Sustainable SW Blogs

DIY wood stove 3

The Field Lab - Wed, 2014/11/26 - 3:58pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

DIY wood stove 2

The Field Lab - Tue, 2014/11/25 - 4:58pm
Scavenged another tank for a wrap around door.  Leg parts ready for cutting and welding.  45,58,33,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

DIY wood stove 1

The Field Lab - Mon, 2014/11/24 - 5:20pm

Popped the valve off an old 30 gallon propane tank and flushed it with water to make it fire safe and started taking the paint off.  It was a lot of work using my grinder for half of it so I used my torch on the other half.  Comes off easy now with just my random orbital sander.  53,67,35,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Generosity and Gratitude

Deborah Madison - Mon, 2014/11/24 - 11:55am

A recipe from Marie Simmons book, Taste of Honey.


Having neither parents nor children, and siblings who live 1000 miles away, I am sometimes ambivalent about Thanksgiving; it’s simply not a family event. But I do have a family of friends to celebrate with, and there is much to be thankful for.  It seems important to share a meal with others, to bring something if not many things to the table, and so we do. And it’s a pleasure.

This year I am especially struck by generosity of others, especially farmer and producers.

I just unpacked a large box that arrived from California. It was filled with Satsuma Mandarins, the very first of the season. This friend has sent us mandarins for many years. An email shows up in late November that says expect them in the next few days, and that’s it. They arrive. We eat four or five at a time so they don’t get a chance to spoil, we share them others, and we don’t get colds. They pleasure they give us is enormous.

A late freeze decimated my apple crop once again, but yesterday I made applesauce from a gift of apples that came from friends. I have made eight batches of applesauce that are now lying in snug little packets in my freezer, plus I’ve made a few tarts and galettes. A compote of dried plums rests in the refrigerator, a gift from the same couple. In my cupboard stands an elegant bottle of best balsamic vinegar I’ve ever tasted, which they also make and which I use, by the quarter teaspoon, as suggested.

Neighbors are dropping by and I’m serving them paparadelle with a ragout of grass fed beef and wild mushrooms. The beef is a gift from a rancher friend, the mushrooms from neighbors who brought them back from Italy. And, as it turns out, the tomatoes in the dish, red, dried and broken into pieces, are a gift from a friend who farms in upstate New York.  He also supplied the honey that will be used in a dessert of roasted Bosc pears, a recipe of Marie Simmons from her book, A Taste of Honey, that is a great gift indeed as it has become my favored winter dessert.

At breakfast we might have toast with exquisite blackberry jam, a gift from a farmer in California, or perhaps it will be a Yuzu marmelade, an equally exquisite delight from my sister-in-law. My brother’s olive oil graces out salads. And the list goes on, back through the year— cases of endive, packages of Sonoran wheat and Purple Tibetan Barley, a dozen Gillfeather turnips, a bottle of wine. But this isn’t  just about foods being given. I also feel that the foods I buy weekly at the farmers market are also gifts.

The thought of these many presents of food is humbling. The generosity of others is so big, I find myself wishing I had something that I grew enough of to gift others. (This may well become a goal to accomplish in 2015.) In the meantime, I am grateful for my friends and family for their generosity, for the hard-working producers of food and books, for good recipes, for wisdom, for foods born of hard work and sustained passion.

It’s all a gift and I will raise a special glass to all of you, strangers and friends alike, in gratitude on Thursday, this Thanksgiving.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

The Only Work Required

The Field Lab - Sun, 2014/11/23 - 5:21pm
Gospel: Good news of victory from battle which brings about reward.
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ.  It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes...

1 Corinthians 15:21 So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. 22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.

Ephesians 1:14 The Spirit is God's guarantee that He will give us the inheritance He promised...

Ephesians 3:17 Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him.  Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though is is too great to understand fully.  Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

John 6:29 Jesus told them, "This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent."
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

barn day...

The Field Lab - Sat, 2014/11/22 - 5:40pm
Ben "helping" me clean out the barn today...  57,70,51,0,W
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Herd about the delivery...

The Field Lab - Fri, 2014/11/21 - 5:35pm

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Question: What is a great holiday gift?

Holy Scrap - Fri, 2014/11/21 - 1:25pm
Hint Hint . . .

I'm sitting in a cafe in Durango right now. Minutes ago I was chatting with a girl at the table next to me, we just met. She was putting together a few things I revealed about myself like that I'm from T or C, NM and wrote a book last year. She looked at me curiously and asked, "Is your book The Good Life Lab?" "Yes!" I answered in surprise. She bought the book for her mom last year. Her mom loved it. I decided to read this as the universe's way of reminding me to remind you, that The Good Life Lab is a great holiday gift.

Get it on Amazon
Get it from the Holy Scrap Store

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Durango - Animas Mountain

Holy Scrap - Fri, 2014/11/21 - 11:26am

This was our first hike on Durango's Animas Mountain.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

a ton of food...

The Field Lab - Thu, 2014/11/20 - 5:39pm
The boys love to see a trailer load of hay and alfalfa.  54,74,34,0,C
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

ya get what ya pay for...

The Field Lab - Wed, 2014/11/19 - 5:41pm
Well...the little Chinese wood stove is officially a piece of crap - even worse than all YouTube reviews I watched.  It seemed like a good deal at $99 including shipping only because other retailers sell it for as much as $260 including shipping.  Although it functions correctly, the craftsmanship is embarrassingly pathetic and not worthy of TFL.  Been burning off the bad paint on it all day.  Going to go with my intuition of a DIY model along the lines of the suggestion of M. Silvius who was first to comment on my post about buying this stove.  Will clean up this one and offer it for sale locally for fifty bucks.  That's what I get for breaking the cardinal rule of Abe Connally who ultimately led me to this area..."Don't buy it if you can make it and don't make it if you can find it."  48,67,29,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

The Red Zone

The Field Lab - Tue, 2014/11/18 - 5:21pm

Success!  Finally passed the 400° mark with a solar oven.  Outside temperature in the shade rose from 40° to 52° while I preheated the oven for 2 1/2 hours.  When I loaded the pot with 2 cornish game hens and 2 sweet potatoes the temperature dropped from 405° to 325°.  Cooked the meal for 2 hours mostly at about 350°.  44,57,37,0,C
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs


The Field Lab - Mon, 2014/11/17 - 4:40pm
Just posted today by my friend Kirsten Dirksen - the queen of viral videos about sustainable culture.  39,48,27,0,C
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Hemp Bound Talk and Workshop

Home Grown New Mexico - Sun, 2014/11/16 - 9:29pm

Our gardening season may be over but our friends over at Carbon Economy Series still have some interesting programs coming up. Here is their next one.







Carbon Economy Series presents:
Hemp Lecture/Workshop
Friday Night Talk

Friday, November 21, 2014
Time: 7-9 pm
Cost: $10
Speaker: Doug Fine
Where: Santa Fe Community College

Two years of worldwide hemp research that led to the book Hemp Bound.

Full Day Workshop
November 22, 2014
Where: Santa Fe Community College
Time: 9 am-5 pm
Cost: $99

• Latest development in hemp industry
• Panel discussion with industry leaders and trade experts
• Networking sessions.

For more info go to:

A Live Event With Doug Fine
Could it really be true? Seventy-seven years of prohibition of one of humanity’s longest-utilized and most useful plants is ending? It is true. And just in the nick of time. Humanity desperately needs a natural fibers-based replacement for petro- and chemical-plastics, GMO-based foods, and fossil fuel-based energy.  Hemp is that replacement: two years of research by bestselling author Doug Fine shows that anything petroleum, chemicals and GMOs can do, hemp can do better. We’ll learn how to make it happen in the ground and in the economy.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Close Up Shop

Holy Scrap - Sun, 2014/11/16 - 6:55pm

We have had a few surprise freezes this week. This big one hits on Sunday night when we will drop into the teens. I've been covering our raised beds with plastic and cotton sheets. The hot crops below have been okay, but any tomatoes sticking out felt the freezer burn. Tonight is expected to have a low of 19F with windchill. As long as our kale, beets, green onion and chard keep producing I'm happy.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Beard Beer

Holy Scrap - Sun, 2014/11/16 - 6:53pm
Appropriate beer for Movember. This guys beard was used as the yeast culture to make the beer. Nicely done, Rogue.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

What's love got to do with it...

The Field Lab - Sun, 2014/11/16 - 4:58pm
Agápe (ἀγάπη agápē[1]) brotherly love, charity; the love of God for man and of man for God.
1 Corinthians 13:4Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. 5  It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 8  Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

painting gig

The Field Lab - Sat, 2014/11/15 - 5:22pm

A friend out here got tired of looking at his old tin quonset hut garage and asked me if I would like the job of painting it.  Just happened to have a brand new Wagner Paint Crew sprayer that I bought before I moved here and has never even been taken out of the box.  Easy to use and works like a charm.  Four hours and five gallons later - over half of the original job is done.  He likes it so much, he wants me to do the inside as well.  I don't remember why I bought it in the first place, but it finally came in handy.  55,72,34,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

someday soon?

The Field Lab - Fri, 2014/11/14 - 4:49pm
My friend Brandon came out just before the cold snap and got another flight in.  This was his 4th flight at TFL and his 30th flight since training.  I better get up in the air soon if I ever hope to catch up.  45,55,36,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

more free energy

The Field Lab - Thu, 2014/11/13 - 4:05pm
Thoughts of free refrigeration and the vacancy inside the hut with the fridge on the porch for the winter got me to thinking about the heating season.  The idea of a wood stove really never caught my attention due to the fact that there aren't any trees on my property.  I happened to notice recently that my scrap wood and pallet pile has grown over the years.  The past two winters I have kept track of my propane usage for my Mr. Heater Big Buddy.  In 2012-13 I used 8 tanks @ $18/tank...2013-14 I used 6 tanks.  I thought about building a wood stove but did some digging online and found a reasonable altenative to a DIY model.  For less than what I usually pay for propane for one heating season I ordered this little stove to try out.  I reckon I have enough fuel on hand to last at least 3 winters and there are plenty of free pallets at McCoy's.  I just hope that keeping a wood fire burning won't loose its' charm.  35,43,31,0,W
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs
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