URBAN HOMESTEADERS


Grease load

Manual Labor

I really like (when I have the time) using the hand washer and wringer. The wringer especially does and excellent job of taking out all excess water from the clothes. This contraption, without doubt, helps lessen drying time on the line.   One less addiction to worry about that’s tied to the grid, allowing us to be freer while giving us a great workout as well.   We do our laundry once a week (twice, if really necessary) having learned not to wear so many sets of clothes during the week. But, when we do really dirty work, then the clothes pile up fast!   It’s important to continue to make small changes. However, we are tempted to want to do the “biggies” (yet to be accomplished) because it makes us feel as if we are progressing faster..

Smells like fries

Yesterday afternoon, on the way home from our deliveries, we picked up 9 five gallon containers of wvo (waste vegetable oil) from our client.  Sure beats the gunky, messy chore of pumping out of the greasy drums behind the place. While placing the containers in the car, one of the girls who works there commented that she heard that “Willie Nelson and his wife run their car and bus on biodiesel.” Word is definitely spreading about this alternative fuel.

If you are interested in making your own fuel, check out our section on homebrew biodiesel.

Here’s an email that we received which makes our time here on the internet worthwhile. Furthermore, I think the world would be a better place if more and more people “fell out of the box.”

Changing Paths

Hello,I work for a Major Oil Company and I have opened my eyes, but I am not sure I am on the right track. Maybe you could help me understand. But this much I know I work in a heavily regulated and extremely dangerous and unhealthful business. We blow $16 million on a well that has a high water cut. I wonder what $16 million in Oil Palms would produce? What would $16 million of any plant produce and what good economic effect and environmental effect would it produce? Would it take the pollution out of the air?Can a Gasoline engine be converted to run on biodiesel? Why do I care you might ask? The production of Oil and Gas uses a lot of energy and has a horrible toll on those who produce it. The energy to repeatedly lift 50K to 1.5M pounds of steel in and out of a hole 6000-26000 feet deep how much energy could that be compared to growing plants? not to mention the energy making all the equipment to drill and produce the Oil. It just blows me away from Well to gas tank to milk carton. I think I just fell out of the box.
Regards, Gary

In the Garden

The garden is still turning out many a summer veg: peppers, tomatoes, beans, limas, squash, radishes, tomarillos, sunchokes and leeks.

For the past few days we’ve been enjoying vegetable soup made from these garden veggies. The guys are keeping up succession plantings in the raised beds and the homemade self watering containers, in addition to amending the soil with our own compost, mulch and effective micro organisms. 

The damp weather contributed to a damping off some of the closely sown salad green crops.   Really, who would have thought it would be dreary in October, as normally this time of year we have warm temps, so we were unprepared for the rain and dampness. But, as with all gardeners and farmers, there is no time to complain or wonder why. You go with the flow and just take what nature gives you.

In the fruit department; guavas and a few strawberries bring a bit of sweetness to our diet. We eagerly anticipate the citrus ripening sometime early next year. This year we’ll harvest a few pomegranates (definitely more than last year) and these should be ripening fairly soon.  

Survivor

We had a family discussion the other day where each voiced his/her opinion about what he/she thought were the successes and failures for the year. 

Of course there were a few major steps ( cob oven, cob oven, cob oven — just kidding, there were others) and a few setbacks which we thought by this time we’d have finished (compost toilet, grey water system and solar water heater) But those weren’t failures because of lack of effort. Simply put,  we were overwhelmed– it more had to do with time and funds.  

We’d have like to accomplished more, just about anyone would; however, things always don’t turn out as planned. The year was fraught with obstacles and death  (losing two grandmothers within a few weeks on one another).

The one thing that was our great accomplishment was that we survived. Yes, survived, to live another day. Although our steps may seem painfully slow and accomplishments miniscule, it’s a wonder that we are even here at this point.

So instead of looking at the hole in the donut, it’s great just to finally say “what the hey and eat the darn thing” .. and enjoy!

No Comments

  1. Melanie says:

    I just wanted to say that I am “jealous”. I live in Ohio where the high temperature for the past week is around 45 degrees. My garden was done a cuople of months ago. I didn’t plant a fall one…I didn’t have time. (I have 2 children under the age of 2.)
    I enjoy looking at your sight everyday and seeing new posts on the journal. I really want to move closer to being sulf-sufficient. But….we only rent a home (can only do so much in a rental) and we are barely able to make ends meat. Anyway..not like you really needed to know that…but we do the little things that we can! Thanks for the wonderful website!

  2. gerry medland says:

    Hi Anais!
    No matter what is happening in an increasingly unstable and violent world,PTF bring continuous rays of daily sunshine into my home and heart!Your posts are just awesome!They inspire us to ‘go with natures bounty’,to listen to birdsong and create a ‘micro eden’in ann urban wilderness!Thanx so much for all the info,it makes a difference to my future plans(I want one of those hand washers!)
    blessings
    gerry

  3. Anais says:

    Greetings Melanie

    Welcome to the path and thanks for your posting and sharing your story with yes. We love to hear from our readers and their situation in life.

    It’s definitely a challenge to walk this path especially being renters with small kids. So more power to you on that!

    Anyways, like we always tell people that “one size doesn’t always fit all” and that “one should do what they can, with what they have in whatever situation they are in.” It’s about the small steps and it’s great that you even thinking “outside the box.”

    Wishing you and your family all the best in your journey.

    See you along the path,
    Anais