Both Sides Now

When we have time we sneak a peek through the referral statistics from the PTF website and it’s great to see the many sites that link to ours (and if you are one of those linkster who’s reading this post – thanks for spreading the word) Besides the insane amount of traffic (46,000,000 million hits) what’s even more astounding is the menagerie of sites from “the left” and “the right”, from a homeschool mother who lives on a rural farm to an granola eating hippie, that seem to take our family’s journey and homegrown revolution ™ to heart and find daily inspiration in the site’s content. I think that this fact speaks for itself how powerful the PTF message is, there’s no sides if we all should be on the same sustainable path and journey towards becoming responsible stewards.

Backyard edible jungle

Should We Stay or Should We Grow Now?

As our longtime readers know we are constantly striving and pushing ourselves to make improvements to the urban homestead and the PTF website and I can say that a brand spankin’ new website is in the works!   No more diddle daddling on our part and that’s where you, our readers come in….

Thanks to the generouscontributions (1/3 way to our goal of $6,000 … plus???) and the few purchases made from theePeddler’s Wagon and we believe that our readers will help us make or even surpass this goal by the end of the year.   Can PTF give even more of itself? How much we grow depends on YOU.

Over these last seven years, thanks to everyone’s hard work, sweat and tears, PTF has been an inspiration to thousands to use their hands as “weapons of mass creation” bringing about a Homegrown Revolution™ all across the globe and we feel (know) that we have SO MUCH MORE to offer to the world.   

Stepping out in faith, we’ve already started a mock up of the design and navigation and we are sure you are going to like the new improvements to this site.   There’s lots of updates to be made like adding new photographs to the popular photo gallery and so on. While improving the PTF website we’ll be also improving the PTF Journal (with nifty webby features) and I know our readers will be happy for that!   Also there’s even talk of moving this site to a more sustainable server which has been long overdue.   In between our every day urban homestead “routine” we are hard at work so we can share and inspire the thousands (rather millions) of folks who visit this site every year. Change and progress comes with great sacrifice; however, we are up to the task if you are willing to support us through this year of growing pains.   Each member of the family feels the unselfish need to give even more of ourselves and to see the appreciation and support is truly a blessing.

Just thought you’d like to know what’s going on behind the scenes and how your support is helping usGROW THE FUTURE™ while also keeping PTF strong in its stance to keep this site free of commercial ads.

:: Teaser Alert :: I mentioned before 07 we experienced growing pains (physically and emotionally stressful) like never before and there has been some pretty exciting talk going on round the dinner table about what PTF should focus on in 2008 – STAY TUNED!

The excitement and anticipation is building…..  should we stay or should we grow now?    Well,  a lot really depends on building the support we need so can accommodate this growth.  We can’t do this alone… there’s still 4 months left to reach ourgoal and you’ll have to stick around till January 2008 to find out. Perhaps by then we’ll know how much we can grow by then.

Thanks longtime field hand, GM, for your continued support anddonation of $10.00


Hope everyone is having a good summer?   Comments have sure been unseemly low these last few weeks; however, readership has been going up so I guess this blog is still holding everyone’s interest even though someday’s I draw a blank on what to post (guess seven years of blogging does take it’s toll) or someday’s there’s too much to post about that I don’t even have time to write it all down for others to enjoy . Anyhow, welcome to all you new PTF readers we hope that you are inspired to take steps towards living a meaningful and fulfilling life.

I guess we too have been guilty of “being quiet” with not much in the way of events this year but there’s good reason the PTF urban homestead is growing to be better than ever!

… nope, haven’t forgotten, the Q & A post is coming!    Oh, if only there was more time.

TreeHugger Picks: Solar Cooking

Solar cookers, solar barbeques, solar ovens; we’ve seen a lot of various names (with slightly different functions) for the handy gadgets that cook with the power of the sun from all over the world. In the midst of the dog days of summer, here are some of our favorite gadgets that don’t need the grid to grill.1) One option for cooking that can be done inside a pot is the SOS Sport, a two-pot box cooker that weighs in at 11 pounds and can cook low-n-slow at temperatures around 200 degrees. An added bonus: it’s made from recycled soda bottles.
read more

:: BUY the SOS Sport Oven from PTF’ ::The answer does come up every morning!

Even though we are eating quite a lot of fresh food, every chance I get this summer dishes has been cooked in our solar ovens. The sun ovens have dual use, if the ovens aren’t in use cooking, we use them to heat water to do our dishes!    Another step in a carbon reduction diet.

Drought Expanding Across U.S. {DailyGreen}

Hot Temperatures Predicted Could Further Worsen ConditionsThe latest U.S. Drought Monitor Report, released this morning, shows no relief to the many drought-plagued areas of the United States.The Southeast, a record drought is unyielding. Even areas that received record rains in July saw little relief because the drought had been so intense. Mississippi had the wettest July on record, but the past six months are still the driest on record. Alabama — ground zero for the drought — saw an expansion of the most intense drought into new areas. North Carolina’s drought also expanded, and near-record low stream flows were recorded.Hot and dry conditions across the west led to the continuation or worsening of conditions, as water supplies and crops suffer. Pocatello, Idaho recorded its warmest July on record, and records stretch back to 1939.
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Code Red

As you can see from the map above Southern California is completely blanked in red — extreme drought. We had some local students recently ask us about water. “Doesn’t it take a lot of water to grow all these vegetables and fruit.” True, but we are getting something in return — a diet that’s grown right outside our backdoor.   Besides I told them,  wouldn’t you rather see folks using water a garden instead of the all those ridiculous golf courses or manicured chemical laden lawns.   Of course one should conserve, but it’s about how fresh water is USED.

18 years of so ago Jules Dervaes felt the urge to grow radical. Southern California was going through another drought period. Cities issued water restrictions and it was so bad that folks started to paint their lawns green.   Jules instead smothered the lawn under layers of newspaper and mulch and turned it into and edible and wild flower garden.   During the transition period the lawn was completely brown – with tree mulch and our neighbors were unsure about what we were up to. But once the veggies started to grow and the wildflowers peeked through the transformation was miraculous so pretty!

To further our water conservation: After stumbling on this method a few years back we are really intoclay pot irrigation method . This method of watering is simple low tech solution to the growing water crisis that grips the West.  

Locals here who have purchased theollas (thanks!) have nothing put positive comments.
There’s also a few greywater and rainwater projects in the works. Still waiting on some folks in Australia to get back with us….
We can only do our part and the rest, well, we pray for rain.

No Comments

  1. Roger Gray says:

    We are looking seriously at your Ollas for fall (we have now taken up a 4 ft x 20 strip of the front lawn for veg. (grin)) but I worried about mosquito issues. Do you cap ’em? If NOT I might consider something cool I just discovered, a product called “Mosquito Dunks” which put out bacteria (BT)that kills mosq. but is pretty harmless to other creatures . . . How do you deal with the mosquito issue?

  2. Stephanie Griffith says:

    I am excited to hear what you have in the works!

  3. Julie says:

    We live at the northern most tip of the Sonoran Desert in the Interior of British Columbia & we also get the question about using “a lot” of water in our garden – which is used primarily for growing food. Seems planting an ornamental xeriscape garden has become the accepted norm for ecological gardening…but I ask these people where their food comes from. California? Mexico? Do these areas not have limited fresh water too? So, what is so virtuous about planting an ornamental xeriscape in your own yard while the food you eat is grown with increasingly scarce Californian water? Is that not simply deferring responsibility & accountability? Not to mention the fossil fuel costs associated with trucking all that food up here!

    As anyone reading about PTF’s gardening methods will know, food can be raised in your OWN garden using a minimum amount of water IF you take the time to water and mulch correctly.

    Bravo to PTF for continuing to inspire!

  4. David says:

    Saw this olla & drip line system that combines old & new world tech – .
    My olla I got from you is ready to be redeployed in redone raised beds. Tomatoes & cuc’s keep on coming strong this year & even gave Mr & Mrs Loo some of the bountiful blessed harvest. Trying to keep up w/ the picking & heat, thats the most challenging now. BTW ^Roger ^ thanks for the scalloped edgings, they helped make nother raised bed & define walkway plus maters & eggplants love the radiant heat:). Keep on the Path & Freecycling the Planet.