Heat is on

Hot temperatures bring heat and fire to the southland area, which, unfortunately, is to be expected this time of year. The heat has helped with the ripening of the summer crops.

We didn’t grow any corn this year, we are still getting the hang of the “new” backyard sans the concrete. However, we’ve learned it’s best not to pine for things you don’t have, what we do have is loads of other tasty vegetables – our grocer is just right outside our door!   Sure, the year’s been wacky and weird, but we are blessed with at least a decent summer harvest and we are eating well. The earth has blessed us with our daily “bread.”

Roof Over Our Heads

LOWES was supposed to deliver a new shipment of plywood to replace the bad batch they delivered on Sunday on Tuesday, but called to cancel saying the truck broke down and that they would be by on Wednesday. Lucky for us we weren’t hiring a crew because we would have lost two days worth of work. Very frustrating to say the least.

Elderberry Wine

Monday it was time to siphon the elderberry wine from the sediments. In 2 more months we’ll be able to put the wine up bottles and perhaps toast to our new roof.

Rose Apples

This year we finally had a decent crop ofrose apples, these Asian/Pacific delights taste much like their namesake a mixture of rose and apples.



We’re in a peachy mood here on the homestead, the peaches are finally ripe! Meaning? More canning and delicious desserts and sweet peaches eaten fresh, juicy and warm right off the tree. The kitchen is certainly a busy place these days.


Jordanne was shocked the other day when collecting duck eggs to find a few chicken eggs nestled in the straw. Seems like our black bantam cochin Clementine has come out of her over a year retirement and is now laying eggs! That now explains her crazy mood and antics we’ve been noticing the past week. It all started when she was trying to“crow” like a roosterinstead she sounded like a rooster with a throat full of water!

Photo Gallery
… has been updated. Now contains over600 photos – new goat, yard and other photos.

PBS to Sell Banner Ads on Website for Children {LATimes}

Watchdog groups see the end of an online refuge. The broadcaster says it needs the money.
PBS plans to resume selling advertisements on its popular PBS Kids website, angering parents, children’s advocates and consumer watchdog groups concerned that the plan would pollute one of the last commercial-free bastions for kids on the Internet.
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Those of you on the internet who hold out against any form commercialism on their website can really relate to this article. It’s a shame to see another “stronghold” fall under the weight. Their arguments are indeed valid, so can you really blame them?   A website needs money to be maintained (webhosting is not free); however, with sites like PTF, we are still proud to be a refuge in this ad-bombardment age as we continue to hold strong against putting up any ads (even “green” since we believe any ad in whatever form is still a in fact commercialism). However, we often ask ourselves that if we are too proud (or stupid?) to put/allow on ads this PTF site.

We did take a survey sometime back and some readers (THANKS!) who indicated they would be interested in supporting PTF website by buying t-shirts.   We are still working on this, however such a venture requires a decent amount of money to buy bulk (organic) shirts and have them environmentally screen printed.   

It’s all about the path LESS traveled right?

Sustainable Agriculture {Antithesis in Agriculture 8/23 post }

I had begun to feel somewhat uncomfortable with the term “Sustainable Agriculture” before the conference. The conference simply confirmed what I was feeling. A year ago, I would have attended this conference with a different mindset than I did last week. A year ago, I was doing a lot of talking and teaching about sustainable ag (and at the risk of sounding self-promoting, I know I was doing a very good job), but very little doing of sustainable ag. In other words, I made a ton of money working for the government, promoting and teaching, but was just playing on my own place.
… Here’s the rub… The National Sustainable Ag conference was NOT SUSTAINABLE!! A key component of sustainability is the capacity for the activity or enterprise to continue without the input of outside resources. The USDA-SARE conference would not have had 650 people attend if they couldn’t do it on work time or have someone else pay for it. (If you are doing the math, 650 people at $425 each is over $275,000 These are expenses, and as I said the most costly is the 3 days of lost time at work. This is easily valued at $200/day for the university and extension folks there, I know, I used to be one… now the total is around $400,000) And who pays? You and I, the very people the conference is supposed to help…There was more talking about sustainability than doing sustainable. Again, the conference was good, and I’m glad I went, but our society, economy and ag culture cannot sustain spending $400,000 (a conservative estimate) every year for a conference that would hardly be able to stand on it’s own. Particularly when the attendees of the conference are mainly the same faces year after year, congratulating each other on the good work they do (seriously, it is good work)
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Hmmm, wonder how many more conferences (peak oil, climate, sustainable ag, permaculture, what have you) can our climate sustain? Just a thought.

No Comments

  1. jamie says:

    haha..thats funny about the egg..Seems our ducks have been taking a break. Yesterday some chcken was making a rucus I went out to see what the heck was going on and one on my chicken ran full speed to the fence..such silliness sometimes..what is in their lil heads..hmmm..The jam look yummy 🙂

  2. Anne says:

    Those preserves of peaches look wonderful. Do peach trees need a lot of care? Just wondering if they are worth planting in the Uk in a southfacing garden against a wall?
    Oh and where do you store your preserves through the year?

  3. Anais says:

    Hi Jamie and clan

    Yep, our friends ducks too are taking a break – think it has to do with the heat.

    A little of your own “Chicken Run” movie there on the homestead. Funny!

    If I keep up my canning obsession, I may have to trade some jam for your lovely soy candles if you have any?


  4. Anais says:

    Hello Anne

    Peaches don’t really require too much care; however they do need good pruning. Good question, anyone from the UK can answer this question about peaches????

    We have an old kitchen with huge cabinets and all the preserves are stored there.


  5. James Newton says:

    I really enjoyed the comments about talking and not doing. The only time the talking does any good is when you are documenting the doing, which is what you guys do more often than not.

    With reguard to the online ads. I went over to the “dark side” and added google and ebay ads to most pages at my site. Just like a farm, everybody has to pull thier weight and the web site is no different. Secondly, there are some good businesses who provide needed items and I’m happy to support them. Yes, there are bad businesses, but I have the option of blocking ads from anyone I don’t like. Finally, the ads pull in more than my hosting cost (by a small amount) and that allows me to cost justify time spent adding new content. It is entirly possible that none of that applies to you guys, but perhaps some of it does.

    Best wishes.