The sun’s out! After a couple of dreary days it’s good to feel the warm sunshine.
Time to clean out the many “draft” journal postings.

‘What You Like to Do vs What You Have to Do”

Quoting “wiseman” Justin above for the headline to this journal’s blurb – we like to tease each other with overblown titles.

Lots of melodrama going on behind the scenes here on the homestead. Of course, there are the new projects we are tackling, but that’s what everyone sees/reads on the surface.

Underneath there are a whole undercurrent of plans, projects, dreams, ideas, so we are putting out “feelers” to see which path we should take and trying to decide if it’s the right time to sow new seeds. We’d like to move a lot faster than the pace we are at this moment (almost feel like we are running in place), just to tie up all the loose ends here on the urban homestead (believe me there’s still LOTS to do)- put that all behind us.   There’s a new business venture we are working on, which not only would help cover the increasing cost to keep this site on the internet, the outreach (printing costs, new displays, handouts, etc.) but would also fund a few non profits which we feel strongly about that are doing good works for the people of this planet. For this new business venture, we have had to fill out agreement papers, order a few items wholesale and will have to work on a “storefront” for the site.

There’s also some exciting news which I hope to write about soon (still wrapping up a few loose ends, paper work etc.). Oh, yes, and there’s part two of the website, community events that need to hashed out and planned, emails to be answered, over 300 tour requests to be scheduled sometime next year, a “big event” next June… and, if we ever find free time, a video first, then a book, both of which many well-meaning folks keep bringing to our attention (as if we don’t have enough pressure already! )

Besides the roof (another guy coming out this Wed with, what he thinks, would be a better alternative to metal roofing for our house- we’ll see what he has to say and if this is a feasible option or not), we are going to need to finish (hopefully, by Spring) the greywater system, rain catchment and cistern, compost toilet installation, 3 and 1 animal house – not to mention keeping up with every day urban homestead life and business. Whew! 

The other day, a little bird winked at me and indicated to me that we’ll be hearing from the City of Pasadena soon…. hmm, wonder if it has anything to do with an award? Speaking of the City, one of the heads of a department there said that he would like to see us become more involved with City planning and projects right up there with “the movers and shakers” of this community to help bring sustainable issues and agendas to the table.

With all that, and more, we feel pulled in many directions at the moment. It’s so easy to go out a do good works for all to see and yet it’s how you live your every day life (which mostly is not seen) is the important path – this makes you who you really are, your soul, and the public works are just the “icing on the cake.”

Last week a lady came by and met with Jordanne and me for a woman’s project/dance she was working on. She also wanted to interview Jules especially to get his philosophy behind this project. She was struck by many things. One statement she made was that she was “amazed that he turned down a sustainable conference (paid) speaking engagement because it coincided with planting time.”   Sometimes, it what we choose notto do which makes the most profound statement.

Bloom Where You Are Planted

Had to share this great email from a reader south of our urban homestead. The image of a kid with a wagon load of veggies from the family’s garden walking down a block full of tract homes is just so wonderful – bringing life and freedom to a monotonous place where “they bulldoze the trees and name streets after them.”

Hi All,
We live in a suburban San Diego tract home on a 5,000-sq. ft. lot. With PTF as inspiration, we recently replaced the lawn in our backyard with four 4’x10′ raised beds. We’re now swimming in produce!! Peppers, lettuce, corn, herbs, peas, beets, carrots, strawberries, zucchini, chard, fava beans, kale and more. Last week, our 7-year old loaded his wagon with lettuce and cilantro and went door-to-door. He sold out in 30 minutes! This future organic farmer figured out that home-grown, hand-delivered lettuce beats a lemonade stand any day!
Have always thought that we needed more room to bloom, but you proved us wrong (thank goodness). Better to bloom where we’re planted.
Many thanks for all you do.
Julie & Brian

Fallen Leaves

Groovy Green’s recent post about collecting leaves brings back memories–memories when I was a kid. We’d go around in our little yellow pickup collecting bunches of bagged oak leaves from people who were throwing them away(!) and bring them home and use them as mulching pathways, the driveway and landscaped beds on our 10 acres in Florida. Our grandfather was always collecting/composting oak leaves and lawn clippings .

He would collect bagged leaves and bring them to his property which was chock full of beautiful ornamentals and tropicals. Today, in the city, we keep that tradition alive. A local tree service company calls us up when they have a load of oak leaves — must be in the genes!! Avid mulching every year with layers of oak leaves, pine needles and straw keeps the weeds down, retains moisture and improves the soil. Can’t beat this free gift that nature provides.

Cast Away

With the drop in temperatures and shorter days, it’s time to pull out knitting projects that were put aside during the summer. Our dear knitting mentor (now 82) keeps giving us yarn with hopes of our knitting it into something useful.   With all that was and is going on in our lives right now, it’s hard to find a bit of quiet time; however, we couldn’t just let the yarn and patterns keep piling up.   It’s all about making time for things, so between us gals it was decided that we would have to make time to knit and crochet.
… especially for a good cause like this (We first learned ofWater Aid from the UK family film‘Millions‘)

Help save lives, help knit a river

Be part of the first ever knitted river petition!
Knit a River to demand water and toilets for all.
WaterAid has joined forces with I Knit, a London-based knitting club and specialty wool shop, to produce an innovative campaigning tool demanding water and toilets for all.
Instead of a traditional petition, I Knit and WaterAid will stage a unique spectacle to grab world leaders’ attention. WaterAid and I Knit are collecting blue knitted squares that will be sewn together to create a knitted river. Campaigners will carry the river at future WaterAid campaigning events to help convey the message of water and toilets for all.
Knit a blue square

Street Signs & Solar Ovens

A few Saturday’s back an art assistance with CAFAM came and took some our homestead items away.   Here’s a list of what we loaned them:
Clothes basket – 1 Clothes line – 1Clothespins – bag Black garden hose – 1Hand washer/wringer -1Bike w/bike blender attachment -1Bike stand – 1 Glass blender – 1Non electric Juice/nut grinder -1Hand cranked blender -1 Non electric Coffee grinder – 1Non electric Popcorn popper – 1Non electric Toaster – 1Non electric Coffee pot – 1Herbal vinegars – 3Canned fruits – 6Wine – 1Dried herbs – 2Basket w/fresh herbs – 1
For more information about this exhibit, duration and fees check it outhere 

Thank You

Like to share with you a few more letters. Here’s a note we received from the lady who organized the Latino History Festival :

And thanks to all of you for sharing your wonderful life style and especially sharing the joys of your two sweet miniature goats and themiracles they brought to the children!!!

Nature and its creatures bringing “miracles” to children – wonderful!

And another email from a lady who is working with the City of Pasadena planning “the big event” next June (that will coincide withWorld Environmental Day ).  She and a colleague came by for preliminary discussions and information.

Thank you so much for opening your home to us…
We understand that you have a busy workload, and we really appreciate your taking the time to speak with us. We feel honored to have the opportunity to have such a close look at your operations and the many steps that you have taken and are taking to live a more sustainable life and contributing your work to the community.
We look for to working with you on the Pasadena Green Building Outreach and Education Programs.


The Killing Fields {OCA}

Study links breast cancer to farm work
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Think that has nothing to do with the environment? Guess again. A new study of women in Windsor, Ontario, found that those who have worked on a farm are 2.8 times more likely to develop breast cancer than those who haven’t.
read more

The Sad Death Of ‘Organic’ {OCA}

How weird and depressing is it now that Kellogg’s and Wal-Mart are hawking ‘natural’ foods?
read more

Marking the Beasts
With NAIS every one who owns a animal, cow, goat, bunny, chicken, turkey, game fowl, sheep, llama, pig, among a long long listing of animals affected, will have to microchip these animals with a gps tracking chip which will be able to be tracked from birth to death.( Or from Farm to Fork ) Each home will have a premises ID number.
Go Granny Go!

The Warrior Grannys are throwing a monkey wrench in the propaganda the Animal Rights Activists including the USDA, are feeding the public we are fighting MAD and are taking on the job of letting the public know the facts.Uncle Sam Destroying Agriculture “NAIS” (National Animal Identification System)National GovernmentAgainst IndependentSmall farmers
read more

With the recent e-coli scares, one wonder’s what insane regulations they are going to pass to “prevent” these outbreaks?

No Comments

  1. Nancy Kelly says:

    You go guys! It sounds like big, exciting things are coming up with more in the works. I can’t wait to hear the specifics.

    Always inspired by you,


  2. Chryss says:

    YIKES! I had never heard of NAIS, and had no idea that the USDA was in the process of enacting legislation that would require me to federally register my 3 little hens and myself as a “livestock producer.”
    This is scary, scary stuff! Thanks for bringing it to my attention, and for the inspiring example you set…

  3. Wildside says:

    They are keeping the animal registration system very quiet until it becomes mandatory (in the next couple years), aren’t they?

    Just a heads up re: e-neighbors…

    I dropped by today and signed in to post some replies after a long while of being away. As in the past, whenever I go to check on all the new posts my computer locks up and boots me off. I came back to try and fix, but now see now way to log off. I’m not really there, but it says I am. This has happened a few times before, and just thought you ought to know…

  4. Anais says:

    Hi Wildside

    Thanks for the heads up on the E–Neighborhood. Here’s a link to a LO-Fi Version of the message board
    Hope this helps with your problem. Keep us posted!