Side, front & back yard

Even if I should learn that the world would end tomorrow, I would still plant this apple tree today.” ~ Martin Luther ~

It’s still cloudy and cool and there’s even a chance of rain middle of the week. This has been an unusually cool spring.  Anything to avoid the brutal heat and keep the moisture in the ground is a godsend. The summer crops aren’t too crazy for the cool weather. They can’t wait for the weather to warm up.

Today, I will try to get caught up with all the emails and phone calls that we’ve been getting – please be patient folks, your emails will be answered. I did, however, succeed in finishing sending out all the ‘thank you’ notes to those who arranged the Earth Day events.

Jordanne has been busy working on some new things for the website, shopping for goat supplies, studying about hatching chickens, holistic animal health care and basically busy as a bee can be. The guys are hard at work, working long hours in the garden and, I have to say, it’s really coming together nicely.   So much going, my head’s spinning so it’s hard to write about all the nitty gritty details when there are so much subjects I can write about. It’s hard to know where to start.

We’re getting a few more blueberries, blackberries and raspberries from a local grower in the area who sells at the local farmer’s markets (like to support the locals). Jules is planning to use the trellis Ray welded for us to grow a cluster of thornless blackberries. That should really work well and be pretty at the same time. For us, gardening is more than just gardening. Call it the “Dervaes eye,”  but we like gardens to be aesthetically pleasing besides being functional.

On Friday, in preparation for our busy Earth Day weekend, we gals made homemade “protein” bars. We used to make these peanut butter treats a few years ago to bring with us on our hiking trips. This year, with our commitment to buying less packaged products (and that includes easy to pack protein bars), it was time to start making more such items from scratch. So, we mixed a few cups of peanut butter, raw honey, puffed grain cereal, organic powered milk, sesame seeds and flaked coconut – mix well, pat into a square baking pan, refrigerate and viola’ -a healthful, easy and filling snack. I didn’t really write down the recipe. It was pretty much done from memory, “little bit of this and that,” taste and feel. You can’t really go wrong with such ingredients.

There are still tidbits to report from last week. One was our surprise meeting with someone who had a same ancestral name. At Wild Oat’s Earth Day on Wednesday evening, we ended up talking with a middle aged woman who was giving out free samples of delicious wild rice.   We got to talking and found out that she was going to New Orleans the next day, her first visit since the hurricane that pretty much destroyed a sizeable percentage of the city.   After telling herour experience of going back to help friends and relatives in November, long story short, her family in New Orleans goes way back as does ours. Turns out one of her relatives is also ours! Small world.   Not all the conversational subjects were pleasant.  Her cousin, unfortunately, didn’t make it through Katrina and the body was finally found by one of the relatives at Christmas. The authorities somehow never bothered searching the home. He was found in the attic where he spent his last days.

It’s being said that the comeback of New Orleans will take at least 25 years. A sustainable New Orleans?  Brad Pitt and others thinks so

The NZ homestead

Speaking of it being a small world: A few weeks ago, our family received an email from a New Zealander. Happens he was on the internet researching about Stafford, New Zealand and came across our site. Turns out his Aunt was the only neighbor of my parents in Stafford when they homesteaded there in the early 70’s in a little abandoned gold mining town on the west coast of the south island.   We’ve been corresponding back and forth, sharing stories and pictures. He informed us that I was the last person born there which is pretty sad; however, the place still looks the same – the only signs of progress is that road and single lane bridge are now paved!

Tread Lightly

In one of our posts we linked to a collection of calculators that you can use to gain an idea of how your life impacts the planet. Well, we forgot to put up what we scored.
PTF’s total footprint’s still at 5.2 acres.

In comparison, the average ecological footprint in the United States is 24 acres per person. Worldwide, there exist 4.5 biologically productive acres per person.

If everyone lived like our family (now), we would need 1.4 planets.

PTF’s total carbon footprint is 1 ton.  This is lower than the United States average of 18.58. How much is a ton of carbon?  The average emission in the USA (approx 20 tons) would be enough to fill about 4 1/2 Olympic swimming pools.
Calculateyour impact on the earth resources.

From the PTF Mailbox:

Hi Jordanne,
I met you last Saturday at the Earth Day event. Thank you so much for the copy of the magazine you gave me, as well as for adding me to your mailing list.

… I smiled all the way home after meeting you that day. I had spent the whole day at 2 different Earth Day events and your booth was the last one I visited. I had seen lots of different products and services over the course of the day, but I had yet to be inspired. Thankfully I persevered, because yours was the last booth I visited and finally I found what I was looking for! What your family has done is amazing, and I look forward to learning more about it.Thank you again.Lauren

Such emails makes our time there worth while and really gives us a good feeling inside. PTF is not there to sell anything, get folks to join a group or sign them up for memberships. What we like to say to folks who come up to our booth and ask “what are you folks selling?” We smile and answer that we are here not to sell anything but to “give hope.”

Earth Day Rant {World Changing}

Buying a hemp hoodie is not a blow for better world, it’s at best a mere gesture towards the idea that the world ought to better. And, here in the Green Spring of 2006, we must finally admit to ourselves that gestures are no longer enough. That to be focused on lifestyle tweaks and attitudinal adjustments at this moment in history is like showing up with a teaspoon to help bail out a sinking ship. If the New Green degenerates into handing out more stylish spoons, we’re screwed.
read article

Tapping Into a Changing Climate {LA Times}

In response to rising global temperatures, spring comes as much as 13 days earlier in many parts of North America and 15 days earlier in Europe than 30 years ago, scientists say.
read article

Hybrids Consume More Energy in Lifetime Than Chevrolet’s Tahoe SUV {Yahoo News}

Put simply, over the “Dust to Dust” lifetime of the Accord Hybrid, it will require about 50 percent more energy than the non-hybrid version.
read article