Photos courtesy of Julia Perkins, freelance photographer: Image © Julia C. Perkins


And I’ve haven’t touched a drop in two months.

Last night PTF hosted its ever popular Biodiesel Mixer. We had a great turn out (about 40 attendees) with some coming as far away as Santa Barbara and San Diego
— lots of
nice people (keeps getting better!)

We handed out the informative “Introduction to Biodiesel” and sold a few of Maria Alovert’s Homebrew Biodiesel “Bible” — check out hernew website.

We have a few left, for those interested (email us) — proceeds go to Maria and helping her efforts in spreading the word.

Thanks to all who showed up and brought goodies for the potluck and for Julia for taking some great photos.

Comments from a few attendees: (thanks!)

Thank You! … for putting on an interesting event. We also enjoyed seeing your

overall commitment to a sustainable environment and meeting some very nice


… Your presentation was both informative and entertaining.   ~ Mike ~

I was at your Bio-Diesel Mixin’ Mixer today with my son, and I think what

you’re doing, both with bio-diesel and with your other efforts, is amazing –


… Again, thanks to all of you for the service you all are offering, and know

that there are those who will follow your lead.      ~ Gary ~

Miles per acre


FYI – August 10 isInternational Biodiesel Day!

Some studies have shown the following rates of production in gallons per acre per year:Soybean: 40-50 Mustard: 140 Rapeseed: 110-145 Palm oil: 650 [2] Algae: 10,000-20,000

The production of algae to harvest its oil for biodiesel has not been undertaken on a commercial scale yet, but working feasibility studies have been conducted to arrive at the above number. Specially bred mustard varieties can produce reasonably high oil yields with the added benefit that the meal leftover after the oil has been pressed out can act as a effective and biodegradable pesticide. There is ongoing research into finding better crops and getting better oil yield. more>>

Of course there’s the valid argument that we couldn’t grow all our fuel demands
— what if it’s because our consumption’s too much in the first place?

It’s not about supplying our gluttonous consumption. It’s about reducing, reducing, reducing …

Still can’t get over an article in some magazine we saw about a couple who built their massive. multi million $$$$ modern “dream house” that was powered by a huge solar pv system.    Just because it’s powered by solar doesn’t mean it’s really necessary to have a sauna, huge modern fridge and so forth. There’re some modern amenities that are “necessary” in this age — but what how/what do we really need?


LOST: When everyone finally left and we were cleaning, picking up I couldn’t find PTF’s guestbook/mailing list. HELP!!!!

Someone musta accidentally picked up our guestbook with list of names and email — please check to see if you have it and contact me asap. THANKS!

FOUND: Someone left a men’s flannel jacket.

Photos courtesy of Julia Perkins, freelance photographer: Image © Julia C. Perkins


We still await the greywater system fromReal Goods ordered on 5/24 (6-8 weeks for delivery — yeah right… going on 11 weeks)

Wondering if they sent it via the “slow boat from China” — what’s up with that? We should call them to find the status, but we’ll be going up there in a few weeks…..

Anyhow, shouldn’t be so peeved… the cellar has yet to be cleaned out and nobody really wants to tackle that monstrous mess anytime soon.

On Friday we went out to a feed store by Griffith Park (near LA Zoo) to pick up some pine shavings and straw. JM wanted some pine shavings for the chicken/duck/rabbit run area as the tree mulch and straw compost too quickly. The pine shavings make the coop smell so nice and fresh… mmmmm.


A lady that works as an accountant at one of the local restaurant, who is one of our clients, came by on Friday to pick up some sunflower leaves, stalks and heads for the chimps at the LA Zoo. She’s adopted a few of them and apparently sunflowers are their favorite snack.

Previously, she used to pick up bunches of sunflowers from the grocery store, but the staff at the zoo wasn’t too pleased with that arrangement because “florist” flowers are treated with who know what.    She’s thrilled that she can now bring the chimps organic, non treated “goodies” and promises to have photos of them chowing down.


The banana in the corner of the chicken run is massive — has to be because of the rich duck water and compost back there. We are still waiting for the bananas to ripen and keep a close watch to spot any sign of yellow.

Our quirky “quackers” use the cluster of bananas as their egg laying sanctuary — and they like to lay them in a hard to reach spot between one of the clusters and the wall.

Finally over their maniacal broodiness, all but one of the hens are back to laying and there are lots of eggs so JM and I are thinking of making a pound cake and serve it topped with fresh peaches
— YUM!

We had a brief scare with one of the chickens, Scarlett. Early one evening, JM found Scarlett just sitting idle and panting hard with a slight rattle in her throat. JM, first inclination was that Scarlett had an egg block (which could be fatal if not passed as the egg is in danger of exploding inside her) We first tried a warm bath, using oil and then finally JM had to do the, ahem… “finger test.” 

After the “finger test” it was determined there was no egg block– but Scarlett continued to pant, her stomach was bloated hard and getting harder and her symptoms were similar to a tumor.   Research on the internet brought the news that Scarlett would slowly die from the tumor growths inside her. Apparently, tumors are quite common in laying hens two years old and older.

JM started giving her drops ofEssiac Tea which we luckily had on hand. A couple of days later and Scarlett’s stomach was back to normal and her breathing is not even noticeable – no more panting. JM cannot find anything wrong or unusual about her … seems like she’s is “cured”? Although having not taken Scarlett to a vet for an x-ray we’ll never really know what cured her or what she really had.


The heat continues and will hang around for the next few days. JC has to keep a watchful eye on the plants for the first signs of stress. The last of the tomatoes is due to be taken out today and replaced with either tomatoes or another veggie crop.


In between the regular business about the homestead, we are planning the trip up to SolFest. A few people we know will be going, so we are trying to arrange rideshares and spaces at the same campground.

Lots to do, plan, arrange, pack…. yadda yadda yadda

Weather Report: “Bloody hot” as exclaimed by JC

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