We could sense for some time now that this year would be different from all the rest. Didn’t know how or why but just knew it would be a year of changes. With news this morning (see post below)that it is going to be a drier than normal year, we now know it won’t be “business as usual” type of year.

An upcoming shakeup to the urban homestead dynamics is in store, but will keep it under wraps until we are certain. The unpredictable weather is forcing us to change whether we like it or not. A friend of ours dropped in the other day and one of the questions he asked was “what will you eat?” We’ll eat all right, but menus will change.   The cold weather (still – last nights’ temperature a warm 27 degrees) has forced us to change our routine and take a hard look at our present situation and what we want to do next.   The new roof has been a huge change and new projects revolve around that finally being finished.   Thenew online store venture which has shook up things a bit with storage issues and paperwork.

It’s going to be an interesting year and, in this sort of sustainable lifestyle, one learns to be flexible and not fight the forces of change.

The Animal Farm

One reader asked if there was any real shakeup now that bossy Betsy has passed on. There are enough animals to keep everyone company; however, we do notice that Miss Clementine (a bantam black cochin) has taken to trying to crow in the mornings. She sounds so pathetic – silly girl.

It’s too cold and early to hatch chicks so we are on the look out for possible free or cheap bantie to keep Clementine company till we are able to hatch a new brood.

We were worried there for awhile, but Mr Duck is starting to show signs of earning his keep. He’s finally showing interest in the ladies.  Well, that’s what Justin reported. We gals were away for the day on Friday and Justin thought he saw Mr Duck “doing his thing.”  

We have yet to catch him in the act of seducing our gals so we’ll just have to wait and see.
With the damage that the cold weather inflicted on the crops, especially the tender greens, we are having to change the diet on the animals. Instead of fresh greens every morning, we have put in trays of sprouted wheatgrass and, to warm them up, some hot oatmeal with molasses, sunflowers and raisins – which all the animals love. For the goats we bring them oak leaves from our neighbor’s yard or a bag of sycamore leaves which we collected on our recent goat walking outing in the lower Arroyo Seco.   If things don’t get any better, we plan on asking our local health food store for a bag of “spoiled” greens.

Around the Urban Homestead

We are still savoring and hording the 1lb of salad that we harvested last Friday morning before the frost – enjoying it topped with sliced blood oranges from our 400lb harvest that we now have in “cold storage” in the garage.   It’s so cold here that inside the garage pipes froze and the containers of used veggie oil are hard as a rock (luckily, we have enough homebrew biodiesel in storage that will last us, hopefully, over this cold spell)

Plans are being discussed and drawn up for a new 3 in 1 animal house using most of the scrap wood leftover from the roof construction. Seeds are being ordered from the stack of new seed catalogs.

Life goes on…


100-Mile Diet: Bread! {Treehugger}

For would-be 100-mile-dieters with a life, sandwiches are de rigeur. But sandwiches are made of bread, and most people don’t bake their own loaves. So
— How does one locate 100-mile-friendly bread?
read more

OK, what about for us So Cal folks?

I know the famous Ezekiel 4:9 bread originated in Glendale (a local community and company)

There’s always local wild harvested acorn and buckwheat to supplement flour. Or perhaps eating more native southwest staple – corn. Like wheat is there any California corn flour company that uses California corn or does that too go to animal feed or biofuel?

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  1. Bessie says:

    I hope that not TOO much will change. You will continue to still plant and grow, right?

    What WILL you be eating? Did the oranges you had stored away freeze?

    I love how you are enjoying every bite of your salad! I think living and depending on the fruit of one’s hands causes a person to do this, don’t you?

    I’m enjoying your details. Although I’m not living nearly as “real” as you are, I am trying to think “real” and teach my kid’s about what is “real”.

    Again, thanks for the updates!