> PEAK OIL

We love this used oil delivery set up!

The other day one of our clients dropped off 21 of these containers full of used cooking oil.  That's A LOT of GREASE!

They pulled up and left the oil on our driveway.  Justin took a photo and said "Look - Peak Oil."  Very funny, very funny.  Think he's a funny guy, huh?

This oil should last us about 4 months.  Though we use biodiesel to fuel our car, we aren't what you might call biodiesel advocates.  We feel that biodiesel is a temporary ("band-aid") solution to the world's fuel addiction.

Back to the used veg oil, now we have to find some room in the garage - which is turning more and more into a "barn" these days.  Yep, we have some additional "homesteady" plans for our garage. 

Right now our garage is a biodiesel plant/seed storage/beekeeping storage/ bicycle parking/Peddlers Wagon boxes and everything else storage.

But that could change, very soon.

:: Field Hand Appreciation :: $20 from GM.  Your support (and phone call) was greatly appreciated.  Thank you for your postive encouragement and monetary support of our work.

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BIODIESEL RUNNING http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/2008/09/21/biodiesel-running/ http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/2008/09/21/biodiesel-running/#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2008 01:54:19 +0000 http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/?p=6782 BIODIESEL RUNNINGJustin has a new lady in his life - her name is Mercedes Benz. This old classic beauty is Justin's latest pet project.  We acquired this turbo diesel wagon under very special circumstances - a good friend of ours is in the process of moving and also had some unexpected vet bills to pay since […]]]> BIODIESEL RUNNING

Justin has a new lady in his life - her name is Mercedes Benz.

This old classic beauty is Justin's latest pet project.  We acquired this turbo diesel wagon under very special circumstances - a good friend of ours is in the process of moving and also had some unexpected vet bills to pay since his dog got hit by a car.  So he offered us a good deal for the 1985 wagon that we couldn't resist.  Thanks JA!  One of the previous owners had mentioned to him that the car did make an appearance in a HBO piece, so it will fit right in (especially these days!)

Right now it's non operational with Justin working on some issues.  Justin isn't afraid to get his hands dirty and loves fixing things (very handy man!).  The previous owner ran a B20 blend and we'll be running it on 100% homebrewed biodiesel so there are also a few filters to replace.  With more than double the MPG of our  '88 Suburban, we should now use about 15 gallons of fuel a month!  Justin says it has about 180,000 miles on it,  so it has been around the block more than a few times.  Some minor problems include a clogged air filter, a broken egr pipe, a touchy fuel gauge, a broken odometer, a few vacuum leaks and the engine doesn't turn off - other than these things, Justin says it runs perfectly!

It's already got a great new nickname - "Peddler's Wagon."

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HOMEBREWING BIODIESEL http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/2008/08/11/homebrewing-biodiesel/ http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/2008/08/11/homebrewing-biodiesel/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2008 13:27:14 +0000 http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/?p=5745 HOMEBREWING BIODIESELFlashback We've been brewing our own biodiesel (using free waste veggie oil) since Jan 2004 (also see out biodiesel photo gallery) and the book (and only book) that help us get started is the Biodiesel Homebrew Guide by backyard brewmeister Maria "Mark" Alovert. Maria's been influential in the homebrew biodiesel movement.  Her simple to read […]]]> HOMEBREWING BIODIESEL

Flashback

We've been brewing our own biodiesel (using free waste veggie oil) since Jan 2004 (also see out biodiesel photo gallery) and the book (and only book) that help us get started is the Biodiesel Homebrew Guide by backyard brewmeister Maria "Mark" Alovert. Maria's been influential in the homebrew biodiesel movement.  Her simple to read methods and DIY processor were easy for us to understand as we searched for fuel solutions.

Farmer D or should I say Biodiesel D did improve GirlMark's original design to make it more compact - and she liked it when she came down from San Fran to attend one of our mixers.  Biodiesel D's better design has now been duplicated by many, many biodiesel aficionados.

Over the biodiesel years, we've fielded many an email, phone calls and face to face questions at earth day events and driving round town with the signs on the Bio Burban and this outreach has inspired thousand of people to look for fuel alternatives.

Now Available

We have, through the years, referred tons of folks to this book and now you can now purchase Maria Alovert's book from the Peddler's Wagon! (free shipping)  Just another item that we urban homesteaders have found useful in our urban sustainable journey.

Though we can't stress enough that we believe that homebrew biodiesel is only a bandaid solution to our oil addiction and crisis, that doesn't mean that it's not one of the most popular questions we urban homesteaders are often asked (besides 'when are you going to write a book')

Of course, when we do use our bio car we make wise use of it (less than 4,000 miles a year) and prefer two (or four) feet and two wheels for the best alternative mode of transporation instead.

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HOMEMADE FUEL http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/2008/07/02/homemade-fuel/ http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/2008/07/02/homemade-fuel/#comments Wed, 02 Jul 2008 16:43:24 +0000 http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/?p=5235 HOMEMADE FUELHomemade Fuel 3:23 (CNN Video) People are converting their cars to run on alternative energy, such as used vegetable oil, to avoid high gas prices. View Video {Thanks Wendy for the email alert!} How We Got Into Homebrewing Our Own Fuel After simple living, smoothering the lawn, growing food, raising citified farm animals and energy elements were […]]]> HOMEMADE FUEL

Homemade Fuel 3:23 (CNN Video)
People are converting their cars to run on alternative energy, such as used vegetable oil, to avoid high gas prices.

View Video

{Thanks Wendy for the email alert!}

How We Got Into Homebrewing Our Own Fuel

After simple living, smoothering the lawn, growing food, raising citified farm animals and energy elements were tackled here on the urban homestead the next step was alternative transportation-fuel.

We had our bikes, did a lot of walking, staycationing, reducing trips and we had an old 1976 VW avocado colored camper, but it needed some serious work.

So, back in the summer and fall of 2003 we got to researching about veggie oil being used as a fuel for diesel cars. Should we go SVO or biodiesel? Convert the car or convert the oil? After months of reading and research we opted to convert the oil and not the car. Biodiesel was recognized by the EPA as a "fuel" and we didn't want to go about tinkering with cars, besides, we heard some first hand horror stories from those who took SVO route. So with the information we had at the time, we started down the homebrew biodiesel path.

While searching how to brew biodiesel we stumbled onto bio-homebrew activist's Maria Alovert's homemade biodiesel processor which uses a simple water heater. We thought to ourselves, "hey we can do that!"  Best of all the parts for the processor were all accessible and relatively cheap.

Another search lead to some local folks who were tinkering with making the first homebrew processor in LA. So we hooked up and with the help of bio enthusiast folks in the community we built the first biodiesel reactor in LA and brewed our first batch of biodiesel in January 2004. To celebrate this event we hosted the first Biodiesel Mixin' Mixer in LA.

From the beginning we have stressed that biodiesel is a band-aid solution. We are in no way advocating biodiesel as a solution to the world's out of control fuel consumption. 

Our family has only one car - an old, second hand '88 Chevy Suburban which we use with care - driving less than 4,000 miles a year. We also have a unique situation, the used/waste grease we get from our produce clients means we don't "dumpster dive" for waste oil, almost all of our customer deliver the oil to us.

The best form of transportation now and for the future is two feet, two wheels or four legs.  Blackberry and Fairlight could do a bit of hauling

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SPORT UTILITY BIKE http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/2008/03/14/sport-utility-bike/ http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/2008/03/14/sport-utility-bike/#comments Fri, 14 Mar 2008 20:35:45 +0000 http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/2008/03/14/sport-utility-bike/ SPORT UTILITY BIKEBike hauling: Caution this vehicle makes wide turns! No oil or polluting transportation needed to haul supplies. :: Resources :: Burley Bike Trailer Xtracycle]]> SPORT UTILITY BIKE

bikesub-2.jpg Bike hauling: Caution this vehicle makes wide turns!

No oil or polluting transportation needed to haul supplies.

:: Resources ::

Burley Bike Trailer
Xtracycle

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WHAT’S NEW FOR THE NEW YEAR? PROJECT #1 http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/2008/01/01/whats-new-for-the-new-year-project-1/ http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/2008/01/01/whats-new-for-the-new-year-project-1/#comments Tue, 01 Jan 2008 23:34:22 +0000 http://d17095.u24.sustainablehosting.com/journal/2008/01/01/whats-new-for-the-new-year-project-1/ GROW FOR TEN THOUSAND Our readers know that that we've been hinting for months about a great new project in the works. As we start the new year, the moment has come to reveal our plan, along with a new logo exemplifying the revolutionary spirit of PTF's Homegrown Revolution™: To harvest 10,000 pounds in 2008 […]]]>

GROW FOR TEN THOUSAND

Our readers know that that we've been hinting for months about a great new project in the works. As we start the new year, the moment has come to reveal our plan, along with a new logo exemplifying the revolutionary spirit of PTF's Homegrown Revolution™: To harvest 10,000 pounds in 2008 from 1/10 acre.

We had wanted this announcement to coincide with the launch of our new website, but it looks like the new website won’t be online for a few months yet. And nature won’t wait for the new site.

Once again, the driving force behind PTF, Jules Dervaes, has led the way with a radical challenge. Can we urban homesteaders deliver? PTF will be trailblazing a new path as we ask: How much food can be grown on such a small scale?

Back in 2003, we at PTF first shocked ourselves and “the world” by growing 6,000 lbs (3 tons) of fruits, vegetables and herbs on our 1/10 acre growing space and proved that we could approach a high level of self sufficiency both directly and indirectly from our city lot.

Learning through years of self-taught, hands-on growing experience, none of us has any agriculture accreditation or has taken permaculture or master gardening courses. From firsthand knowledge, mixed with a passion for the environment and growing things, Jules has dramatically upped the ante on the urban food movement. Living by example, we use our "hands as weapons of mass creation™" to create a better present and a real future.

Can 1/10 of an acre (about 4,300 sq ft) grow a cornucopia of 10,000 pounds without using ANY organic NPK fertilizers? We are talking about a piece of land equivalent to 66'x66'! Such an urban food production feat has not been undertaken and documented with stats to prove its possibility. Are we crazy? Crazy, you say? Yes siree, bob. Whether or not this happens all depends on the weather. God willing, we hope to be blessed with abundant rainfall and good weather to reap a bountiful harvest! Stay tuned to this journal for the out-of-this world developments.

Join us in our mission to be the change by living the solution! The seeds of PTF's Homegrown Revolution™ have been growing for nearly seven years now and are reaching maturity. You can contribute your support through purchases from our online store or making a timely (tax deductible) donation. We need your help to spread the word to friends and family and throughout the cyber world (via message boards, blogs, etc.). It's our mission to Grow the Future™, and you can help support our efforts in launching a new site to document this project along with our ongoing urban homesteading adventures.

We want to extend the challenge to grow for 10,000 pounds to our readers and propose that you pledge to match us penny for pound (or whatever amount you’d like to contribute). By donating one, half or more penny for each pound of produce we harvest ($100 over one year—if we meet our goal), you can help us purchase the necessary technological tools and services needed to document, publish and publicize this sustainability challenge! You can be involved directly in reaching others with this radical solution to save the people and the planet.

Also stay tuned for the final harvest tally for 2007!

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ROADMAP TO SUSTAINABILITY http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/2007/10/09/roadmap-to-sustainability/ http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/2007/10/09/roadmap-to-sustainability/#comments Tue, 09 Oct 2007 15:26:57 +0000 http://d17095.u24.sustainablehosting.com/journal/2007/10/09/roadmap-to-sustainability/ Front yard in October, 66' x 132' urban, edible eden Bare Necessities.... the simple bare necessitiesI 'll stop before I have our readers, humming the catchy tune from Disney's Jungle Book When people ask what I do, I proudly state that I'm an urban homesteader or urban pioneer. What's an urban homesteader?  An insane (sane) […]]]>

Front yard in October, 66' x 132' urban, edible eden

Bare Necessities.... the simple bare necessitiesI

'll stop before I have our readers, humming the catchy tune from Disney's Jungle Book

When people ask what I do, I proudly state that I'm an urban homesteader or urban pioneer. What's an urban homesteader?  An insane (sane) person who is tied to the land 24/7, one is willing sacrifice and be content with the "bare necessities" of life. Through trials in our lives, we been taught and learned not to be selfish. Instead, we sacrifice for something bigger than ourselves. In fact, more times than not we are so focused on what needs to be done for the urban homestead or PTF that we fail to consider ourselves.

"But what do you do for a living?" Think Laura Ingalls 21st century, struggling through hard work and effort to live a simple, yet fulfilling life.   Although we are far from being truly self sufficient and independent, every day we on are on a journey towards our freedom. We have to think, sorry, live, outside the box and that doesn't come easy. I can truthfully say, after 7 years of this urban homestead project, this life is NOT for everyone, though now "hip" it may be (the urban homestead movement, growing your own food, urban sustainability is now the rage and the PTF model being copied all over the world)  

Instead, it's a lifetime commitment not one of a day, week or month passing fad or done with the notions that this lifestyle is ideal for a book, film or fame in mind. Hate to break the bad news, but we've learned first hand that one can't have their cake and eat it too despite what many green eco advocates preach.

"to get something into your brain, heart and guts, it is only through your hands." - Jules Dervaes

I remember as a kid looking through my father's stack of Mother Earth magazines from the 70's (think they'd be outdate , nope we've come full circle again) and would read the stories about city folks who left the city and went to live off the land. Unfortunately, in the 80's many of those hippies left their life and land ... wonder what this modern green movement will look like in a couple of years.   It's always good to learn from the past and I wonder if this scenario will be repeated once all the popularity and newness has died down, when reality set in and one is smacked in the face with the fact that you'll be on your knees, sweaty and dirty every day of your life, 24/7 - 365 x forever.

It's good to remember that it's not all tomatoes and chickens for us urban homesteaders. It's hard work, struggle and sacrifice but as with everything sustainability does come with a price and we choose this debt over a consumer driven, unsustainable life.     We each our the new pioneers forging a new path/journey into the unknown -- creating a roadmap to sustainability.   What keeps us going is our roadmap where we've broken down our journey in steps.

What about you, what do you struggle with?


Car Free

In our weeklong Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) celebration  last week it's the only time of year we give each other gifts with 2nd tithe money (our1st/3 rd tithe money goes towards the PTF outreach "earth stewardship" mission). Nothing fashionable or extraneous, instead practical, useful and sustainable    Admitted (and still recovering) bike addict, Justin, had a relapse and scored a used electric bike on craiglist for less than 1/2 the retail price!

Lemon Tree

was very pretty...

The folks that purchased next door have removed the ancient lemon tree (planted by the owner when the house was built nearly 100 years ago when practically every home had a citrus planted in their yards).     Yesterday when they took a chain saw to it, we were sad to see it go. During dinner when we were talking about how we'll miss the tree it hit me that in all the time we've lived here we've never had to buy lemons.    We were so fortunate. Anytime we need lemons for preservation, my famous rose petal lemonade, lemon butter to put on the green beans, or homemade cough syrup or toddy I'd just pop on over next door and grab a few or handful of lemons... now what will I do?   Sure, we have dwarf tree in a wine barrel - but since it's dwarf, it produces far from the amount the lemon tree next door.   I've always never considered if we had enough lemons when using a recipe, now I'll have to break a 20+ year old habit of going next door.    I may have to go to a farmers market for lemons, that would be something!   The good new is Justin did snag a few cuttings hoping to save this heirloom lemon.

Hunched Over the Computer

Seems like that's what Jordanne and me position is these days. The last few days I have been going through the thousands of digital photos taken since 2001, deciding which ones of the many hundreds to add to the new photo gallery. The photo gallery that's online now has about oh, nearly 800 photos and I've collected about another 800!   With the new photo gallery software (thanks to your generousdonations) we'll be able to share even more photos. Ok now that I've picked 1 out of every 50 or so, now comes adding the photos to the gallery and putting then in their folders. Wait not so fast,   the light at the end of the tunnel was instead another train (hey gotta keep your sense of humor!).  

We've come across a huge problem.   Guess what?  Our new sustainable host provider, doesn't allow PHP uploads for security reasons. Great, who would have thought.   One step forward, three steps back.  Hopefully we'll get some sort solution to this obstacle and soon!

Impatient

You think you are getting impatient with seeing the new PTF site, we'll I can you we are too! Can't wait till this humungous task is completed but, we don't want to make the mistake of not completing the work (like we did that last time we upgraded this site) making it hard to us to update and manage.    Both Jordanne & I are looking forward to the time we can go back to being urban homestead gals 24/7.... Is there light at the end of this tunnel (and not just another train), for both us and our reader's sakes I do hope so!

We are hoping this new site will mean less computer work, making it easier to keep readers updated with the latest photos, videos, stats from the urban homestead. With everything in order, we are going to strive to keep better records for both ourselves and our readers which will help when we finally sit down and start compiling a long over due book that will document our journey.    Not to get ahead or ourselves because we are first and foremost urban homesteaders and farmers. In between all this computer work we are busy with fall plantings and other projects. Some days we are so busy my head swims as I hop from one task to another and then back again making it very hard to concentrate on one job and do it well.

So bare with us through these next few months, it'll be worth the wait. I promise.
BOOKMARKS

Future Of Water In The US West: A Bleak Projection Of Climate Consequence {TreeHugger}

As lawmakers in Sacramento consider how to provide an adequate water supply for California in the coming decades, at a little-publicized state water summit this week scientists painted a bleak picture of a Western landscape devoid of forests, snow pack and surface water unless the world quickly reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
The state is likely to become drier even if emissions are capped because levels of greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere will continue to warm the Earth for decades to come, said Norm Miller, University of California, Berkeley, Water Center associate director.
read more

Water rationing, rate hikes on tap {Pasadena Star News}

Water customers in Pasadena will "most likely" be affected by the MWD's plan, said Shan Kwan, water division director for Pasadena Water and Power. The city purchases about 60 percent of its water from the MWD, Kwan said. "We don't know to what extent yet because we are still looking into it, so we can't provide any numbers right now," said Kwan. "But we probably will have to take some conservation measures, and that could include a rationing plan."
read more

A pretty dire prediction that's been expected for sometime. Water of vital importance to the survival of the urban homestead, farm. Without it the garden don't grow and we don't eat - simple.   Over the last 15 years on the urban homestead we implemented a few water saving conservation practices (and we still have a ways to go) around the house.... • bucket drain (bathroom and produce packing area sink in the garden) - this water can be used to flush the toilet and in the garden• wash full loads using our handwasher or energy and water efficient front load washer (rebated by the City Of Pasadena)• less clothes = wash less• wearing clothes until they don't pass the "sniff test" - simplify our wardrobe• using outdoor shower that waters surrounding edible forest• bathing/washing hair once a week (sponges work just as well on a daily basis)• no need to shampoo your hair every other day (wear it up when you work or put on a simple head covering like a hat or bandana to keep hair free of dust and dirt) rinse with apple cider vinegar (dark hair) or lemon juice (light hair) to remove soap residues that will clog your scalp and collect oils and dirt.• reusing the grey wash water to water the edible landscaping (fruit trees and shrubs along the driveway or the natural "beneficial border" )• turning off tap - not letting it run while brushing teeth • washing dishes by hand, don't let the water run while rinsing. Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.• two low flush toilets (rebated by the City of Pasadena)• no dishwasher • less dishes or reuse not-so-dirty dishes means less dish washing• washing the car on our green driveway so water can percolate into the soil and surrounding landscape• when warm, heating water in thesolar ovens to wash dishes (teaches one conservation!)• toilet lid sink in the garden • handwatering/spot watering• clay pot irrigation (ollas)• mulching, mulching, mulching• polyculture• green/"living" mulching • un-lawned - edible landscaping• "square inch gardening"• self watering pots• drought tolerant plants• SOS [save our seeds] that are now acclimated to our area• permeable pathways• removed most of concrete from the driveway to prevent runoff• removed 30' x 30' concrete patio in backyard, recycle most into permeable walkways and retaining wall future steps • complete outdoor greywater seepage area• gutters to divert rainwater - then install Rainwater HOGS• tank-less water heater or solar water heater (still looking at watering heating options)• compost toiletBrac and or Nylex Greywater reclamation system• and more.....

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END OF SUMMER SHOWERS http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/2007/09/23/end-of-summer-showers/ http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/2007/09/23/end-of-summer-showers/#comments Sun, 23 Sep 2007 19:16:00 +0000 http://d17095.u24.sustainablehosting.com/journal/2007/09/23/end-of-summer-showers/ Yom Kippur Blessing Summer ended and fall started with an unexpected blessing - rain. And lots of it. Here at the urban homestead our gauge measured 1.25 inches of rain. That one storm brought nearly 1/2 the amount of rain we received all last season (a miserly 3 inches). Although unexpected, what a blessings this […]]]>

Yom Kippur Blessing

Summer ended and fall started with an unexpected blessing - rain. And lots of it. Here at the urban homestead our gauge measured 1.25 inches of rain. That one storm brought nearly 1/2 the amount of rain we received all last season (a miserly 3 inches).

Although unexpected, what a blessings this rain has been. After the driest year on record, the air and just everything around felt dirty and grimy. Thanks to the rains, everything feels fresh and new - perfect for Yom Kippur.    It's like the world's been given a brand new start; however the cool crisp weather is short lived. Temperatures are expected to climb into the 90's by mid week.  However, we will enjoy every minute of beautiful after-shower weather.

Weekly Meals

Unfortunately, I didn't have time to jot down what we ate here on the urban homestead this week due to the filming going on, which really threw off normal urban homestead activities and meal times.   Even through the disruption we are still eating primarily from our garden as we continue to harvest figs, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, green beans and greens.

High on Hemp

The other day we received a call from the president of IHerb.com asking if we'd like some expired hemp oil to make biodiesel with - he didn't want it to go to waste.   Sure!   Don't tell Justin but I may just sneak a few cupfuls to make some hemp soap. 😉

Missed Opportunity - Greywater & Living With Ed

We received a call fromBRAC HQ in Montreal Canada regarding eco-celeb Ed Begley’s wanting them to film an episode that will feature his installing aBRAC system in his house here in LA. The vice president atBRAC wanted to know if we had installed ourBRAC greywater system so that he could bring Ed over to see the installation. The vice president himself willthen be flying in from Canada to take part in Ed’s eco show.

Unfortunately, we have not been able to get around to completely finishing our system. We’ve had too much on our project list this year; of course, the vice president ofBRAC was somewhat disappointed. Even though we had good reason, we still felt badly about letting him down especially since we are the local distributor.

With seven years of urban homesteading under our belt and with dozens of articles and other press coverage we’ve received already, our local homesteadite following and growing readership, one would think eco-shows would know all about us by now?

:: Field Hand Appreciation :: WW generous $50 donation. Thank you very much helping us grow the future.

BOOKMARKS

Climate change worse than feared: Australian expert {Yahoo}

SYDNEY (AFP) - Global warming is occurring at a faster rate than the worst-case scenario envisaged by experts just six years ago, Australia's top climate change scientist said Thursday. Tim Flannery, named the 2007 Australian of the Year for his work in alerting the public to the dangers of global warming, said the issue was the greatest challenge facing humanity in the 21st century.
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Brilliant winged giants {LATimes}

THERE'S a new bug in the garden, and it looks a lot like bird poop. Unappetizing, you bet, but so clever: This odd little caterpillar's job is to avoid being eaten, and one day -- like magic -- become a giant swallowtail butterfly.
Even in one of the driest years on record and an "awful" one for butterflies, according to Fred Heath, author of "An Introduction to Southern California Butterflies," giant swallowtails are fairly easy to spot, particularly in neighborhoods where citrus is common.
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