A wintry, Alaskan storm blew in on Friday brining rain, cold and snow in the local mountains.   This morning the temperature gauge reads 28 degrees!   Justin is out before the sun comes up to hose down a touches of ice on the plants in the front yard. The backyard beds are protected with the row covers — they finally came in hand, for awhile there we were beginning to wonder.    There’s another chance of rain during the week.  

We finally get a dose of winter weather – better late than never.

News clips
Ancient Biofuel?

Italian researchers have discovered that environmentally friendly olive oil was used in furnaces at a site in southern Cyprus up to 4,000 years ago
… Belgiorno said metallurgy sites have been found close to olive oil production areas in Egypt and Jordan, so Cypriots could not lay claim to being the first to use article

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  1. Joanne Poyourow says:

    Anais, about biofuels, I know this is an older article, but I’m wondering what your opinion is of the concepts. Biofuels Would Be A Disaster, by George Monbiot, 23 November, 2004,
    The general direction of the Monbiot article is, if we looked to biofuels to replace society’s current oil dependency, there is not enough land to grow that much material for biofuel (I haven’t checked his statistics). The other issue that comes to my mind is John Jeavons (of _How to Grow More Vegetables_ biodynamics fame) concept of feeding the soil … it would seem our nation’s impoverished soils need the carbon crops more than our gas tanks do. Admittedly, french fry oil is currently a waste product and your family is making positive use of what would otherwise be a waste product. But it seems, in light of the ideas above, that biofuels could only work for a very few, in the immediate timescale, rather than as a long-term wide-scale solution. I’d like to hear your opinions on this.

  2. Anais says:

    Hi Joanne,

    Thanks for you comments. That is a very popular question. To help answer this question, here are a couple of excerpts from previous journal entries/posts:

    May 11, 2004
    We’ve been asked whether we are advocating biodiesel or whatever and our answer is that biodiesel is NOT the answer. It’s just something we feel we can do within our power — something different from what we did yesterday.

    May 6, 2005
    Biodiesel is becoming more and more “popular,” as an alternative fuel source, but it is worth reminding everyone that biodiesel is not THE answer to the oil dilemma. Much more has to be done and accomplished.

    September 28, 2005
    Now about biodiesel: We are not advocates who believe that biodiesel is THE answer to our ceaseless consumption of petroleum. Just because we have a car that runs on biodiesel doesn’t mean that we drive more than before. (In fact, we are trying to drive less). The only ‘answer’ is that we consume too much energy and we need to reduce or eliminate our consumption. The fact of the matter is this: There is nowhere near enough vegetable oil in this country, new or used, to substitute for our ever growing petroleum addiction. Such solutions like biodiesel, solar panels, hybrid cars are what Jules likes to refer to as “band-aid” solutions (only temporary). For example, is it green and sustainable to have a biodiesel powered HUMMER? Defeats the purpose….. How about an electric can opener, microwave (or even this pc!) powered by some sort of green energy? We need to look beyond these temporary solutions. As the world faces ever increasing danger based on its dysfunctional systems, there is a critical need to look ahead with a new vision which set eyes on forging a new path beyond permaculture, alternative fuels/energy and other so-called “green” trails.


  3. gerry medland says:

    Hi Anais,
    very interesting comments and refered replies!We are IMHO heading for a massive re-think post oil into how surving society will function.Pundits near and far will laud opinions and solutions,I believe that permaculture is the only sustainable way forward!The Amish live abundant rewarding lives in a non techno enviroment,surely we can learn from them?The first impact circle is immediate!,all else is fall out and decreases with distance,I am sure we can improve,we may not like the answers,but they lay within the problem!If we do not,then who will,if we desist,who will take up the mantle?if we succeed,how many will follow?

  4. Anais says:

    Hi Gerry

    Glad to see you back posting.

    For years I have always wanted to visit (long term) an Amish farmstead. I hope to still one day. Our family has been fascinated by their simple, low tech, lifestyle. These folks have weathered out the upheavels of our modern society.

    We agree, if you take a hard look at true, long term solutions/answers they are, in fact, scary. We still wrestle every day with solutions to the problems.

    The first, few pioneers blazed trails out West, more followed until the rutted wheel tracks have been replaced with asphalt highways. Like you said if those of us who have caught the pioneer spirit and are blazing such trails, how many will follow once they hear of what lies on the other side?

    As always, thanks for your comments.