Homegrown Diet (Sunday Afternoon Entry)

:: NOTE :: After four days (Nov 3-6) of unexpected technical web difficulties and some serious online incommunicado I will be posting all those entries starting from Sunday. Thanks for the warm welcome, good to be back!

A few summer crops still grace the plates of meals here on the urban homestead.   Root crops, broccoli and peas are not soon to follow.


B – homemade pomegranate waffles made with homegrown pomegranates, homeraised eggs, raw milk

D – homemade flour tortillas, homemade spanish rice made with homegrown tomatoes, peppers with sautéed homegrown peppers


B – homemade granola

L – leftovers from Saturday dinner

D – organic mac & cheese with homegrown tomatoes, peppers with homegrown salad with topped with homegrown pomegranates

Monday (at UCLA)

B – homemade granola

L – creamed homegrown greens and organic rice

D – homegrown and homemade fig jam with peanut butter and organic rice cakes


 B – homemade granola

L – homegrown squash, peppers, greens over organic rice with homegrown salad topped with homegrown tomatoes, pomegranate seeds and homegrown alfalfa sprouts

D – same from lunch


B – homemade granola

L – homegrown squash, peppers and greens casserole made with organic pasta and topped with herbed bread crumbs

D – leftovers with homegrown salad topped with pomegranate seeds


B – homemade granola

L – creamed homegrown green soup

D – pizza topped with homegrown tomatoes, peppers, basil

Friday (at Cal Tech)

B – homemade granola

L – creamed homegrown green soup

D – homemade spaghetti sauce with w.w. pasta served with bread and homegrown salad topped with pomegranate seeds

Answers from the Urban Homestead

Q – Freezing Pomegranates
I didn’t realize you could freeze pomegranate seeds! Do you spread them out in a single layer to freeze before packing them up or just pile them in a container and pop them in the freezer? – claire

A. Hello Claire, thanks for commenting and your question. We appreciate folks like yourself who take time to comment.

Pomegranate seeds are easy to freeze. Like you say “just pile and pop.”  That’s it.   You can then use them all winter to top salads or use in baked goods.

Q. Black What?
I am curious as to what those black looking mats are on some of the garden beds. – jeff

A. Hello Jeff.  Thanks for your garden question.  It’s good to have questions like these because sometimes there’s so much going on here on the urban homestead that it’s easy to forgot to explain all these tips and tricks that we do.   The black mats are not really “mats” but plastic black flat/trays from local nursery.   After a bed is planted with seeds they protect them from our chickens and ducks that we let roam the garden for a couple hours a day.

:: Field Hand Appreciation ::   GP & CH $50.00 donation  So nice to hear from you all, thanks for your generous support.  Glad to hear your clan is doing well on your new rural property. All the best to your and your family and your new homestead.   Also like to say ‘hi” to Youtube vblogger and fan of PTF — 8rf. Look for a big envelope in the mail. 😉
From the Inbox

My children and I are planning to step into more self-sufficiency this year. Your site is among the finest resources. We live in Southern Indiana, a stone’s throw from the Ohio and Louisville, KY. I am in awe of all the work and devotion your’ve put into your life and lifestyle. Thank you for sharing it so vividly! The pictures are so great! They really inspire action!
– LH
Will you please relay our heartfelt thanks to Jules and family and to you for coming to the class at UCLA. It was really extraordinary to have all of you there for the students to meet — and the DVD was brilliant! Peter and I both have so much respect for the work you are doing. Many thanks and I look forward to visiting Path to Freedom when it’s once again open. I want to learn more! With gratitude, Julia

Thanks for the compliment, we never tire from hearing from fellow travelers.   After seven years, PTF it’s uplifting to see that our homegrown project continues to spread the urban homestead revolution. Stay tuned for a improved PTF website in ’08 (yes, we are slowly plugging away)!
Garden warrior uproots policy {SFGate}

Unlikely rebel wins change in code to allow more ediblesKaren Baumann, an East Sacramento schoolteacher and mother of 11-year-old twins, is an unlikely rebel. She didn’t set out to change the city landscaping code. All she wanted to do was grow some vegetables. When the trouble started three years ago, her tiny front yard was full of tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, eggplants, bell peppers. Nothing tall: no corn, no trellised beans. “No one ever said anything,” Baumann recalled. “There were no nasty notes, no snide comments.”But someone – she’s still not sure who – made an anonymous complaint to the Department of Code Enforcement. Out of the blue came a demand to remove her vegetables or face an $800 fine. Her garden had been deemed a public nuisance. “I was shocked because I didn’t know it was against the law,” she said. “And I was angry they had the power to tell me to rip out what was in my yard.”
read article

Having smothered our lawn over 15 years ago under a layer of newspapers and mulch it was fortunate that we lived in a low income neighborhood that didn’t (and still doesn’t) have a neighborhood association. Pasadena doesn’t have a “lawn” code, unless it’s overgrown with weeds, etc. Such a neighborhood (and good neighbors) helped us push the envelope of urban farms way back before edible estates were the trend.   Actually, what we did those many years ago was improve our neighborhood and neighbors who were skeptical at first saw the yard turn from ugly brown to lush green and colorful wildflowers were won over by the transformation.  

When we went radical and turned the lawn into a edible production, we set out to landscape the yard in edibles.   It’s important, especially for us city folks, who take it upon ourselves to kill the green lawn to set an example how tidy, beautiful edible landscaping can be.    You have to think of it from a neighbors point of view. People are afraid of different and change, but if you do it in such a way that shows that that change is/ can be beautiful. How can they resist?

Elderly Man Killed By Neighbor for Watering Lawn in Australia {TreeHugger}

According to CNN, a 66 year-old man was beaten to death on his front lawn by his 36 year-old neighbor for watering it yesterday in Sydney, Australia. Apparently, the pair started arguing over his water usage, and the victim sprayed his neighbor with water from the garden hose. Then the 36 year-old beat him severely, punching and knocking him to the ground where he kicked him repeatedly. And ultimately an off-duty police officer arrested the attacker, but the victim was pronounced dead at the hospital soon after.
read article

Tennessee town has run out of water {Charlotte Observer}

The severe drought tightening like a vise across the Southeast has threatened the water supply of cities large and small, sending politicians scrambling for solutions.
read article

50 Things That Will Save the Planet (PDF) {via Energy Bulletin}

We’ve seen plenty of ‘How you can save the world’ lists over the years. There’s nothing wrong with them – lots of good tips on how to live a greener life, from hippos in toilet cisterns to hanging out the washing.

Kidsumerism {LA Times}

In the documentary ‘kids + money,’ Megan, 11, and Ashley, 13, say clothes are important at school. Megan, who has 32 pairs of designer jeans, recently had a birthday party with massages and facials for friends.
read more

A $50,000 bar mitzvah?   What’s the world coming too?