Today was the first time we used our car in two weeks! Instead, we have either walked or used bicycles to make deliveries, run errands around town.  

Even with our limited use of the car, it was time once again to brew some biodiesel to have some on hand. The waste vegetable oil has been accumulating over the past few weeks!   Almost every week when one of our clients comes to pick up their order for herb garnishes, they also bring a few containers filled with wvo. We had nearly thirty, 5 gallon (150 gallons) containers filled with waste vegetable oil that were stacking up in the garage that need to be used.   Early this week, the guys brewed 30 gallons of biodiesel which should lasts us a few months.

A friend of ours who’s alsotaken to riding two wheels.

Peaches and orchids


Since the weather this winter has been so mild, it allows us to spend more time outside. Yesterday, we started  dividing the 6 self watering containers and the 15 self watering hanging baskets that are filled with strawberries.  

The peach and apple trees are are covered in lovely pastel blooms and so early in the season! In light of these signs that nature is giving us, she is trying to tell us that things are out of balance this year. If we just opened our eyes to the little signs all around us than perhaps we wouldn’t have to debate if there was such an occurrence of global warming. Enough debating, it’s time to use our senses and not our heads.


The Environmental Protection Agency has moved to stop production of a chemical used in Teflon and other non-stick coatings, claiming it may cause cancer and reproductive problems.

Here on the homestead, we have a few cast iron cookware — three skillets, a wok, griddle and Dutch Oven. I love using them to cook.  They are versatile and best of all a healthy alternative to the teflon.

Today we live in the land of expensive, brightly colored telfon coating, non-stick skillets, and shiny stainless steel pans. Does anyone use cast iron anymore? Old-timers haven’t given them up! And the younger generations should consider what makes these skillets so loved. Cast iron skillets are a economical and healthy way to cook. read more >>

Cooking in a cast iron skillet can add significant amounts of iron to your food and into your body.

There are several reason that people rave about their cast-iron cookware. Besides being an ideal heat conductor, cast iron heats evenly and consistently, it is inexpensive and will last a lifetime with proper care, and it is an old-fashioned way to cook fat free. When well seasoned, a cast-iron pan will be stick resistant and require no additional oil. continue reading >>

Cast iron tidbit: Lewis and Clark listed their Dutch oven as one of the most important pieces of equipment that they took with them on their 1804 exploration of the Pacific Northwest

Damaged goods


We received a replacement compost unit for thecomposting toilet because we were not satisfied with the poor caulking job of the seams that held sealed the two piece of the composting unit (see January 6th post ).

Well, folks, the compost toilet saga continues. There’s good and bad news to report. Good news:  the replacement compost unit arrived on Friday and we were thrilled to see that it was properly caulked/sealed. The bad news:  the shipping company DHL mishandled the box. The box arrived damaged as if the box fell of a truck or something. This mishandling of the freight caused the plastic grating on the inside of the compost unit to completely break in half in one place and cracked in another.    So, we wait for another one to be sent (this will be the third compost unit sent) and hope that the next one will arrive in perfect condition.


  1. claire says:

    thakyou for the cast iron tip, my doctor recently put me on iron tablets so I might tell her this! you must be quite frustrated about your eco-toilet, hope the next one to arrive is better!! I have been using my car to travel to work since our winters get dark and horrible/wet/freezing but I have my bike oiled and ready to go to work on the first day its light enough and not too wet, I miss using it.

  2. Anais says:

    You are welcome Claire. Just goes to show that Grandma knew best cooking with cast iron.


  3. Murph says:

    Cast iron is definitely “healthy” in terms of being not-teflon, but the part about adding iron to your food isn’t de facto healthy. Claire notes that, for some people, extra iron is necessary, but others need to avoid iron. My mother was recently diagnosed with hemochromatosis, which means your body doesn’t eliminate iron properly – it builds up in your joints, similar to arthritis in effect, and in some tissues and organs, reducing liver function, for example. She’s had to stop drinking well water (too much iron), stop using cast iron cookware (too much iron), is already a vegatarian (limiting iron intake from meat), cut back on vegetables like spinach, and otherwise change her behavior.

    I don’t mean to be alarmist, and I’m definitely a fan of the cast iron myself, but I just want to provide a caution against extolling cast iron as unambiguously “healthy”.