One step at a time…

Action Proposal project for Geography 316 at Capilano University

October 16th

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A couple of updates.


Been on a walking binge!  Walked to and from school last Wednesday and Thursday and am planning on walking home today.  This morning it was very foggy.  Walking over the bridge was kinda cool.  You couldn’t see the water below and you couldn’t see very far ahead.  When you don’t see the water so far below, it isn’t so spooky when the big trucks make the bridge shake.  

The bees haven’t been dying on the front porch anymore.  I think it was the light that was the issue.  I don’t know if they respond to particular types of light differently.  This one is an L.E.D.  They have been out in full force because of the gorgeous weather we have had.  I won’t check inside the hive for another week or two because i don’t think there will be many signs of a new queen laying until then.  Despite seeing lots of bees out and about, i think there numbers are down because when i watch the hive entrance there are wasps flying in and out.  When the hive is stronger they can protect against this better… pesky wasps.  I put an entrance reducer on the hive so that it is easier to defend.

We got a couple of things done in the garden this last weekend.  I built the lattice for the fall peas but unfortunately i don’t think we will get any this fall because they aren’t far enough along.   We spread some compost and cover crops on some of the beds (clover rye and other legumes).  The cover crops help pull nitrogen and other nutrients into the soil, plus their use of photosynthesis acts as a mini sink for carbon dioxide.  They also protect the organic soil from drying up and releasing methane into the atmosphere.  When you compost you are also helping with this, because if vegetation rots instead of compost it releases methane. We still have more plants to pull, manure to spread and cover crops to grow.  We have some beans ready for harvest (dried) too.  We still have some tomatillos that need to be made into salsa.  Really, harvesting is the best part but you can almost forget about it.  A pretty cool garden related thing happened this week.  One of my friends was surfing the internet and found a blog that had a picture of a trellis that i made out of some old bike wheels and used in our garden for growing beans this past year.  Here is the link:

I am enjoying reading through the fermentation book that came along with my friends fermenting crock.  The name of this great book is “wild fermentation”.  It has an incredibly interesting history of fermented foods.  Of particular interest to this blog is how the original big 3 globally traded commodities: cacao, tea, coffee, were very much catalysts for the industrial revolution because they are essentially drugs that help you work the long hard hours that were common in the industrial revolution.  As you know the industrial revolution really leads to a lot of climate change related issues (increased population, increased reliance on fossil fuels, increased demand for exotic goods and foods, etc etc…)  Those three commodities and so many other things that we eat are fermented (bread, wine, beer, yogurt, cheese etc).  There are so many cool things about fermented food (and so many benefits), one in particular is that it takes very few fossil fuels to preserve fermented food.  You don’t heat anything.  You don’t even always add water.  Sometimes you just add salt and other times just water.  

Anyhow our sauerkraut is rocking it.  It will have been a week tomorrow that it has been fermenting.  I tried it out yesterday and it tastes great.  I mostly made up my own recipe.  12 pounds of veggies and 6 tablespoons of sea salt.I managed to use a couple things from the garden as well.  From the garden there are 2 cabbages, 3 beets (for colour), 4 cloves of garlic and two small onions.  From the local grocer there are three more cabbages, and two apples.

It really is amazing.  You just chop the veggies up, throw in some salt, squish them down a couple times, put a weight on them and leave the lid on.  24 hours later and there is an inch of water above your veggies. one week later and they have passed the first stage of fermenting.  After the third week the bacteria is supposed to have turned into the super healthy one (named something like lactobilia or something like that – same one as in yogurt).

 I need to make some hot sauce with the peppers that i recently harvested – maybe i will make a fermented hot sauce.   I almost added them to the sauerkraut but i am glad i didn’t because it already has a good kick to it.  In related news, i planted that horse radish plant in a big planter that i used this past season for a squash.  I am curious to taste what fresh horseradish tastes like next year.  Apparently it is really strong.  Also the green tomatoes that we pulled off last week are quickly turning red – i’ll post some pics, next time i get a chance.  

So the date of our clothing swap has changed – Friday October 25th 7 pm is the date set in stone.  Here is the announcement i wrote for putting in the upcoming bulletin at my church:

 Attention Men:  We know that despite the fact that you may wear your clothes to shreds, you have some real nice clothes that you are saving for when you get old and shrink or when you finally fill out.  Instead of storing those perfectly great clothes deep in your closet, bring them out to our first clothing swap for MEN.  In the past, women in our community have benefited from such community-building clothes swaps, now us boys are going to have a try at it.  Friday night October the 25th we will be meeting to organize clothes at 7 pm in the lower hall.  Swap starts at 7:15.  Come even if you don’t have any clothes to share but hope to snag some of your buddies sweaters, and come even if you don’t want any more clothes but have some to offer.  While they say one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure…. please do not bring any garbage – Please bring freshly washed and dried clothes.



 – thomas



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