Sustainable SW Blogs

something solar 7

The Field Lab - 7 hours 40 min ago
Linked up the next piece of the something solar puzzle...the inverter.  Testing it out running my refrigerator via a 100' extension cord.  My only complaint so far is that the cooling fans in the inverter are rather loud - hence the name "WHISTLER", I reckon.    FYI - all this stuff is being located in proximity to the shipping container I will eventually move into - the long cord is for testing purposes only.  95,107,70,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Exciting Morning Run

Holy Scrap - Tue, 2014/07/29 - 10:42am

Exciting Morning Run, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.

Wendy and I drove around the river to our old 8 mile goat loop course this morning. She encountered a turtle and I came up on a diamond back rattle snack that was over 3' in length and full of something.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

2014 Kitchen Garden and Coop tour a Success!

Home Grown New Mexico - Mon, 2014/07/28 - 11:29pm

On Sunday, the 2014 Kitchen Garden & Coop tour was a happening thing. The homes on the tour were packed with many people wanting to see some of the best kitchen gardens in Santa Fe and they weren’t disappointed.  The only thing disappointing was it rained just before it ended at 2 pm but rain around here is never disappointing and always a welcomed relief to our dry climate. So while many of you were scurrying back to your cars at the end of the tour,  your gardens were getting watered, courtesy of Mother Nature!

Thanks to our great sponsors-edible magazine who really helped get the word out, to Osuna Nursery who helped us out financially and to Joe’s Dining who came up with a fantastic lunch for the volunteers on the afternoon shift.

Also a huge thank you to all the volunteers who helped on Sunday and the homeowners who worked so hard to make their gardens beautiful and inspiring— it was an outstanding success. Many many thanks to all of them and to all the public who came out to support this annual fundraising community event. Here are some of the many highlights of the tour. PS-We will put more photos up as they come in…

Click to view slideshow.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Dehydrating Tofu

Holy Scrap - Mon, 2014/07/28 - 9:18pm

Dehydrating Tofu, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.

Tofu makes for a great travel food. It is perfect for long drives, backpacking or running a ultra. The only challenge is dropping the excess water weight. I like to baste it with tamari and maple syrup then smoke 1/2" thick slabs for 40 minutes over hickory. Then I re-baste and dehydrate and for 8 hours. Finally I vacuum seal the slabs for long term storage.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

something solar 6

The Field Lab - Mon, 2014/07/28 - 6:22pm
The tracker doesn't seem to want to work after dark but is happy to go back to work about an hour after sunrise to reset the rig pointing east.  That works for me.  93,102,75,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Juice Pulp Kale Chips

Holy Scrap - Sun, 2014/07/27 - 10:05pm

Juice Pulp Kale Chips, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.

We have a new way of making kale chips. Juice up some kale, save the pulp and the spice it up with salt, chili powder, onion powder and some lime juice. The chips take about 12 hours to dehydrate @ 105F.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

There is no hope for this world...

The Field Lab - Sun, 2014/07/27 - 7:03pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

something solar 5

The Field Lab - Sat, 2014/07/26 - 8:29pm

Got the rig wired up by noon and test run went as advertised except for the east return function after dark. Will wait and see what happens in the morning.  Additional project expenses for Quikrete and wiring accessories came to $85.  96,107,73,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Paid Vacation

Holy Scrap - Sat, 2014/07/26 - 7:09pm
Holy Scrap readers and folks who've read my book The Good Life Lab know that Mikey and think about domestic economy often. We mull over the cost of having a job and the real cost of an organic home grown tomato, which for us is high when one considers labor, water, and such. We also admit that we don't mind the $2.00 homegrown tomato's high cost because it is paired with pleasure which is worth a lot to us. Quality of life is high on our list. This blog post is about sharing an experiment that we did while traveling in Washington State this year.

The experiment begins with a question. How does one afford a seven week vacation? Ours had some built in advantages, we had Mikey's parent's home to stay in for example. Housing is a biggie. And we did travel with the parts for Mikey to assemble and build kits that he designed as well as botanical medicinal's that I make. We shipped from the road and this provided a bit of income for us. The part of the story that is new and exciting, and that I want to share with you is about an on the road Ebay store we created as an experiment. We decided to hit yard sales and thift shops while in Washington and resell the finds. Each weekend we scoured Yard Sale, an app that scrapes on line media, places like Craigslist, and posts the yard sales with a handy map. We planned our weekends around these sales. Our goal was income while traveling. Here are the results.

Number of Weekends Worked: 4 out of 7
Gross: $4,387.88
What we spent at yard sales and thrift shops: $1,229.18 What we spent on eBay Fees: $789.82
Net: $2,368.88
These numbers are conservative, the net is higher. We didn't calculate out the merchandise that we purchased to keep for ourselves, we picked up a lot of used athletic wear and some stuff for our home in NM. Also we shipped a good deal of the merchandise we bought back home and have been selling it from here. These numbers based on the date we left Wa, a net of $600.00. When I account for the above details, we likely netted closer to $1,000.00 a week. We worked Fri, Sat mornings, listed on Sunday, shipped on Monday and spent Tuesday through Thursday hiking and being on vacation. 
The model worked for us. By gleaning off the waste stream, we enjoyed treasure hunting, met a lot of neat folks, explored neighborhoods and acquired treasures. Oh, and before leaving Wa, we took the items that did not sell and were too large to ship home for future sales, and we donated it to Goodwill. It had served its purpose. 
My summary... It's fun, and you'll pay your way while traveling. 
xo - wendy  (Images: kitty oil painting, I mean really who wouldnt buy that!? Rescue Anne doll that we purchased and did not sell. We donated it to the local pool. And Mikey modeling a speedboat racing jumpsuit.)

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

something solar 4

The Field Lab - Fri, 2014/07/25 - 6:31pm
Frame on the pole - parts gathered to wire it all up.  Update on the tracking circuit I ordered from - I never got it and never got my money back.  A little research uncovered that Duane C. Johnson has a bad habit of accepting orders, cashing checks, and not sending out the goods...often claiming that it must have gotten lost in the mail.  Should have noticed the red flag when he said he doesn't do PayPal and won't ship orders with a tracking number.  So I found a better, cheaper, more reliable source right here in Texas.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Backpacking West Blue Mountain

Holy Scrap - Fri, 2014/07/25 - 12:29am

Blue Mountain Backpacking Trip, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr. We just returned from a two day backpacking trip to West Blue Mountain. Our friends Kyle, Jeannie, Hannah and of course Sesame came along. West Blue Mountain is one of our highest peaks reaching 10,339 feet in elevation. The hike, weather and scenery were unreal. We didn't see one other person while we were in the Apache Kid Wilderness. This loop was just over 17 miles with 3600 feet of elevation gain. These trails are not maintained so we had plenty of opportunities to climb over fallen trees and practice our orienteering skills
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

something solar 3

The Field Lab - Thu, 2014/07/24 - 5:48pm

Sitting around afraid to fly only lasts so long.  Until I figure out when and where to go for additional training, I decided I should probably finish up this solar project.  Found the bottom of the hole, prepped the pipe, and 13 bags of Quikrete later - the post for the tracking rig is implanted in my desert rock.  95,102,70,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

The Field Lab - Wed, 2014/07/23 - 7:31pm

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Out of Place

Holy Scrap - Tue, 2014/07/22 - 7:57pm

Out of Place, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.

During a recent trail run we discovered the water pool and boulders have all been shuffled around. Lots of rain this summer which is awesome, but it takes some getting used to.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Optimizing Our Backpacking Gear

Holy Scrap - Tue, 2014/07/22 - 7:53pm

Optimizing Our Backpacking Gear, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.

We have made a commitment to try and get into the mountains at least 6 days a month. Part of the challenge is keeping our pack weights low enough so then experience is enjoyable. We finally hacked off the bottoms of our toothbrushes which is more symbolic than heavy. My dry pack is currently at 16 lbs and Wendy is at 15 lbs. We could drop
another 4 lbs each with some home made solutions.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Land Snail

The Field Lab - Tue, 2014/07/22 - 7:06pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Alpine safari

The Field Lab - Mon, 2014/07/21 - 5:51pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs


Doug Fine - Mon, 2014/07/21 - 10:58am


Admittedly the competition is weak with only “Erik Estrada Sings the Standards” and “Yo Gabba Gabba On Ice” sharing the road this fall, but you really do want to check out the Hemp Bound live event tour. You don’t even need a babysitter: it’s family friendly except for a couple of photos of Harry Anslinger.

The rollicking and rigorous, funny and timely Hemp Bound show (like the book, only with slides and 17% more jokes) discusses a model for tri-cropping hemp. That means three uses for one harvest: seed oil (very profitable to Canadian farmers as we speak), fiber (hemp fiber is in Mercedes door panels today) and energy (through biomass gasification).

Here’s a sample as aired on CSPAN following a recent event in Denver. I’ve looked into it, and it’s pretty rare for a  domestic hemp crop blessing to be broadcast on national TV. Same with a display of an 18th century hemp-bound book in mint condition. And for anyone not named Harrelson to be dressed head to toe in hemp.
Hemp is returning so briskly that even I have trouble keeping up. Each day brings new developments, in policy and in the fields. At every Hemp Bound event so far, someone has approached me to discuss birthing some leg of that tri-cropping model that (I still can’t believe this) Willie Nelson calls “a blueprint for the America of the future.”

At the Colorado Hemp Expo in April, a fellow collared me at the refreshment stand and said, “I came here from New York to figure out where to invest in hemp and now I realize I want to  wholesale those gasification units to farmers.”

Game on. This is not a dream. It is really happening. I have a dozen more stores like that, and the book is just out.

The tour is bouncing from South Carolina to Slovenia, but it starts in Hawaii. That one is called the inaugural Maui Hemp is Hope Conference and Workshop, and it’s close to my heart.
The whole first class shebang is a labor of love by the the nonprofit Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance. Those good folks, with help from the Maui Farmers Union and the University of Hawaii Maui, are crowd funding this week to defray costs as they bring in hemp experts from around the world to the place that might need hemp the most: for soil remediation, local food and energy. Hawaii is on it — one of 15 current hemp cultivation states.

Then the tour moves to the 21st Seattle HempFest, before touching down in once and future hemp industry powerhouse Pennsylvania (Twice: I’ll beat the Mother Earth News Fair and at Franklin and Marshall College).

Then in to DC (keynoting the Hemp Industry Association Conference), Portland, California, and back to Colorado in October — in time for the first state-sanctioned commercial hemp harvest in the United States this century.

I’m excited about these upcoming two dozen tour stops, because they mean hemp is returning to the soil planet-wide. Once you read Hemp Bound, you realize that this is pretty much crucial for humanity’s survival. I’m particularly psyched to bid goodbye to petroleum-based plastics and chemical-soaked construction materials. Hemp’s out-performance of these is well documented in the book.

All of the fall and winter events are here at:
And there you can also make contact if you’d like to book an open date.

See y’all there, if I can get the Monsoon-erased Funky Butte Ranch back diamond driveway re-engineered. The annual and expensive desert havoc is worth it, for the moisture in the cells and the hummingbirds in the datura blossoms alone.


Funky Butte Ranch, NM

Hawaii State Senator Cynthia Thielen  (R-Oahu) Tours a Belgian Hemp Farm

Doug Fine, Solar-powered Goat Herder (I-Land of Enchantment), Tours a Belgian Hemp Farm. (Farmer: Ingrid Maris)

The post HEMP BOUND Live appeared first on Doug Fine.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

About the size of New Jersey

The Field Lab - Sun, 2014/07/20 - 5:10pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

DIY Cream Cheese for Ketogenic Diet

Holy Scrap - Sun, 2014/07/20 - 3:53pm
I've spent at least two years trying to figure out a way to eat that settles a bad case of reflux. I tried Ayurveda, quit caffeine, citrus, chocolate and I've been doing a crummy job of quitting alcohol. I don't want to stop drinking wine. This month I'm trying out a ketogenic diet, mostly known for it's helpful benefits to folks with epilepsy.

Ketogenic diets create a shift in the body caused by seriously low carb consumption. The body becomes efficient at burning fat instead of carbs. Logically, it's a high fat diet: 3/4 fat, less than 1/4 protein, and less than 100 grams of carbs (from non starch veggies and no fruit). This diet excludes bread, grain and all variety of wheat.

I don't have epilepsy and I'm not doing it for weight loss even though that's often the outcome of a keytogenic diet. From the very first day on the diet my belly settled down and went quiet. As far as reflux symptoms which range from pain between the rib cage to hoarse voice, and gas, the only remaining symptom after five days is horse voice and it is subsiding. Here's the fun and kinda weird part, it's "on my diet" to eat bacon, cream cheese, fish, meats, heavy cream and butter. These photos show my homemade cream cheese which was seriously easy to make and came out fantastic!

The downsides of the keytogenic diet include over acidity, constipation and dehydration. It is not recommended full time. Most folks who use the diet it use it on and off. They put in periods of high carb consumption, especially if they're athletes. To combat the constipation I made the dehydrated crackers seen in the pic out of the pulp from my juicer, flax, garlic, a roasted red pepper, and a bit of molasses. They're pretty much all fiber and they're super yummy.

I don't like extreme diets and I won't be adhering strictly to this one because I learned what I needed to from it. Fats are not a bad thing. I have become more aware of the wonderful sources for fat like nuts, avocados, and olives. What surprised me is that I can eat a lot of fat and not get fat. But more importantly, I learned about and got good at eliminating starchy carbs and sugar which has made a big difference. A week on the diet had me learning the foods that have a lot of carbs and those that have none, and it made me aware of how easy it is to consume carbs in large amounts. It takes a real effort to eat a low carb diet.

I'll send another report on this in a week or two. Meanwhile, does anyone out there have a copy of the food fermentation potential table?
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs
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