SELF SUFFICIENCY IN THE CITY

CATCHING UP

We’vebeen a bit absent in posting these past few days as it was a busy-busy week here on the homestead… yep, heard all this before?  Life on the”urban homestead” is busy, but we always have timefor a little sharing & socializing as we did over the weekend.  

Here’s some of the latest happenings:

ECO-PRINTING

On Wednesday, we received our new brochures!

We are excited about this latest printing of the PTF brochure. It’s newly designed and “jazzed up”but the very best part is that the entire brochure is 100% eco-friendly (printed on 100% post consumer, non-chlorine paper and vegetable based ink).

We’ve been wanting to go “eco” for quiteawhile but were hesitant and discouraged at the prices. Eco-printing (or eco-living for that matter) always seemeddestined to cost us a small fortune.  

Fortunately, we found this excellent eco-friendly printing company in Canada called En Mass Media that had great prices.   They did an excellent job and theentire experience was a pleasure, thanks to En Mass Media exceptionalservice… and all at a great price!

We are really pleased and proud that our PTF brochure is “saving trees.”

EARTH DAY FESTIVITIES & APRIL SHOWERS

We’ve been experiencing cold weather (er… well it IS cold to usSoCal’ers!) and on Saturday we had April showers!!! The weatherman forecasted a  30% chance of rain on Saturday.   To ensure the blessing of rain on Saturday, wepreformed our version of a modernized rain dance — by washing the car on Friday.   It worked!

The rain shower was both welcome news and a bit of a bother.   Why a bother? Well, on Saturday PTF exhibited at Pasadena’s Earth Day Festival and the on and offrainfall caused a bit of a problem for us and other booth displays.   Being cold, showery and a bit blustery the visitor attendance was low and our burlap “shade cloth” wasn’t much use – not to mention some of the papers and parts of the display got a bit soaked.

But we did get to see familiar faces from the City of Pasadena and experiencedmeeting a bunch of wonderful people.   (BTW, all of us here at PTF would like to take the time towholeheartedly thankJBB for braving the weather and volunteering at our booth. We had a grand timeand we appreciate your effort, assistance, and most of all, your support!)

One City of Pasadena booth had a map of the city and “little suns” where homeowners had installed solar panels. There were about 25 suns dotted around the area (included a sun on PTF’s homestead!). So that was great to see! 

For those who attended this Earth Day festival, Pasadena is giving an additional rebatein May for the innovativeCaroma dual flush toilets – which we plan to take advantage of. Weplan to install the dual flush in the main bathroom and replace the other toiletin the back (1/2) bathroom with a composting one.

JM, while talking with Saturday’s festival participants, found out that Pasadena allows composting toilets and grey water systems! Great news!  Wewere previously uncertain if any of that was allowed; especially as we hadcalled the city office and no one knew what we were talking about. So now it’s going to be up to us track down the best systems. For composting toilets we are looking at theEnviroLet system and are just now looking into what options there are on the grey water front.

The Bio-Burban made its first public appearance as a part of our Urban Homesteading display. JD made up two magnetic signs for the car so now when we are zipping about town or on the road, we’ll be “advertising” biodiesel.

Speaking of biodiesel the guys made another 15 gallon batch on Friday in about 3 hours – they are sure getting the hang of it! Today, they’ll be washing that batch and – well, that’s it!    The homebrewing process in certainly starting to get into a groove. We’re so in the groove….   Bit of hip there, sorry! 😉

The Bio-Burban now is running on 25% biodiesel and JD figures that he should change the filter about now. So, that’s what they’ll be doing today. 

OPEN URBAN HOMESTEAD

Thanks for all those who stopped by for our “first” Open Urban Homestead.

Also a big thanks to those who brought goodies for the potluck in addition to donations of some $, fruit and paper.  Thank you for your generosity, we appreciate it! 

There were a few familiar faces 😉 and many new ones. One guy brought along his newly converted SVO Chevy van — which was really neat to see.

Spring garden

Everyone gathered around in the street to check out and discuss the grease car! It was a sight to see.  I darn forgot to snap some photosbut he’ll be back for the Biodiesel Mixer on May 16th I believe.

Of course, the Bio-burban got its fair share of “lookers” along with the processor.   Now, it’s time to start working on more new sustainable projects for the homestead. Can’t wait!

Anyhow, it was a lovely afternoon spent with great people!

Oh and before I forget, I’ve been asked by a few folks for our “Rose Lemonade” recipe… so here it is:

“Pink Rose Lemonade”

3 cups of fresh squeezed lemons

1 handful red roses (not sprayed)

1 large handful of herbs (lemon verbena, mints, lavender, rose scented geranium)

Honey or raw sugar — I use about 1 1/2 – 2 cups… depending

Boil about 4 cups of water, turn off the heat. Add honey or sugar, the rose petals

and chopped fresh herbs. Infuse — (let sit) for about 20 minutes. Strain liquid

through cheese cloth, then add the herbal liquid to the lemon juice — add extra

water or extra honey/sugar if necessary.

ENJOY!!!!

Weather Report: Cool – nice.

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