To EB for his continued support of our site. We are touched and humbled by your gift.

Roof Report

The roofing guys are back again this morning; however with a chance of rain on Wednesday they may have to skip a day and resume work on Thursday.  


Yesterday, with the help of a friend, we spent the better part of the day tidying up outside. With such an urban homestead life one has to keep on top of things or it can get a bit untidy and disorganized. No thanks to the months of ongoing construction and other garden and sustainable projects which made us fall far behind in certain aspects of urban homestead life. The “down time” from November and March are the months where we take stock of the year’s success and failures and plan for another year – what we can do better, what changes can be made, what didn’t work and why, etc, etc.

Anyhow, back to Monday. Monday was a perfect day for work around the urban homestead. In fact, it was warm enough to go barefoot and shirtsleeves.  

In the garden, the orange trees are laden with fruit, so we’ve been enjoying (and will continue to enjoy all winter) tasty citrus and homegrown green salads.

After a day’s worth of work, a good home cooked and partially homegrown meal we took the goats for a walk in the Arroyo.

Today, will be another busy day with lots of phone calls to be made ( for weeks there’s been whispers of a huge shake up that will more than likely affect the urban homestead — details to come when we know more)

Q & A

Q. So I guess there’s still going to be Teflon in the metal roof?  
A. Nope, we choose the lesser of two evils.  The metal roof has drinking water safe acrylic coating.
Q. 400 lbs of grain – I presume this is for human consumption and not for the animals? How do you keep it insect free while you store it?
A. Yes, it’s for human consumption.  We are temporarily storing the grain in one of our clothes closets hoping that the insects won’t find it there. While unprepared for inheriting all this grain one really should have sealed storage bins or buckets or Rubbermaid containers sprinkled with bit of DE (diatomaceous earth).
Q. I appreciate the info on your roof saga! What kind of insulation are you doing? I’m thinking about that more and more for my house, since heat loss is undoubtedly one of the biggest expenses for the winter. I’m trying to reduce my footprint, but there are so many things to be done! Baby steps, baby steps…
A. Glad that you brought that up because we are proud of the fact that our house has “recycled” insulation! Many years back the City of Pasadena had a energy program where they would come out an insulate the attic — for FREE. Of course, with our “drafty ol” 1917 house which didn’t have a stitch of attic insulation we jumped at the chance. The City applied a naturalCELLULOSE insulation in the attic. Cellulose is manufactured from recycled materials – like newspapers.  

Thanks to the City of Pasadena, we have: recycled attic insulation, 12 solar panels, free fruit trees, two composters, energy star refrigerator, energy and water efficient clothes washer, efficient gas water heater, low flow toilets, and Energy Star compact fluorescent lightbulbs.

More Q & A to come. Stay tuned.

Meat and milk from cloning are safe, 2 FDA scientists say  {LA Times}

A long-awaited study by federal scientists concludes that meat and milk from cloned animals and their offspring is safe to eat and should be allowed to enter the food supply without any special labeling.
read more

For you LA folks who are concerned over such news and the continued tampering of thefood supply you may want to join theNELA FOOD CO-OP (which we are members of) besides providing a resource for natural bulk foods, the organizer has also set up a raw milk buying club.


  1. Melanie says:

    I saw that you commented that you “hoped” the insects wouldn’t find the grain stored in the closet. Well…make sure you have it in tightly sealed buckets or equivalent. If you have the room place the grain in a deep freezer for a couple of days to kill any insect that is alive in there and then you should be fine!

  2. Molly says:

    When I lived in Salt Lake City our neighbors would store their grain in 5 gallon plastic buckets with tight lids. Before sealing the bucket, they’d slip a chunk of dry ice inside. Supposedly that would keep insects out for years.