canning goodness & garden grown toppings

Wow, a whole week has passed already without any journal entries. However, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing going on! On the contrary, we/I’ve been so busy I haven’t kept with the meal postings from the urban homestead. Sorry. I can say it’s been fig this or that, tomato something, peppers and eggplant dishes. Will post this week’s meals, though – promise.

Last week we traveled to San Diego to for the opening night ofRISE. After the earth inspiring docu-dance we got a chance to meet all those involved with the project – congrats to all involved, the months of hard work and effort are greatly appreciated. The pioneering concept and approach to this dance company was that they choreographed earth activists voices into dance. For PTF the closing of our voices and end narration by the one of the producers the dancers moved backwards painstakingly along the edge of the dance stage balancing on a the sides of the set holding out their hands helping the others as they took a step backwards.

Some friends, and fellow urban homesteaders, decided to create community and fun in their own backyard and hosted a photo scavenger hunt last week. The rules stated that you couldn’t use a car but encouraged attendees to use their own two feet, two wheels or public transportation. Everyone had fun!  Thanks G & K!

Besides the summer fun, there have been issues to deal with. The NELA Food Cooperative that we and many other families in the area belong to is in danger of being shut down by the Pasadena Police Department. Yes, the Police Dept.  In fact they have informed the cooperative head organizer that if anyone shows up at the Rose Bowl Parking lot anymore they will issue citations to the driver and co-op members.   

Unfortunately, as the cooperative wants to do all that it can to be compliant, we haven’t been able to determine what exactly we are doing wrong, or what permit we might need. So we called a few folks at City Hall, hopefully we’ll get everything cleared up soon.

On the urban homestead…

There’s been also some sad news, Dixie, one of our Khaki Campbell ducks, passed away from old age on Saturday afternoon. She died peacefully in Jordanne’s arms. Just hours before she was eating and hanging our with her buddies.  She was a happy duck till the end.    It’s always hard to lose an animal, one never get used to it.   But one learns, especially with the urban homestead farm creatures one starts to appreciates how these creatures leave this world and is comforted by such peaceful departures.

Also some positive news to report: If all goes well, we should be getting a few Water HOG’s in September! Stay tuned.   Now we just need to pray for rain…. we need it desperately!

In the garden…

Now the peaches are ripe and coming in the kitchen in boxes (harvested nearly 100 #). Last week I canned more fig jams, last of the apple butter from this year’s apple harvest and the first of many peach preserves. This week another jam session is in the works — figs and peaches are invited to attend.

The eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, squash are still growing strong and producing (harvested over 175# in one day!). The second flush of beans, squash, cucumber and tomatoes should be ready any day now, God willing. Everyone’s busy with the tasks at hand – planting, watering, harvesting, cooking, preserving and much more.

The heat and humidity have been horrendous, temperatures have reached 105 in the shade! We aren’t used to such humid weather, but it seems the weather pattern has changed over these last few years. Summers are more humid than ever. 

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Suddenly, the Hunt Is On for Cage-Free Eggs {NYTimes}

The toy industry had its Tickle Me Elmo, the automakers the Prius and technology its iPhone. Now, the food world has its latest have-to-have-it product: the cage-free egg.
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Researchers, activists urge faster pace in effort to save Lake Tahoe {LA Times}

Global warming has changed conditions, a study finds. More rain, less snow and warmer temperatures are among the culprits.
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Is That New Car Smell Toxic? {Yahoo News}

New research suggests that car interiors may be a significant source of indoor air pollution.
You watch what you eat, making sure that the food you serve your family is healthy and, if you’re really diligent, organic. You make sure that the furniture and appliances inside of your home are safe and well maintained. There isn’t a flake of lead-based paint anywhere in your home. But what about the new car in your driveway? Just how safe and non-toxic is the interior of your automobile? Does that “new car smell” contain toxic chemicals that could be bad for you?
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Duarte to turn goats loose on brush {SGVN}

They work seven days a week and never take sick leave. They even enjoy working through their lunch breaks.
Instead of noisy weed-whackers and mowers, 150 goats from Chino rancher George Gonzales’ herd on Monday will begin chomping their way through overgrown brush in the the city’s hilly areas.
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The Homemade Homemaker {Guardian}

We spend a fortune on hi-tech beauty and cleaning products, often without really thinking about what’s in them. Yet with just a little bit of imagination and forethought, we could easily make many of them ourselves. In this new regular column, we’ll bring you recipes for everything from toilet cleaner to toothpaste
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