Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Vegetables Seeds are Expensive

Over the pass few years I always look forward to my new tradition of buying seeds for the upcoming growing season. With the economy in the tank these days I have seen a steady trend of people starting home gardens and couple that with the 2012 end of the world hoop-la and we now have a seed crisis. Just take a look at burpees website and you will quickly realize that the average price for a pack of seeds are $5. That's INSANE!!! But it's business and the demand is up for seeds. I have flown around other sites and have found that although not topping the charts at $5-$6 a pack they have too raised their prices. I know I'm going to get punched in the face for saying this but the only seed company with reasonable prices this time of year is Baker Creek .

Last year I started saving my own seeds. This year I'm looking to go full throttle and save all of my seeds. The goal is to never purchase seeds again. There have been reports that brokers are buying vast quantities of seed stores as a type of commodity like you would gold or silver or even pork. To think that seeds will be more valuable than money one day. I hope yall got your guns... Because I sure do!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Introducing Kids to Gardening

It's been great to finally have my boys around. It's also apparent that we live different lives and they are accustomed to different things. The homestead life was not one of them LOL!! Nevertheless, when they arrived they have had some interest in the workings of how we do things. My challenge was to find the warm coal, nurse it and try to start the fire.

First, I didn't even bombard them with the garden... Well that's not totally true... There was that one time.. when I intercepted a conversation from my oldest and he was talking about being a drug dealer and a gangsta... I got his butt up at 3am and gave him a head lamp and had him turnin dirt, wheel barreling compost, pullin weeds, preparing the raise beds, clean out the chicken coop and re stack the perfectly good pile of wood... After which,  that evening around midnight when he was exhausted and tired I had him jump in the car and I drove him to the heart of the ghetto and told him to get out... Since he wanted to be a thug and didn't like the way he was living... He just broke down and cried.. he didn't want to get out.. so I seized the opportunity to build him back up. After that incident my son came to me a few days later and said.."dad you changed my life, I had a lot of time to think while i was working the garden and I'm going to change" and you know what he did... This first marking period that he entered.. he is poised to making straight As'. I'm extremely happy.

Sooooo, with all this goin on my main goal is to introduce my kids to the homestead life..and have them adopt it as there own.. First I identified there likes... My oldest son taught himself Spanish and he speaks and writes it fluently, after having that heart to heart with him, I helped him realize that he should attempt to be an interpreter and learn as many languages as he can.. currently he is teaching himself Arabic and its amazing how fast he is progressing.. I wish I had these interest as a 13 yr old. My youngest son breaths, eats, sleep Dragon Ball Z.. in my opinion its a Cult!! These kids are obsessed with it.

 I had a mentor once tell me when I worked at a school for emotionally challenged kids.. in order to make any progress.. you have to find what the child loves and use it against him.With that mindset.. I approached my oldest and told him that I understand that he loves cultural and is interested in people and music and that hr wants to travel all around the world..sooooo before you go there we are going to learn everything we can learn here.. I told him there are two things that you must do when traveling for the local people to accept you as friend and family and that is love their food and listen to their music... You don't have to speak a word... Because your facial expressions will tell whether your sincere or not.

With that being said I told him I want him to do some research and find 20 vegetables that Spanish speaking people absolutely love and we will grow them this year and prepare dishes..also I asked him to identify vegetables that people from the middle east enjoy and we will grow and prepare those dishes as well. With my youngest I told him.. before you play Dragon Ball Z.. tell me 5 phrases in Japanese of how your...Winning, how your kicking someone else's butt, no one is stronger than me, I am the best, and you guys suck!! He laughed uncontrollably and believe it or not he asked my wife and she helped him out.. he is now on his way to learning the language.. in addition I asked him to identify 20 vegetables Japanese people love and enjoy..

So that was the project.. I found the warm coal, nursed it, started a small flame and threw gasoline on it. Now we are on our way to learning, growing  and experiencing culture. It's gonna be a fun journey :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Quest to Eco-Living and Reducing your Carbon Footprint

This post is inspired from a comment a reader left on reducing your carbon footprint. Respectfully, I acknowledge as do most people who follow this community that we (collectively) can and should do a better job with identifying ways to reduce the use of the earths valuable resources. However, there is a huge disconnect with living that way effectively and applying that concept into our lives.

For all intents and purposes the Eco-living movement is not geared toward the masses of people that can truly benefit from this lifestyle. In my opinion and excuse me if I offend anyone; this lifestyle is geared toward wealthy individuals who have the luxury of intertwining extremely expensive products into their way of life. At the end of the day people who enjoy the comforts that western societies have to offer will not succumb to a lifestyle that cost to much and which impedes on their current way of living.

Over the past few years that I have blogged, I have come across many, many people from all different walks of life and they have shared their experiences with me on how to be more sustainable. I have witnessed the evolution of some folks who transfer from corporate jobs and walk away from high profile educations to live and play in the dirt. Some folks who I have also come to admire never even had a choice. They simply are. I on the other hand like many people have a choice. I chose to attempt to  live a more sustainable life because I believe it's in the best interest for my life as a whole and my family. With that being said.... I have also come to realize why most people don't adopt my viewpoint and it's because, this lifestyle is expensive. Extremely Expensive!! Normal folk cannot purchase products and equipment that have been created to reduce carbon footprints and because of this I believe although the intentions started off in the right place the movement grew legs and ran someplace else. Because if we were really serious about reducing our carbon footprint we would start with helping people of little means be able to live life more cheaply so that they have more spending power which will enable them to have a higher quality of life.

So my gripe.... is with, the one person at a time methodology. To me it is a serious waste of time. In order to have an impact, communities need to be mobilized and different ways of thinking need to be orchestrated. There are individuals who believe in this whole hearted and are making real change. But the discussion has only begun between the haves and the have nots. In my perfect world I want to see sustainability inculcated into every lifestyles because its efficient and cheap. Not because it's an ideal way of living. I believe the catalyst for a true mindset of change is when low income communities can start contributing to their energy needs because energy is sustainable and cheap. For now the Eco-living movement does not support those who need it most. I hope with further discussion and much more debate it moves in that direction.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Homemade Sausage

Recently I have become Fascinated with the process of making Homemade Sausage. So much so that, hopefully one day I actually become an artisan. What can be better than marrying meat, fire, wood, smoke, herbs and a bit of creativity? My interest was peaked when I bit into a delicious all beef hot dog from Boars Head. The firm but delicate texture and the crunch of the slim dog on a bun with just ketchup and mustard. I was sold and now I'm on a quest of making my own. With all the reading that I have been doing, it is suggested that I start out with sausages first and then work my way to making wieners. At the end of the day I want to produce a sausage and ultimately a dog that's amazing!! Only time will tell. But as I become more comfortable with my smoker I realize that I have what it takes to make a half decent product. I can't wait. I just need to convince my wife that I need to buy a sausage maker instead of her espresso machine:)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Hunting Wild Boar

I'm blessed to live in area with access to so much hunting land. This hunting season has been truly rewarding. Pictured is a Wild Boar I took while hunting in Central Georgia a few weeks ago. Lately I have been having aspirations to become an artisan sausage maker. I am fascinated with cured and smoke meats. Hopefully one day I can transfer this passion into something real. But for now I'm going to enjoy the hunt and ultimately the feast. This wild boar dressed out at 190lbs his testicles were huge and he had battle scars. I shot him with  an AR10 Armalite .308 caliber 7.62mm Match Grade at approx 100 yds. When I shot him the Satans Dog spun around and ran right towards me clapping his jaws to sharpen his tusk. I must admit.... I was gripped with fear. I really thought I was going to die. But as he neared toward my location he started to give way to the damage of my bullet and dropped dead 20 yards in front of me. Still frozen with intense fear, I stared at him for another 20 mins. When it was all done. I was extremely proud and relieved to live another day.
Wild boar can sometime be tough. But in the fall and winter they eat multitudes of acorns.. especially white acorns from the white oak. This boar taste so great!! I'm looking forward to bagging another one here shortly..

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Order Home Grown Organic Kona Coffee

I am so late on this post... nevertheless, I really want to plug Killino Farms in Hawaii. I use to work with Todd and he is just a great guy to say the least. Free Spirited and an adventurist who has a lot of passion in what he believes in.. Unbeknown to me.. Todd and his wife decided that they would pick up and head to Hawaii; purchase a Kona Coffee plantation-bed and breakfast and live the good life "Aloha" !! I find this simply amazing and thier coffee that they grow on the farm is Soooooo Soooo Delicious!! The first thing we noticed from stirring up a hot brew of Killinos Coffee was that it was soooooo smooth and there was no after taste. If coffee ever needed comforted it will drink Killinos Kona. Im plugging Todds Kona Farm because everything I believe in about sustainability he has done. It takes great Risk to create your own blazing trail and to his Adventure I tip my hot cup of brew to him. Todd and his wife take orders through their website for customized roasts of fresh Kona. If ever you were thinking about the Perfect Gift for a Coffee Lover I urge you to give the Killinos a try.