URBAN SELF SUFFICIENCY SERIES

One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.

~ Sigmund Freud ~

WE ARE BACK

Did ya miss us???????

What happened? Well, last Saturday our computer crashed and it was feared we had lost all our files. Fortunately, we were lucky and JM, found them two days later. I had to backup and save everything before she flattened the computer. That was one heck of a job which took her 6 days! 

Once she flattened the computer and re-installed all the programs (took another day), we were trying to get back on line when the computer was attacked by a virus. Fixing that took another day.  One lesson learned from all this is to never save photos on a computer.

Now, my computer screen has got the shakes and it is making me dizzy. Have to figure out how to fix that now. HELP!

This unexpected occurrence and time “wasted” threw a real curve ball in the flow of progress around here. This week’s going to be crazy catching up on the work that needs to be done!

I will try to give a brief outline of what happened here at the homestead these past ten days (minus the computer woes).

Saturday 20 – first day of Spring!

It was a absolutely gorgeous spring day. Puffy white clouds, blue skies and gentle breeze – perfect!!!!

The garden is growing like crazy. The plants that were hit hard by the frost are finally starting to recover. The weather’s been so warm that the some of the strawberries are starting to bear!

Tia, the turtle, is finally awake, but shy and spends her days in her turtle mansion.

The solar PV panels made 9.5 KWH – most ever produced in a day, and we banked most of it! Whoohoo!

Sunday 21

A few guys came over to check out the biodiesel processor. One from Cal Tech who is interested in trying his theory — that one can make biodiesel without the addition of methanol and lye.

We went with a few friend to hearTim Dundon (and the Promise Land Band) and his brother play at Dr. Music a local music shop.

Tim’s brother (Pat) is a talented singer and he belted out wonderful Irish and show tunes. One of the highlights of the night of music was when Pat sung “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” in tribute toBobby Hatfield of the Righteous Brother’s and close friend of his.

Monday 22

A computer technician and friend, came over and helped us with the computer, letting us borrow a hard-drive.

The guys are working on finishing paneling the garage. It’s looking good!

A local Altadena guy that we meet at one of our Mixers dropped off some methanol that he had. He’s trading it for some biodiesel that the guys should start producing in large quantities by early Summer. 

Speaking of biodiesel, JD’s going to be adding a few gallons of our homebrewed biodiesel to the diesel for the Suburban. Over the next few weeks, he is going to gradually increase the percentage till we reach 100% of our own biodiesel.

Today, called around to some local Chinese restaurants asking if they’d be interested in sharing some of their grease. No luck. Bummer.

But a local burger joint expressed interest.  We will drop by to pick up a small sample so we can determine if it’s good grease or not.

Tuesday 23

The guys finished the pedal power bicycle grain mill. Now we can grind grain and gain muscle!

The weather outlook is dismal. No rain in sight!   A  few days this week the weather teased us with overcast skies. It’s the driest March in 50 years. Not a good sign.

A friend generously donated her TV for our workshop and in the evening we went over to pick it up and visited her lovely little hideaway in Highland Park. THANK YOU!

Thursday 25

We are going to participate in two local Earth Day festivals. One in Pasadena on Saturday April 17th and the Eco Maya Festival on April 24th and 25th.

We are working like crazy to try to get our biodiesel display ready. We are hoping to have signs for the car in addition to a bio-display. We only have three weeks… YIKES!!!!

Some ladies from the East Coast came buy for a tour of the garden that was put on by a local tea shop (and customer). It was a tour of gardens in Southern California and we were one of the stops after theSanta Barbara Botanic Gardens and beforeHuntington Gardens.

The guys are working on the planting the driveway. That’s the worst place in the yard. Not much room to work with and we aren’t quite sure what we want to do with it. Don’t want to be hasty and make a mistake.

Friday 26

Upgraded PTF as the site’s currently surpassing its percentage of its transfer quotas.  

When we have some time, JM will be moving some of the photos and other parts of the website to another server that someone generously donated. THANK YOU!

A lady from the school across the street stopped me in the yard and chatted a bit about butterflies and buying produce from us. She wondered if our stuff was organic and when I told her that it was, she looked at me in disbelief and stated that “she sees a guy spraying chemicals in the yard.” I told her that it wasn’t chemicals at all! That he (JC) is spraying organic foliar fertilizer.

She still had a hard time believing – people associate sprayers with chemicals. That’s quite understandable…. things are not always as they appear!

Our clients orders are starting to pick up! Whoohoo.  We’ve added another customer( a small local bakery) and hope to add a few more. We plan to drop by samples at another local tea shop and a gourmet eatery.

Visited our friend a couple doors down who is a signer and songwriter (she was a part of the band HALF WAY HOME, which was featured in the Rolling Stones magazine a few year back). We hope she will have time to work with us – perhaps sing at some of our events.

Saturday 27

Went for a hike in the mountains. Haven’t been there for sometime and we were a rather shocked at the lack of water for this time of year. Usually this Spring season the streams are filled and running, but with the lack of Spring rains they are dangerously low and stagnate in places. Unfortunately, it looks to be a bad year.

JD and JM took a few video clips that we hope to use in the making of the PTF video. JD has some great ideas for it… it should be fun!  JM  is a bit intimidated over the video program and is asking around for some help and advice.

Sunday 28

Today, JM and I hope to have an events calendar up with further details and blurbs on what’s going to be happening here in the next few months.

Here’s basically what’s scheduled as of now:

April 17th – Pasadena’sGreening the Earth Day Festival at Memorial Park (11am – 3pm)

April 18th – Open “Homestead” – Spend an afternoon at “the farm” (2-6PM) RSVP

April 24th & 25th –Eco Maya Festival

May 2nd – Soapmaking 101 (2-8PM) Cost $25.  Payment due by April 23rd

May 13th – Knit/Crochet Out (6-8PM) RSVP

May 16th- Biodiesel Mixin Mixer (3-7PM) RSVP

June 23rd – Homebrewed Biodiesel (2-6PM) Cost $50 Space is limited

June 6th – Urban Homesteading (3-7PM) Cost $25

June 13th – Homebrewed Biodiesel (2-6PM) Cost $50 Space is limited

July 4th – Real Independence Day (4-8PM) RSVP

Space is limited so if you are interested,please contact us.

more to come….. stay tuned!!!

Weather Report: Nice

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