A mid winter’s night

Weather News

The last few nights have been pretty cold. We experienced the first  frost of the season on Thursday night.  Luckily, this year we invested in some simple row covers and the delicate crops weren’t too badly affected. The chill, however, has sweetened the crop of blood oranges which are still loaded on the trees.

Watts Up?

Last night was PTF’s first community event of the new year. Over 80 hearty souls showed up on a chilly winter’s night to attend this gathering and film screening of Kilowatt Ours in the backyard/garage of the PTF homestead.

Thank you all for coming! Your donations and food contributions were greatly appreciated (and also thanks to the guys who came bearing a gift of 10 gallons of peanut oil — our car thanks you!).   We are very grateful to Southern California Edison for their contribution of brochures with energy saving information and programs and to Pasadena Water and Power’s Mauricio Mejia for attending and telling people about Pasadena’s energy saving programs, in addition to handing out free energy saving bulbs. Also, at the PWP table there were solar lanterns on display and a model wind turbine that was nifty.

The film was followed by a brief Q & A session with Jules of PTF, filmmaker of Kilowatt Ours, Jim Barrie and PWP representative Mauricio Mejia. During the session, Mauricio announced that Pasadena was second to the progressive city of Santa Monica in conservation and green building standards.   It’s great to be living in a city that is focusing its efforts towards a greener future.

To make the night even more interesting, a film crew sponsored by USC was present. They have been making a TV documentary about whether we are ready for peak oil, global warming and bird flu scenarios. Our PTF homestead will be featured as a model for surviving. The producer wanted to film one of our community events, so they mingled among everyone, getting photos of the evening events.

We tried to keep the event as low energy as possible. I overheard Jules make a comment to a few folks that this was a “Peak Oil Drill.”   Not a bad idea, he always comes up with such catchy phrases. I think that he’s onto something here!   Alternative lighting sources such as biodiesel burning oil and olive oil lamps and candles provided light, and green renewable energy source powered the movie.   In addition, to make this an even greener event, reusable plates, cups, and utensils were provided to ensure there is no unnecessary waste. All other waste (i.e., plastic wrappers, glass bottles, food containers, etc) and food scraps will be recycled, reused, composted or fed to Path to Freedom’s pet chickens and ducks.    Another zero waste and energy event was successfully pulled off.

Back to the peak oil drill part, I think we should have more of such drills to prepare ourselves when there’s no pressure and back ups to rely on.   Doing such drills and how well one would perform is key to survival for any situation.    Our cushioned and comfortable world can’t go on forever and even if nothing catastrophic happens to us in our lifetime, we at least are preparing a path for the next generation and gaining a true sense of freedom.

Post Script

We were quite pleased at the performance of the soy candles Jordanne and I had made the other day.   After five hours the soy candles hardly looked like they had been used, while the beeswax ones burned halfway down.