Top left: part of a day’s harvest, Justin up in the tree collecting squash,
basil, pesto

At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, thenthey begin to hope it can be done—then it is done and all the world wonderswhy it was not done centuries ago.—frances hodges burnett

Harvest Moon

There was a beautiful full harvest moon last night.   Friday, we picked a whole bunch of gorgeous beauties from the garden – white and purple tomatoes, purple, red and green peppers, stripped eggplant and avocados. We’ll certainly be eating well this week – what a blessing.

On Sunday, we harvested basil, winter squash, string beans, lima beans and pink guavas.   The winter squashes grew quite well (harvested over 100 lbs so far) along the de-paved driveway, growing up and over the 6 foot wall and into the school’s trees. Justin had to scale the 6 foot wall (see top right photo), balancing on the top while picking the winter squashes out of the trees.

With the pink guavas we’ll probably make a few jars of jam, eat some fresh and freeze the rest.   Another batch ofpesto (made entirely by hand using a mortar and pestle) was put up in the freezer – should keep us supplied with pesto throughout the winter months.  

Only wish the tomato crop had been better, going to miss having some for homemade tomato sauce and canned tomatoes in winter. However, if the fall tomatoes keep ripening, then fresh tomatoes are much better anyhow.

Artificial Cushions & The Buffer Zone

On Saturday, while discussing what a true harvest moon/season really means, Jules brought up that “thanks to the modern world we have lost intimacy with nature.”

“This year was a bad year agriculturally, especially in California where farmers lost thousands of dollars worth of crops; however those of us living in cities are buffered from nature’s warning messages. They way we live now it’s impossible to feel what this harvest season means – if it was a bad year we always have a grocer to fall back on to cushion the rough patch.   If the crops didn’t come in this year at this time everyone in the community should be feeling a urgency and worried if we could survive the winter months ( remember Laura Ingalls ‘The Long Winter?’ ) We have truly buffered ourselves against deprivation, we don’t truly feel the consequences of a bad agricultural year. So far have we come from an agrarian society we no longer know the true joy of a good harvest or the sorrow in the lack of a good harvest.   With this harvest season, although we are very thankful for the blessings the earth has provided, it’s somber time for us because this year has been a rough one for all the true farmers who are connected with the land – the land and those connect with the land suffered much this year.   Besides being grateful for what we have been given, it’s a time to ponder “what is or went wrong,” have the guts to pick up the receiver because the earth is sending us a message and then have the courage to ACT on it.”

And the situation is not getting any better.


Western Warming Warning {LATimes}

Climate change will worsen droughts, wildfires and die-offs in the region, a report says.Rising temperatures in the 11 Western states due to global warming will cause more prolonged droughts, more widespread wildfires, and extensive die-offs in regional plant, fish and game habitats, according to a report Thursday from the National Wildlife Federation.”The American West is truly on the front line,” said Patty Glick, the federation’s global warming specialist. “The latest science is painting a bleak picture.”
read more

Preparing for Winter

Jules and Jordanne are putting their heads together for an all out redesign and upgrade to the citified farm animals’ housing situation. The chicken house was built in early 2002.

Since then we’ve thought of new improvements – especially for ease of cleaning. Also, since we want to expand our duck flock, the duck’s house needs to be expanded and then there are the goats which are going to need a permanent house. Jules has some really neat ideas for a innovative 3 in 1 animal house. Jordanne is coming up with suggestions for ease of cleaning and the best sleeping quarter options.   Since it never really rains here in So Cal, except for a few months out the year, now with the addition of the goats, we are going to need to look to cover a larger area of the animal enclosure to protect it from the rain (there’s word that this year El Nino is coming).   Because we’d only be using the rain cover a few months we are thinking of hanging some army canvas along the front side of the enclosure to keep the goats’ food and straw flooring dry. Goats hooves need to be kept dry and goats absolutely hate rain – they cry like they are dying.   The ducks could care less about the rain and the chickens sulk under their house, (and the cats look out the front door, the back door, the windows and then they whine and complain to us humans as if to say “would you please do something about this!”) but goats, if wet and cold, could develop pneumonia.

In preparation for the cold months ahead, the goats have grown a nice thick winter coat, the chickens and ducks are molting as they grow new feathers (old feathers are everywhere… it looks as if someone plucked a chicken!)

You Are Invited

Join PTF (we’ll be exhibiting) and others in the community for

The 8th Annual Latino History Parade in 2006 To honor our eldersto preserve our collective pastto help educate all involved in our projectsto provide positive educational outreach for all in our community.
The theme for our event this year is “Harvesting Our Roots/Cosechando nuestra raices.” This event will be a celebration, taking place on the streets of Los Robles and Washington and culminating in a community fair in Washington Park, which will include entertainment, food and exhibitors representing various types of organizations. WHAT: Eighth Annual Latino History Parade in PasadenaWHEN: Saturday, October 14, 2006 Jamaica (community fair) 11:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Parade 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noonWHERE: Parade route begins at Los Robles Ave. (north of Washington Blvd) and ends at Washington Park. For map and driving directions click here.
For more information visit theirwebsite

Car Free Pasadena

Visitors, residents, workers and students can get around Pasadena without driving their cars. That’s because Pasadena’s General Plan has as one of its seven guiding principles that Pasadena will be a city where people can circulate without cars.
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The Green Report: The City of Pasadena

The city of Pasadena elects to be an environmental advocate and a leader in environmental compliance and protection. The City shall cultivate superior environmental standards that will provide for sustainable municipal development.
The city recognizes that growth and opportunity cannot be conducted at the expense of environmental protection and enhancement, and that growth and environmental stewardship are intimately related.
The city believes that the implementation of an environmental ethic need not interfere with economic development, and that practicing such environmental ethic can ultimately be expected to enhance economic affairs and provide for responsible, farsighted development.
The city believes that the protection of the urban and natural environments is a social responsibility and a fundamental obligation of a democratic government, and that an ecologically impoverished and polluted environment adversely impacts human health.
The city is striving to become a model for environmental excellence and a prevailing force in environmental protection. To accomplish these goals, the City shall establish policies that will incorporate environmental responsibility into its daily management of urban and industrial growth, education, energyand water use, air quality, transportation, waste reduction, economic development, and open space and natural habitats.
read more about the greening of Pasadena {pdf file}
Even if you aren’t a Pasadena resident, this report is worth taking a look at, perhaps your city could do the same.


U.S. Rules Allow the Sale of Products Others Ban {LATimes}

Chemical-laden goods outlawed in Europe and Japan are permitted in the American market.Destined for American kitchens, planks of birch and poplar plywood are stacked to the ceiling of a cavernous port warehouse. The wood, which arrived in California via a cargo ship, carries two labels: One proclaims “Made in China,” while the other warns that it contains formaldehyde, a cancer-causing chemical.
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Oct 9 is World Overshoot Day {Footprint Network}

Beginning on October 9th and continuing through the end of the year, the world will be living beyond its ecological means. Ecological Footprint accounting shows that, as of October 9th, humanity will have already consumed the total amount of new resources nature will produce this year.
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No Comments

  1. Michael Foti says:

    Our chickens are experiencing their first molt. Do you know if the feathers are compostable? We’ve got feathers all over the place, but I’ve been throwing them away in the trash.

  2. Anais says:

    Sure, obviously chicken feathers (like human hair) can be composted. Almost anything (plant, animal) that’s natural can be composted – “from dust to dust.” Actually, companies sell “feather meal” as an excellent nitrogen source/fertilizer!