Kitty on bale

More Straw

We picked up 10 more bales of straw from a local grocery store after its display had to be taken down. Spanky (our tabby) loves playing in the straw – he thinks he’s some sort of mighty hunter or something. While the guys were spreading some of the bales in the driveway, the kitty was having a blast – jumping on top of the bales and frolicking in the freshly laid straw mulch.

Not only did we bring home straw bales, but the produce guy gave us about 8 or so pumpkins. Hate to see perfectly good food being thrown in the dump – it’s a disgrace. OK, am not going to go on a rant here… anyhow, the pumpkins will definitely be put to good use, feeding our family and the animals.

Olla Review

Our first customer (avid gardener and permaculture newbie) preliminary review of his two1 1/2 gallon ollas

Hello revolutionary non-profiteers,
This is not my official review. I need a little more time andobservation for that, but I will say that my soil is noticeably moremoist even beyond the eighteen inch diameter around my ollas. So farI am impressed. More to come…

New Orleans

Can’t believe it’s been a year already since our trip to help out victims of Hurricane Katrina. The vividmemories are still with us and will be for the rest of our lives.   Even though it was horrible — the death and destruction, it was sobering for us to have had the opportunity to witness it first hand and experience what life is like when stripped of the common, every day amenities.

Updates: progress is slow. Our great aunt has yet to return to her Lakeview house that was near the 17 street canal.   Luckily, the hurricane season so far has been relatively quite, allowing the folks there to continue the clean up and rebuilding process.

The Future is Green?

On Wednesday night we gals were invited to attend a little reception at the historic Castle Green (it was our first time on the inside of this magnificent treasure of the San Gabriel Valley – always seen it in movies like ‘The Sting’ and ‘Little Rascals’). A friend (and knitting acquaintance) and a bunch of her friends were launching their new book written about sights and places around Pasadena. Although they forgot to mention us in the book (remembered us at the last minute), they hope to feature our project on the complimentary website.

While we gals were at the party, the guys were down the street, attending a meeting hosted by PWP that called a “Community Meeting on Future Electrical Service.”   PWP is developing a 20 year Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) to ensure reliable and environmentally responsible electric service, low stable rates and energy independence.

Unfortunately, it looks like Pasadena will be a coal and natural gas town for a few more decades. Although it has committed to reducing greenhouse gases back to mid 90’s levels before 2020 they are still in a quagmire.    It’s a start, but some folks in the audience thought (us too) that Pasadena could do better.   On one hand Pasadena is giving rebates and promoting energy conservation and solar for residents; but, on the other hand, they didn’t have a concrete plan to wean this city off dirty coal – or if they don’t, it seems like it’ll take decades and we can’t wait decades.

Sad to say only about 2% of Pasadena power is “Green Power.” Doesn’t the power of change come, not from the top, but by the people?   We were discussing this as we all walked home together (lucky for us we live about a mile from City Hall and Downtown Pasadena). Wouldn’t one solution be if somehow we can get more residents and business to sign up for green power?   Then the heads of PWP would have to listen and scramble to give green “power to the people.”

Such a hard life… yawn

Sleepy Goats and Duck 911

I can’t get enough pictures of goats! Here I caught Lady Fairlight getting her mid day nap – goats are so funny when they yawn. All the animals are doing well, putting on pounds for winter. The ducks are still steady layers. Dixie, one of the ducks, gave us a pretty good scare the other week. When Jordanne went to feed the animals, she noticed Dixie couldn’t walk. Every time she tried to walk, she’d fall over like she was drunk or something.   What on earth was going on?  It looked as if she had partied hardy the night before and couldn’t walk a straight line. The first horrible scenarios to cross our minds were: west nile, bird flu or Newcastle. But that couldn’t be as she did not lose any weight and she was bright eyed, no discharges, running stools, no loss of appetite – nothing noticeable expect she couldn’t keep her balance when she walked. Jordanne then dismissed those horrible scenarios and considered the possibility that she may have had either a stroke or some sort of infection in the brain which was causing her to lose her balance. Well, since vets around here would have no clue and searching the internet brought nothing, I thought about calling Metzer Farms and talked with John, who, after I told him her symptoms, said it probably was an ear infection. Makes perfect sense, but how on earth did she get something like that I asked. I mean we keep the place exceptionally clean. He said something like that can come out of the blue.    So we gave her some stuff from the animal medicine cabinet and kept an eye on her throughout the day.   She didn’t get any worse and by the next morning she was back to her old quacky self.

All’s well that end’s well.

“007” Soup

Early this week we made up a huge pot of vegetable soup with all sorts of vegetables from the garden (peppers, squash, eggplant). Well, yesterday when asked what was for lunch and the answer was “vegetable soup” Justin quipped you mean the “the 007 soup?”   We looked at him puzzled as if to say “what do you mean?” and he said “because the soup never dies.” Funny! That had us all busting out laughing

Greens, narcissus, beans and Blackberry

Snapshots from the Fall Urban Homestead….

Narcissus are blooming!

The fall garden is coming along nicely.   It’s always neat to get feedback from folks who taste our produce for the first time. One recent customer wrote:
i have to say i ate some of the salad and it was absolutely fantastic. i mean, incredible!and i love those strawberry guavas.

Thanks for all the positive comments very helpful suggestions you all have left in the comment box.

Not too sure what next week is going to hold. Some very, very, very interesting news has come our way…

For those of you who emailed, we will get to your emails as soon as we can. Right now, going to take some time off and do some fun things like making some pumpkin goodies, drying some herbs, enjoying the sunshine, knitting or just sitting and watching the animals… now that’s LIFE. Amid the chaos, it’s comforting to find peace and fulfillment in daily homestead tasks.


  1. Nancy Kelly says:

    You folks are driving me berserk with curiosity! What is the interesting news? I think/I hope I know what it is. Do let us know when you can..