New soil

The guys recently emptied the “green monster” composter of rich, black soil full of redworms filling up almost 2, 55 gallon drums.

Today we gals will also be trying our hand at making cheese from goat’s milk (not from our goat’s milk — yet!). Should be fun.

The goats are finally settling into their new environment. They, however, don’t particularly like power blowers and lawn mowers used by the schools lawn maintenance crew.   The black goat’s (Pixie Dust) bleating sounds similar to a cell phone, the white goat (Ceolan) has a higher more echoed bleat.   We still have yet to name them.  Although we did jot down a few possibilities over lunch.

Once we get the goats settled, it’s then time to look at hatching chickens. Jules has some new ideas for the animal enclosure and a better feeding system. He’s thinking about building a feeding station so that all the animals can eat easily and not get into each other’s food. So that’s a whole new project to work on these next few months.

Solar shower & blue bottle bed

The revamped solar shower is finished (see theoriginal) ! Jules mounted the black hose that will heat the water and added a two way valve so that we can adjust the temperature of the water.   Thanks to JBB for telling us about the wood fencing that was going to be thrown away by her neighbor and to Johan for carpentry help to implement our improvements to the shower. The “blue bottle bed” around the solar shower was planted with banana, sugar cane, mints, jasmine and nasturtiums. A interesting side note about the nasturtium: These seeds were gathered by Justin from San Francisco on a hill slope facing the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge.

Saturday, Jordanne & I went to represent PTF with our display as part of “The Road to a Just Society” Leadership Forum with Frances Lappe, David & Fran Korten. Thanks to Marty of All Saints Church for inviting us to be a part of this community event.   Frankie Lappe (as they called her) was an exceptional speaker. Afterwards we met Lappe (founder ofSmall Planet Institute) and Fran Korten executive director ofYES! Magazine

I couldn’t help feel a mixture of positive and pessimistic emotions during this conference. The speeches and visions presented  made you feel hopeful. Yet, when you took a look around the room, “the majority of us in this room are grey/white hair,” as one man who stood up bluntly put it in his question to the panel of speakers.

The dreary, foggy mornings that burn off to a hazy afternoon sunshine pattern still continue. I think we are nearing two weeks of this weather pattern.

This week we’ll re-plaster the oven. It should be ready as we’ve been wetting it down and covering it in old wet sheets since Thursday. Yesterday, while Jordanne and I were at work at the Tea House, Justin poked little holes all over the oven to make sure the plaster coat will stick.


  1. Zoebird says:

    I always love reading your posts. I feel the need to comment about the concern of “all of us here have white/grey hair.”

    my husband and i are in our early 30s (i turn 30 this july; he just turned 34). neither of us have grey hair and we’re diligently working to live a more independent and sustainable life.

    we are greatly inspired by your garden and because of this site i really feel that all the things i dreamed about having as a kid–a natural home, chickens, ducks, and goats, growing my own food, making my own soaps and body care products, and a myriad of other things related to this–are really possible. I was raised thinking that these things were pipe dreams and required a lot of land and unhappy work. now i see that it takes work, but it’s good, joyous work and it makes you feel good.

    my husband and I live in a condo and it may be a few years before we have a place of our own with a yard. but when we do, you can bet we’re going to do these things that you do! this is what we want–even thinking about it and dreaming and planning brings us so much joy and excitement for our future.

    Do not think you’re alone or that it’s only those with white/grey who care! There are younger people who care! We’re here! we’re here!

  2. Sean Epperson says:

    Thanks for the picture of the shower, any time your going to do a note with more detail?

  3. Heather Hawkes says:

    Here is another non-gray haired family (OK dh has some gray… LOL). I have been inspired by you since I stumbled onto your site looking for chicken care info.
    We are working right now on a gray water system, rainwater storage (if it ever rains here again. LOL) We have hennies, and we are enlarging our garden. As a side note we just joined our local CSA! I am hoping by next summer being able to grow 50% of our food. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Also… I would love some info on your solar shower. : )