LIFE ON AN URBAN HOMESTEAD

DIY car maintenance

It’s a jungle out there

On the preservation front

On the Homefront

Well,  it was bound to happen sometime.  Didn’t think we’d escape the summer with out it.  The dog days of summer are upon us with a bit of humidity thrown in for good measure.

The harvest is slowly picking up, though some of our tomatoes plants are looking pretty haggard so will not waste nursing them along and give them a good burial and plant new ones hoping for a late summer harvest.

We’ve almost controlled the harlequin bugs which decimated our summer salad green crop.    June Bugs are falling out of the sky and littering the garden living their last pathetic moments on their backs.

The eggplant and a peppers are growing tall and strong.  Last year we had giant eggplant plants – one reached nearly 9 feet high!

Late summer and fall planting preparations are underway.

Another batch of canning done to preserve more figs, peppers, beans and apples.   Hopefully setting up another crop swap this afternoon with a local lady who has some delicious plums.  Trading some our excess figs and green beans.

Fairlight, one of our goats, had a touch of tummy troubles.   She seems to have a rather delicate tummy when it comes to changes.  We thought it could have been because of the change in the weather or it could be neighbors who have a new dog, which constantly barks starting in the wee morning hours and continuing throughout the day.   Today, she seems to be doing better, but you can sense she doesn’t like the dog yelping all the time.  Of course, it’s not only her, our nerves are a rattled with the constant high pitched barking.

Another round of broody hens, so the coop is under a temporarily lockdown and they of course aren’t too pleased.

We got our utility bill and were pleasantly surprise to see that from last year we cut our water bill more than HALF! Could it be the ollas or rock dust?  Or that after 20 or so years, our soil is finally reaching optimize moisture retention?

Also our energy bill was slightly less.  We are already low, but going lower is a plus.  Our monthly electricity bill is $12 and $5 of which is service fees. Here on the urban homestead we generate 3/4 of our own electricity with 12 solar panels that our mounted on the south side of the garage (which we installed ourselves in 2003 — 2/3 of the cost were rebated by the City of Pasadena)

There’s also been a rash of calls for duck eggs.  Everybody it seems want duck eggs.  So I informed Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy and Dawn that their eggs are in demand these days.

Continuing to use the outdoor shower facilities and enjoying every bit knowing that we are saving water and reducing our impact.  With giant bananas leaves towering over the shower, sweet jasmines perfuming the air and occasionally a bee to stop in, you step into another world tuck “secretly” away here on the urban homestead.

We are working overtime to complete FreedomGardens.org (now over 700 members and growing) and are talking about fixing LHITC since there seems to be viewer issues and we need to fix the category search.

Stay tuned for Freedom Garden of the Month hightlights nd hopefully our ‘Tally Hoe’ Contest where we’ll FG guess our harvest tally for the month of July (1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes will be awarded)

Oh, and supposedly the second most read newspaper here in LA,  La Opinion, is going to be running a story about the urban homestead this weekend ( I believe Saturday)

Comments(20)

  1. OuterBanksMom says:

    HOLY GUACAMOLE, your electric bill was $12?! That is amazing. Truly, I can not even fathom that.
    You guys should be very proud and happy to have a bill that extremely low. We have 2 little ones and a teenager (who hangs on the computer way to much) in our home and it makes it a little harder, teaching them about saving energy, turning lights off, shutting things down. It’s a bit of a challenge, but well worth it though.
    I wish we had access to solar panels, to be honest I wouldn’t know where to begin. Things on the east coast are sooo much slower and behind the “times.”

  2. OuterBanksMom says:

    HOLY GUACAMOLE, your electric bill was $12?! That is amazing. Truly, I can not even fathom that.
    You guys should be very proud and happy to have a bill that extremely low. We have 2 little ones and a teenager (who hangs on the computer way to much) in our home and it makes it a little harder, teaching them about saving energy, turning lights off, shutting things down. It’s a bit of a challenge, but well worth it though.
    I wish we had access to solar panels, to be honest I wouldn’t know where to begin. Things on the east coast are sooo much slower and behind the “times.”

  3. Kory says:

    yeah, the sun may rise over here, but most of the good ideas lately have traveled in the opposite direction

  4. Kory says:

    yeah, the sun may rise over here, but most of the good ideas lately have traveled in the opposite direction

  5. gerry medland says:

    Hi Anais!
    Your utility bill is a real progressive learning tool we can meditate and act upon.It is a fact of this age that we have no control over what happens to us in some instances,however we have total control over how we ‘react’ to those instances!If things move slowly then adapt ways to speed ’em up if possible.We were graced with creative minds to provide solutions to our needs,it would be a dishonour to our Creator if we did not apply our minds,hearts and hands in turning our backyards and homes into self sufficient models that work well!
    blessings to you all!
    gerry m x

  6. gerry medland says:

    Hi Anais!
    Your utility bill is a real progressive learning tool we can meditate and act upon.It is a fact of this age that we have no control over what happens to us in some instances,however we have total control over how we ‘react’ to those instances!If things move slowly then adapt ways to speed ’em up if possible.We were graced with creative minds to provide solutions to our needs,it would be a dishonour to our Creator if we did not apply our minds,hearts and hands in turning our backyards and homes into self sufficient models that work well!
    blessings to you all!
    gerry m x

  7. Janice K says:

    Your productivity never ceases to AMAZE me! How much you do to provide for yourself, for the web, for outreach… Quite impressive! I’d be a wreck! You guys do such good work, y’know. I have so much to learn still!

  8. Janice K says:

    Your productivity never ceases to AMAZE me! How much you do to provide for yourself, for the web, for outreach… Quite impressive! I’d be a wreck! You guys do such good work, y’know. I have so much to learn still!

  9. granny miller says:

    Duck eggs are wonderful to bake with.
    They make very fluffy rolls and cakes 🙂

    Have you tried a little bit of charcoal with Fairlight?

    You can get it at the ag supply store or from the vet.
    It comes in a tube.
    It won’t hurt her and may help to settle her stomach.

  10. granny miller says:

    Duck eggs are wonderful to bake with.
    They make very fluffy rolls and cakes 🙂

    Have you tried a little bit of charcoal with Fairlight?

    You can get it at the ag supply store or from the vet.
    It comes in a tube.
    It won’t hurt her and may help to settle her stomach.

  11. Marci says:

    This has been a strange year on the garden front. We have TONS of tomatoes, just none of them are turning red. Everything is slow at coming in.

    I did put a post up about a great book to have if you grow a garden and like to preserve the produce. I did a book review about it at: http://amazinggrazefarm.blogspot.com/2008/08/thursday-product-highlight.html

    That is great about your electricity. I am not sure we have enough sun for solar. The winter here in Ohio is very gray.

  12. Marci says:

    This has been a strange year on the garden front. We have TONS of tomatoes, just none of them are turning red. Everything is slow at coming in.

    I did put a post up about a great book to have if you grow a garden and like to preserve the produce. I did a book review about it at: http://amazinggrazefarm.blogspot.com/2008/08/thursday-product-highlight.html

    That is great about your electricity. I am not sure we have enough sun for solar. The winter here in Ohio is very gray.

  13. Heidi says:

    You folks are so inspiring! I would love to know how you preserve your figs–if you get a spare minute, would you care to post a recipe or a general blurb about it?

  14. Heidi says:

    You folks are so inspiring! I would love to know how you preserve your figs–if you get a spare minute, would you care to post a recipe or a general blurb about it?

  15. Roger, Gone Green says:

    Not to take away from what the PTF folks have achieved, but with net metering and solar cells our monthly electric here in Pasadena is $25 per month, year round, and that includes three kids, five computers, and judicious use of electric clothes washers, dishwashers and yes, even a microwave! The solar cells are a huge deal. It should be illegal to build a home without them!

  16. Roger, Gone Green says:

    Not to take away from what the PTF folks have achieved, but with net metering and solar cells our monthly electric here in Pasadena is $25 per month, year round, and that includes three kids, five computers, and judicious use of electric clothes washers, dishwashers and yes, even a microwave! The solar cells are a huge deal. It should be illegal to build a home without them!

  17. Eileen G says:

    My tomato plants look terrible. Perhaps I’ll go for a late season crop too. Love your utility bill. That’s something for me to work towards. I have switched to the clothesline but we do use our air conditioning which runs up our bill. We have little kiddos and I just can’t get away without the A/C.

  18. Eileen G says:

    My tomato plants look terrible. Perhaps I’ll go for a late season crop too. Love your utility bill. That’s something for me to work towards. I have switched to the clothesline but we do use our air conditioning which runs up our bill. We have little kiddos and I just can’t get away without the A/C.

  19. Gerrie says:

    How do you “lock-down” your girls?
    I have a broody biddy that I have
    to keep moving off the nest to gather
    the others’ eggs.
    Do you just close off the nesting area
    and let the others lay in the yard?
    It’s such a learning experience; but
    PTF is where I go for education.
    thanks
    Peace

  20. Gerrie says:

    How do you “lock-down” your girls?
    I have a broody biddy that I have
    to keep moving off the nest to gather
    the others’ eggs.
    Do you just close off the nesting area
    and let the others lay in the yard?
    It’s such a learning experience; but
    PTF is where I go for education.
    thanks
    Peace

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