Sustainable SW Blogs

sat flat...

The Field Lab - Thu, 2016/05/26 - 3:36pm
The go kart sat a little too long on flat tires in the rear.  They are new tires that have only seen a couple of miles of use but they both have a crease in them that doesn't allow a good seal on the bead.  Just got a can of bead sealer to try out.  (FYI - 3 fans on the swamp cooler is a good compromise.)  88,96,76,0,W
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

four degrees of separation...

The Field Lab - Wed, 2016/05/25 - 3:34pm

The mercury finally kissed 100° outside today.  Good time to tweak around with Pepino.  Much to my surprise, running just 2 of the 4 fans produces cooler air coming in (although half the volume - 200CFM vs. hut is about 750 cubic feet inside).  Number on the top in each photo is the inside temperature.  Number on the bottom is the temperature coming in through the swamp cooler.  Is the cooler temperature at a lower volume enough to keep in the inside temperature from rising?  Will 3 fans be the magic number?  89,100,76,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

over easy...

The Field Lab - Tue, 2016/05/24 - 3:37pm
Cooked another chicken in the solar oven yesterday.  Forgot to take the reflector (wind catcher) off when I was finished.  Must have gotten a little gusty last night from just the right direction.  The wind snapped the weld on the swivel post.  Luckily the cast iron pizza pan didn't break the glass and the reflector only has mild damage.  86,93,67,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs


The Field Lab - Mon, 2016/05/23 - 4:40pm
Took forever to get the go kart to start up again.  First I had the lines switched that went to the vaccume petcock then I got a little impatient and flooded it all the way into the air intake.  Since it was obvious it was getting plenty of petrol now, I knew to check for spark and air. Put in a brand new spark plug since I found one in the tool kit for the kart (nice when thinking ahead pays off - I bought 2 sparkplugs the last time I replaced one).  Removed all the air intake parts, drained out the gas, and let them bake in the sun to dry them out.  Popped it all back on and it started right up with barely a turn of the key.  89,99,70,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Almond Coconut "Bread"

Holy Scrap - Sun, 2016/05/22 - 9:24pm

This bread was so easy to make it helped me get passed the fear of super alternative grain free breads. We added mesquite flour above and below just because we keep a lot on hand and it is delicious! Otherwise we followed Elanas recipe and used our sun oven.

Paleo BreadIngredientsInstructions
  1. Pulse almond flour, coconut flour, flax, salt, and baking soda in a food processor
  2. Pulse in eggs and vinegar, until combined
  3. Transfer batter to a greased 7.5 x 3.5 magic line loaf pan
  4. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes
  5. Cool in the pan for 2 hours
  6. Serve
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Doing Well on Race Day - Jemez 50k Ultra Marathon Race

Holy Scrap - Sun, 2016/05/22 - 7:42pm
The Jemez 50k has over 6,000 feet of vertical gain. It's beautiful and there are some slow sections since you are climbing and descending ski hills. I love steep courses with unrunnable sections. Not because I'm someone who has figured out how to run them. I just appreciate the breaks from running as in "Yeah, we get to walk now".

The best quote I heard during my 8.5 hour adventure on this course was "You all can keep this race, I'm not coming back". That was from a Texan who had never run a real Mountain ultra. This race is put on from some folks from Hardrock which is one of the most difficult Ultras in the world. The course is well marked, the staff/volunteers are extremely competent, and the aid-stations are perfectly stocked. 

This was by far the most comfortable race I have ever run. Not only did I finish with no recovery issues, but I felt great the entire day. Many people I encountered were complaining about the bellies, cramps even heat (72F). I was fortunate to not suffer from any of those problems. Those problems have plagued me in previous races.
Here is why I think my race went well:
  1. I barely trained - my longest run in the last seven weeks was just over 8 miles. I did swim, do short runs and increased my cycling. My weekly exercise was averaging close to ten hours a week, but it was low effort. No risk of over training. 
  2. I drank some beer - normally beer is a no no for my diet, but I like to drink the night before and after races.
  3. I went out last - in order to avoid going out fast I forced myself to be the last person to cross the start line as the race began.
  4. I ran at MAF - using a heart rate monitor I made sure to keep my heart rate as close to my 60% threshold for the first twenty miles after that I let my heart rate come close to my aerobic max. 
  5. I ate chemicals - ketones, branch chain aminos, mct oil and chia seeds were my primary fuel. My best guess caloric intake would be 100 calories per hour.
  6. I ate some fruit - it probably came to two oranges, one banana and a few slices of watermelon all in. I carried a zip lock and would throw in some fruit chunks at each aid station. This kept me much more hydrated than in other races and let me move quickly through every aid station.
  7. I ate my salt pills - running slow made it easy to keep up on nutrition and salt. Usually I get too tired to keep up with the timing, but I remained clear headed enough to stay on top of salt pills every hour.
  8. No drop bags - planning the logistics of drop bags drives me crazy. It was a pleasure to just skip all that nonsense. Especially for a race that is under ten hours.
  9. I camped at the start line - this is my favorite part of ultras. When you show up to a good race there is a whole pre-race / post-race scene in the parking lots. It is also so much easier to wake up in the car, put on your pack and walk to the start line than the deal with driving to the race early in the morning.
  10. I finished a book - Iron War is a great read about the history of IronMan triathlons (it's on audible). Normally I would chit chat with the same few runners for the entire race. Since I started in back my day was filled with passing 70 other runners so my conversations were pretty minimal. 

What is it like to eat a bunch of chemicals all day? I'll tell you what it's like. It is AWESOME. Taking in powders, pills and oil is a hell of a lot lighter than dragging along homemade nut balls. Also the products consumed in bulk are way less expensive than commercial packetized products.  All the volunteers and other runners did look at my like I was nuts when I'd mix my elixirs by the aid-station water coolers.

I consumed very few carbs and no caffeine while my energy stayed consistently high. This has never happened for me. In case you are curious here is the bullet point list of the little science lab I carried around in my pack.

  • Branch Chain Amino Acids - Prevents muscle wasting.
  • Ketones - Alternative to glucose fuel for muscles and brain.
  • MCT Oil - Produces ATP in 3 steps instead of the 23 sugar requries.
  • Chia Seeds - fiber, fat, carbs and aminos...easy on the belly
  • Salt Pills - sodium with a small amount of potassium - electrolytes
  • Vespa Ultra-Concentrate - high powered, delicious aminos the price is high, but these little packs can turn your race around if you are crashing.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

manifest in our mortal flesh

The Field Lab - Sun, 2016/05/22 - 5:01pm
2 Corinthians 4Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;  2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.  3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:  4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.  5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.  6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.  8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;  9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;  10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.  11 For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

tiny friends and a gas tank mount

The Field Lab - Sat, 2016/05/21 - 5:20pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs


The Field Lab - Fri, 2016/05/20 - 5:39pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

little red gas tank

The Field Lab - Thu, 2016/05/19 - 5:12pm
So I ordered a new gas tank for the go kart from Ebay and when it arrived I discovered the vacuum petcock off the old one wouldn't fit and it also didn't include a gas cap.   I found a better tank that was $10 cheaper and included the correct petcock and a gas cap so I requested a return and ordered the better deal.  When I got the first tank it had some scratches in the paint and a tiny dent and I wondered if that would be an issue when I returned it.  Sure enough the vendor claimed "item returned broken" and started a dispute.  Within 24 hours and without lifting a finger, Ebay decided the case in my favor and refunded my money.  That was easy...  74,83,64, .02",B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

the cycle of life...

The Field Lab - Wed, 2016/05/18 - 2:30pm

She just got her girlish figure back.  Hard to believe a whole nother burro fit in there.  64,73,62,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Meet Me in Portland @ Season of the Rose

Holy Scrap - Wed, 2016/05/18 - 7:16am

My favorite context for being with people is found the structure of the Inayati Sufi Order summer camp where for a few days friends old-and-new live together and get to know one another through contemplation and discussion of the deepest topics that affect our lives: beauty, inner life, the heart, breath, and purpose (to name a few). There is a luxurious quality to these gatherings, which comes as no surprise since the Sufis are masters of beauty and the imagination! At camp the Sufi point of view is explored, they say that we belong to our heart, and find ways to bring heart to the world. 
I’m delighted to be teaching at this year's camp called, Season of the Rose which features classes to choose from on different aspects of Sufism, and evening programs of live music and poetry. The setting is the beautiful Lewis & Clark campus in Portland, Oregon. On-campus housing and a great meal plan are part of the package leaving those who attend one task, to explore the depths together through lively conversation and contemplative practice. 
No experience or knowledge of Sufism is needed to start out, just a healthy interest in contemplative practice. Come! Please considering joining me there or passing this on to friends who may wish to. I hope to see you!
Best, Wendy
Season of the Rose: Essentials of the Sufi Path
Take advantage of Early Bird rates through Friday, May 27 and register now
The Inayati Order's annual summer program will be held July 6-11 on the West Coast this year, at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. All are invited to attend as there will be exploratory sessions for those new to Sufism, general sessions for all, and advanced practice sessions that will build over the course of the gathering. 

With Pir Zia Inayat-Khan, Taj Inayat, Devi Tide, Amir O’Loughlin, Gayan Macher, Mirza and Satya Inayat Khan, Wendy Jehanara Tremayne, Netanel Miles-Yépez, and special guests including Sukhawat Ali Khan.
To learn more about The Inayati Order and Sufism, please visit our website:

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

thief in the night

The Field Lab - Tue, 2016/05/17 - 1:59pm
Frank entered the food chain a couple of nights ago.  I think a coyote snatched him off my porch.  All that was left was a small pile of feathers by the greenhouse.  I heard a brief commotion at 4:30 in the morning but by the time I got outside there was nothing to see or hear.  The really weird part about it all is the dream I had after I went back to sleep.  I dreamt that Chupa had his leg torn off by something and it was still hopping around next to him.  In my dream I told people. "Look - there's Chupa, and there's Chupa's leg."  It was hopping around right next to him, pecking at the ground.  That was probably deep down in my brain because of this story.  RIP were a good egg.  86,90,60,0,C
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

forth day

The Field Lab - Mon, 2016/05/16 - 6:24pm

Four days in a row with rain.  Last night was .22" and got hammered tonight with .52".  Good thing I did a quick supply run this afternoon because my road is a mess now.  68,93,57, .52,W
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

big bang

The Field Lab - Sun, 2016/05/15 - 1:47pm
I don't know why people try to explain the creation of the earth and the existence of God in "intellectual" terms when it is as simple as accepting Christ as your savior and witnessing the change that happens in your life and noticing how sin is recognized for what it is and has less influence over you.  It is fruitless to try to do it scientifically because that debate will never end with a clear winner.  
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Calling All Artisans

Doug Fine - Sat, 2016/05/14 - 10:15pm

Here’s the deal: Hemp commerce is exploding. Cultivated acreage is increasing tenfold in the U.S. for the third straight year, and the worldwide hemp boom is on. This is, of course, wonderful, a sooner-than-expected realization of the blueprint put forth in Hemp Bound.

But there’s a Be Careful What You Wish For side to this miraculous development for humanity. Let’s put it this way: I finally noticed that more than a few folks, from Slovenia to Alaska, were asking me some version of the same question: “Is there a space for the independent craftsperson when this dang industry is taking off faster than even the optimists (like you) thought possible?”

The repetition of this question in fragrant Asian markets and less-fragrant United National media rooms spurred me to action. It is fantastic that ventures, some fairly massive by any standards, are poised to transform, for instance, our plastics into petroleum-free bio-based products. And I’d love it if hundreds of thousands of U.S. acres were cultivated as domestic biomass energy feedstock.

But independent entrepreneurs of regenerative products should be supported, is my view. I’m overruling my normal distaste for presuming to have seance access to the departed, but I have strong reason to believe that’s what dudes like Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin would have wanted. And oh does the planet’s soil need it (lots of farmers caretaking independent, regional economies with a long-term mindset, all while making a living).

So that’s why I’ve created It’s an artisan-friendly marketplace for folks in all fields who create from hemp or other bio-materials.

After months of development, the purpose of this Dispatch is to excitedly invite such artisans to please start uploading your work now. You’ll have seven days to open your shop, make your artisan statement, describe your products and prepare your pricing, before we’ll open it up to shoppers.

In a week, I’ll send another Dispatch like this one, announcing that Hemptsy is open for business. The subject line will include the words, “Open For Business.” There, putative shoppers, don’t you feel like you’re in on something?

Of course, artisans can always continue to upload products after the launch. But that’s when the wider world can start enjoying the one-of-a-kind and small batch items by-then populating the site.

And thus the world’s sustainable gift-giving worries will be, I hope, over forever. Along with its hemp heart yogurt garnish craving. And with every order a hemp gift card is available.

Hemptsy, by the way, is very kind to artisans. As you’ll see in this article in Cannabis Now magazine: we charge our artisans only 3% upon sale.

Eventually there will also be a 15 cent charge to artisans for product uploads, a token fee that gets a product on the site for six months. But for the first month it’s free for artisans to upload their work. That’s by way of thanks for proving that a successful hemp industry means the success of the independent artisan as well as the massive operator (who, let us repeat because it’s true, is also a piece of the puzzle, if we’re talking about species survival).

I and Hemptsy’s co-founder Mike Lewis, a Kentucky hemp farmer, would love to see products from purveyors of distinct, handcrafted work in all fields made from all bio-materials.

The site will include everything from shampoo to fine art, salves to super-capacitors, baskets to clothing, chocolate-covered hemp seed to livestock bedding (did you know the Queen of England beds her horses on hemp hurd? She must know about the plant’s comfort and anti-microbial properties).

Here’s a sneak peak at the Artisan Statement from two of our initial Featured Artisans (a monthly feature on the site):

Slovenian hemp toothpaste maker Vinko Škraban: “We at Planet Konoplje hope you enjoy our Hemp-Clay toothpaste grown by independent farmers in Slovenia. It  provides extraordinary cleaning and re-mineralizing power for teeth.”

Maryland-based handcrafted paper maker Elishewa Shalom: “I make artisan hemp paper. Each handmade item offers a story and connects consumers to the farmers and artists who grow and process hemp fibers into beautiful and functional goods.”

Meanwhile, in other news: Lots of cool Literally Hemp Bound events coming up all over the planet this spring and summer: Hawaii in June (for Hemp History Week, great work with your terrific hemp bill, Aloha State, that passed unanimously in both houses), Colorado in July, North Carolina in August. (If you can’t make it to Maui for the June 4-12 celebration, I have friends putting on amazing Hemp History Week events in Kentucky, DC, Virginia, Colorado, Oregon and elsewhere. Hemp History Week is a very cool and effective organization. “On-message” is the phrase that comes to mind.)

And coming right up May 28-29 is a really special one. I’ll be teaching a two-day, practical hemp course at Sterling College in beautiful Craftsbury, Vermont. That’s this month.

If you’ve wanted to know how to join the hemp revolution, this is an ideal practical introduction to the burgeoning industry that includes both classroom instruction (in hemp agronomy, processing, and applications) and in-the-college-garden tips from myself and my Vermont hemp farming partners.

Huge thanks to Sterling College (“Working Hands, Working Minds”) for making the statement that a major industry is returning to New England.

Sterling is one of only seven federally-accredited work colleges in the U.S. And the only one I know of with an active maple syrup farm.

Register for one or both days of this practical Sterling workshop – you’ll see on the registration page that accommodations are available, both students and general public are welcome, and the keynote the evening before the course starts is free. For students this is a for-credit course. No hemp/cannabis experience necessary. This is an all ages welcome, family-friendly event.

You will learn how to cultivate hemp.

Space is limited and the course/workshop is in a few weeks, so I suggest registering fairly post-haste.

As for the prospect of cannabis in academia (Oregon State has a great course too, and I predict two dozen within three years), I think the message I’m getting is, “stay focused on cannabis/hemp long enough and eventually you get asked to be a professor.” Which is to say, stay in school, kids (ideally homeschool), and away from alcohol.

See you there and around the world, and you’ll be hearing from me in a week to announce that Hemptsy is ready for shoppers. (Remember, the embedded secret phrase “Open For Business.” For now, hold tight, is my message to what I hope is a legion of motivated fans of the site!) As always, please feel free to share this Dispatch From the Funky Butte Ranch far and wide.

And to all the artisans who comprise this Hemptsy craft marketplace adventure, I hope it’s a wonderful success for you. You deserve to make a living in the Digital Age. I know I’ll be a customer. And I love that every product comes from the soil.

*     *     *    *     *     *     *    *     *     *

A Few Other Notes for Hemptsy Artisan/Vendors Who Are About To Set Up Their Shop:

–I found it pretty easy to navigate when I uploaded my own books. And it doesn’t take long. But if any artisans have questions during upload please email In fact I figure you good folks will be helping spot and iron out bugs over the next week.

–In addition to uploading your product(s), don’t forget to describe yourself and your shop in the “Store Description” section of Settings on the Vendor Dashboard. Even a sentence just to show that you are a real person, and an artisan at that, who worked hard at what you’re offering.

-And a very important note: Before you are able to navigate the site (and this is only for this week), you will have to register as a vendor (since the site is not yet open to buyers). In other words, If you go the special vendor Hemptsy link I’ve been including throughout this Dispatch and immediately try to go to the home page or other links, it’ll just take you to a “Coming Soon” page. But if you first sign up as a vendor/artisan, you’ll be able to go to your dashboard, and even hit “Home” to see what the home page looks like, to check out the Founders Corner, and to peruse other shops. Fun times! Can’t wait to see what y’all have created.

The cover of the hemp-printed First Legal Harvest, the follow up to Hemp Bound, a book that Willie Nelson calls, “The best book of the year…A blueprint for the America of the future.”

Subscribe to the Dispatches From the Funky Butte Ranch newsletter and follow Doug’s daily Tweets @organiccowboy.

Vermont Hemp Field, Last Week

Above: Two farmers, one from Morocco, one from New Mexico, both dressed in hemp as they head into the United Nations to work on worldwide cannabis/hemp legalization. Below: Hemptsy Featured Artisan Elishewa Shalom at work.

The post Calling All Artisans appeared first on Doug Fine.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

water audit

The Field Lab - Sat, 2016/05/14 - 3:21pm
Caught a grand total of .11" of rain (and four bugs) in the rain gauge late last night.  According to my calculations, that amounts to 248.27 gallons caught...which is about a weeks supply for Ben's trough due to his thirst and evaporation.  My catchment system collects 2,257 gallons per inch of rain  - if it is a fast rain and the creek runs, I can add another 3,000 gallons to that total with my pump.  Just checked all my tanks and as of today I have 13,040 gallons on tap.  I use about a gallon per day for drinking/cleaning, etc....and 5 gallons per shower (which will start happening about once per week now that my shower is back in business).  The bees/bunnies/roosters/and Javier share about a gallon per day.  About one quart per day goes to some lettuce and chard plants I started 2 months ago.  Currently, my total water usage per week is roughly 375 gallons.  At that rate, even without any more rain I have enough water to last me about 8 months. The four first flush downspouts on the greenhouse hold a little over 2 gallons each.  That water goes to my 4 palo verde trees when it's available right after a storm.  For now, I don't bother recycling any of my grey water because I produce so little.  The drinking water filter system I bought right before I broke my leg is still in the boxes.  Total storage capacity is 22,375 gallons.  78,88,59. .16".B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

downspout down

The Field Lab - Fri, 2016/05/13 - 4:18pm
Quicky repair on the barn downspout today - inspired by a good chance of some rain later tonight...sure would be nice.  So far this year I have only gotten .44".  It had rained 5.12" by this time last year.  74,92,68, .11",W
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Exotic Mix of Probiotics for Gut Health

Holy Scrap - Fri, 2016/05/13 - 11:10am

We have been culturing all of the commercial probiotics and prebiotics we come across. Then I grow them in our crockpots with the YATC5 temperature controllers. Wendy and I have been drinking a small once a day which is a combination of water kefir, Living Streams Multiblend probiotic, Living Streams Chabide probiotic and Go Live pre/pro-biotic drink. The cultures are all mixed just as we pour the drink otherwise they are kept separate. 
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Time to start planting summer vegetables!!

Home Grown New Mexico - Thu, 2016/05/12 - 9:40pm








May 15th is around the corner and many of us are chomping at the bit to get growing!

My trusty KRQE weather app on my phone says we are over the freezing nights and I believe we are out of the woods.

wall of waters

However, having said that, I would not plant my tomatoes in the ground without protection. I use wall of waters to protect them from the still chilly nights.

Temperatures in the 40’s at night are still cold (just not freezing). The wall of waters will absorb the heat from the sun in the day and give it back to the plants at night keeping them warm.

Other warm season crops can be started from seed outside especially when we get up into the 50’s at night. If it gets cold again at night, cover the new baby plants with row cover to protect them-think of it as a nice warm blanket on them.

I will still WAIT TO PLANT my PEPPER PLANTS until the FIRST WEEK OF JUNE as they really hate being cold and will usually stall out if you plant those now. Just keep them in your house until then.


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