Blackberry steals the show

NPR : Calif. Family Lives Off the Energy Grid

In Pasadena, Calif., Jules Dervaes and his family have already begun living the change that many suggest is needed to combat global warming. They use appliances that are powered by hand-cranks and even bicycles …

Listen to Full Radio Clip- hear Blackberry steal the show.

Walking not Writing

When PTF started, we had folks telling us, or asking us, to write a book; however, we felt that it just wasn’t the time. We had so much to do and didn’t have the time to write about what we do. One needs chunks of free time and living a viable urban homesteading life doesn’t offer such a luxury. We know firsthand how book writing has put people’s lives on hold – gardens suffered, families suffered, etc. We didn’t want to put our life on hold – there was just too much to do.

It was first things first – we grow our food, we reduce our energy, we live a sustainable life. So often, writing books is one of the first things folks do. As one of our writer friends put it, “everyone seems to have a book these days.” However, being self sufficient misfits as we are, we don’t go with the flow and have taken a slightly different “less traveled” path than the “everybody, crowded freeway.” Now, with the recent LA Time’s piece, the “book” drummings are growing louder and louder in our ears. There are even more requests, now from publishing companies.    We’ve always known that one day there should/would be a book – but when the time was right. For now, what concerns us most is getting the garden in order (if we don’t, we won’t eat) and continuing to reduce our footprint, even more so now that it’s been “decreed” that we have passed the tipping point with no return.   We walk the path to change, growing, learning, first. Perhaps, one day, around some turn/bend in the path, putting our story in writing will indeed help those who follow behind.

Not only are we getting requests for books, but speaking engagements – and therein, once again, lies the problem. How can we be who we are – living from/off the land, urban pioneers and yet share our message with folks who desperately want to hear what we have to say?   If we write a peak oil/ global warming/ permaculture/ urban ag book or give lectures on such subjects with most of our time spent on the road, what kind of message would we be sending? It has to be about balance – sharing our story while still keeping our hands and knees dirty. That’s a hard and difficult path to travel and yet we cannot disconnect ourselves and put ourselves into such an unnatural world of book tours and lectures.   There’s a time for everything. Nature shows us that in the change of seasons – when the earth is warm and temperatures are right, it’s time to plant and harvest. In the down time of winter, one reflects on the past year and hopes and dreams of the new one ahead – that’s the time of gatherings and sharing. It’s all about nature, it’s all about cycles, and we need to be in tune with the natural rhythms.

:: Sidenote ::

Kitchen Composter (as shown in the LA Times photoposted yesterday)

Yes, that’s me chopping up juicy blood oranges to topped our fresh green salad and that’s my favoritecomposter next to me.

Besides our hand cranked appliances, one of our favorite kitchen essential is our stainless steel composter. With our eating daily from our garden, there’s quite a lot of food scraps. Most go to feed the animals; however for eggs shells, occasional coffee grounds and other such food scraps instead of having to go outside to one of our many bigger outdoor composters, thiscompost pail can be set right next to you while you prepare meals or preserving operations. Thiscomposter, though it looks small it holds – A LOT of scraps without smelling up the kitchen (especially when you don’t have AC) thanks to the simple charcoal inserts.   We also like the fact that with everything these days being made with plastics (yuck) thiscomposter is made with stainless steel which doesn’t absorb smells and is easier to clean too!   And, yes, you can buy the composter from ouronline store 

Green City Action Plan

We walked to the first in a series of Greening Your Home workshops put on by
the City of Pasadena. They handed out the ‘Green City Action Plan’ and
while we were waiting for the presentation to begin we were flipping through the
pages and thrilled to find pro action words like:

1. renewable energy

2. waste reduction

3. green space

4. bio-diesel (is being introduced and used in the City fleet)

5. organic food

6. amend code to allow gray water for irrigation

The series of workshops will be concluded with a “Green Building/Home Tour’ in June, and it was announced last night that the City will be renting buses that run on biodiesel to shuttle folks — yes, PTF is on of of the stops.


Report says world to keep getting warmerScientists conclude climate changes ‘very likely’ caused by human actions {MSNBC}

In the strongest language it has ever used, a United Nations panel says global warming is “very likely” caused by human activities and has become a runaway train that cannot be stopped.
read full story

Pennsylvania’s famous groundhog predicts an early spring ahead {MSNBC}

Phil did not see his shadow on Friday which, according to German folklore, means folks can expect an early spring instead of six more weeks of winter.
read full story

No Comments

  1. Clare says:

    I admire your commitment steadfastness to your vision. There are plenty of others who have sold out for the book deal to keep them afloat financially, but it makes you wonder at what cost? Certainly their visions change with such a “deal”. Authenticity is the key. Thank you for holding that vision, even with the offers at hand. It’s what keeps others holding their own vision, as well.

  2. jo says:

    Love the composter – if only postage to Tasmania wasn’t so prohibitive! Speaking of oranges – did you know that dried orange skins make great fire starters? All that orange oil is very combustible.

  3. gerry medland says:

    I have found in my life that situations arise that attempt to divert us from our chosen path.Your collective example has inspired many to jump the train and begin now for true change and true living!Thank you for staying true to your ideals and example.Being content comes with a ‘high’ price by material standards,but true contentment is doing what is right at the time and not being disuaded by glitter.
    blessings from a freezing UK.

  4. Heidi says:

    As for flying here and there for lectures and book tours, just don’t do it. You just don’t have to. Just keep doing what you are doing. Ten years ago, it was important to go here and there to spread knowledge, to get the word out. Now, with blogs and web cams, you don’t have to. Word of mouth via email and blogs (chatting over the garden fence!) is more real than ever! You are right now, on your blog, speaking globally, about living locally, without having to leave your house!