THIS & THAT

Earth Day preparations are in air! Yes, folks, E-day is just around the corner. Yesterday we got three phone calls requesting that we participate in upcoming Earth Day events in the community. That makes a total of 5 E-Day events, so we’ll definitely be busy with community outreach in the following weeks.

Would you like to plan your own E-Day event in your community? TheEarth Day Network has put together a handy 46 page guide (pdf)how to get started.

We also received another call from a film maker doing a documentary on biodiesel.   We are busy on all fronts here on the homestead.

For all you newbie gardeners in the So Cal area theSouthern California Vegetable Planting Schedule is a great guide to know when to plant what. We’ll be planting potatoes, sweet potatoes and garlic soon. Every week, we start a few more tomatoes and pepper and in a few weeks time corn, beans and squashes.   The tiny basils are already up and along with a new crop of salad greens.

We bought another pineapple guava from the nursery across the street that was having a 25% off sale over the weekend. With the new patio area in front of the garage, we are planning on using that space to put a few wine barrels filled with fruit trees. The backyard dynamics are changing and we are trying to come up with innovative ideas for the best use of space.   We’ve gone through so many plan revisions already as we work.

For instance, it was brought up that the bed around the cob oven should be primarily a kitchen herb bed. But now we are thinking more of a kitchen garden with a few herbs.

Since we already have lots of herbs in the front yard, we are figuring we could use the space more wisely with more poundage crops like peppers and tomatoes and we could then throw in a few basil, parsley, and chives. Hmmm, sounds like a “Pizza Garden” and wisely so, right next to the oven. Just pick your toppings, fresh!

The strawberries are almost nearly all divided, we have a few hanging baskets and a couple of self-watering boxes to divide. We like to incorporate more berry fruit into the backyard landscape with some thorn less blackberry bushes. We are putting aside the urge to buy too many new plants before we find a home for all the plants we already have that are awaiting transplant.

It rained again pretty much all afternoon yesterday and a bit into the night.   The storm was pretty warm, even though it was overcast, dreary all day, we didn’t feel the need to use any heat to warm up the house – just piled on an extra layer and knitted cap. Cold, Artic air is expected to follow the next storm that blows in on Friday. Snow is predicted as low as 1,500 (Pasadena’s elevation is about 800-900ft) I’m shivering just thinking about it. Today, however, is going to be lovely, the suns already up and there is blue skies to be seen.

The plants are certainly thriving with the rain and we are benefiting too – the garden hose is no longer in use and we hope it stays that way for awhile longer.

I’ve added a few more things to our “future steps”

Composting toilet (wip)
Grey water reclamation system (wip)
Rainwater harvest & cistern
Solar water heater
Form community
Wood stove
Green banking
HPV Bikecar/generator
Wood cookstove
Hatch eggs (to increase flock of chickens)
Keeping goats (again)
Keeping bees (again)
Cheese making
Homebrew wine

Once the new website is completed (well, the bulk of it) we’ll get to spend more time learning new skills.   Believe me,  the new website will be up soon (hoping by the end of March, maybe before)

BOOKMARKS
Web wanderings
Guide to Building the Perfect Water Barrel System– diy tutorial
Lead us Not Into Temptation: Ways to avoid overspending– put down that catalog!
Weston A. Price Foundation – supports a number of movements that contribute to this objective including accurate nutrition instruction, organic and biodynamic farming, pasture-feeding of livestock, community-supported farms, honest and informative labeling, prepared parenting and nurturing therapies. Specific goals include establishment of universal access to clean, certified raw milk and a ban on the use of soy formula for infants.
Hunter, Gatherer Diet– in March 2006 Jason of Tribe Anthropik began the Paleo-diet. You can read about his experiences and results with this diet at his site.
Hey, Sugar, Sugar – Consumption of sweeteners in the U.S. has risen from 113 pounds per person per year in 1966 to around 142 pounds per person per year in 2004, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Compare that to an average of 8.3 pounds of broccoli and 25 pounds of dark lettuces for 2003, according to U.S. News and World Report. Americans now consume an average of 61 pounds a year of high fructose corn syrup (especially in sodas), and we scarf down 20 teaspoons of added sugar a day (not including lactose or fructose naturally found in milk and fruit).
I Went to the Mountaintop, But It Was GoneTearing down mountains is exactly the business going on around Daymon Morgan. He lives in the coalfields of the Appalachians, where King Coal has been cutting off the heads of the oldest mountains in the world.
Terminating the “Terminator” Seed– Broken promises and sterile seeds could alter the lives of food producers
How Can a Family ‘Live at The Center Of Its Own Attention?’ – The issue here is the extent to which a family is like a community in its need to live at the center of its own attention. A family necessarily begins to come apart if it gives its children entirely to the care of the school or the police, and its old people entirely to the care of the health industry. Nobody can deny the value of good care even away from home to people who have become helplessly ill or crippled, or, in our present circumstances, the value of good daytime care for the children of single parents who have to work. Nevertheless, it is the purpose of the family to stay together. And like a community, a family doesn’t stay together just out of sentiment. It is certainly more pat to stay together if the various members need one another or are in some practical way dependent on one another. It’s probably worth the risk to say that families need to have useful work for their children and old people, little jobs that the other members are glad to have done.
No dictator in history has ever wielded such a powerful tool as a TV setit’s easy to dismiss television as the entertainment of fools, concocted and sponsored by even bigger fools. However, we seriously underestimate the power of the big box. I’ve come to realize that modern television, although not quite at the technological level envisioned by Orwell, is indeed a force that profoundly influences those who watch it.
TV alternatives:
The Little Britches Series
Folks familiar and who have a love affair with the “Little House on the Prairie” series will enjoy this series of book. It’s the story of Ralph Moody’s early years is filled with challenges and triumphs that will make jaw-dropping reading for the average modern, but were not all that remarkable for people living just one hundred years ago.
The Little Britches series is not only a joy, it is a treasure. Like the Little House on the Prairie series, it preserves the details of a way of life that is not all that distant in history, and yet is nearly extinct. And like the Little House series, it shows clearly and concretely how the challenges of such a life contributed to building one’s character.
Excerpt Chapter “I Break Nine Toes“:
“Son,” he said, “I had hoped you wouldn’t run into anything like this till you were older, but maybe it’s just as well. There are only two kinds of men in this world: honest men and dishonest men. There are black men and white men and yellow men and red men, but nothing counts except whether they’re honest men or dishonest men.
“Some men work almost entirely with their brains; some almost entirely with their hands, though most of us have to use both. But we all fall into one of the two classes—honest and dishonest.
“Any man who says the world owes him a living is dishonest. The same God that made you and me made this earth. And He planned it so that it would yield every single thing that the people on it need. But He was careful to plan it so that it would only yield up its wealth in exchange for the labor of man. Any man who tries to share in that wealth without contributing the work of his brain or his hands is dishonest.
“Son, this is a long sermon for a boy of your age, but I want so much for you to be an honest man that I had to explain it to you.”

{Note: Growing up as kids we have read and re-read this classic tale of a boy growing up in the 1900’s.   For local folks, the Pasadena Public Library and Glendale Library combined have the complete series}
Co-operative Non-competitive Games – these are games to change the world. They show that the alternative to competition, to striving to be the best, to winning at all costs can be enormous fun.

No Comments

  1. claire says:

    thankyou for the link to earth-day, I hadn’t heard of it but I love the idea!

  2. Anais says:

    Claire

    You are welcome. Earth Day is a great way for conscious folks to get together and reengergize their commitments and causes.

    Cheers,
    Anais