BACKLOGGED

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Justin, Sascha, Jules, JJ, Jordanne & Anais

On Friday, JJ, a self taught artist (and friend) artwork was showcased in a local gallery and we were invited to the opening night reception. Here’s us all spiffed up.

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Goats under the bridge

Saturday we enjoyed the unseasonably warm temperatures as we went on our weekly
goat walk in the Arroyo Seco.

Sunday, Jordanne & I had to help out at the English tea shop so work on the urban homestead suffered and chores and project were once again postponed.

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Jules chats with the actor/actress

That (Sunday) afternoon USC film students and aspiring actors/actress showed up at the urban homestead to film a scene in the urban garden/farm. The short film is based on Eudora Welty’s first collection of stories, A Curtain of Green (1941). Among these stories: “The Whistle,” based upon, as Welty explains,” a warning of early frost that brought out a beggar’s ransom of clothing, bedding, and floor coverings, to protect the crops against the freeze.”

The distressing scene these film students needed to capture was that of the man and woman running out into the night trying to save their tomato crop covering the plants with tattered blankets and even the clothing off their back.

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Crew prepares for evening shooting, crew eats dinner with the Dervaes family

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Film characters trying to save the tomato crop

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Off go the clothes

Lucky for us it was a relatively (and unseasonably) warm evening so when the actors had to strip off their clothing it wasn’t too uncomfortable.I like the fact that it was a period piece and the actors dress authentically and honestly they fit right in here on the urban homestead. Make no mistake our little urban homestead is a thousand miles from a field of crops in Mississippi but we feel a kinship with such an agrarian, farming centered life that our great grandparents led. What these film students were depicting for this short film based on the novel was a time of hardship and suffering. We of course offered our “first hand experience.” Prompting them to think that if they didn’t save this tomato crop – they wouldn’t eat in summer (there’d be no tomatoes for canning either), nor would the have surplus to trade or sell. This tomato crop was their life they would either make or break it that year on the outcome of their efforts and how harsh nature would be that night. There were no supermarkets or produce trucked in thousands of miles away, each community’s life was centered and focus on what farmers, sharecroppers grew in the area and when a crop was lost it affected the entire community.

The roots of sacrifices, hardships but also the joy and success of a bountiful year were interwoven in every aspect of people’s lives. No longer do we share each others successes or even failures at the hand of nature. We have freed ourselves from the toil of the soil and have disconnected ourselves from the land and the people. With the ‘100 Foot Diet’ Challenge’ we hope to reconnect people with the soil, their food and their community and also combat climate change and energy dependency/depletion.

Grow the future – plant a Victory Garden spread the seeds of this homegrown revolution.

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Jordanne holding Blackberry photo courtesy Cathy Owens (USC film student)

From the Inbox

It’s emails and comments like these that help propel us further along the sustainable path…

Hi Everyone,

Thank you again SO MUCH for everything – for opening your home to us,for gathering tomato plants in February, for your patience, your warm fire, your expertise in wrapping tomato plants and showing us how to check the sky and leaves for frost. Here are a few photos that I took while at your homestead. I will definitely look up info about the wild parrots. I loved being with you.

All my best, Cathy

PTF folks….I’m truly blown away with your mission and all that you’ve got going….I happened to see your photos in Mother Earth News, I feel like I’ve been ‘playing’ around at self-sufficiency for too long…I live in Napa amongst the rich and famous and not so sustainable wine industry…although even this beautiful wine country is a better place to live than most places near here in the Bay Area…. I’m doing a lot of the same things as you all….Just feel like there’s never enough support for this lifestyle…That’s why I’m so glad I happened upon you guys, so I don’t give up hope for all I’ve been working toward….Thank you for all you do!

Ken K

Back to Our Regular Scheduled Postings

With the seven years worth of entries move complete (thanks Jordanne & M), the urban homestead postings should resume once again with homegrown diet weekly entries, garden musings and more.

Also, there’s a lot of comments, questions and entries to catch up on. So that will keep us and our readers enjoying even of life on the urban homestead.

Tomorrow look forward to ‘100 Foot Diet’ highlights (keeps growing daily, nearly 80 participants who are sowing Victory Gardens in back, side, front yards and balconies).

:: Field Hand Appreciation :: S&Z G $5 donation. Thank you for your generous support, we miss you and hugs to all.

Also thank you so much to those of you who time to comment about the new journal. We appreciate your positive comments and support. The journal isn’t finished just yet, so you’ll notice a few improvements and additions as we go along.

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