URBAN PIONEERS


Jordanne & Lady Fairlight, Anais & Blackberry / Goats at Latino Festival

Goats in LA

The above photo was taken byDiego Chamorro at the recentC.I.C.L.E event ‘Life Can Be So Car Free’ on September 30th (which we rode our bikes to). Realizing that I had forgotten to check the batteries on my camera, I approached this man who was taking photos of his young son and wife in the park. I  asked if he would be so kind to snap a photo of the goats with the LA skyline behind (I figured goats and the high-rises contrast would make a good photo)

Busy

Sorry for the lack of postings this week. It’s been a busy week, to say the least (too much right now to get into any details at this moment).

Hope you enjoyed Aaron Newton’s interviewwith Jules instead of ramblings from the homestead life. We had quite a few meetings this week (and again today) with activist and concerned folks in the community – some who were doing interviews and others films.   We have another appointment on Wed with some local writers.

On Wednesday, we ordered theJotul wood stove and had the second inspection made of the fireplace. Having resigned ourselves to the fact that we can’t do everything ourselves, regrettably we are having to hire someone to do the masonry and installation work.   We do our very best to be as independent as we can, not having to rely on the yellow pages for “professional service”; however, sometimes we do need help and this is one instance of needing help to get everything that needs doing done.

Roof work is stalled (again, won’t go into details at the moment why), the garden needs our full attention now and we still haven’t located wood (that won’t cost us a fortune) to replace some of the damaged eaves.

On Saturday, we tabled at theLatino History Celebration at a local (and recently renovated) park (which, btw, was designed in 1920 by noted horticulturistTheodore Payne). We brought along the goats (they had to be approved first by the city to be “displayed” in a public setting) and they, of course, were a big hit with the kids. Some had never even petted goats before – everyone just loved the goats or “chivas.”

The weather over the past few days have been cool, overcast and even drizzly at times. Morning drizzle is expected until Tuesday, then the temperatures heat up again.

PTF Highlighted on Carla’s Country Living Newsletter

Carla writes:
“More and more folks are seeking ways to simplify and embracing the homesteading, agrarian, and simple lifestyle; seeing the wisdom in following the old paths, while using what technology they can to be good stewards and make better choices for themselves, their families, and the environment. It is in this paradigm; this simple model of agrarianism and what some call ‘country or simple living’; one that has us reordering priorities and focusing on living more abundantly with less; one whose benefits include growing closer as a family and in our communities by working the land and tending the garden”

The Modern Urban Homestead One of the most common misconceptions about homesteading is that it must take place somewhere in the country, surrounded by rolling fields, livestock and barns, with acre upon acre of food-producing soil. Nothing could be further from the truth, and Path to Freedom is proving just how much can be accomplished in an urban setting.

Yielding over 6,000 pounds (that’s 3 tons!) of organic produce from their urban 1/10 acre garden, the Dervaes family of Pasadena, California are showing it is not the location of the homestead, but the act of doing what you can, right now, wherever you may be that matters.

Inspiring many with their lush garden, which provides fresh fruits and vegetables for the family’s vegetarian diet as well as a viable income, the Dervaes also show that raising chickens, ducks, rabbits, goats,and beekeeping is possible in the city.

Recently highlighted onTreeHugger TV and in an interview withGroovy Green, Path to Freedom has become a shining example of an sustainable eco-oasis in an urban jungle. By decreasing their electric dependence by 2/3 and incorporating self-sufficient practices such as solar and cob ovens, vermicomposting, making biodiesel, solar shower, and current and future trails planned in winemaking, grey water reclamation, composting toilets, rainwater harvesting, and more, the Dervaes are actively living out their ‘homegrown revolution…using their hands as weapons of mass creation.’

The Path to Freedom website includes a daily journal of their journey, a forum, a resource area where one could literally spend months learning from the links, their outreach information, photos, a store, and a video brochure you won’t want to miss.

The Dervaes family and Path to Freedom have inspired me for years; opening my eyes to some issues and inspiring me to change the things I can along the way. I encourage you to spend some time with the Dervaes and Path to Freedom and learn from those who are mapping the trail for many to follow.


BOOKMARKS

Dolphin-friendly tuna? Don’t believe it {Independent UK}

On many cans you will spot a “dolphin friendly” logo. In the 1990s tuna fleets were forced to clean up their act by fitting all nets with special hatches through which accidentally caught cetaceans could escape. These measures were successful, as far as they went, and have created the legend that tuna is a “green” food, healthy for us, healthy for the environment. Hence that happy dolphin. Don’t believe a word of it. Every chunk of tuna comes from a wild fish. Because tuna are wide-ranging, fast-moving ocean fish, fisheries have developed awesome techniques for catching them. Fleets use vast purse-seine nets to scoop them out of the sea, while Japanese vessels, in particular, trail lines of baited hooks many miles long.
read more

California Public Agencies Use In-Office Worms to Eat Garbage {Fox News }

Next to a copy machine on the 10th floor of Los Angeles’ public works building sits a plastic bin filled with worms wriggling in rotting lettuce.Public servants walk by without even glancing at the box or the note above it: “Quiet please. Worms at work.”
read more

God & the Environment {Grist }

Environmentalists and their politically progressive allies have long dismissed conservative evangelical Christians as repressive moralists and industry apologists. The suspicion and hostility are mutual: evangelicals see environmentalists as godless, anti-human pagans and socialists.Not exactly a match made in heaven.But relations are slowly thawing — in part thanks to, well, thawing. As glaciers and ice shelves melt, the existential danger posed by global warming has become impossible to ignore. In February, 86 evangelical leaders signed a statement calling on believers to join the fight against climate change. More and more evangelical churches are preaching a gospel of “creation care”
read more

Roughage Riders {Grist }

…Nationwide, though, not many consumers are taking pleasure in fall’s bounty. If the recent E. coli-tainted spinach scare wasn’t enough, a new one
— this one involving lettuce — has reared up. California’s Salinas Valley,
that national epicenter of industrial salad-greens production, has been
implicated yet again, for at least the 10th time in a decade.

Do-gooders have fixed on a solution to this recurring problem: more
regulation.
read more

No Comments

  1. Wildside says:

    Stunning photo of you & the goats!

  2. claire says:

    love the photographs of you out with the goats, that was nice of Diego to take a picture for you.

  3. James Newton says:

    “beekeeping”? I thought you guys didn’t keep bees.

  4. Cherilyn says:

    Incredible photo of you two with the goats and the city skyline!! You really look like urban farmgirls!

    Best wishes with all of the home repairs and the frustrations they can bring. Keep thinking of how great it will be when everything’s in place!

  5. Anais says:

    Hi folks

    I agree, the goats are cute (we just love them… spoiled they are!)

    James, thanks for bringing this up. No, we don’t keep bees. I had meant to clarify, but forgot since my mind is in a thousand places these days!!! Clara’s blurb about our urban homestead on her newsletter was done without an interview or asking of questions. We just received this clip via email with a note and copied and pasted it.

    FYI, yes we did keep bees for many years here on the urban homestead, we even sold the honey that we extracted from the 10 or so hives we had in the back of the garage. However, when the nursery that surrounded two sides of our place was sold we had to sell the hives because of the new owners.

    It’s against the law to keep bees in Pasadena (we checked); however, there is a way to get around it (through LA County inspection). Believe me, we have always condsidered perhaps bringing a hive or two (top bar kind) back to the homestead (and using Russian bees which are resistent to the destructive mites that are devasting the bees throughout the US).

    There is a problem however, our main concern is that we are so, so close to the school’s eating area. If any of the kids got stung by a bee and happens to be allergic and if we had some bees (and someone there knew)…. automatically lay the blame on us.

  6. James Newton says:

    Thanks for the clarification.

    We have a tree (I seem to remember that it is a “cotton wood” tree) in the back yard that attracts thousands of bees when it blooms, which is often. It sounds like you are standing under a high voltage line; there are so many bees buzzing over your head.

    I’m not allowed to cut the tree down (and I don’t really want to), but I’m also not allowed to have a bee hive. My logic is that having the hive, right next to that tree, would cut down on the number of bees flying in and out of the property, OVER other peoples property and therefore reduce the chance that someone else would be stung.

    I do agree that this sort of thinking would fall apart quickly in the light of some child being stung next door, but if you have flowers, then you have, and need, bees. And if the bees are there anyway, you already have some increased risk of a stinging. My wife has been stung 5 times in the last year, mostly due to her desire to walk around barefoot in the damp yard.

    My boss will not plant anything that flowers at her home because she is so deathly afraid of bees. Not alergic, mind you, just afraid. And she, seriously, has complained about neighbors attracting bees to the area by planting sunflowers.

    Anyway, it seems to me that we are darned if we don’t, almost as much as we are darned if we do.