Brrrrrr, these last few nights have been cold ones! We held off as long we could; but bundling up against the dry, biting cold didn’t cut it, so we finally fired up the efficient Jotul wood stove. Thankfully, it’s warmed up a bit and now mornings and evenings are tolerable without heat. Back to bundling!

Nighttime temps were dipping near 32 and some parts of the yard had ice in the mornings. To protect the garden from the winter chill, all the raised beds have been covered in row covers – looks like mounds of white snow. Just about as close we are going to get to any of the white stuff falling this far down the foothills.

If you had problems visiting our site these last two days, looks like we’re on someone’s cyber attack list. (Dear US Government. We’re not wikileaks. You got the wrong server!!) The server guys will be dealing with this now as the crime it is and trying to isolate the issue. Hopefully it won’t happen again today!

Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Figured a pictorial post will just about top off this “eventful” week.

All covered up


Just look at those HUGE snow peas! Check out the "man hands" too !

Pomegranates are a yummy winter treats


More little fishes for the urban fish farm

Getting bigger... nope, not thinking about what comes next.

Molts over, looking purty with their new fluffy feathers

Quackers are getting curious and check out the goat pen in the garage

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!


  1. kuvan says:

    Might’ve been Monsanto..S.510 FDA Food Safety Modernization Act just passed a few days ago.

    Nov 30, 2010: Passed Senate with an amendment by Yea-Nay Vote. 73 – 25. Record Vote Number: 257.

  2. Susan says:

    Thanks for the pics. Love the “dwarf” carrots and the ducks on the goat’s roof.

    I’m so sorry to hear about the cyber attacks. I hope you won’t have any more problems. Someone needs to give those folks a shovel and some seeds and teach them to do something more productive with their time =)

    • Anais says:

      @Susan: You said it. Such people need something productive… like growing a garden! LOL Glad you enjoyed the pics.

  3. rick says:

    Sounds like Justin’s a frugal guy. I have a new pair of Timberland work boots still in the box if he’d like. Keep up the great work. Rick.

    • Anais says:

      @rick: Yes indeed he is. 😉 I believe his shoe size is a 10 but you may want to confirm that!

      • rick says:

        @Anais, Thank you Anais. The boots I have are a size 10 medium in Black. If that works for Justin I can ship them out tomorrow.

        • Anais says:

          @rick: Wow, really? I checked and Justin confirmed that he’s a 10. I am sure he’d appreciate it! Thank you!

        • Justin says:

          Hi Rick,
          Just wanted to say THANKS for the boots! They fit perfectly – we’ll post a pic of them ‘in action’ on the urban homestead!

          • Anais says:

            @Justin: Looking good there! 😉

    • rick says:

      @rick, It is my pleasure. I have a similar pair, very comfortable. Enjoy!

  4. Amber says:

    I need some encouragement guys! I wanted to get rainwater collection barrels, solar panels and chickens this season. So far, I can’t get the barrels or solar until I replace my roof and gutters! ($6,000) and I can’t get the chickens until i cut down two trees. $900 to cut them down. And I just found out my 1961 house has NO insulation, so I’m wasting energy and fossil fuels to heat the place and I’m still freezing. That’s another $1,700 to insulate. Man oh man – this is tough! Here’s me whining: Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!! I really look up to your family as inspiration and I’m hoping I’ll be able to get it done anyway.

    • Anais says:

      @Amber: Oh dear. That is a pretty hefty price and predicament and not sure I can come up a solution (readers please weigh in!) You see ( lucky for us) Pasadena had a rebate for the solar panel which paid about 2/3 of the solar system cost. With out that rebate we’d probably not have been able to afford solar panels. Pasadena also had a free insulation program for their residence. ( Boy, we are blessed to have lived in this town.) If your house qualified (like ours did) they came out and put in free, eco insulation. So with the money we did save we were able to re roof our house but to save a few thousand we took off the old roof and did much of it ourselves. Of course, we still haven’t installed the gutters. Thanks to our old house, any gutter system would cost about 3 or 4 grand. So back to your problem, I wonder if there’s any non profit or programs in your area to help assist you. What city/state do you reside?

      • Amber says:

        @Anais, Hi Anais, thank you for your reply. I live in Livermore, CA. I spoke with a representative from PG&E and they said they would give a hefty rebate on insulation, which would pay about 1/2 of it. My cousin has decided to help with the roof which will shave off $2,000 – so it will be about $4,000. I also contacted a friend at the city and they said I don’t need a permit to cut down the $900 trees, so I will rent a chainsaw for $50 at Home Depot instead. The solar will also come with a rebate which will make them $9,000 instead of $15,000 – so it’s still really expensive, but possibly doable. As for the gutters, that’s still up in the air. Like you, I inherited this home, so I can’t complain, it cost $30,000 for a $400,000 house.

  5. Diana says:

    I was wondering if I could get some guidance from anyone. I live on a 250 acre farm that includes many, many apple trees and 150+ head of cattle. I have an approximate 80 x 40 garden site with additional room for a couple of goats and/or some chickens. I feel totally overwhelmed however. I have so much space I don’t know where to begin. My garden gets great sun exposure with great AM sun as well. I live in Ohio. My ultimate goal is to be as self-sufficient as possible. I know how to can, dry, freeze foods. I have ample access to the best spring water that I know of. I am truly blessed to live here but I don’t know what to do with soooooo much land. Any ideas?? I would love to hear from anyone.

    • Christina says:

      That is always my problem

      I get overwhelmed and start too many projects. Greenhouses, new gardens, more chickens…….

      check out my website for my latest projects

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