Sustainable SW Blogs

renovation finished

The Field Lab - Sat, 2014/10/18 - 6:00pm
Adding the file cabinets inside the hut worked really well.  Now it almost seems like I have a bedroom instead of feeling like I am sleeping in my living space.  No doubt in a year or two, I will be doing a blog post about cleaning out the drawers once they have been filled with useless stuff.  70,84,52,0,W
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Sufi Winter Schedule

Holy Scrap - Fri, 2014/10/17 - 7:31pm
As you may know, here in Truth or Consequences I lead a contemplative Sufi group. Please feel welcome to drop in on us should you find yourself in town. And please do consider coming to town to our very special winter retreat. It is a wonderful opportunity to do deep inner work. You need not have any previous experience or knowledge of Sufism to join in these events.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Went for the long ride...

The Field Lab - Fri, 2014/10/17 - 4:24pm

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Raccoon's Revenge

The Field Lab - Thu, 2014/10/16 - 4:57pm
Just when I thought it was all over.  Yesterday morning I noticed that the bird netting on top of my chicken pen had been "tampered with".  I also noticed that one of my roosters was gone.  Last night I locked up the boys in their coop and set up the game cam.  Sure enough - a raccoon was on the prowl.  I am fairly certain (based on the photos I have) that this is the first one I caught and released.  Apparently, 5 miles away from TFL was not far enough.  With no way back into the greenhouse, I reckon he figured a chicken dinner was on the menu.  Covered the top of the pen with fencing and modified the trap (just in case he remembers it).  If I catch him tonight, he will go for a very long ride before being released.   If this one or any others show up again - it will be time for some lethal justice.  79,90,45,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Seven Hemp Farms. Two Continents. One Revived Industry

Doug Fine - Thu, 2014/10/16 - 11:49am

First Legal Hemp Harvest Update

American Hemp Is On Its Way to Your Car Battery And Your Bookstore

The first digital age domestic hemp crop is being harvested as I write. The subtle decrease in seismic activity currently puzzling Virginia geologists can be traced to Thomas Jefferson ceasing to spin in his grave for the first time in 77 years.

So begins the latest write-up resulting from the recent #HempHarvestTour2014. A note on that preceding “word,” or whatever it is, since its style was absent from my English grammar book. Based on the reality that half my friends think me pre-scholastic in my new media literacy and half see me as more of a trend-hopping Cosmonaut, I figure we are in a place where about half of the folks reading this Dispatch will know what the heck the hashtag business is all about.

Think of it as a supplement. You won’t be out of the loop if you aren’t on Twitter as long as you read Hemp Bound, that worldwide hemp industry investigation and re-launch blueprint that, fortuitously, was published during this, the crop’s biggest year in the last twelve thousand.

But for those who do Tweet, #HempHarvestTour2014 amounts to a 200-image photo documentary of these historic harvests between which I’ve been bouncing, from Slovenia to the first legal American hemp harvests of the Digital Age, in Kentucky and Colorado.

Compiled together in an essay, these reminiscences (sorry, these in-the-field-researched pieces of investigative journalism – ya never know when the Pulitzer committee might be reading) will comprise the hemp-printed First Legal Hemp Harvest Dispatch that (stay tuned) you’ll be able to order in the new year. An excerpt just ran here.

I’m working with my pard Morris Beegle of Colorado Hemp Company on that first hemp-printed project, and so far American hemp farmers in three states have volunteered to contribute fiber. We hope this will spark a publishing revolution grounded in tree-free, renewable American hemp. As a father, I haven’t been this optimistic about my replicants’ future since before last year’s second “Millennial” flood this decade wiped out the Funky Butte Ranch driveway again.

If reading Hemp Bound, clicking around the blithe #HempHarvestTour2014 Tweets and waiting for the First Legal Harvest printing announcement aren’t enough immersion in what is for Canada already a billion-dollar hemp economy, you still have three more ways to procrastinate from whatever your real job is (glad to be of service: it’s educational, at least). You can check out or book the Hemp Bound live event here.

In a “Have Scythe: Will Harvest” moment, here‘s a chance to watch me being schooled — with a dangerously medieval tool — in hand-harvesting hemp by Slovenian farmers.

And since I’m speaking so much about sustainability in the emerging hemp and cannabis industries, if you haven’t seen this TEDx Talk, “Why We Need Goatherding in the Digital Age,” it explains a lot of where I’m coming from in my work.

Back on the Twitter thing, my daily Tweets range from dewey datura photos to video clips from recent United Nations testimony. That’s @organiccowboy.

And for the 50% of folks who process information in what you might call a more seasonal fashion, that hemp-printed First Harvest Update is coming your way at the beginning of February—just when you’re thinking, “Hmm, I’ve read Hemp Bound. I wonder if there’s an update.”

There’ll be a pre-order with deposit for the historic first run, announced in these Dispatches and via Twitter. Here’s what we’re thinking for a pitch line: “American hemp-grown literature: makes a swell Valentine’s Day gift.”

But ya really want to read Hemp Bound first so you’re grounded in the remarkable economic foundation hemp provides as you read about the first folks to prove said foundation’s reality on the ground this season. One of the harvests I visited is being used for next generation batteries by a nanotechnology company.

And in closing, whether a hemp-based publishing industry sounds farfetched or a sensible necessity to you, check out this scene from the Hemp Bound event that C-Span’s BookTV aired this summer: shortly after I’m introduced by two of my Colorado hemp heroes, Lynda Parker and Michael Bowman, I display, discuss and leaf-through the mint condition 1731 hemp-printed book (about the Dutch Reformation) that an audience member had brought to the event. I found it significant that the book’s owner had no problem with, for instance, a fellow leafing through a priceless heirloom, or skin oils damaging the fiber.

Well, off to milk the goats. They have very few problems, too. Some more harvest-time photos are below. My thanks to everyone reading this is for, especially, allowing me to pursue a working life that gives me so much pleasure.

-Doug Fine                                 Funky Butte Ranch, NM


Dreaming’s Over: There’s Real Work to Be Done. Doug Fine, Solar-powered Goat Herder (I-Land of Enchantment) Harvesting Hemp With Katie Moyer (I-Christian County, Kentucky), American Mother and Hemp Farmer. The yellow crop beyond the standing hemp field in the far background is tobacco. Moyer gave me and my Kentucky tour host Josh Hendrix a container of her hemp muscle salve from some just-harvested plants. Within five minutes of application, after a day of driving Kentucky hills and stripping retted hemp bark from fiber, I knew that when this stuff is on Walgreens shelves, the ibuprofen folks (Bless ‘em for decades of hard, if chemical work) are in trouble.

Sampling Some of the First Modern U.S.-Hemp Seed, A Protein-Rich, Omega-Balanced Superfood, Sterling Colorado.



Flashing the American sign language sign for hemp at World Hemp Congress, Lendava, Slovenia. That’s a hempcrete pyramid in the local park in the background. The hemp sign, invented by David Piller and taught to me in person at an April Hemp Bound event in Colorado, becomes official in American sign language when it’s in common use. So please flash it often, folks (as I did on Colorado public television recently) — it’s cool. One of the fellows in the photo, Vinko Skraban, owns Planet Konoplje (Hemp), a company that now provides my family’s toothpaste.

The post Seven Hemp Farms. Two Continents. One Revived Industry appeared first on Doug Fine.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Santa Fe Harvest Swap

Home Grown New Mexico - Thu, 2014/10/16 - 9:16am

This in from the organization: Radical Homemakers of New Mexico

The third annual Santa Fe Harvest Swap is just around the corner!
It will be held Sunday, OCTOBER 26th 2014 from 10-1pm in the Railyard Park Community Room.

The swap is free, and according to our past participants, one of the funnest events of the year. It is a chance to showcase your specialties from the kitchen, and to take home a wide variety of goodies from fellow swappers. The experience of celebrating the year’s abundance in a joyful exchange will leave you inspired and feeling connected to kindred souls. Come join us!

While the name Harvest Swap was inspired by the epic fruit year of 2012, it is a little misleading. You don’t need to bring things you grew or harvested yourself (though you certainly can). Really most of the swapping is of prepared items: baked treats, specialty condiments, goat cheese and cultured butter, jams and preserves, fermented items, herb teas and tinctures, soap and salves, and so on. Still, all these things originate as a harvest, so in honor of that we’re sticking with the name.

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO REGISTER  PLEASE DO SO HERE!  Participants are limited so sign up now!

Looking forward to seeing you and your creations on the big day!

Your friends at Radical Homemakers of New Mexico

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The Field Lab - Wed, 2014/10/15 - 6:24pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Transformed Trash

Holy Scrap - Wed, 2014/10/15 - 9:56am
I recently posted about an experiment I was trying out. I sent broken, old jewelry to an Etsy designer that I chose to remake the items into beautiful new jewelry. By using old parts and supplying my own materials I was able to afford jewelry that I otherwise could not. I loved working with Saara. She is genuinely talented, great at communicating and she designs beautiful pieces. The experiment could not have turned out better so I'm recommending her to you. Saara's designs contain whimsy while being organic and earthy. To see the materials I sent her go back to my first post about it. Posted here is the pic of what she made for me. The three rings swivel when I wear them and so they always look different. All three stones are different heights with different sized mounts, the rings vary as well, polished to matted finish. It is positively lovely and Saara and I are already working on a pair of earrings. You can find her store, Saara Reidsema, here and of course you may write to her if you have custom work. Enjoy!
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

fast asleep

The Field Lab - Tue, 2014/10/14 - 5:14pm
Been really enjoying the new mattress and sleeping north/south instead of east/west.  Taking the comfort zone up a notch starting tonight.  What usually happens is that I end up falling asleep while watching a video on the internet.  Then I wake up and have to get up to turn off the computer, wait for it to log off then shut down, turn off the AC power strip then turn off my lights and fans.  Just enough activity to wake me up enough that it takes awhile to fall asleep again.  So now I have a wireless mouse and a one channel remote to shut down the AC power to the computer,speakers, and modem and another two channel remote to turn off the DC lights and fans.  Point-click-click-click-sleep.  71,80,43,0,C
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

a really big camera...

The Field Lab - Mon, 2014/10/13 - 5:36pm

A couple of weeks ago, an Austin photographer contacted me about a project he is working on that he wanted to test at The Field Lab.   Ian Kasnoff (pictured on the right) has turned a small trailer into a camera/darkroom.  He and his buddy Justin Sternberg came out to TFL to test his prototype "VLF" (very large format) camera.  Ultimately, he hopes to shoot and process images at least as big as 4' x 5'.  The technique is based on the camera obscura.  67,75,58,0,W
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So are we...

The Field Lab - Sun, 2014/10/12 - 4:19pm
James Lewis and 3 of his burro buddies came in this morning to join me in listening to today's teaching.
1 John 4:15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in Him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19 We love Him, because He first loved us.
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October Potluck Cancelled

Home Grown New Mexico - Sat, 2014/10/11 - 8:23pm

Hey everybody-
Our last Home Grown New Mexico Potluck  for Wednesday, October 15, 2014 has been cancelled. We will resume them next year.

We still have one more fundraising event in November and that is the Beermaking class. The class is filling up fast so please go to the Class section to sign up for it on this site. Learn to make beer at home and bottle it and take home some too! Buy your ticket here before it fills up.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

visitor's day

The Field Lab - Sat, 2014/10/11 - 5:52pm

Had 3 visits today.  First was my friend Carla from Fort Davis along with her friends Connie and Ginny.  I met Carla when I first moved to the area and almost 7 years later, she finally made it out to see TFL in person.  Next up was my friend Rik and his son Aaron.  Rik first stopped by back on May 29, 2011 - so a few things have changed since then.  Was also surprised this morning to find that the second raccoon finally came back to visit and be captured.  Glad I left the trap set.  Although I had blocked where they had been entering the greenhouse in back - I made it even easier by leaving a ladder by the front.  70,81,59,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

porch appeal

The Field Lab - Fri, 2014/10/10 - 5:10pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Enjoying the Beach with Sesame

Holy Scrap - Fri, 2014/10/10 - 10:43am

Enjoying the Beach with Sesame, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.

A lovely fall Friday morning at Elephant Butte Lake with Sesame.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

where stuff goes...

The Field Lab - Thu, 2014/10/09 - 5:20pm
While contemplating the house renovation I had to consider where stuff goes.  Half of what was hidden in my cabinets got thrown away.  There will be plenty of room under the bigger bed for the other half.  Going to loose 55" of counter space which is OK because that it where junk piles up.  Also going to incorporate 2 file cabinets (which I will have to wrestle out of one of my shipping containers) into the plan for easy access organized storage.  The new mattress was a dream to sleep on and wake up from.  87,94,62,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

too plush

The Field Lab - Wed, 2014/10/08 - 6:36pm has been just over a year since I replaced my first mattress.  The new "plush" one I got is turning out to be just a little too squishy for my old back.  Set up a temporary platform for my trusty old "firm" mattress I brought out here from NY.  It is a full size instead of a twin.  If it turns out to be as comfy as I remember it to be, it will be time for a minor renovation inside the hut to make proper room for it.  Just as well...I am ready for a little change after almost 7 years.  Someday I will get back to the container project.  88,92,59,0,C
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Five Days in Utah's Grand Gulch

Holy Scrap - Tue, 2014/10/07 - 6:32pm

Five Days in Utah's Grand Gulch, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr. We enjoyed our longest backpacking trip ever, five days in Utah’s Grand Gulch. We covered about thirty miles in total, it was slow going at times due to technical terrain, drank from puddles, and saw lots of ruins. I wouldn’t have done anything different. We packed the right food, gear, and clothing.  Our packs were at 25 lbs each including equipment, food for the entire trip, and 2 liters of water each. We even managed to forage enough oyster mushrooms for several meals. 
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

no raccoons were harmed

The Field Lab - Tue, 2014/10/07 - 5:16pm

No more action inside the greenhouse for a couple of days now.  Sealed up the coon entry today.  Removed the wood that served as their ladder to the doorway.  They had been on top of all four shipping containers, the west end roof, and the high roof as well.  Must of had quite a time traversing all the steel work up there to make their way around.  85,91,58,0,B
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Full Lunar Eclipse Tonight

Holy Scrap - Tue, 2014/10/07 - 9:52am

Full Lunar Eclipse Tonight, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.

One of our favorite things to do in New Mexico is sit in a our Hot Spring and watch a two hour lunar eclipse.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs
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