Q & A – “elimiDATE” Urban Homestead Edition

Q. Hi! I have a personal question… I was wondering what the younger generations ages are and how do you see yourselves living in 5, 10 years from now (with own family possibly)? Any thoughts on that? — Esther

A. Hi, Esther. Thank you for your question. On the PTF journal we try not to focus too much on opinions, personal rants, hopes and dreams. This journal is more about our attempt to live a sustainable life in the city. However, each of us has hopes and dreams of our own, and we aren’t afraid to speak our minds on issues affecting us and the planet. Each of our dreams is different but has a common thread of wanting more land surrounded by like minded folks who are responsible earth stewards. Jordanne (aka Miss Doolittle, Urban Heidi) longs for more land so she can save the heritage breeds of poultry & small livestock from extinction. Justin (biodiesel brewmeister and tomato addict) would love to have room to grow more tomatoes, vegetables and have a small nursery. Jules (longtime hippie at heart) is bursting with ideas and plans which he wants to implement on a bigger piece of land – trying out dry farming methods and, of course, return to keeping bees and restarting his, one time successful, honey business. As a Laura Ingalls wannabe, I dream of living in a strawbale house surrounded by wide open vistas, family, farm animals and orchards.

We are blessed with an extremely wacky sense of humor and take such personal questions in stride. Believe me, we make fun of ourselves and our unique situation all the time. Now, with all the media attention, one of the most common questions that is asked of us young folks is, “Are there any romantic prospects in your lives?” We have been tempted many times to answer “No,  do you know anyone?” and use the spotlight as a pitch for a mate – hey, it’s free advertising! What we women want– er, check first–about a man is his hands (if mine look more rugged than his then he had better start digging in the soil and cleaning out a chicken coop!). You can learn a lot about someone by his hands. As for what the guys want, you’ll have to ask them. 😉   Unfortunately, up till now, none of us has found anyone in the LA area who wouldtruly dedicate themselves to this lifestyle — yet (we’ve kept our eyes open, believe me). As we aren’t getting any younger (we are mid twenties to early thirties), we’ve been thinking, why not use this attention to our advantage and take one of our reader’s suggestion to start a PTF dating department because there are certainly a lot of eco-singles out there (especially in superficial LA LA Land). And what better way than to start with us PTF singles? Of course, with our screwball sense of humor we even thought about offering ourselves as a date on Ebay. Ok, but seriously, it was suggested that we expand our bios a bit and tag on a “singles ad” that outlines what type of person we are looking for; however, we just haven’t had time to sit down and hash something out.

wanted: the few, the humble, the eco-pioneer ….

In the meantime, if you know of anyone who is down to earth, life long learner, multi-skilled and has a good sense of humor and would be interested in a lifelong earth stewardship commitment with low pay, no vacations, long hours and hard work ( I could go on, but will keep the list short) send them our way. You know where to reach us. 😉

Not a Peep

No signs of hatching yet on the remaining four eggs. We will know definitely in a day or two if this hatching experiment is a success or complete failure. If it turns out to be the dreaded “F” word, Jordanne & I will definitely be depressed since we played Mother Hen for three weeks now. So we’ll pass out the hankies and chocolates to drown our sorrows. All in all it’s been another in lesson in the never ending enrollment in life-school.

Off to Join The Circus

Just when we thought we were dizzy enough spinning in circles with all sort of things here on the urban homestead – things just got even crazier. We may as well join the circus since we are getting quite good at this juggling act. HAPPY SPRING EVERYONE!


The big chill {Salon}

Open your Subzeros, people. Balsamic vinegar? Mustard? These and many other foodstuffs do not require refrigeration
…Is it ignorance, obliviousness, marketing or simply our overly electrified, easily panicked American DNA that makes us squander electricity keeping ingredients cold that could survive just fine at room temperature? After all, we do live in an era when even bottled water comes with an expiration date. I pride myself on living without air conditioning or a dishwasher, but when it comes to compulsive chilling, I know I’m part of the problem. I keep my quart jar of Dijon mustard in the refrigerator door right alongside the mayonnaise, though both could nearly survive nuclear winter out of the box. There is nothing in mustard — or at least in the common variety made with only dry mustard, vinegar, salt and preservatives — that can get seriously spoiled. And as I learned while reporting on mayonnaise a few years ago, even Hellmann’s is shelf-stable — the label says “refrigerate after opening” for taste and texture reasons, not because it is the salmon mousse of condiments. (Make a “salad” with salmonella-prone tuna or chicken or eggs, though, and it moves into the risk column.)
read more

Got Raw Milk? Be Very Quiet {TIME}

…Richard Hebron, 41, was driving along an anonymous stretch of highway near Ann Arbor, Mich., last October when state cops pulled him over, ordered him to put his hands on the hood of his mud-splattered truck and seized its contents: 453 gal. of milk. Yes, milk. Raw, unpasteurized milk. To supply a small but growing market among health-conscious city and suburban dwellers for milk taken straight from the udder, Hebron was dealing the stuff on behalf of a farming cooperative he runs in southwestern Michigan.
read more

[thanks Renee for the news tip]

No Comments

  1. Esther says:

    Thanks for the hilarious answer. And hey, free advertising never hurts. Maybe the right guy or gal is a vivid blog-reader and sends an email. Who knows…..

  2. Esther says:

    Your Big Chill link directs us to the PTF homepage. This is the correct link: http://www.salon.com/mwt/food/eat_drink/2007/03/20/refrigerator/

    sans the ptf url in it…. I only recently took out mustard from the fridge…. And our butter stays always out!

  3. Nancy Kelly says:

    I love your comment about the first thing you check out in a man is his hands. I am very fond of a man in his 50s with the most beaten, battered, hard and work-roughened hands I have ever seen, one finger cut off by a skill-saw – the most beautiful hands I have ever seen – those hands know how to WORK!

    I don’t have pretty hands myself – I never seem to get my fingernails quite clean, I think the dirt gets ground right into the quick and won’t come out (and needless to say, I don’t waste time on polish or manicures) and I never wear gloves in the garden, I like to feel the dirt.

    I like your PTF singles idea! There are a lot of us out here who are maybe a little quirky for mainstream. A lot of men wouldn’t understand why I pee in a bucket and throw it on my garden! (Saving water, great fertilizer)


  4. Kevin Hall says:

    Out of curiosity, if one the PTFers were to pick up a mate that wanted to fit in with the lifestyle would they live at the PTF house? It seems like that would be the only option unless the other person was independently wealthy and could afford a house or larger piece of land to work on.

    On a side note, I think your entire family is too rad for words.

  5. Gigi says:

    I had a good chuckle concerning “looking for a mate.” First, I have two mid-twenty daughters who would love to find that someone. Know anyone? LOL Secondly, they have expressed that one of the qualifications (the list is short) must be being a hard worker! I now know why I am meeting more and more couples who have met each other….on the ‘net!

  6. Mike Williamson says:

    I hold a Journeyworker’s certificate in HVAC from DoL, and have 22 years experience with the civil sector, Army and AF, in everything from window units to LiBr absorption units and ammonia systems.

    Actually, a fridge or freezer works BETTER with a large cooled mass and minimal airspace. Every time you open the door the air exchanges and has to be chilled back down.

    Once the mass inside is cool, it tends to stay that way, because it can only absorb heat from the air (they’re pretty well insulated, and even then, there’s airspace between contents and walls). The LESS goods you have in your fridge, the MORE it has to work, if you are opening it for regular access (And there are always air leaks). Fill it up and leave a little air space for circulation.

    The large mass takes more energy initially, but will retain its energy (or lack of it, in this case) more readily. Don’t get a bigger fridge than you need, but fill that sucker up. You can use that wattage to cool a steak, or a side of beef.

    Conversely, it’s like having an empty house to avoid “heating furniture.” That inside mass helps retain heat and reduces the amount of air that must be exchanged. Small and cozy is better than big and vacant.

    This also applies to your cooler when traveling. Freeze all your drinking water and fill that sucker up. It will stay cold for up to a week and negate needing to buy ice en route.