Bike Ride to LA
On Saturday we joined the celebration and many bike loving folks from the LA area for theLife Can Be So Car-Free event at the new Los Angeles State Historic Park (previously was the site for the“Not A Cornfield” project). Justin, Jordanne and I along with a friend rode our bikes the 9 or so miles to the event from Pasadena. We were going to hitch up the new bike trailer so we could bring the goats, but thought it best otherwise since it was going to be about a 45min to an hour ride. So Jules joined us down at the park, bringing the goats in the biodiesel suburban. The ride was great – mostly downhill. From our house we took the scenic arroyo seco route, joined up with our friend at the railroad crossing at York and Pasadena avenue in South Pasadena, then proceeded down Figueroa, Daly, then ended up somewhere near Broadway.
JB and Jordanne walked the goats around the park. We took them off leash for the time being until a ranger came over and informed us that the park had a leash law. After he informed us in his grave monotone voice and was walking away, we complied but wondered if we should point out that these were two goats – not dogs! I guess we have to give him the benefit of the doubt. Whoever saw goats with harnesses and a leash?
Boy, I really could kick myself. Why? I could have captured a spectacular shot of Jordanne walking the goats against the skyline of the City of Los Angeles – how neat a shot that would have been! I did bring my camera, but the batteries were dead – stupid, stupid! I spotted a man who was taking pictures of his wife and baby and approached him to see if he couldn’t take the picture for me. He so kindly obliged and said he would send them to me by email… haven’t received them yet.
Justin was having fun checking out all the bikes and the trailer contraptions people had rigged up. We stayed until after dark, and with our not having the proper night riding equipment, we took the biodiesel suburban home – bikes, goats and all.
After a brief “Indian Summer” like weather last week, this week looks to be more fall-like. We had some drizzle on Monday morning and there’s a chance of rain (60%) Wednesday night into Thursday. So up go the tarps once again to cover the plywood. We figure on keeping them on till the metal roofing contractors get sorted out. One was supposed to call yesterday but never did. Very frustrating, this is.
Today, Jules and Justin are working on finishing putting up the last of the whole plywood – should be finished in a day or two. Next, they’ll have to put up some new wood for the eaves over the girls bedroom. Then get someone to help with the eave supporting brackets, peeling eave paint, installation of the metal roof and that about does it! OK, ok, getting ahead of myself here.
Small is beautiful
How Does Our Garden Grow?
With the cooler weather the green crops have grown practically overnight. The limas beans and peppers are still going strong (eating and freezing). We harvested the last of the lemon cucumbers and avocados. This week I’ll harvest 1/2 of what’s left of the basil crop to make a bunch of pesto to freeze. Still harvesting tomatoes and hopefully will continue throughout the fall, thanks to the late batch we planted mid summer. In the fruit department, the strawberry guavas are sill giving us lots of fruit. There are a few ripe strawberries and the last clusters of elderberries were harvested and frozen.
Bike blender complete
This week, the folks from the Craft and Folk Art Museum are expected to come and pick up some of the homestead’s wares, bike blender and hand powered appliances. So we’ll be getting that all together and ready for them. We are going to miss having our James Washer/Wringer – it’s been a great addition to the homestead. Although small (makes one frugal about not wanting too many clothes) and very expensive, it does work well.
Yesterday, we received a call from a green consulting firm who is working with the City of Pasadena to put together a community event to coincide with World Environmental Day next June, PTF was asked to participate and we are thrilled at the chance to be a part of this collaborated environmental event. Stay tuned for details.
For those of you who weren’t able to view the ABC7 video. Jordanne will be uploading it sometime this week. The ABC piece was a call out of the blue. Here’s an interesting tidbit from the interview: The reporter who came and did the segment grew up as a Mennonite in Ohio. She says she still does not have a dishwasher to this day. She adds, “I can just as well wash them by hand.” Of course, she said her friends who come over are a bit perplexed by the lack of this appliance in her kitchen. Our family has never had a dishwasher since its beginning in the 1970s.
We are also working on three new aspects to the website (that includes part 2). Now with the shorter days, we’ll have more time to devote to getting part 2 done and hopefully launch the other two aspects we are working on. So much to do, so many plans – stay tuned.
Not only are there things to do with the website, once the roof is complete, then it’s time to turn our efforts towards the next steps in our journey – waste and water. Gutters need to be put up, cistern located, grey water pump and catchments area, compost toilet installed. Also, a solar attic fan (the City of Pasadena gives a rebate on solar attic fans to residents) and wood stove are to be installed. Looking at the whole picture, we can get overwhelmed at times and would like instant solutions, but, like the story of the rabbit and the tortoise, “slow and steady wins the race.” Not that we are in a race, but the “slow” principle applies. We just have to continue to remain focused and slowly chip away at the projects as we advance step by step along the path – “small and slow solutions.” A friend of ours likes to end his emails with “press on” and we like encourage everyone of our readers to do the same.
Moving Up in the World
No, not what you think with status, money or gold – but with “black gold,” soil that is. Every year around this time we have to take out the rich soil from the animal enclosure. This year that area of the yard has risen over 2 feet – thanks to the animals and constant mulching. We’ll be using some of the soil to enrich the raised beds; however, the majority will be used on the recently exposed soil from last fall’s concrete removal. This part is the lowest spot in the yard and it needs good soil. Right now in that area we have what’s left of the self-watering pots which will eventually be phased out once the soil is enriched.
Updated Photo Gallery
With summer closing and a new fall season on us, it was a good time to update the PTF’s photo gallery (which has over 640 photos, btw) with photos from the summer. In the 2006 Yard folder there are larger resolution yard photos that were posted recently on the journal, also a few new goat photos, roof shots and bike blender (located in the ‘pedal power’ folder’) View the Photo Gallery – enjoy.