Kansas City Video

Lately, I have been a bit afraid to travel. It seems that we cannot go anywhere without having to dodge storms…some that include tornadoes. Sunday, we traveled to Kansas City and then returned in the same day. I saw some of the most unique clouds I have ever seen while on this trip.  This video shows a storm in the Greensburg area.

You can view some sky photos at my new photo blog Kansas Weather.

The Future of Food

This past week, I have had several different blog topics rolling around in my head. Most of those thoughts have been about food…either the growing of, the shortage of, the cooking of, the harvesting of, the preserving of, or, yes, the genetic engineering of…..OUR FOOD!

These thoughts have prompted a couple of movements for me.  I requested Michael Pollan’s books, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, , In Defense of Food, and A Place of My Own, from our local library. As I have begun to read, I have been wishing I belonged to a book club with members with whom I could discuss my readings and thoughts. DH has been kind enough to oglige, but it would be nice to hear what others have to say.

On another path, I attempted some solar cooking last weekend and hope to share my failures with you soon. Because of those failures with a home-fashioned solar cooker, I purchased a new one from The Peddlar’s Wagon at Path to Freedom/Urban Homesteaders. I am excited about the possibilities of not heating up the kitchen and still being able to prepare a meal.

What brought me to all of these thoughts about food and has me attempting action on those thoughts? First was the Path to Freedom Sustainable Food UCLA Lectures hosted on YouTube. Part four was just recently uploaded and now we are waiting for the Q & A video to be released. In Jules Dervaes’ lecture he mentioned Deborah Koons Garcia, the wife of Jerry Garcia, who is the producer of The Future of Food Documentary about, well, the future of food.  Immediately searching YouTube for Garcia and the future of food, I found several videos from which to choose. DH and I listened to Mrs. Garcia on a radio show broadcast, as she talked about the history of the documentary and her journey with food.

This radio broadcast is a bit longer than most YouTube clips…but you will gain so much info for a small investment of your time.

Introduction to The Future of Food

The Path to Freedom Sustainable Foods UCLA Lectures began with Part One……

I had not written a post, because I was not certain what I, as an individual, could say about the mess that we appear to be heading toward. My head is reeling from everything that I am learning. Today, at Prairie Dreams, Anita posted an entry about farmers being thrown out of the Food Shortage Summit in Rome and though Rome is on the other side of the earth, I know that we are all in this together…farmers, consumers, and unfortunately, large agribusiness corporations. As Jules Dervaes often speaks…it is time for a HOMEGROWN REVOLUTION. While our backyard and patio “farms” will not head off world hunger, it might just make a difference in our own household.

I encourage all to “do your own research” and take some baby steps toward sustainability. That is all that we can all do….each take baby steps toward a success.

Let the Sunshine IN!

Le-e-e-et the su-unshine…let the sun-shine in….the su-unshine i-in….le-e-et…the sun-shine…. le-et the sunshine….
Are you at least humming the tune now?
Yes, we have finally have some sunshine!

I am so very excited to report that the solar dryer is back in business, at least for today. There is still a slight bit of dampness in the air, but the winds and sunshine will more than overcome that one small obstacle.

Harmony and understanding…. that we must all become better stewards of our earth.

Did you know that electric clothes dryers account for approximately 5-10% of all residential electricity useage in the United States?  According to Project Laundry List, hanging laundry could save the average household more than $100 on a household electric bill, and that clothes dryer fires account for about 15K structure fires a year. That is pretty impressive, but if the money aspect doesn’t move you to action, maybe the facts that your clothes last longer, or that sunlight is one of the best bleaches/disinfectant, your clothes smell like a summer vacation, or  the big kahuna of them all….it CONSERVES ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT will cause you to ponder for a moment the possibilities of our own solar dryer.
My very own makeshift clothesline has gone through two (very ugly) design tests, neither which will be permanent, but I DO have a line…errr….solar dryer. This may sound bizarre to some, but my day got instantly better in the realization that I would be ablet to hang clothes today.

While perusing Project Laundry List, I discovered that there are no longer any wooden clothespin manufacturers in America. The Penley Corp. clothespin plant closed in December of 2002 and now imports clothespins and other goods for resale. I found that to be a bit depressing.

I am going to leave you now with The 5th Dimension and Aquarius and Let the Sunshine In….

ENJOY!

First Real Harvest

I am happy to report that I am finally able to have my first real harvest of all that I have planted thus far. This spinach is from the container that I started in my basement back in the winter. It sets on the side porch just beside the door, protected from the recent storms we have been having.

First Harvest Spinach
I found this video about harvesting spinach this morning and though I do not use commercial fertilizer on any of my vegetables, I just thought I would share…

Eating Our Trash

Would you like a table or a booth?

 The old adage “we are what we eat”  hits too close to home after watching this video about Garbage Island in the Pacific Ocean. I saw the documentary on television some time ago and I was amazed at the footage. The floating island of trash is said to be twice the size of Texas and 80% of it is comprised of household and municipal waste, filled with plastic. Plastic is not biodegradable, it is photodegradable, which means it will always remain as plastic.

In this floating monstrosity tiny pieces of plastic are floating about with an array of larger discards. Filter feeder fish, such as jelly fish, take these plastics into their systems. Well, we all know how the food chain works. Big fish eats little fish, which is then eaten by a bigger fish, and another until it makes it on our dining room table.

Concerns over the chemicals in plastics infiltrating our food chain have prompted studies in Japan; where women with high levels of these toxins have been know to have multiple miscarriages. Doctors in Hawaii express concern over the high levels linking to early onset diabetes, liver disease and kidney disease.

I love fish…especially shellfish, salmon, and grouper. Living in landlocked Kansas, I rarely have an opportunity to dine on any of my favorites, but occasionally I am able to sit down to a bit of catfish or trout….some of which I have angled myself…however, even our Kansas waters woes concern me over what I am consuming, but I will save that for another entry.

Laundry

My self-fashioned clothesline bit the dust (again) the other day and I have been researching for the best type of line to construct. Unfortunately, I just cannot figure out the best location for permanent poles and line. My file with ideas is growing and I hope to be sharing bits and pieces soon. Today, though, I think I will share this humorous look at hanging laundry. These past couple of days have brought some heartache into our lives and I certainly can use some “light” fun.

Enjoy!