Monday, December 27, 2010

Little coco

New baby, Coco born Dec 26, 2010
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The new member of the homestead. My new goat Mylie had a little girl, I call her coco.
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Monday, November 29, 2010


Not a great picture but it's the great grands petting the new goats on Thanksgiving Day.

There were trays of walnuts and almonds, apple slices and pomegranate seeds, pickles and olives set out on the table. My grand daughter came bringing the deliciously cooked turkey and pumpkin pie. I brought out the cauliflower salad and apple nut salad and made the gravy for the mashed potatoes. I had sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes ready. The turkey was carved and everyone settled with plates of food in front of the fire. The children ran about my little farm and then would come in to warm by the fire. They explored the pond, chased the chickens and enjoyed a day in the country. A day of simple country pleasures on my little farm.

When I was a child my mother used to say, "Clean your plate, there are children in India starving." Just this week I saw a show called, "Cooking Dangerously", about people who have marginal lives and how they cook to survive. There was a segment about India and the caste system that still exists in practice if not in word. Those on the lowest caste system must live only on rice cooked on cow dung pies. The children make the fuel from cow dung, water and straw and dry them in the sun so the rice can be cooked. They must work 12 hours in back breaking labor harvesting rice for the richer class in order to just eat. They have no hope of ever owning anything. Other lower caste members must live off the mice and rats they hunt in the fields. They roast them over a few twigs in a fire.

This same show went to Venzuela where the super rich pay $85K to be a member of a golf club. Chavez is trying to develop food security for the poor with organic gardens and giving land to the poor. Unfortunately all the poor can do is squat on the land as they have no money or seed to plant without paperwork of ownership. They have huge soup kitchens where the poor can go with their containers and get meals to take home to eat. The rich complain about these programs for sure.

I have a small holding of land that I bought for little compared to what land in the state I lived in. I am continueing to plant trees and other food bearing plants that I hope will create my ideal. The scripture that says, "Let everyman sit under his own vine and fig tree." I have no desire to pretend to be someone important, I only want a measure of security and peace.

I believe the caste system is alive and well. The early pilgrims came here to get away from the oppresion of the rich and arrogant religious leaders. Yes, today the average person is laboring for the rich and all the comfort and security comes from debt not real ownership. Let's stop pretending we are kings and queens and realize that real goodness comes from being grateful for what is real and in harmony with nature.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cool Island in Tucson

null Here is an interesting article about an area in Tucson, Az that is planting lots of trees and creating a cool and interesting living area.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Here in the desert finding enough mulch is a constant problem.  I spread the horse droppings and now the goat and chicken droppings in areas I want to grow.  When I can get old hay I also use that or my bamboo leaves after harvesting the poles, make good mulch.

A couple of weeks ago friends were at a recycling place and they met a tree trimmer .  They spoke up and asked what they did with their wood chips and leaves and  got a phone number.  I called hoping I could get them to dump some on my property.  They said they dumped on property about two miles from me and I could get as much as I wanted.  I was given an address and went out there.  Like a huge gold mine there was about five acres of piles of chips and mulch.  What a resource.  I have been making at least one trip a day to
bring a truck load of mulch home This is going down over weeds to stiffle their growth and preserve the nutrients in the soil.

Mulch is like water.  It grabs rain water and holds it.  The ususal desert down pours will be absorbed rather than run off.  I will get pictures soon but I must say I am very happy.

My way of handling the mulch is to put a small tarp in the back of the pickup .  I carry a rake and a childs quilt/bedspread.  I rake the mulch onto the bedspread and lift it onto the truck bed covered by the tarp.  When I get home I simply open the back after parking where I want the mulch and pull the tarp.  The mulch drops in piles on the ground and I rake it out.  

If you need mulch check with local landscapers who have chippers.                   

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Equal money

This morning I read this article from a group called Desteni out of New Zealand.  They are trying to start an equal money society and they have modeled it basically like a MLM.  You pay for your lessons about $250 and then you get 10 others to subscribe at the same price which gives you $2500.  I don't quite understand how you get the residual pay from your downline but anyway it is supposed to give you financial freedom eventually.  That said. 

I started wondering what would happen if you did that with trees?  You plant 10 food bearing trees and convince 10 others to do the same.  You don't get the trees but it seems like if we continued to do that we would have food forests doting our land.  Just a thought.  If all your downline was local and you all shared your profits, each 1/10 to the community group that might lead to food self sufficiency. 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

New goats

This week I got these two female goats for $40. They are very gentle spirited and I'm looking forward to the babies. The people were downsizing because they had too many animals and couldn't afford the feed.
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Home grown breakfast

I went out to feed and gathered 2 eggs, squash, onion greens and a pomegranate for breakfast.
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Friday, October 22, 2010

Thoughts on Life

Sometimes I wake up with an ominous feeling.  My connection to nature is not out of wack it is the human content in my life.  I think it is the political atmosphere that is creating such disturbance.  To hear the ads for the candidates, one professing to be for education is an aspiring pedifile, another who wants to be treasurer is a fraudulent business man, another has a moral compass that is so broken that he couldn't find the parking lot, and wrote for a sex web page.   Are there not any solid, down to earth people who want to serve others?  Is it all for show, all for prestege, all for money?  In a society hurting for jobs polititians get paid pretty good. 

More ominous feelings come in from this banking sham.  All these fraudulent foreclosures and no real effort to deal with the current home owner so they can keep their home.  Instead they foreclose and then sell it at a hugely discounted price.  Where is the concern for their fellow man?  Is business about being hard hearted and walking over others  to feel important?  Then there is the announcement by the UN that more countries are facing food shortages and people are starving while commodity brokers, buyers and sellers are pushing food prices higher for profit.  This inches life sustaining food  away from the fingertips of those who desperately need it.  Hands reach out but cannot touch.

Halloween.  The time when everyone loves to dress and put on costumes, often scarey ones. Monsters and ghouls roam among princesses and ballerina's all asking to trick or treat.  Is this our real personalities being acted out once a year?  The real us motivated by greed at the expense of others?  Is all our ambition based on doing something dishonest, mean and underhanded to others if we don't get our "treat"?   Where is that inner voice, that trueness that makes us conscious of what is right?  Where are the moral compasses of the masses?  Are we all on automatic?  Whatever seems convenient and comfortable for me is ok, who cares if it harms someone else? Are we just motivated by pride and pretense ? How important do I look to others so I can take a position in the social statusphere?

The real truth is we were just naked little babies all of us.   We have built around us pretense and scam or remained simple and true with our moral compasses in tact.  Whatever pretense we have built is not real or important except in our jaded eyes.  Can you find your moral compass  under all the self serving pretense?  I am fearful of the direction humans go when they lose site of what has value.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A day at the Hualapais

The great grands enjoying our picnic at the Hualapais on Labor Day
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Last year I bought 5 feeder fish, I now have a couple doz. In the evening they are especially active and fun to watch.
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Fish pond today

Full of plants and fish, it's a peaceful place to sit in the early morning or evening.
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Monday, August 23, 2010

center garden

The center garden where the pond is has a few sunflowers. I have to use the crates because the quail and rabbits love the area.
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living bamboo screen wall

Last year I planted bamboo to help screen my property from the building next door. In one year it is doing a fair job.
Som of my 3 sister, waffle garden in the foreground with the little peach tree.
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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Palo Verde Beans

I've been picking the palo verde seeds. I steam the pods and then slide the beans out. They are going in the freezer for future meals.
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Steamed palo verde pods

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Saturday, June 26, 2010


The juvenile quail are waiting to get into the pone area.There were lots of little skirmishes and run ins this morning as three diffferent covies of quail came to hang out at the pond area at the same time.
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These are juvenile quail being held back by a momma with 15 or more tiny babies. Seh darts at them as they try to move into the pond area.
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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Just Peachy

This little peach tree is two years old. It has about 3 dozen peaches almost ripe on it. I have the fruit covered with netting but today I watched as the little antelope squirrels climbed the trunk and were helping themselves to the fruit. I'm going have to harvest tomorrow if I want to enjoy some of the fruit before they get harvested by the squirrels.
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Friday, June 18, 2010

Grape vine

The grape vine is finally reaching to the top of the arbor. This is the third year and it was a friend who showed me how to prune that helped me get the vine to go upwards. That's the old bedstead, metal headboard it's growing out on. Lots of grapes this year.
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Grape clusters

I have quite a few grape clusters on this vine growing toward my pergala. I'll post pics when they are ripe. These are red flame.
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Fat fit

I took a picture of this fat fig before I plucked it and ate it for breakfast. I got Two that morning. Many more to come.
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Saturday, June 5, 2010

First squash blossum

This morning I found my first squash blossum open in my little circle gardens.
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Monday, May 31, 2010

circle gardens

I'm digging out holes like tree holes and filling them with compost and dirt. I plant a variety of vegies in these holes. In this one there are potatoes, corn, beans and cabbage. This helps me make indentations that have mulch and hold water and the variety of vegies provides a diverse diet and look interesting. I'm filling up a space with these circle gardens.
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Sunday, May 30, 2010


The Pond is starting to take on a life of it's own. I enjoy sitting on the bench and watching the fish dart about.
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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tub pond

I've got the fish and water in the pond. I'm doing some land scaping so I will keep you posted as the plants grow and fill in. The fish are happy darting about in the new space.
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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Progress with the bathtub fish pond.

I'm making some progress with the bathtub fish pond. It has a way to go but I'm posting pictures to show the progress. Remember the hole I was digging that looked like a grave? Well now it has the tub in and I'm just starting to put rocks and plants around it.
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Sunday, March 21, 2010

There's a great blog about West Texas area Terlingua called Earthlanguage

Check out the photo's

Pioneer Couple

I enjoy this step back in time video

Solar heating - hot shower using bottles

Here is a very simple hot shower system for a remote , off grid homestead.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Thoughts On Life

I just recently added Michael Moores page to my Twitter page.
Some people don't like his message but to me he is against Big Corporations and Greed along with mindlessness.  We humans harm for status and self importance as an everyday matter and without thought.  Greed is so interwoven in our everyday lives we hardly even notice, yet it is said greed is one of the 7 deadly sins. 
Sometimes I think about life the way it is and wonder.  What if every child were given a plot of land for their home that was not too large but large enough to plant a food forest as in.
or the Darvaes of California.  Imagine not having to get a job but making your home your job, doing odd jobs to make up the slack and not having a mortgage?  Imagine not  till your 60 or 70 to finally have your mortgage paid off.  Imagine walking out in your yard and finding breakfast or lunch.  Perhaps there could be a community area for raising small animals and grains.  Imagine not having a BIG government but small community meetings and governance where people meet to discuss what is needed and how to get it done. Kind of like church congregations but without the dogma.  A place where the sick are remembered and supported and the discussion of the next barn raising  or community project or potluck.    No politicians to hate, no politicians going to Washington to make decisions for us.  Yes, I'm a dreamer but wouldn't you rather see young people working in a garden than on Meth? 

I saw a video on a reforestation project and after the intital advertizing of the project whole famillies walked to take part and brought trees and tools to plant.  It was amazing what was accomplished when so many people participated.  So, lets just say we were charged a tree tax or our tax fee was a tree to be planted on tree tax day in an area that was decided that needed to be reforested.  Everyone comes with a tree to plant and plants their tree.   Smaller, closer communities could accomplish a lot working together and most likely have less waste and much  nicer communities if they would just work together. You'd know your neighbor and probably need much  less stuff. 

Yes, I guess I'm a dreamer but I do think smaller is better and cooperation is better than greed.  Think about it.  I don't lkie the moneyed society myself. 

Friday, March 19, 2010


The last couple days have been just beautiful and I have enjoyed working outdoors.  Last night my dog began growling and I heard this terrible banging on the front porch. When I got up and looked out it was very clear that the wind was back. Really blowing.  This seems to be the pattern of weather in the Spring here in the desert.  Days of paradise and days of wind. 

Today, I am indoors mostly and checking out some permaculture information.  The previous video on how mushrooms can save the world is really interesting and worth a watch.  Paul Stamet who is doing the research has a web page called fungi .com.  There is a link to his live boxes that start fungi and forests.  I'm going to do more research on his products but I do believe mushrooms have potential to heal our planet.

On my twitter page I also learned of another permaculture resource   http://www.permaculture/tv

One thought was that if each permaculture enthusiast/warrior could recruit or inspire 10 more people we might soon have a real change on this earth, a regeneration.  Something to think about. 

Would you run to the store every day if you could find what you need to eat in your own yard? 

While I was working outdoors yesterday my neighbor across the way was out with her little weed can spraying every living thing she wants to control. These are nice people but I grew very weary of our conversations when every time we speak she tells me about every weed she has worked so hard to kill while I celebrate life and yes weeds that will become soil and fodder for life.  I'm sure in her eyes my hodge podge is not very appealing and her way is the proper way, so guess we are polarized. Yes, she loves fresh organic food but not in her yard. 

My brother told me that in the retirement home they purchased they are not allowed to grow vegitables in the front yard.  He's either got to fight for change, accept it, or move to somewhere that respects his ideals.  These proper folks are killing our planet. 

Paul Stamets: 6 ways mushrooms can save the world

THis is a very informative video

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bamboo tree protectors

I have a problem with rabbits stripping the bark off of the trees. Some trees have died from this. Here I took 12 3' bamboo poles and tied them together then I tied them around the tree trunks of the newly planted California peppers. I made 4 of these and placed them around trees today. I will need to cut more bamboo stalks to make more but I think this is a very good solution to protect my trees.
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New shelf in lath house

I brought the portable shelf into the lath house for more seed starting.
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