Manti egg cases

It’s that time of year again to cut back, very carefully, the lemon verbena tree. Once again the branches were filled with praying manti egg cases. The egg cases seem to everywhere in the yard. Soon, thousands, of little creatures will come pouring out of the egg cases and wage war on the bad insects that inhabit the deep dark corners of the garden. Move over Lucas,  we have our own blockbuster hit. Soon to be released in our local theatre, ‘The Return of the Manti.”

Joining the lemon verbena in its annual “hair cut” are lavenders, blue basil and other hardy perennial herbs.  

Gas is running out in the next decade

For years we have been wanting to buy a wood cook stove and now may be the time to get serious in purchasing one. We are figuring with scrap wood, pruning, fallen trees, (and the ancient art ofcoppicing), we could use it to heat food and even water. Combine with the use of solar and cob oven these alternatives should prepare us for the upcoming crisis.

“North America peaked in terms of conventional natural gas production in 2001–2002. Notable examples of the effects of this peak are the dramatic increase in prices for natural gas and natural gas-dependent products, such as fertilizers and plastics. Consumption trends and patterns were also explored. In every case, the phenomenal growth rates in our economy show a complete disconnect with the reality of the resources currently supporting them. Canada, for example, has 8.1 years left in natural gas reserves.”

Three weeks ago we ordered the video: Cuba: Beyond Peak Oil to show here at PTF,  and we are still waiting for the DVD to arrive. Cuba is leading the way in sustainable practices, and perhaps will be one of a few nations to weather out any upcoming energy crisis.

“Cuba has already been through economic collapse as a result of the shortage of energy resources. That happened after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989 and Cuba lost its primary sugar market and the source of almost all its petroleum. The Cubans rose to the occasion, and today are a model of sustainability for the rest of the world.”

Last March we screenedThe Greening of Cuba to a packed house.

“When trade relations with the socialist bloc collapsed in 1990, Cuba lost 80 percent of its pesticide and fertilizer imports and half its petroleum–the mainstays of its highly industrialized agriculture. Challenged with growing food for 11 million in the face of the continuing US embargo, Cuba embarked on the largest conversion to organic farming ever attempted.”

There is certainly a lot of focus these days on Cuba as a prime example of how one country was forced into looking for alternatives to their food and energy shortages.   They’ve had a decade head-start on most countries, while others like the USA, still continue on a painfully, slow path to transition.

In 2006, Cuba has declared a “Year of the Energy Revolution.”

Havana, Dec 28 (Prensa Latina)

“Cuba will complete, by mid-2006, the installation of 80 percent of new generation capacities, a modern system backed up by emergency plants in vital locations, all of them with much more fuel-saving equipment.

… the small island besieged during decades by a huge power is determined to achieve that goal in a world plunged into a fuel crisis.”

No Comments

  1. Mary in Central Florida says:

    for wood stoves, you might do a search for the Sedore stove. They are made in Canada and are multi-fuel. They have some very interesting features and I’ve heard that many are sold to US consumers. I believe they are planning to open a US manufacturing facility.

  2. gerry medland says:

    Hi Anais,
    the comments by readers are excellent and becoming an integral part of our daily reading!My thanks go out to you and your family for such vibrant material on which to comment!On your wood stove front,all my material for burning comes from ‘rescued’wood,I am constantly amazed by how much timber is left abandoned by the roadside,another example of our throwaway society?

  3. Maya says:

    wow..impressive coverage on Cuba here 🙂 I wouldn’t have known that much. I visited Cuba two years ago, and I realized that there was no single homeless on the street: communism works well over there…lodging for everyone, medicine for everyone, basic food and education for everyone. The people are ‘poor’ but they’re not starving and sick. They seem to dance and sing along every moment of their lives 🙂 They do not hate americans…but they have many things to say about U.S. government esp. you know who? It was a very enlighting visit and experience in Havana and Cayo Largo. Thanks for the post. Bravo Cuba for sustainability! Bravo PTF…

  4. Anais says:

    Thanks, Maya, for the comments.

    I am jealous, it’s been a dream of ours to one day visit Cuba (very hard for us Americans)

    Anyhow, I’ve had a chance to correspond with folks living in Cuba over the years and I agree with you – they are very, very happy people.

    Our family helped with the return of little Elian Gonzalez to his father. Jules even had a commentary that he wrote about the situation published in GRANMA.

    For more on Cuba visit our links page for some great articles


  5. Anais says:


    Thanks for your comment. Yes “rescued wood” is another wood source for fueling a stove. There is definitely too much waste going on — a shame!


  6. Anais says:

    Maya, just wanted to add that I appreciate your first hand report of the people there. It’s a misconception that these people are sick, poor and starving.

    Another great site who’s runned by two wonderful people (Julián Gutiérrez & Cindy O’Hara) that we happend to have worked with in the past is http://www.cubamigo.com/

    She has great photos – check it out.!

  7. Anais says:


    Thanks for the reference. Very helpful.