“He grows a little garden in the backyard by the fence;he’s consuming what he’s growing nowadays in self-defense” ~The Belamy Brothers~

– making lemon verbena syrup
– summer harvest’s in full swing
– part three of ‘Healthy Living’ coming soon to YOUTUBE
– meeting the new neighbors. Our concerns over our new neighbors have been eased when they dropped by on Saturday. They were a very nice and friendly family. However, it appears that they won’t be anyone moving in for quite a while since he kept repeating how much work had to be done and all the things that needed to be fixed. It was a rental property for 15 years so it was quite run down. One of them commented about how much they loved our place and all the care that goes into maintaining the place. In addition, he asked about severely trimming a tree that’s affects the south west corner of our property.

Since it hangs 15 feet over our property line, he was concerned that when they cut the branches there’s a chance it may damage some of our plants. The tree is overgrown and throws that part of the garden into deep shade. It is also stealing ALL the water (like a pouring water down a deep abyss) away from our raised beds so it will be a good change to see the tree cut back. We hinted they should really cut it down because it’s a very messy tree – we’ll see.  
– apples are ripening. First fruits of the apple season.. mmmm, apple pie and apple butter on the horizon.
– another weekly menu in the making, to be posted on Sunday or Monday.
– organizing blitz on the urban homestead office. Just when you think you’ve cleaned and organized the next minute you turn around and there’s another pile or room that needs tending.
– all’s quiet.. The Elementary school across the street and Middle School that borders our property on two sides is not having summer school this year and with the new neighbors not moving in for quiet sometime we have no traffic, kids, noise (well, except for occasional chainsaw). Sorta creepy and nice at the same time.
– coming up. PTF’s urban homestead to be featured in local book about people & gardens of Pasadena. Publish date fall 2007.
– fading fast. The colorful patches of wildflowers didn’t last long this year. It’s going to be a long, hot, crispy summer. 
– thanks for all your questions (using sun ovens, gallon glass jars and recipes) stay tuned for answers in upcoming posts.
Faux Food: Where Have All Our Nutrients Gone? {MSN}

A loaf of white bread has been sitting on my desk for three weeks. I’ve been watching it, waiting for something to happen. Mold, perhaps. A touch of staleness. Bugs maybe. Its sell-by date came and went 14 days ago, but a peek through the wrapper reveals a tanned crust completely devoid of fungus, and a firm press of the package produces a springy return to a perfect rectangular shape, just as it did the day I bought it.
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Ten predictions about climate change that have come true {Times UK}

Here are the hard facts about global warming that everyone should know, compiled for Times Online by internationally acclaimed writer, scientist and explorer Tim Flannery, author of The Weather Makers: Our changing climate and what it means for life on earth
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Our oceans are turning into plastic…are we? {BestLife}

A vast swath of the Pacific, twice the size of Texas, is full of a plastic stew that is entering the food chain. Scientists say these toxins are causing obesity, infertility…and worse.
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Losing Soil {Celsias}

In 1938, Walter Lowdermilk, a senior official in the Soil Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, traveled abroad to look at lands that had been cultivated for thousands of years, seeking to learn how these older civilizations had coped with soil erosion. He found that some had managed their land well, maintaining its fertility over long stretches of history, and were thriving. Others had failed to do so and left only remnants of their illustrious pasts.
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Solar Cookers and Ovens {Alternative Consumer}

Frankly, I’m a little surprised that there isn’t a sexier marketing push behind the solar cooking movement. Sure it takes a little longer, but the energy and emissions saved, (not to mention the novelty) in cooking this way add a lot of sizzle to the concept.
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The answer comes us every morning and you can be part of the solution – purchase two of the sun ovens mentioned at PTF’sonline store
The Coming Biofuel Disaster {Celsias}

Have you ever tried to solve a problem only to discover that you made things worse in the process? This is happening right now with biofuels. We are on the road to disaster because the problem we are trying to solve has been framed inadequately
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PTF has always said biodiesel was only a bandaid solution and not the solution to our fuel guzzling addiction. For our homebrewing operation we use/recycle about 30 gallons oil waste vegetable oil a month. We are not avid car users – instead we opt for public transit, bikes or walking.
Cupid for Country Folk {People Of the Web}

She said the city guys that contacted her just don’t have a clue and that’s where the slogan for my site came,” he says with a eureka smile. “‘City folks just don’t get it!’….”You can’t fake being a farmer, you know,” he says. “On a regular site, you could say, ‘Oh, I’m a lawyer,’ or whatever. But if you say you’re a farmer and they say, ‘What kind of tractor do you drive and what model number and you know, how often do you feed your Holstein cow and that,’ if you’re faking it, you’re dead.”
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Like I’ve always said (and on the look out for) gotta check out a man’s hands!
Fuel-free fridge {Off Grid}

Using a very old idea – the cooling power of the evaporation of water – a small Indian group has released plans for a very inexpensive but effective way to keep food cool and fresh – refrigeration without any power source whatsoever!The bamboo iceless refrigerator is a low cost device that can be used to store food items. It preserves the food longer, and keeps it cool. This fridge can be used to store vegetables, fruits or even keep your beers cold. Detailed instructions at the end of this article
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Sainsbury’s giant carrot washer, and the rejected royal roots {Guardian}

How the mass market for ‘local’ produce sidelined a leading organic farmer and the Prince of Wales.
They were unfortunate suppliers to sack: Prince Charles’s Highgrove farm and the head of the leading organic food and farming charity, but Sainsbury’s did it anyway, and without notice. And while it was about it, it fined the director of the Soil Association, Patrick Holden, £3,380 plus VAT through his account manager, for delivering a load of carrots that its quality control system rejected.
The saga of Mr Holden’s vegetables and the rejected royal roots involves thousands of food miles, tonnes of carbon emissions, enormous waste and a giant washing machine, designed to wash and polish carrots so that “when displayed on the supermarket shelf, even weeks after washing, they still look like wet, fresh carrots”. According to Mr Holden, who has spoken exclusively to the Guardian, it is a saga that shows that the supermarkets’ current structures cannot deliver sustainable food, whatever they may claim. Sainsbury’s says its customers and quality are the final arbiters.
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  1. d'Heat says:

    I didn’t know apples would grow in Pasadena (I grew up in Covina)–I didn’t think it was cool enough long enough. What type of apples are they? Growing up (and even now when we visit in the fall) we would make an annual trek to Oak Glen. Lots of good memories there. Thanks

  2. Ginny says:

    Greetings in the Name of the Lord!

    I don’t know if this will concern you or not, but I went to the solar oven link that you have posted and was assaulted by pornographic advertising in their banner. I hope that you do not agree with that sort of thing and perhaps can avoid linking to things like that in the future. The article was not too informative either. I think the link to your store, however, was good and you have a good oven at a good price. 😀

    In Christ,


  3. Mia Bagley says:

    I would love to know more about the lemon verbena syrup. I love your site!! So inspirational. Mia