Sustainable SW Blogs


The Field Lab - Thu, 2015/10/08 - 3:27pm

He came in twice just to make sure.  70,78,60,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

round one

The Field Lab - Wed, 2015/10/07 - 3:24pm

Perhaps I will try latching the door closed from the inside tonight.  80,85,61, .13",B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs


The Field Lab - Tue, 2015/10/06 - 4:12pm
Noticed a couple of days ago that someone had been raiding the chicken feed in the greenhouse.  At first I thought it was the roosters...till I spotted a javelina nearby on Sunday.  Caught him in the act early this morning.  I don't think I will bother building a bigger trap...closing the greenhouse door ought to do the trick.  I don't reckon they are as good at climbing as the racoons were.  80,87,63,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

casting grain

The Field Lab - Mon, 2015/10/05 - 5:09pm
Placed an order for some casting grain last week with Monarch.  Making the jump from sterling to 999 fine silver for next year's minting.  Bought on the dip in silver after figuring out how good their prices are.  Saved 4% on the total by not using a credit card and doing it the old fashioned way - by mailing a check.  Just got a response that they received payment along with a postcard I just happened to have included.  78,82,59,0,B
Hello John,
Just wanted to write a quick note to thank you for sending us a copy of
"Sunday Nap with Ben."  It was a big hit around the office and currently
has a home on the fridge in the employee break room.  I think that many of
the folks around here found themselves yearning for a Ben of their own.
:)Thanks again,
Linda @ Monarch Precious Metals
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs


The Field Lab - Sun, 2015/10/04 - 2:45pm
Colossians 3If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
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Local Freight

The Field Lab - Sat, 2015/10/03 - 4:45pm
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the week in metal

The Field Lab - Fri, 2015/10/02 - 4:57pm
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The C-Realm Podcast Interviews Mikey & Wendy "Life on Tires"

Holy Scrap - Fri, 2015/10/02 - 11:41am
Our friends Olga and KMO over at the C-Realm Podcast just released an excellent new episode about us! We talk about what it is like to living in a Honda Element for nearly seven months while traveling the Western US.  We discuss vehicles, trail running and rituals to keep our sanity. Please check it out.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

a shoe

The Field Lab - Thu, 2015/10/01 - 4:10pm
Weening myself off the boot.  Time to start building up my girly calf muscle.  Just got a smaller leg brace that allows my ankle to flex and a new pair of shoes (seems I only own one regular boot).  My old right boot got a little bloody and the EMT's had to cut it up to get it off my boo boo.  Unfortunately it got thrown away...I kinda wish I had saved it for the archives - or Ebay.  87,95,67,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

metal minded

The Field Lab - Wed, 2015/09/30 - 3:35pm
Since I am still rather incapacitated with my long recovery (due for my next surgeon appointment Oct 15th), I am spending a lot of time thinking about metal possibilities while waiting to be able to get back to all the Field Lab projects that need to happen.  A couple of years ago, a Canadian company acquired the rights to the silver mine in nearby Shafter.  Falling silver prices forced then to shut down the operation not long after they got up to speed.  Since panning for gold really isn't an option in the Chihuahua desert and the mercury mines in Terlingua have been out of operation for many years, I thought about what other metal might be in abundance in the area.  Not surprisingly - it is beer can aluminum.  It's not really a viable commercial enterprise for minting (a troy ounce of aluminum is worth about 5 cents), but there are plenty available in the area.  Melting and casting them looks like fun and it is a fairly simple and inexpensive project to experiment with.  86,91,62,0,C    
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Sorry, you were outbid.

The Field Lab - Tue, 2015/09/29 - 6:36pm
Was a really good deal until the last 30 seconds of the auction.85,89,62,0,C
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

International Day

The Field Lab - Mon, 2015/09/28 - 3:13pm
Had a great Sunday visit with my new friends Jieve Galicano Gantuangco (Philippines) and Krzysztof Borowiec (Poland).  Krzysztof is a physical therapist(!) and aspiring travel writer.  He hooked up with Jieve (who lives in Presidio now) through  couchsurfing.  All photos by Jieve except for the last one.  86,91,63,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

It's what's inside...

The Field Lab - Sun, 2015/09/27 - 4:47pm
Luke 17:  20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.  
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs


The Field Lab - Sat, 2015/09/26 - 3:48pm
While the masses clamor over the next super moon, all I can say is it wakes Ben and I up earlier than normal because we think the sun is coming up.  Other than that, it really isn't that special and nowhere as big and bright as you have been lead to believe.  Scientists have confirmed however that because a total eclipse will coincide with tomorrow night's event (a celestial double feature!), it does make people want to bid on really great sterling silver ingot deals on Ebay.  83,88,64,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs


The Field Lab - Fri, 2015/09/25 - 5:40pm
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The Field Lab - Thu, 2015/09/24 - 4:03pm
75,77,65, .07",B
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The Field Lab - Wed, 2015/09/23 - 4:47pm

Latest flight by Brandon Gardiner.  84,91,66,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

above average...

The Field Lab - Tue, 2015/09/22 - 3:36pm
Average rainfall out here is 7 - 9 inches per year.  Just tipped the scales last night.  Total accumulation so far for 2015 is 9.22".  84,89,68,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

One Water

Holy Scrap - Tue, 2015/09/22 - 9:50am
At the start of summer I climbed to mountain tops and touched the hard pack ice that had formed at high elevations. I bathed in the streams and rivers that raged beneath the cold glaciers. I swam in alpine lakes that the water rested in. At high elevation I drank freely knowing the water had just been purified by the earth's natural systems. I considered that the water molecules I consumed were ancient, the very same that were here at the start of the planet, billions of years old. I thought about the millions (maybe billions) of times the molecules had been cleaned and returned. How many times they had been frozen, melted, drank, taken in by leaf, exhaled as moisture, beaded up as morning dew. I considered the way that my body filters water. Life giving, water hydrates my organs. I return it back to the earth modified. My urine is liquid gold to plants that use the nitrogen in it to create food, and build the planet's lungs - forests that filter the air we breathe and make life possible. Bathing in cold snappy waters I felt a clean I'd never before experienced.  Soap was utterly unnecessary.

There is a way that I feel changed from having traveled from mountain range to range. Starting in the early spring I saw the glaciers full. Ice capped, the mountain tops held the water that was to be our supply for the coming year. In autumn many of the river beds have dried up leaving behind sand and thirsty, wanting, roots.

I am reminded that there is only one water on earth. New water won't be delivered. The only hope for more is to take it from passing asteroids. Corporations are set to mine one called Asteroid DA14. They are not after the water. They want precious metals, worth billions on the market. They will use the water on the asteroid to make the fuel they need to mine the asteroid leaving behind toxic waste, extending our legacy of waste making to the realm of space. Capitalism thinks not of living systems, it has a single motive - monetary gain. Mars has dry ice, aka CO2 (not water, not usable). Saturn's moon is partly made of ice. It might have a liquid water core. Neither you nor I have the funds to go get it. You can bet that if someone does get it, you'll pay for it.

The water here now is the same water that was here at the big bang. Until recently (about 100 years ago) we relied on the earth's elegant hydrological cycles to make our water new again and again, a cycle that has never failed.

The industrial revolution kicked off a a new kind of pollution that with each passing age leaves water ever more toxic and resistant to being cleaned by natural systems. Man has turned water to waste. The clean water that we have left, is being claimed by corporations to use in industrial processes that ruin it. Sometimes they sell it back to us, often tampered with. It costs pollution-creating corporations less money to put the smallest legal dose of a waste product into the water they sell to us to drink and call it "mineral infused," than it would cost them to dump large amounts of the same chemical into the landfill thus using up their EPA credits (these of course are bought an sold as any commodity). Just lookup the names of the "minerals" that your bottled water has been infused with. Many are bi-products of industrial manufacturing. One that I found in Nestle's water is a bi-product of producing cement. Don't worry, in tiny amounts it won't kill you - right away.

This past week while hiking in Colorado's Horsetooth Mountains I took note that the river beds had dried.  It was not a particularly wet year up there. I hiked to a known waterfall that was on my map and found only a drip. I put a zip lock bag under it in order to catch a few sips and give them to my dog Sesame.  It will be another year before these water carrying veins recharge, if they do. One cannot predict year-to-year what will happen, certainly not now in the new and ever changing conditions of climate change.  
The experiences that I have had this summer took place amongst a backdrop of homeless migrants suffering at the gates of countries too fearful to let them in. They fear religion and what they don't understand. This summer has made me ever certain that religion serves an important role. The latin root of the word religion means re-connect. Religious practices are what we contrive to reconnect us. To what? To the only thing that exists, the universe, to life. This includes people.  In religious language we can say that god is all that is. God is not a thing. We can be religious in a meaningful way. When you drink water know what water is. Know the ways that you depend on it. Know where it comes from and where it goes. Recognize water in your body and out and you'll soon see the barrier of in/out does not exist. Your skin sweats moisture and takes it in. Your bones and teeth are porous. When you take this religious view, you will soon defend water whenever you see water mistreated because no longer separate from it, misuse of water become the same as abuse done to you. We can extend this to the human family and recognize that mistreatment of an individual is the same as abuse to all people and to life itself. We are a universe. We can hold in our heart the people we are not yet ready to have in our lives. It is a start. A next step is to understand another. How many of the people with opinions about taking in migrants have taken the time to study the literature of the religion they fear? What follows might be to ask a question, bringing us into relationship, eye to eye and heart to heart. Nearness to water or one another leads to the realization that no matter where we go or what we do we are always looking into a mirror. 

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

The Mother of all Backyard Gardening Courses

Home Grown New Mexico - Tue, 2015/09/22 - 9:26am

For those of you interested in learning more about Permaculture and applying it to your property and gardens, you need to read on and then take this course. It is offered by Michael Reed whose was our instructor for our Heiugelkultur class this spring. We learned a lot in this class but realized there is so much more to learn from him about Permaculture. This class is not put on by Home Grown New Mexico but we fully support what Michael does and are excited he is offering this 6 month class to all of us.

Michael Reed is a Permaculture instructor and farmer in the South Valley in Albuquerque. His versatile background includes three terms as president of the New Mexico Farmers’ Marketing Association. He is a dedicated educator and advocate for ethical and responsible living, and works tirelessly to preserve and enhance regionally appropriate agroecosystems.

He is a founding member of the Save New Mexico Seeds Coalition and is part of a collaborative effort to collect and cultivate heirloom and adapted fruits, nuts, berries and perennials that can thrive in New Mexico’s challenging environment. There are currently over 600 different varieties in the collection, with over 400 found at his farm. Currently he is working on the design and installation of three different food forest projects throughout the state.

With over twenty five years of experience in year-round growing in this region, Michael teaches portions of the Permaculture Design Certification course offered by the Permaculture Institute as well as his own, year-round, Mother of All Backyard Gardening Courses.

Michael’s farm, La Orilla, is a living laboratory bursting with diversity. From the several hundred fruit trees to the perennial greens beds to the greywater fed vegetable beds there are working examples of theory being put into practice everywhere you turn.

The Mother of all Backyard Gardening Courses is a very comprehensive but affordable class that meets twice a month for six months at his farm in the South Valley.  The course runs twice a year from equinox to equinox.  The new session starts September 26th. Michael is graciously allowing people to come to the first class for free to try out the course before they commit to the series.

In the Mother Course Michael brings his unique holistic view to gardening that you will find nowhere else.  He covers all the systems at play in nature and our relationship with them from a multi-faceted deep understanding that only comes from many years of study and practice.  After taking the class you will come away with a profoundly changed view of gardening.

If you would like your gardening efforts to work with nature in a deeper more skillful manner there is no better series of classes available than the Mother Course.  Come to the first free class to see for yourself. If you can’t make the first class or the whole series don’t fret.  You are welcome to drop in and take the classes a la carte. Just contact Michael so he knows to expect you.

Click on the links below for Michael’s contact information, more detailed information on the course and the topics covered in each class.

Mother Course 2015 Dark Side flyer

Mother Course 15-16 Dark Side class descriptions


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