One of our clients was having a big shin-dig Texas BBQ on Friday, we happened to be delivering the same time the guy pulled in with a truck full of bales – 20 straw bales as a matter of fact! Of course, I asked the chef what would be done with the bales after the event.   I expected the answer I got “we’ll be getting rid of them” he said, “why, do you want them?” Do we want them? Why, of course!   So this morning we drove on over and picked up the bales.    Almost got enoughto start on a strawbale structure. 😉

In the Garden

Another cupful of blueberries and more are almost ripe! Nothing’s sweeter and more satisfying than eating something that grew in the garden. I’ll be making some lemon verbena syrup with leaves from the decade old (or more) old lemon verbena plant that’s still going strong.

Sun ovens

The Sun Also Rises

In the 1990’s, we bought‘The Morning Hill Solar Cookery Book’
— which is a great little sun cookery book btw.   After 10 years or so of experience cooking with the sun, what I like about this form of cooking is that you get to “know the sky.” It’s a personal interaction with a the natural world and most of all teaches patience and planning. You can’t hurry the sun and you definitely can’t be unorganized. Every time we want to use any of our sun ovens, we have to look to the sky each time we want to cook and judge which foods to cook that day. It’s a complete sensory experience and you can’t get that practical knowledge over a gas or electric stove.

The solar shower has gotten a lot of use – thanks to the sun. We are in search for another 1″ black garden hose to increase the amount of hot water that’s stored. The water can get scalding hot and steamy, so it’s a good thing we are able to turn a knob and add a bit of cold water. Imagine that with something as simple as a black garden hose, we can experience a decent shower…. not to mention that we are reclaiming the used water, allowing it to percolate into the surrounding soil, watering the many edible fruit trees and shrubs.
Fluoride, teeth and the atomic bomb

Americans have been convinced that fluoride will save their teeth and we drink more fluoridated water than any other nationality on earth. We learned about the dirty politics involved in the science and selling of fluoridation to a trusting public. We spent three months researching fluoride which resulted in the longest newsletter we’ve ever produced: Waste Not # 373. We learned that fluoride is a poison that accumulates in our bones. It has been associated with cancer in young males; osteoporosis; reduced I.Q.; and hip fractures in the elderly, to name a few.
read more

What Can I Do? –Fluoride
Genetically Engineered Crops May Produce Herbicide Inside Our Intestines

Pioneer Hi-Bred’s website boasts that their genetically modified (GM) Liberty Link corn survives doses of Liberty herbicide, which would normally kill corn. The reason, they say, is that the herbicide becomes “inactive in the corn plant.” They fail to reveal, however, that after you eat the GM corn, some inactive herbicide may become reactivated inside your gut and cause a toxic reaction.
read more

What Can I Do? –Tell Congress to Support Labeling and Safety Testing of GE Foods!
Struggling to go green?

No need. Self-sufficiency is greener than the Greens – and more organic than the Organics.
… Organic is mostly about selling, not living.If they were to join the organic movement; they would find no advantage and probably have little patience with regulations and inspectors.Yet another example of where the individualist, with no encouragement betters the often rather self-righteous environmentalists and greens.However, many self-sufficiency buffs do have very great sympathy for the great international movement that they don’t need and actually outperform every day.
read more

Dusting off our roots: The Dirty 30s

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is at its highest level in history. Unemployment is near the lowest. Almost 70% of Americans today own their own homes-more than at any time in the last century. The number of millionaires has doubled, to about eight million, in the past 10 years, and countless others have become wealthy through the stock market and/or the increase in the value of their homes. Life is good.So why look back on the Depression of the 1930s, now? One good reason is that those were very interesting times, in homestead terms. It was the time when “modern” homesteading was born, and to the best of our knowledge, that story has never been told. It should be inspiring, and educational, to anyone with an interest in country living, and others as well.
read more

No Comments

  1. Jennifer says:

    Hi Anais!

    Thanks for the link on fluoride. Great information! This is one thing I have not been giving our kids, and glad of it, too. Though it’s difficult sometimes due to the “existing cultural beliefs” about it that, while they have minimal foundation in actual science or testing, are bought hook line and sinker by most dentists.

    I wanted to pass on a blog I thought you might be interested in as well:
    The website is:
    Joel Salatin is a local farmer here in Virginia, who was recently the subject in an article in Mother Jones magazine. Very involved in local foods, sustainability, small family farms, etc.

    Happy Trails!

    P.S. We just picked six pounds of blueberries from our bushes yesterday, with tons more on the way! And I have a batch of lemon balm syrup steeping, too. Yum. 😀

  2. Darryl says:

    Nice article from CountrySide – great mag too. I’ve written a letter to the editor entitled “Backyard of Home Security” that I posted on my site today. Take a look if you get a chance and let me know what you think.


  3. john says:

    Does anyone have a recipe for lemon balm syrup?
    PS. Enjoyed the website.