Turtle mansion                           The grounds              Come out, Tia, don’t be shy


The newest critter here at the homestead is Tia the box turtle. Because of her owner’s present situation, she needed a new home and we gladly adopted her. Her house is made from an old plastic garbage can top and a round rubber bucket. The guys covered the plastic with decomposed granite to give an earthy look – looks really nice! Her home has a pool (made from a upside down garbage can top) and landscaped with rocks (from the local mountains) and is surrounded by an old metal fence we had in our scrap collection. She loves rolly polly pill bugs, eats them like “popcorn chicken” as her owner exclaimed – which is great ‘cuz we have lots of them. She has quite an interesting history, disappearing from her owner and then mysteriously appearing on his back porch a year later! She will be a welcomed addition to the homestead, eating scraps of veggies and fruit, not to mention slugs and pillbugs!Thanks for giving her to us RaSudan, she will be well taken care of!


Kalib doing some mixing        Kalib doing another titration    Nicole checking the results

Yesterday George, Nicole and Kalib came by and spent the day working on getting a test batch of biodiesel. First, Kalib had JC do a titration (safety first — goggles, gloves a must!!!!) . Once that was done, then it was onto making some biodiesel!

We didn’t use the water heater method yet as Kalib thought it best to make small test batches using a camping stove and blender to check to see if were getting “good oil.”

We had to strain the WVO (waste vegetable oil) that Kalib had gotten from the back of a restaurant, add the necessary measurements of lye and methanol obtained from the titration, then heated the mixture on a small camp stove, blended for 10 minutes, poured into jars to allow the glycerin and oil to separate, then, finally, washed the biodiesel.

Towards the end of the day, we needed some extra waste oil to do another test so JM and I were initiated in retrieving our first waste oil from a bin behind a restaurant– One smelly and oily job!

George and JC reading instructions      First batch of BIO!!                Washing the biodiesel

On Sunday the crew will be back to test the water heater and brew a large batch of biodiesel (10 gallons) so the saga continues.

Special thanks to Nicole (grease gal!), George (the mechanic) and Kalib (the chemist) whose hard work and dedication made this possible! Also, don’t forget to check out Nicole’s websiteLARDCAR.COM

Interested in attending theSouthern California BioDiesel Conference on Jan 31st & Feb 1st ? There’s talk of having a “A MIXER” — a small get-together/potluck here at PTF. Wanna come?

Weather Report: Overcast, cool mornings.

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