DOWN ON THE URBAN HOMESTEAD

Thankfully, we received some decent precipitation yesterday and into last night. Over an 1″ fell in our area, but we are going to need a lot more storms like that to make up the rainfall deficit.

It’s been a weird winter and there is a struggle with Winter wanting to stay and Spring wanting to arrive. Already, the apple trees are blooming and overhead flocks of geese are flying north. O’l Poxy Phil predicted six more weeks of winter… if that means more winter rain storms then that’s fine with us! We need all we can get.

February’s the month to think about future crops. It’s a time to get a jump start on the plantings and already we have started planting tomatoes.

On Sunday, JC started a few heirlooms tomatoes in soil blocks and also turned over a couple beds to plant more broccoli and greens, along with mixing up a batch of soil from the compost. Meanwhile,  JD pruned, transplanted and worked on improving the biodiesel processor and JR cleaned out the humungous mess down in the cellar so the guys can have more space to plant mushrooms, JM tracked down sources on the internet for things she and we need here on the homestead, and I caught up on emails, sprinkling wildflower seeds in empty spaces and weeding.

Wait a minute… Weedingy’say?

Nope, not our yard! No weeds here, thanks to the consistence use of mulching. But, Iwas weeding our next door neighbors’ yard. One day, I hope, there will be no more! Ah, don’t get me wrong, I can’t make myself pull out dandelions, but our neighbor’s yard is infested with Bermuda grass remnants and it chokes out the wildflowers. So there’s a battle right now with the young wildflowers coming up and the Bermuda grass trying to strangle them – so I intervened and helped them out a bit.

There’s a lot of irons in the fire here on the homestead. Some projects will have to wait and be put on hold for the time being – allowing us to catch up on certain things like plumbing and finally putting a door on the garage. Why so long in putting in garage doors and how hard can that be?   Yeah, we wonder that ourselves sometimes. But it’s hard, in our case, to find doors that will have an openness feeling and in character with the Craftman’s style (andespecially without spending a small fortune). The guys would like to build their own, but we are trying to find the style that would fit and fill our needs. We’re taking our time, as we don’t want to have any regrets and shoulda’s (shouldda done).

JM was also doing some research into using recycled rubber “sidewalks” (which we saw demonstrated on Huell Howser’s California Green program) for our driveway – getting prices and so on. From the info we got, unfortunately, it would cost us about the cost of brand new compact car to purchase these “eco-pavers.” For people like us who really want to purchase recycled eco products, but aren’t “well off”, it sure is discouraging.

The guys really did a fantastic job with building a display for putting up photos and charts about our project. What was really neat is that we stained the wood borders using wheatgrass juice. Pretty neat?  Don’t know how long it will last, could eventually wash out.

Anyhow,I’m really thrilled on how nice it turned out. No more using tons of double sided tape and brown wrapping paper! Whoohoo! 

This will be great to use for going to events and festivals.

GIVING GREASE A CHANCE….

On the biodiesel front, there is quite an interest in Girl Mark’s processor with the modifications made by Jules. Talk has it that this revised, improved version of the processor will be used as the model. And, there’s a lot of interest in folks wanting to have this latest processor, so it could be not very far in the future we could start helping or selling these fumeless processors. Those of you who are interestedcontacts usfor more details.

Weather Report: Clearing and sun’s peeking through.

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