Jordanne & I gave a presentation to an 8th grade class at Westridge School this morning Since it was just down the road from us ( a little over a mile), we rode our bikes and Xtracycle over (it’s perfect bike riding weather, btw — sunny and over 80 degrees!)

The class was an 80 minute time period, so we started off by showing ‘The Story of Stuff‘ followed by a brief introduction of who were were and our urban homestead and our short video “Homegrown Revolution” After the hard hitting ‘stuff story’ and our sustainable music video, we did a brief presentation about how we each should be aware of what we buy. Even though we still need “stuff,” it’s about what stuff you buy.

We encouraged them to pay attention to where their stuff comes from, to look out for alternatives (lots of choices out there) and to rethink about having to buy this or that particular stuff. We gave them tips about using cloth bags, metal water bottles, giving clothes a second life by either 1. reusing 2. donating 3. hosting a swap party and many, many more useful tips.

In conclusion, we summed the presentation up and encouraged them to:

• Ask questions
• Increase awareness
• Shop wisely
• Look for alternatives
• Read contents / ingredients

The teacher, Lauren, and the students were very enthusiastic. So much so, Lauren even asked if we could come back and do the presentation again! So I guess it was a success even though I thought I was pretty stiff . 😉

A warm welcome to all you Westridge school girl who are checking out this site and a huge thank you to Lauren for the invite. You all had some great questions at the end and we’d be happy to answer any questions that you have.

Oh, even more exciting (well, perhaps somewhat of a tie), when we got home the guys were erecting a passive cooling trellis on the northwest side of the house – whooohoo! Since our new neighbors cut down most of all the shade trees (good for the garden bad for keeping the house cool) last summer. that side of the house gets pretty toasty. We plan on growing some beautiful and productive Scarlett Runner Beans. Just when you thought we couldn’t possibly find any more growing space — we are “growing up” for production this year!


After our morning outing, it was back to work here on the urban homestead!


Here’s Jordanne collecting all that wonderful black, rich, moist, dirt from the animal enclosure (decomposed straw, mulch, greens and manure – what a lethal combo!). She’ll be giving it to the guys to use it in the garden which will help with maintenance of our garden’s soil and plant health.

:: Field Hand Appreciation :: LE $10.00 Thank you for your continued support. Your donations make this mornings outreach possible – you help us help others!

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  1. Amy says:

    I’m growing scarlet runner beans for the first time this year, against one wall of our house. I can’t wait to see how well they grow. I’ve also heard that the flowers attract hummingbirds.

  2. Anais says:


    You’ll love growing scarlet runners. You heard right, the flowers are hummingbird favorites!

    Happy planting!

  3. jen says:

    Love the new blog! I am curious about tools for the various building projects around the urban homestead. Do you use mostly hand tools, or a combination of hand and power tools, and — if many power tools — does it have much of an effect on your solar energy usage. Thanks!

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