There are so many draft journal postings it’s becoming a cluttered, disorganized mess. So, before the year is out I am going to try to a bit of “cyber cleaning.” Anyhow, feeling a bit posting fatigue at the moment so, the less said/written, the better.

Here are a few new posts with some exciting developments (did any of you guess?) and some “old draft” postings thrown into the mix.

Jotul F 100
Stove’s In

Unfortunately (or fortunately), it’s not cold enough to start a fire…. yet.   In So Cal we really don’t see nighttime temps dip in the 30’s until late December or January.
The guy doing the installation (which he said was tricky because the pipe and liner barely fit) had to cut out about a dozen bricks from the fireplace and, unfortunately, uncovered some traces of asbestos. We were concerned, but he said it wasn’t too serious to worry about.   Old houses–you love them but boy do they give you some unpleasant surprises.

The stove fits perfectly in the small fireplace opening. The size of thefireplace really limited our choices. Anyhow, we didn’t need a bigger stove because it’s not like we live where it’s really, really cold. All we need is to get the chill out of the air and besides, it’s all about wearing layers and doing our best to conserve our heating uses and only using the stove when it’s really necessary.   

We look forward to using it this winter, but first we have to break it in.

Sun oven

Sun Ovens

The other day we received an email from an Arts Center College of Design student who was looking for a good home for two solar ovens. She had used them in a research project to document which sun oven was best for the Sudanese/Darfur refugees. She was happy to find a good home here and that we could put them to good use. We, of course, were interested in her research and had a question for her: Which sun oven did she find preformed the best?

The report she submitted had the Sport Sun Oven over the Global Sun Oven. There were two others but their performance wasn’t up to par (one was cardboard and other was some sort of inflatable one). She then went on to say that the Global Sun Oven is fine for urbanites, but she felt that the Sport Sun Oven was better suited for the rural village life.
Why all the interest in which oven was best for Africa? Because we recently finished the paper work to be sales rep for both the Sport Sun Oven and Global Sun Oven. Our first two orders as sales reps for Spot Sun Oven, we are happy to report, will be going with a local couple who is traveling to Kenya next week – they liked the fact that these ovens were lightweight and could fit two pots (for large family cooking)

And that’s not all, there’s more to follow! Another couple whom we know adopted a village school in Kenya and they are wanting to bring at least 6 ovens to school the next time they go. Then there’s a friend of theirs who wants a few for an orphanage in Rwanda.
That’s not all, there’s even more news to report!

PTF will be selling the sun ovens online through our expanded store. So if you haven’t made or bought a sun oven already, you can support PTF and the Sun Oven project in Africa by purchasing the ovens through our soon-to-launch expanded store — launch date


Stay tuned.

Dervaes Institute – It’s “Official”

We promised an acquaintance of ours we’d post this announcement on the internet as soon as it become official because she was thrilled to hear the news of our taking this new step.

Over the years, many of our friends and acquaintances had questioned us : “Why haven’t you become a non-profit?” We have agonized over this issue and which path to take. Path to Freedom is documenting our journey and we want it to be an example of a family – not a non-profit organization – making a difference in the world. The point we wanted to make was that you don’t have to be an organization to change the world. The reality is that the path to change the world begins at your door! You can simply start changing the world from your own backyard and PTF is proof of it. Path to Freedom is an example of a living, working, self-sufficient, and sustainable lifestyle accomplished by a family working together with its own hands and does NOT depend/survive on 1. tours 2. donations 3. grants 4. memberships 5. money from books or speaking engagements to successfully achieve goals and projects. Many non-profits (and organized religion) have turned into big businesses with jobs with paid employees who do good work because they are paid to do it, not necessarily because they believe in what they are doing. How many would do something if they weren’t paid to do it?

With that said, one lady bluntly told us a while ago: “You are no longer a family, you are much bigger than that,” and “You have to seriously consider becoming a non profit organization.”

With that in mind and the strong desire of keeping the family run Path to Freedom homestead separate, we fortunately found a “separate” path by establishing the Dervaes Institute which is now a registered as a California Corporation Sole and under the jurisdiction of the State of California Corporations Sole Code and has a tax exempt status under IRS Code § 508(c)(1)(A):.. This way it’s easier on us and those of you who donate from now on for either film screenings, workshops, or those of you donate to support the site (thank you) – your contribution will now be tax-deductible!

What’s Dervaes Institute?

To clear up any confusion.

Path to Freedom is now one of the projects of the tax exempt Dervaes Institute (earth stewardship outreach/”ministry”). With the incorporation of Dervaes Institute this will allow PTF to expand its work and outreach.  So, basically, PTF is still a family urban homestead project; however, to cover the expenses of the outreach, projects and public aspect of PTF projects, Dervaes Institute will allow tax deductible support.

We are excited about this new step, and hope you are too, and we thank you all for your support through the years. We strongly believe that PTF, and now Dervaes Institute, is a simple way of life and is on a mission. We, by living the revolution, are clearing the path so others may follow. We strive to live by example as shown on this site. Now our community outreach is the extension of these beliefs.

Makes sense? I hope so. 

Hanging Out to Dry

For much of our lives we’ve tried to live simply and not buy so much stuff. One of those choices was not buying a clothes dryer. For nearly thirty years now our family has line dried our clothes. Such a simple, “power down” practice helps us conserve not only electricity but also the amount of outfits we wear each day/week. Why bother throwing this article of clothing in the wash for a little dirty spot? We wash clothes about once a week when they are dirty (saves water too!) We can go a week or more wearing the same outfit on the homestead (especially during spring, fall and winter when we don’t perspire as much) Clean is good (“godly” and healthy) but Americans have become over obsessed with cleanliness andtoo many outfits – less clothes, less energy, less water…

You’d be surprise how a simple piece of string can make a dramatic difference.  

Warming the world to dry our socks {Land Institute}

Once, visiting a friend, I helped wash the dinner dishes. I soaped the plates and cups, and she rinsed them and stacked them in a dish rack. When we were finished, I asked where the dish towel was so I could dry. “Oh, don’t bother with that,” she said. “That’s air’s job.” ….The average American family devotes 5 to 6 percent of its annual electric budget to the motor and heating coils inside its clothes dryer. Undampening your socks ties you into the vast world energy grid, with its legacy of mountaintop-removal coal mining, terrorist-vulnerable natural gas pipelines and all the rest. Which is OK—right?—because we all need dry socks.
read more


  1. Kate says:

    Here in Australia almost everyone still dries their washing on an outside clothesline. While many people use an electric dryer when the weather is wet, lots of us use ‘clothes horses’ indoors to dry our clothes. It costs about 1 Aussie dollar to dry one load — who wants to spend that? I am always amazed when I read that Americans consider an electric dryer to be the ‘conventional’ way to dry clothes.

  2. Reinie says:

    Hi, do you have any suggestions for those living in Northern Europe? I line-dry a lot indoors, but we need to keep the house dry because of dust mite allergies. I can’t dry outdoors when the trees are in bloom because I’m allergic to tree pollen. The rest of the year drying outdoors can be a problem because of all the rain…

  3. Jennifer says:

    I’m so glad to hear about the Dervaes Institute. I think that was a wise decision.
    Thanks for that great “Little Brown Dress” link. I enjoyed reading about Alex Martin’s “slow fashion” movement.
    With the Institute established and the Peddler’s Wagon online, plus all the usual autumn veggies, you guys are harvesting the bounty of a lot of hard work these days. Congratulations!

  4. Kathie says:

    Congrats on the Dervaes Institute! What an awesome thing.

  5. Kate says:


    If you have an enclosed garage or shed, or a room that can be shut off, you could dry your washing there. My grandmother had an internal ‘airing cupboard’ that she used to dry clothes. Even if you can’t line-dry everything, you could dry the things that go on hangers in a warm cupboard. Here in Melbourne many people have gas ducted heating over winter. We place a clothes horse over the vent, hang the clothes, then spread a sheet over the top, which speeds up the drying process. Don’t hang clothes over or too close to an electric radiator as this can start a house fire.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Or you may want to look at