A little over 50 people attended the screening ofThe End of Suburbia on Sunday night. We thank Eric atPeak Oil Action for co-sponsoring this event and all who contributed great food, drinks and donations to help keep our outreach program going. Also “thank you” to our friendJBB for volunteering (always a great help!).


It was such a lovely evening for a gathering. With freshly laid straw, towering tomatoes, oil lanterns, and candles it had such a warm, country feel.

Movie nite at PTF

It was fortuitous set of circumstances: to be gathered in the backyard (and garage) of a “work in progress” sustainable urban (suburban) homestead — the beginning work of a solution– hosting a documentary film about the problem.


The film was quite frightening and I am sure many will say these scientists are just alarmists — but it’s so true that petrol and our American way of life cannot and will not last forever, especially since we are so oil dependent and energy hungry. Over the ages other great empires fell; but this time there will be greater, far-reaching consequence because of globalization.

More alarming articles>>

After watching a 70 minute documentary on the fall and total collapse of the programmed American dream – what’s one actually to do about it?

We know (and can see) there is a problem, we talk about that there is a problem
— but what are we going to do about it? It’ll be the end of the (quoting the film here) “the 3,000 mile Caesar salad, sports, work, travel… just about everything!”

We know solar and biodiesel are just “stop gaps.” It takes fuel (petroleum) to make the pv panels and vegetable oil to use in fryers. Everything is interconnected and tied to oil — and when nature pulls the plug? That’s a harsh reality.

What happens when the oil is gone — the foundational infrastructure of this system, of our way of life ? A friend and high school teacher told us the mood of her students is lackadaisical, making comments such as “we’ll be on Mars by then, or I’ll be dead and won’t have to worry about it.” That’s a scary thought!

We’ve been asked whether we are advocating biodiesel or whatever and our answer is that biodiesel is not the answer. It’s just something we feel we can do within our power — something different from what we did yesterday.   Our journey is still continuing and we hope to keep moving and such thought provoking documentaries hopefully will provoke us to continue to improve and change.

But “Change” is a hard road to travel and being comfortable inhibits the need to change aspects of our lives. Only when there is a threat or when we are feeling uncomfortable can we get up and do something about it. It’s so easy to go about the day and live off “changes past”   — but what change did we do today? We have to keep pushing ourselves and it’s so easy to get lazy and relax.


A fellow homesteader asks:

1. What was the initial motivation / inspiration for starting your “homesteading”

journey ?

Well, JD always had a desire to go “back to basics” & “back to the land” In the early seventies, after volunteering for Vista and getting a job teaching at a high school (to avoid the draft–he was a conscientious objector), he decided to leave the States and homestead in New Zealand. There he had a small garden, chickens, bees, ducks, goats, no indoor toilet, wood stove for cooking and hot water, drank rain water, no phone, and limited electricity (lights, refrigerator and a radio).

After a few years, circumstances brought JD back to the States where he lived in a rural area of Florida on 10 acres surrounded by farms and citrus groves. There we had a large garden (growing corn, beans, squash, okra, peppers, etc.) and a beekeeping business. Once tried keeping a goat who was too stubborn to handle, so instead bartered honey for raw goat’s milk and butter from a lady in the area.

So that’s some of the history there…

But how did we get started on our “homesteading journey” here? Well, life’s path took us to Pasadena (long story). We thought we would not be here long and would go back to some acreage somewhere. Living here in the city, it started to slowly citify us and we started to wander and lose some of the sustainable values. We basically figured that we used the city as an excuse that we couldn’t live sustainably here — we needed acreage. When that dream didn’t materialize JD figured instead of wishing and whining that we should try to homestead here — with what we have.

2.Who decides how the work is divided ?

Really there is no choosing – everyone sort of knows what needs to be done and can pitch in or take on the task as they please.

3.By living frugally, is there anything you feel you’ve have to give up that you wish you didn’t have to ?

It terms of materially … not really.

We feel it takes more of our time and energy to be frugal and not wasteful. Also, it’s a slow progress – especially for trying to renovate up our fixer-upper on a budget or continue down the path with other sustainable projects.


A writer from Pasadena’s Star News came by to do astory on our homestead. Initially we had contacted them regarding an email we had gotten from Lois Arkin, of the LA Eco Village. She informed us that she wanted to come by with the Chinese delegation from the UN to visit our work here.

Unfortunately, the article’s emphasis was more on us and failed to mention PTF’s outreach program – website and so forth. We only feel that way because we aren’t the work – but otherwise it was a great article (Thanks Mr. Parker!)

Weather Report: Cool

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