Friday, August 31, 2007

This is Purslane, a weed. I knew it was an edible weed and the bathtub behind where I usually grow my salad greens is full of it. I have been feeding it to the chickens. Yesterday on one of my groups someone posted an article from Men's health magazine called 10 foods you're probably not eating but should. One of the foods was Purslane, this weed. The article said, " Purslane has the highest amount of Omega - 3 fats of any edible plant. It also has 10 - 20 times more melatonin an anti- oxidant that inhibits cancer growth. " The lights went on, I realized I couldn't grow salad greens in the heat but here nature was providing me with the perfect salad right in the hottest months. My chickens are probably laying low cholesterol eggs because I have been adding this to their diet.
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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wagon load of watermelons. I had a hard time picking up the big guy. Now I have to figure out how I'm going to fit it into the frig. I've decided to keep this one to save the seeds for next year. It must be 30 or more pounds. I also found a split one that the chickens got. The smaller ones I'm going to share with the neighbors as I have all ready saved seed from this variety. It seems like watermelon, squash and any of the guord family like pumpkins, cantaloupes do well here. My swiss chard has done fairly well and okra does good. I didn't plant enough tomatoes so that will be a much bigger project next year as they appear to do well but the few chickens I have loose are helping themselves faster than I can pick. While doing some chores in the garden I got to thinking I might just sow some broccoli seeds in among the watermelon plants and see if the shading from the plants will help the broccoli grow.
It's starting to look like Luchia's eggs are not fertile as they should have hatched. I looked back over the blog and it was July 29th when the 4th egg was laid. She began setting 2 days later. Gestation time is 23 days. Sigh. Poor Luchia, she's been so faithful for no reward. Perhaps the boys are too young or just respect their mother too much to engage in fertilzing eggs. I guess if I want to be a producer of peacocks I'm going to have to bring in new blood.
It's 8:30 in the morning and I came in my head wet with sweat after working a couple hours weeding and in general little farm chores. It's been a long hot summer.
Nice page for a desert garden.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Dervaes videos

I'm posting a number of videos that I find inspiring and helpful in pursuing the simple life and becoming self - sufficient. The following series is of the Dervaes family in Pasadina, California. On their city lot of 1/5th acre they are doing a lot to be self-sufficient or not to burden the earth with their existence. They are creating a life that is close to the earth right in the middle of the city. They have a wonderful web page called PathtoFreedom at

They call it a journey, starting with little things they accomplish until it has become something quit significant in accomplishment. I love this series of tapes and hope you do to. They are in the following blogs.

Healthy Living - Episode 1 / Part 1

Healthy Living - Episode 1 / Part 2

Healthy Living - Episode 2 / Part 2

Healthy Living - Episode 2 / Part 3

If you go to the Pathtofreedom web page and look in the photo gallery you can see how the garden progressed. Yearly photo's. Wonderful photos.

Monday, August 27, 2007

This site has a lot about projects that are sustainable and making methane gas. I enjoyed looking through it.

Biodigestor Construccion, Methane Biogas Digester (Part 1)

Here are two video's part 1 and part 2 that show how to make a simple biodigestor for methane gas. It is low tech and inexpensive although labor intensive. It can provide cooking fuel if you have manure from animals. English version can be had by going to website on the beginning of the video.

Biodigestor Construccion, Methane Biogas Digester (Part 2)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

This is a huge watermelon. I still haven't picked it because I think I'm going to have to put it on ice and have a party. I'm feeling like they way everything looks it's got to be picked.
I sold at the Farmers Market today for the first time in my life. Here they have what they call a bumper crop booth, so besides the regulars who try to grow something to sell on a weekly basis they have a booth where locals can bring in their bumper crops and sell ocassionally.
I took in some watermelons and they sold quickly. I then had money to buy some other locally grown produce like yard long beans, english cucumbers, lemon cucumbers, chilies and grape tomatoes. It was fun talking to all of the other gardeners and I learned what to grow if I'm thinking about selling in the future. I'm so excited, my first Farmers Market.
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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Permaculture Farm Finca Luna Bocas del Toro Panama

Here is a video that has the life of a young couple living in Panama doing the permaculture lifestyle. It's a little long but it seems to me they have a beautiful life.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

This is the garden as it is this week. The tire's are new plantings and further back I have a row o f zuccini coming up. The zuccini all ready planted and producing is slowing down so I'm starting to clean some of them out and I'm replacing those plantings with nitrogen fixing plants like beans and clover. I've got some bermuda grass growing at the edge and I cut it and feed the green grass to the chickens and the mustang and burro. I'm also cleaning out the corn and giving it to the animals as fodder. I gave my grandson a watermelon when he came over to help me work on the goathead weeds this morning. I picked my second watermelon yesterday and it's now cold in the frig. That makes 3 I've picked. Got many more getting ripe. I'm saving seed from some of the best ones.
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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Luchia, on her nest in the squash plant. If she has chicks in the eggs the hatching should be soon.
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Sunday, August 19, 2007

I just picked my first watermelon. Here is 3/4 of it. Shared the other 1/4 th with a friend. It was good, sweet and juicy. I have 20 more at least out in the garden and more coming on. They are about $5.00 + at the store. I did a little research to find out how to tell if they are ripe. People say thump them but my daughter picked one a week or so ago after thumping it and it wasn't ripe. What I read on the internet was if the skin turns dull, the little curly things by the stem turn brown and the skin resists your thumbnail pressure, these are all signs of them ripening. Also if they turn yellow where they sit on the ground. This one split open so I knew it was ready. Got right on it. From now on I'll have to keep a close eye on them.
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Monday, August 13, 2007

I'm having some problems putting up pictures.
I found some more resources for sustainable living. has some videos. I could not watch them but I listened to several of them and found them informative. Under each film they have web pages to the people they are interviewing. is a project in Prescott Az that is interesting. They are using rainwater and grey water resources and developing a neighborhood that is devoted to sustainable ways. has a bi monthly paper that is mostly local to the central California area but has many articles on sustainabil has a lot of videos that are interesting and informative.

Hope there are some who are working on sustainable projects and would love to hear from you.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

I'm going to try this. It is about a fellow in Gilbert , Az who has lowered the temp on his property to 78 degrees in the summer. Now the neighbors are trying to get him to comply with their ideals and fine him $2500. and jail time for his beautiful garden. They say it's lowering their property values and littering. Plants? Hope I get the url right.

Garden Girl 5 min Promo

I came across this promo and think this girl has some wonderful ideas for gardening on a small city lot. I love her raised beds with removable rabbit or chicken hutches. I wish she could have had a tv show.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Get Fresh with Sara Snow

Very informative and fun.

Tiny Urban Farm in the City Lives Green (ABC 7 News )

Very good video about self sufficient living in the city.

Path to Freedom

This is a family that lives in Pasadena, California on a small city lot. He sells these salads to restaurants

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Here is an underground house that is made of rebar and ferro cement. It is passive solar. I don't see a water catchment system which would reguire hauling water if it is off grid or some other water catchment. It appears the water tank uses gravity flow as it seems to be higher. Thought I'd share this one for those thinking of building perhaps underground for ideas.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Wild Living with Sunny: episode 10

Here is a a video about Brad Lancasters desert and eating mesquite. They have developed a self sustainable home.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Growing Food in Fridges

Here us a Youtube about growing food in old frig's . I'm doing some of this. His drainage holes are a good idea, although here in the desert the soild dry's out fast. It keeps rabbits, gophers, chickens and other critters out of the garden too. Like his set up. Thought it is worth sharing.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Well, the boys are back in the pen. I'm sure they would rather be loose but Snow has taken too much delight in making me bring him home. He went to the neighbors the other evening to see their peacocks. They live very close, just across a field but right now I am very busy with weeding after the rains. Lots of goatheads coming up and I'm trying to do more planting so all my energy needs to be focused on that and not out chasing the boys. Their mom is setting on 4 eggs in the garden. I imagine they will be hatching about the 23 of August. It doesn't look like the the eggs the hen is setting on in the chicken house are going to hatch. No sign of hatching and they should have hatched by the 4th. Guess in a few days I'll have to take them away. I hate to see the hen setting on none fertile eggs. That may be the case with Luchia's eggs too as the only males are her sons and they still may be too young. Time will tell.
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Thursday, August 2, 2007

Llana Yahav - Just Imagine...

I love this! Creating our world.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Flowers and beginning fruit. This cactus is loaded. Progress in following pictures.
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Fruit ripening looks like another flowering.
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Prickly pear fruit on the cactus.
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Prickly pear fruit freshly picked.
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Cactus fruit ready to serve. Lemony, seedy, custardy. Dip out with a spoon.
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