Citizen's Hearing on Disclosure, April 29--May 3, 2013

Citizen Hearing on UFO/ET Disclosure in Washington, DC: April 29 - May 3, 2013

An event of historical implications will be held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC from April 29 to May 3, 2013. At that time forty plus researchers and military/agency witnesses will testify for thirty hours over five days before former members of the United States Congress on events and evidence supporting the truth of an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race and a government policy to embargo that truth. The Citizen Hearing on ET Disclosure will attempt to accomplish what the Congress has failed to do for forty-five years— seek out the facts surrounding the most important issue of this or any other time.

For this reason the motto for the Citizen Hearing on Disclosure is "If the Congress will not do its job, the people will."

This event will be live streamed to the world via the Internet in at least four and possibly five languages. Furthermore, the entire hearing will be filmed as the basis for a forthcoming documentary—Truth Embargo.

The title of this film is fitting as the goal of the Citizen Hearing is nothing less than the end of the extraterrestrial truth embargo this year. The world's people have waited long enough.

Watch the YouTube clip of the Citizen Hearing: Citizen Hearing on Disclosure, April 29—May 3, 2013

Sirius--Let the Truth Come Out

Finally... It's TIME for the Truth to be known.

Premiers April 22 in LA and online worldwide...

Click the link to pre-order (before April 22nd) and/or watch the film (after April 22, 8PM Pacific Daylight Time):

Yekra is a revolutionary new distribution network for feature films.

Click the link to go to Sirius the documentary.

“Sirius” is a feature length documentary that follows Dr. Steven Greer – an Emergency room doctor turned UFO researcher – as he struggles to disclose top secret information about classified energy & propulsion techniques. Along the way, Dr. Greer investigates new technology and sheds light on criminal and murderous suppression. He accumulates over 100 Government, Military, and Intelligence Community witnesses who testify on record about their first-hand experience with the cover-up. Though he feels the pressure of an imminent assassination attempt, he comes upon an amazing find: a possible ancient E.T. skeleton, 6 inches long, is discovered in the Atacama desert. Dr. Greer, along with his team, backed by crowd funding supporters, travel to Europe to get a sample of bone fragment in order to have an IVY league university run genetic tests on the skeleton. What they find will completely change the reality of human existence.

While on this odyssey, the audience gains a whole new perspective on technology, human evolution, and clandestine organizations who have manipulated and controlled the public for centuries.!/deployment_code=26307566mlbyj8

The following links connect you to more in-depth information about how the ET & Energy Propulsion concepts came about for Dr. Greer; and what are the next steps for humanity to take in this life on this planet-changing moment...

May this extraordinary effort accelerate our process of ushering in an Age of peace for all of humanity.

Free Energy Systems for the People of the World

What could be more frugal than helping the people of the world access free energy systems? This would help all of us—the world over—live without the constraint of fossil fuels and its inherent costs both economically and environmentally.

This is why I'm asking you to Sign up to spread the word about Sirius Documentary to create free energy sources for the peoples of the world. Click 

A dear friend of mine compiled the following information from researching about the energy systems being proposed based on the information contained on websites connected to the Sirius Documentary, which is being released online world wide on Earth Day, April 22nd.

Sign up to spread the word about Sirius Documentary to create free energy sources for the peoples of the world. Click 

Amazing New Energy Systems Revealed in 
Documentary Film - SIRIUS
Film’s release planned for April 22, 2013
Sirius film - SUMMARY …
It’s time for the truth to be known.  We are not alone in the Cosmos, and 
we are not alone here on earth.  The Earth has been visited by advanced 
Inter-Stellar Civilizations that can travel through other dimensions faster 
than the speed of light. What we have learned from them about energy 
propulsion can bring us to a new era, but those in power, globally, have 
suppressed this information in order to keep us at their mercy. It is time 
for you to know and this documentary will let you in.

Sirius film - DETAILS …



Dr. Steven Greer, founder of the worldwide Disclosure Movement and 
award winning filmmaker Amardeep Kaleka and his team at Neverending 
Light Productions to produce one of the most significant films of our time.


The Earth has been visited by people from other worlds who are not malicious, 
but in fact concerned for the future of humanity.


A cabal of military, industrial and financial interests have kept this contact and 
what we have learned from it secret for over 60 years.  Their secrecy is meant 
to suppress the knowledge that can liberate the world from the yoke of fossil 
fuels [oil, gas, coal and nuclear power] and replace the current world order with 
one of New Energy and true Freedom.


I.       The first section of the film will share the vast scope of evidence 
that ET’s exist, from official government documents, high-level witness 
testimony and audio and visual evidence. Disclosure and CSETI have the 
largest library of never before seen footage gathered over 20 years of 
II.    Next, we interview a group of brilliant scientists who aim to expose 
long-held secret technologies. They show us how energy can be 
derived from the fabric of space around us, and how industrial cartels 
have suppressed this information. What did Nicola Tesla know, and why 
did the FBI seize his papers upon his death? Man-made anti-gravity 
vehicles have been in use for over half a century, some even used 
to perpetuate the ET abduction hoax in order to control the masses. 
Now is the time for these technologies to be acknowledged and developed 
for peaceful energy purposes.
III. In the final section, we explore CONTACT: the CE-5 principles and how 
to build a bridge to a trans-dimensional universe. We will also share how 
the average person can make contact with people from other worlds. They 
are only a thought away…

Sign up to spread the word about Sirius Documentary to create free energy sources for the peoples of the world. Click 

Below are descriptions of some of the most promising technological areas that have 
been identified to date, as well as a selection of research papers on related subjects:

Promising Core Technology Examples:

·               Hydroxy Gas Energy Systems
…in recent years a number of different inventors have developed technologies 
that produce hydroxy gas in quantities much greater than would be predicted 
using standard “brute force” electrolysis. These techniques typically include a 
combination of multiple high frequency pulsed voltages applied to specially 
designed electrolysis cells that resonate the water molecule, basically causing 
it to “shake” apart with a much reduced amount of electrical power per unit gas 
Some of these techniques are described in research papers by Meyer (1997) 
and Griffin (1993). We are presently working with several of these research 
groups with the intent of bringing them together to optimize these technologies 
in order to be able to close the loop and produce a 5-10Kw generator running 
only on water.
·               Permanent Magnet or Pulsed Motor/Generators

Other Technologies Being Considered:

·               Example Transitional Technologies
With one billion fossil-fuel vehicles on the road, there is a pressing need to…
retrofit…them…so they’re more fuel efficient and less polluting. Numerous 
research teams have been found that have such systems - like those that 
inject hydrogen and oxygen gas from water, which is electrolyzed (broken 
down from H20 to hydrogen/oxygen gas) from the vehicle’s alternator system. 
This gas is then injected into the fuel combustion process via a computerized 
controlled system, resulting in a 20 to 80% increase in Miles Per Gallon and 
over 80% decrease in air pollution.
Why are these…systems not on every internal combustion engine…in the world? Because – as one power elite told us – they are “too good”. That is they would 
cut fuel use in half - drastically reducing Big Oil’s profits and control over the 
global economy.
This is just one of many examples of Transitional Technologies that deserve 
substantial public support for R and D and widespread public support…
·               Environmental Clean-up Technologies
A number of scientists have developed charged cluster technologies and plasma 
arc generators…proven to completely eliminate toxic and radioactive waste. Such systems…clean up the vast amounts of toxic waste sites and the mountains of radioactive waste created by nuclear weapons stockpiles and 
nuclear power plants. Proof of principle technologies already exist and have 
been demonstrated and proven to be effective.
Sign up to spread the word about Sirius Documentary to create free energy sources for the peoples of the world. Click 

Thank you for caring and helping the world.

A Dream of Farming, Living, and Enjoying a Life Lived

By Dan

This is a hoophouse we constructed over several weeks. It started in May of 2012 as a 35ft long by 20 foot wide structure. Now, the length is 85 or so feet. It has 4ft sidewalls and the top has three purlins. The far end in this shot is a treated wood frame with all the plastic captured between the 5/4 by 6 pieces of wood.

Starting at the far end you can see a sliding 4x3 foot window. It was removed from the pole barn behind where this picture was taken and moved to the end of the hoop house. In the winter the window remains closed. Around the first of February or so the window will have to be opened on the more sunny days as the temperature inside could easily reach into the 90’s F.

The brush under the window is actually last fall’s tomato plants gone by. They gave good fruit, resisted disease and bugs, and when they finally got hit by the cold (in late October), they showed their final strength by exhibiting a massive root ball. I am planning to build an overhead frame of some sort to support the bearing part of the plant for the coming year.

At the middle right are the small-child wading pools that I got for half price at the end of this past summer. I believe there are five or maybe six.  I will use these in an aquaculture-based system this year. Along with these pools I have some PVC eave troughs that will be mounted on the sidewall and then the pool water, holding fish, will be pumped up to the top of the eave and allowed to gravity feed back down through some plants and thus be filtered for the fish to use. The nutrients the fish put into the water will grow some wonderful plants, the return water will be clean enough to support the fish until it gets circulated again.

The clump of plants on the right side is a small type of broccoli. It is going to seed yet and theses seeds will be used to start another patch in the spring. They got hit a bit at the end of the season with a small mite-sized insect and the last of the lady bugs seemed to get them under control. I would guess this susceptibility to being buggy is from the pH of the soil being too high.

The soil test we got last spring from the State Extension Service showed a level of about 7 pH. This might be all right for humans and such,

 but my veggies like it down around 6 or 6.5. Sulfur added to the soil will lower the 7 down a point or so. Follow the directions as to how much to apply per 1000 sq. ft. and it will be perfect. 

This picture is looking from the SSW and shows the woodwall, the small pile of woodchips, the sides for turning the little trailer into a small dump wagon, and the pallets. Farthest up is a three stall compost pile and on the far end of that my hoopbending table.

By the way, the satellite dish you see was put in when I first started to develop this place. It was about a quarter mile from this point to the road and we couldn’t get phone service for six months. I think at that time a good Internet connection was a 56k download. So what I did was to move an old RV that I had onto the property. Next I installed a satellite service, Hughes or something, and ran everything off my generator. The next order of business was to plant a small garden to test the soil. It was right under where the hh is now. We also bought a few hundred trees and put them in the same area and planted them when time was available.

Plans were chosen for building the new house and I then built the little barn the same size as the house was to be. This gave one of the bosses in my life an opportunity to better visualize the inside spaces we would be working with in the main house. If I remember the dimensions it was about 32x36 or so. By leaving the ceiling off the inside of the barn, the inside of the house could be imagined as it would have a complete cathedral ceiling.



One day I was going into town and saw a crew chopping down some trees by the ditch up north. It was to run lines and equipment for a new high voltage power line through the county. We have over a hundred of the wind turbines on this side of the county now and we needed more distribution power—in and out. The loop is close but not that close and when I noticed they had shredded up a truck full of branches and leaves, I stopped to inquire.  I wondered where they had to transport their cargo. They said down the road about 35 miles to their shop.  I told them I would very much appreciate it if they could dump it at my house, which was only ¾ of a mile down the road. Well, he said he would check with his boss and let me know.

He drove into the lane a few hours later. The smile on my face was truly ear to ear! He wanted to know where to dump the load and not get tangled in the overhead power lines. We got it as close as we could to the hoophouse. The person next to the pile is my hired hand, or as I like to call her, Mom. She is one of the bosses in my life. The other one is currently finishing a stretch in Kansas, raising the last son of her remarkable family. The distance and time of development are always difficult. However, many sacrifices are made no matter when you strike out to find your true path in life and we are working both places for our personal growth and development.

Many of the preceding articles on this blog were written, pictured, and edited by my Kansas boss. She has talents in many areas of living: Mothering, growing, writing, photography, nurturing and expressing a wonderful, spiritual nature that beams joy and peace.

Here you can see the hoops being erected. The far end is the north end of the hoop house (hh). It is opposite the windowed/wood framed end you see in the first picture.  The hoop house sets tight to the little barn and I removed the window on the left and put a full 4x8 foot door as passage from one to the other.

The door is plenty big to transfer equipment, amendments, tools and pallets to the hoop house. I also keep the heat in the hh and the cold out of the barn with the door. Above the new door will be the whole house fan for controlling the temps during spring, summer, and fall.

When I plowed in the spring of 2012 I made sure the ground was turned up all around the hh. This area will be planted in the spring with what I am calling outside crops; Cukes, squash, punkins, cabbage, asparagus, and a grand variety of fresh, good tasting fruits and veggies. Many of these are being planted out because of the room they require. I am going to try to plant according to pounds produced per 100 square feet.

We hope to continue this blog during the year. It should provide some guidance, hope, encouragement and laughter to all who care to read it.

Thanks to all my bosses and thanks also to all the readers of this blog.

Be well; peace…dan


Roughing It Weekend--How self sufficient are we becoming?

A few years ago I decided that I needed to develop enough skills to be able to take care of myself and my family in case of an emergency. I began this journey in earnest—starting with growing my own food (vegetables and fruits), acquiring the supplies to become off the grid, and now implementing the learnings to put it all together.

In one book, How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It, by James Wesley, Rawles, founder of, it suggested that a good way to find out your strengths and weaknesses in terms of emergency preparedness is to pick a weekend where you unplug from the grid: no electricity, no running water, no gas. Go through your weekend and see what you can do, where you've prepared well, and what you still need to learn. That was our task: Holding a Roughing It Weekend where we lived without the grid amenities.

We decided since the Friday before was 12-21-12 (End of the Mayan calendar) and we had festive activities to go to for that evening, we'd start our roughing it weekend Saturday after we had consultation to discuss the ground rules. Luckily for my son and I, my fiance, Dan, came to help me with another project so he is here to help us learn how to use the equipment. In consultation, we decided on the following:
  • We would turn the heater down (60 degrees Fahrenheit) so the pipes under my house wouldn't freeze and create a problem. 
  • We wouldn't actually turn OFF the electricity; we just wouldn't use it.
  • We would allow one last errand running effort to gather the last supplies we needed before starting the weekend.
  • We would conclude the weekend at sunset, Sunday evening, to allow for preparing for Monday's activities.
  • We would fill our bathtubs with water to provide extra water for chores.
To prepare, I filled 5 gallon buckets with some water for the two bathrooms, adding 2.5 pH water as the disinfectant for washing hands. You can also add bleach to the water to purify it.

In the kitchen, I filled two 3.5 gallon buckets. One with dishwashing soap and 2.5 pH water, and one with only 2.5 pH water.
One was designated as the washing bucket (the one with the dish soap) and the other as the rinsing bucket. Each labeled to avoid confusion.

I also had stowed a dozen gallons of drinking/cooking water; for us, we use Kangen water.

I have a portable loo with a toilet seat on a 5 gallon bucket and a bucket of sawdust to cover anything, as needed. Toilet paper is nearby, and an old container is used to transfer sawdust to cover the contents.

I had purchased paper plates for the weekend to make the kitchen tasks easier. When Danny and I got back from our errands, it was past lunchtime so that was the first thing to get cracking on. I had some croissants defrosted, so we agreed to one cheese sandwich and two canned salmon salad sandwiches with mayonnaise, mustard, and fresh garden greens.

Sandwiches before the cheese and the salmon salad were added. Yum! That wasn't so bad. Glad I had bought the croissants the weekend before and had them stowed for this weekend.

Water becomes very important immediately when learning to live off the grid or fend for yourself. Being able to take dirty water and make it drinkable is a good skill to have. Awhile back I watched a DIY (do it yourself) video on water filtration and had purchased a 5 gallon bucket, a galvanized metal bucket, rocks, sand, filtering charcoal, and mesh cloth. Dan drilled holes in the bottom of the galvanized bucket the day before to prepare. Then he placed 1 layer of mesh cloth in the very bottom, layered 2-3 inches of rock, 2-3 inches of sand, another mesh cloth, all the charcoal (one milk carton-sized container), and a top layer of mesh cloth. 

The galvanized filtration bucket was then placed into the 5 gallon bucket. In another 5 gallon bucket Danny gathered dirty water.

Taking that he poured it into the water filtration system in the galvanized bucket.

We let it filter through the system. Remembering when I used to have to prepare my Britta kitchen water filter, I remember having to soak it for 5 minutes and then rinse it 'til all the black charcoal residue washed away. After passing the water through the system a few times, we decided we have to rinse this charcoal through several times as well.

After about 5 passes through the filter, it still looked dirty enough that we didn't want to drink it, so Dan pulled out his PUR water filter.

You can put one plastic tube into the dirty water source and put the output device into/onto a container into which you want the purified water to flow.

The PUR water filter has a output device for not as large as a wide-mouth jar. I found this narrow mouth tomato sauce jar in my jar collection, which worked just fine. You can also use any other sized opening of a container with the other output device that hooks over the lip of it.

The 'hook' unit has two parts: a little part goes into the hook component.

Once you have your preferred distribution method selected, then place the other plastic tube into the water source and pump.

The output is astonishing...

Wow... look at that. It looks clean, but is it really? Who is brave enough to try it?
OK, OK, I did. Then we all did. We agreed that it tasted a bit plastic-y because the PUR unit hadn't been used in a long time. We determined that if it was boiled beforehand that would have cleaned out the plastic taste. Something to keep in mind when you are getting your first fire going, you can always clean the tubes and the output devices by plunking them into some boiling water. Other than the taste though, the water was clean.

Another option, if you are still unsure, is to add 8 drops of bleach to a gallon of water.

Water Summary

Here I've covered three ways to purify water:

  • Homemade water filtration with a galvanized bucket inside a 5 gallon bucket with rocks, sand, charcoal and mesh fabric pieces to hold the elements in place.
  • PUR water filtration. This tool can be used in streams, ponds, and any water source. Very good and reliable tool to have on hand.
  • Beach to decontaminate the water. You could take dirty water, run it through even a bandana to get the grit out, and add only bleach (4 drops for a 1/2 gallon to sanitize the water and let it set for 20 minutes to offgas the chlorine and kill the bacteria) to prepare it for drinking.
DIY Clothes Washer

Thinking through the household tasks, I thought we should have a way to wash our clothes without an electric washing machine. We came up with the following necessary items to make one:
  • 1 wood handled plunger
  • 1 bathtub drain stopper
  • 1 5 gallon bucket with lid
  • 1 drill
With the supplies in hand, Dan talked Daniel through the steps of constructing a handmade clothes washer. Fortunately, Daniel had previously learned how to use a drill when he and Dan put the steel roof on my house, so no drill remediation was needed. (They did this outside, so somehow the use of electricity from the outside didn't come up for discussion. I'd recommend doing this before the electricity goes out.)

Dan had marked the plastic plunger base with dots where Danny was to drill. Somehow, Danny thought he was to drill between the dots, so this is what we came out with... : )

Notice the drain stopper in the background... Dan had previously cut a hole the size of the plunger handle into the drain stopper. He used a utility knife to do this. He also cut a hole in the lid of the 5 gallon bucket the same size. Then Danny took to drilling the plunger.

Assembly is easy: Place the plunger with holes into the 5 gallon bucket. Put the lid with the hole for the plunger handle over the plunger; then put the drain stopper over the lid. Into the bucket you can place the dirty clothes, some soap of your choosing (or 11.5 pH water), and the lid with the stopper. Use the plunger as the agitator to move the cleansing water through the clothes. 

You can dump the gray water onto your garden or use for flushing the toilet, then add clean water to rinse. Wring the wet clothes out by hand and hang on a clothes line with clothes pins to dry. You can even set up an indoor clothes line, if you don't want to draw attention to yourself by stringing the clothes line across one side of a room to the other using hooks in the walls. The clothes line can easily be taken down when you want to use the room for other purposes. When the clothes are dry, remove from the clothes line. Fold the clothes, and wear as needed.

Food/Meal Preparation and Cooking

By then the afternoon was ticking away and I thought I best figure out what kind of one-pot meal we'd have for dinner. Not sure how long it would take to cook, I got it ready early. Plus, at this time of year, we learned that it's best to do tasks when there is still sunlight to make it easier. 

In my largest pot, I put a bit of olive oil, chopped onion, shallots, garlic, and celery. Then I washed and sliced red potatoes, carrots. I opened a can of pink beans with my hand crank can opener. Sprinkled ground sage and ground jalepeno pepper onto the mix with salt and pepper too. Added some 9.5 pH water, which speeds cooking and enhances flavors. Put the lid on 'til we were ready to start the MSR Dragonfly burner.

The MSR Dragonfly burner was new and since I had never assembled or used it before, I very much appreciated having Dan who is experienced with these things to guide me through the steps. We watched a few videos on YouTube beforehand as well to get ready.

The cookstove had to be opened up and set on the aluminum round protective barrier that it comes with. The fuel tank needed to be filled. We used Coleman propane, which you can buy by the gallon. Then the two parts at the end of the tube need to be inserted into the fuel tank and secured. Once the gas is turned on on the tank and the stove, you can use a long handled fire starter to ignite the fuel. It'll burn high 6-8" flame for a few minutes and then it'll start hissing. When it starts to hiss, it is ready to have the fuel adjusted (up or down) so the blue flame (like a jet) can be used to cook the food. Since I was doing all of this for the first time, I was so engrossed in learning the steps that I didn't take any photos of this part. Maybe I did better when Danny was learning the next day... Anyway, once the flame was going we set the coffee pot on the burner to start making coffee which we'd have to sip on while the stew was cooking. We did all of this outside and temperatures were brisk. Keeping warm became another issue, which I'll cover in a later section on clothing.

I also purchased a Sterno burner (because that's what I remember from when my brothers were Boy Scouts when I was a kid) and it didn't look too complicated. Set up Sterno burner, open Sterno can, light it, and place on the sterno holder rack below the burner rack. Place pot on top. 

I discovered that the sterno burner is really good for heating up stuff, but not quite hot enough for cooking real meals. So it became the holding place to keep things warm. Like once the coffee was perked, we moved it to the sterno burner to keep it warm and put the stew on the MSR Dragonfly burner to cook. 

The stew turned out great. We ate outside on the picnic table and had wintertime S'mores for dessert. Winter S'mores consist of graham crackers, section of chocolate bar, sliced banana, and a graham cracker on top. I placed them on aluminum foil and warmed them on the sterno burner so the chocolate could melt a bit and become soft. I found out that graham cracker when heated sticks to the aluminum, so next time I'd spray it with some cooking oil first. It was yummy though.

As you can see in the photos that it is dark outside and cold is setting in. We also had a Coleman lantern that had never been used, so we had to prepare the mantles by lighting them and then turn on the fuel and ignight it. We decided to only use it outside because lanterns emit carbon monoxide and we didn't want to risk anything, even with having our house windows open a couple of inches at the bottom for ventilation. 

Satisfied we headed indoors. Inside we used candles and not too many of them. The fewer you have lit, the less you have to keep track of in case of emergency. We gathered in the living room for additional reading/conversation time. I had purchased some flashlights that strap on one's head, so we were able to read for awhile. But it didn't take long before we each went to our individual sleeping spots. Early to bed, early to rise comes to mind.

We also noticed how quiet it was in the house when there were no appliances running. Stone quiet.

The next day was very brisk outside. Around 19 degrees Farenheit. The idea of having to get up, get dressed and go out into the cold to start the burner to heat the coffee really wasn't too attractive. Fortunately, Dan is tough and got the coffee made before I knew it.

When I went outside, he had some tinfoil panels, which we had previously used for a solar baking experiment last year, blocking the N-NW wind. There's also the protective shield that goes around the MSR Dragonfly burner to protect the flame from the wind. Interestingly, the coffee left over from the night before was stored at room temperature and when brought outside into the cold started steaming without ever reaching the cook top!

Clothing and Layers

I was still learning about layering when he brought hot coffee into the house. I'm glad and thankful that he doesn't mind doing these tasks. I had bought some long underwear for Danny and me the day before, so we each decided today was the day to break them out. Under my jeans and sweatshirt they went. I had a neck scarf on, headband, and gloves in addition to an outer jacket, but when I went outside I was still cold. Dan told me to get my polypropylene jacket on. Replace the sweatshirt with a 100% wool sweater. Swap out my knit gloves for the survival gloves I have. I also had my thick wool socks on my feet. With those modifications, I was much warmer and could function outside. Daniel made similar discoveries and tweaked his clothing layers as well so he could manage in the cold.

More Cooking

The next day we decided to heat up the leftover stew so we wouldn't have to deal with storage or waste. It was already cooked so it wouldn't take as long and we could just crack some eggs on top once it was boiling for some poached eggs.

The stew with the poached eggs was yummy. We elected to eat indoors since the wind was a bit much to deal with.

Preparing Food became very important. Since I don't have experience doing this stuff and we only had one real burner for cooking, I didn't know how long it would take to make various dishes. Right after breakfast we discussed how we could cobble together an makeshift oven because I had a cake I wanted to bake. Dan suggested we take the largest pot and after washing it, place a layer of stones on the bottom of it. Then mix up the cake and pour it into the smaller sized pan and place that inside the larger one. The stones will act as a buffer and distribute the heat around the smaller pan so it's like an oven. I put the lid on the smaller pan and we had to put tinfoil over the larger one since it's lid didn't fit securely with the smaller pan's lid on.

The kind of cake I made was using a Chocolate Cake Mix, I can cherry pie filling, and 6 oz. gingerale. I mixed them altogether and put it into the smaller pan. The directions on the box said the cake would take 35 minutes. We checked it then, then added 10 more minutes, and then 15 more minutes for a total of 60 minutes (1 hour) before it was done enough. We didn't want the cake to burn or the bottom to become too crusty so we took it out when it was still deliciously moist.


Unveiled... what do you think?

The Chocolate Cherry Camping Cake looked so good to us, we really didn't want to wait to eat it after dinner. Danny quickly got instructed on lighting and using the MSR Dragonfly so he could whip together a quick lunch for us. Then we decided to have some of the lovely looking cake for dessert after lunch.

Dan and I had Bocaburger sandwiches and Danny ate Canadian bacon sandwiches. Then we enjoyed the cake... : )

Since our "oven" idea worked so well with the cake, Dan thought we should try using the same 'oven' and make baked potatoes. I washed 6 potatoes, poked holes in them with a fork on both sides, and wrapped them in tinfoil. We place that into the large pot with the stones on the bottom. That went on the burner at 1:00 and it took about 3 hours for the potatoes to be baked. We decided that wasn't the most efficient use of fuel or time, but since they were baked we'd warm up some beans with BBQ sauce on them and have that for dinner. We ate at 4:30 p.m. so we'd still have light and not have to light candles.

Cutting the baked potatoes in half, adding a pat of butter and a scoop of the BBQ beans made for a very tasty dinner that didn't require too much work. 


  • We ended up consuming 3 gallons of water for 3 people over the day and a half for cooking, drinking, beverages. 
  • We used about 1/4 of the fuel for all the meals we cooked and determined we could probably make about one week's worth of meals if we cooked judiciously.
  • We decided that we really liked modern amenities and that it takes a lot of energy to think everything through when learning how to do this for the first time.

Then we waited for sunset so we could turn on our lights and conclude our Roughing It Weekend. : )

Waste Not, Want Not

I know someone who is very good at fixing things... all kinds of things... and am finding out that it takes very little money to fix things rather than replace the items new. I also know people who throw out anything that doesn't work and go buy a replacement for it from a retail store. Or, go buy a second or a third one, if the first one was in some other location, rather than planning ahead and bringing the first one to the other location. Which approach costs a lot of man hours to support? Which approach allows you to enjoy the simple pleasures of taking care, planning ahead, and being prepared?

I grew up in a household where my parents didn't waste anything—they were Depression Era parents and learned the value of everything at a very young age. I didn't grow up with indulgences; I grew up frugally. I've held those values close to my heart throughout my life.
For example, when a kitchen appliance stops working, it may be as simple as replacing a fuse to get it to fully function again. Cost: $1.95. Replacement cost: $49.99. How many hours do you want to work to be able to do the task that that appliance does for you in your life? It may be important to place a value on your time and your life? Do you want to enjoy your life? Do you want to sell your life to buy stuff? Take it one step further... how do you want to be entertained? Do you want to go to a movie with others, buy the overpriced refreshments that don't contribute to health, and zone out for a couple of hours so you don't actually have to interact with those you are with? Or do you want to select an activity that may include exercise, fresh air, conversation, and no charges to spend time together and interact, which further strengthens your friendship? One option may cost around $50; the other option may cost $0. Which is more enriching to your life and your friendships?

In summary, if you value your life, your time, your friendships, your materials things, you can make choices that don't cost a bunch of money and still live a rich life. If you only value what money can do for you, you may fritter away your life, your friendships, your material indulgences in the pursuit of the big AGI (Adjusted Gross Income). Which way do you want to grow?

Permaculture & Hoop houses

I thought I'd try a 5-section bed with a permaculture variation... clean out bed, lay down 4-6 thick layer of newspaper, add a layer of compost about 3" thick and a layer of wood chips about 3" thick. Then plant the seeds in the traditional way—digging a little trench and place the seeds apart following their preferred seed spacing...

First, I cleaned out the bed getting rid of lots of weeds. One of the reasons I want to try permaculture is it looks like it handles weeds a lot better than exposed soil does...Where I live there is an abundance of Bermuda grass which survives about as well as cockroaches. However, I did learn something recently about weeds. My neighbor in California, a lovely woman, told me a long time ago that every thing has a positive reason for being even if we don't know what it is yet. I learned that weeds are the first line of defense for soil preservation. After soil has been cleared of whatever it was growing, the first thing that appears to keep the soil in place, rather than it blow away, are weeds. Learning that gave me a new appreciation for them. They have a very important job; without them our topsoil would blow away and then we couldn't grow anything!

Second, I spread out the newspaper over the bare soil to not only hold moisture from rain and the drip irrigation system, but also to block weeds from coming through.

Third, I dug compost from my compost bin and laid some on top of the newspapers to not only hold the paper down, but also to see how much of my own compost I had versus how much I needed to go buy. I needed 2 bags of compost. The big box store didn't have mushroom compost, which I've used and liked in the past. I ended up with cotton burr compost. I've read that it is nutrient dense, so I'm giving it a try.

The Fourth step, is to add a layer of mulch. In many of the permaculture videos they recommend getting tree mulch from tree service folks or your city. There is a city park near where I live and they happen to have lots and lots of free mulch. Just provide your own containers and vehicle. I get a couple of containers at a time.

In this freshly prepared 5-section bed I planted: Kale, Elephant Garlic, Onion, Red and Yukon Gold Potatoes, Swiss Chard, and New Zealand Spinach.

Happy with the planting results...I went out to survey my work. I noticed that something had already sprouted! I don't think I've ever seen a sprout this big emerge within 24 hours...

Looking around, though, I still have some beds that need attention and reworking for the fall, plus I still have a few things I want to plant: shallots, ginger, broccoli, and beets.

The first two permaculture beds and growing like crazy. Today we enjoyed some of the greens in a nice sandwich at lunchtime... I especially enjoy the beet greens in the cooler months.

Meanwhile, up in Michigan, Dan has been busy bending hoops and getting them installed to make a 20' x 85' large size hoop house, which are also known as high tunnels. He wants to try his hand at extended season growing in the colder climes. Today, he put up the perlins which connect the hoops together providing strength and sturdiness to the overall structure. Tomorrow it's side boards that can be used to hook wiggle wire onto; the wiggle wire will hold the plastic on the hoop house. He bought professional grade plastic that is made to last at least 4 years. The plastic will contain heat and prevent the cold winds from damaging the plants inside.

That's the job for this week. All the trips going up and down on a ladder are not easy on the legs, knees, and back. The more I plunge into serious gardening/farming, the more I have respect for our fore bearers and for farmers everywhere. 

Hey... let's throw in a harvest picture... because based on feedback, I know you love to look at a successful harvest and its inherent deliciousness. Danny and I have been starting to pick food from the fall crop lately. We've had a delicious sandwich using the greens, and a nice side salad for dinner tonight. Danny also picked some herbs to add to the macaroni dish he whipped up. You really can't get healthier food that this: no pesticides, absolutely fresh, organic heirloom seed stock, nutrient dense, and grown with love and care. What could be better?!

Stay tuned and Bon Appetit!

It's... Pie Night!

David's girlfriend, Erin, wanted to learn how to make pies from scratch. September 1st was the scheduled date. They both arrived promptly at 7:00 eager to get going. The plan was to have the boys play cards while Erin learned how to make pies. Erin wanted to make two different kinds of pies: apple and berry. After much consultation, we agreed that double crusts for both were in order.

Let the pie making begin...

We used a recipe that I had only made once before. It was a very buttery, flaky crust. I got it from The Splendid Table, Lynne Rossetto Kasper's show on NPR. I remember driving Daniel to his piano lesson and this recipe was being described. Both David and I were drooling from the sounds of it, so we decided that I should make it for his birthday that year. I think that was two years ago... Dan, my boyfriend, looked it up and sent it to me. Viola! It's called Lynne's Pie in the Sky Apple Pie recipe.

First, we laid out the crust ingredients... I told Erin that if you lay them out ahead of time, then you know if you have everything before you start and, if you put each one away as you use it, then you'll know if you've used everything when you get to the end. Plus you won't have a bunch of cleanup left at the end, which can seem overwhelming when you're tired.

Pie Crust ingredients:

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, each cut into 4-5 pieces
1 Tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar
5-7 Tablespoons iced water or iced apple juice

1.  Take a large plastic bag. Measure all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt) and place them in the bag. Toss them together. 

Add the butter to the bag and seal it. Put the bag in the freezer for about 20 minutes.

2. Turn the contents into a big bowl. With clean hands, blend the flour with the butter by rubbing them together with fingertips. Don't use palms because the heat will melt the butter. The butter should be in big flakes—about 2 inches long.

3. Sprinkle the vinegar and 5 tablespoons iced water over the dough. With a fork toss everything until it's barely moistened. Try to gather the dough into a ball. If too dry, sprinkle with 2 more tablespoons water, toss lightly, and then gather the dough into a ball. 

4. Divide the dough into 2 balls (in this case we had 4 balls since we were making a double recipe). Wrap them up and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (There's a lot of refrigerating in this crust recipe because of the butter in it. And... it's the butter that makes the crust so flaky.) While the dough is in the fridge, you can get the apples peeled and sliced...

5. Pare the apples and toss together the apple slices and the lemon juice.

Filling ingredients: 

6 large apples, peeled, cored, and sliced about 1/2 inch thick. (Don't use Golden Delicious—they will ruin the pie.)
Juice of 1 large lemon
1/2—2/3 tightly packed cup dark brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Add the other ingredients for the filling, tasting for sweetness.

Turn the apples with seasonings into a sieve and set over a bowl. Leave for 30 minutes.

6. Grease a 9- or 10-inch pie plate. Roll out the first piece of dough onto a well-floured board into a big circle that's about 1/8-inch thick. Lightly flour the top of the dough to keep it from sticking. 

Fit the dough into the pie pan, leaving about a 2-inch overhang. Save scraps for decorating the pie. Chill 30 minutes.

7. Spread a piece of foil over a cookie sheet. Roll out remaining dough to a circle that's about 16 inches in diameter. Set on the foil and chill 30 minutes.

8. Turn the drained juices from the filling into a saucepan and boil them into a thick syrup. Scrape back into the apples.

9. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

10. Fill the bottom of the pie shell with apples, mounding them high and pressing out air pockets. Cover with the big round of pastry. Seal edges together by rolling the overhang over the top crust and pinching them together. There should be a high ridge on the crust on the pie plate rim.

11. Brush 1 egg, beaten, and 3 Tablespoons sugar over the top of the pie to glaze it. Cut out a few steam holes. Cut our stars or leaves from the dough scrapes to decorate on the crust. Brush with more egg and sprinkle with sugar.

12. Bake on a cookie sheet for 45 minutes to an hour, or until apples are tender when you pierce them through one of the steam holes. Cool the pie(s) on a rack. Serve warm... with Sadaf (persian) tea. Yum!

So... we made that apple pie and a mixed berry pie and enjoyed them warm. Erin's family also got to enjoy the apple pie. The berry pie—left behind—didn't last too long the next day at my house. That was fun, Erin. Next... we'll have a lesson on Jane's Gluten Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins...

The Michigan Farm & Permaculture

Dan has a some land in Michigan that he's developing into an extended season garden using hoop houses and he's also using some permaculture practices on the acreage beyond the hoop house.

As we are learning about permaculture: Permanent, Agriculture, and Culture, we are each implementing the parts we can to get started on this path. Dan's many acres gives him a large pallet to work with. 

Having a woods with some felled trees, Dan decided to put those trees to good use by ploughing a furrow about 2 feet deep and 125 feet long. He placed 9 trees end to end and buried the whole dead tree. Fortunately, he has a friend who has a tractor that he could borrow to get the job done much more easily than hand digging the whole thing. It's a lot of work and he did a great job. One more step on the permaculture path... burying cellulose in the trees to retain water. This will allow the seeds to have a water reservoir of for their roots, which is especially important to offset the drought conditions that have spread across the country. And... look at those fluffy Michigan clouds! They have a special place in my heart... : )

Additionally, he's been busy harvesting and preserving from the hoop house garden this summer. (The hoop house is currently under construction since he doesn't need to rely on it yet throughout the summer.) However, with the cooler weather about to set in, he's got a timeline by which he needs to complete the construction of the hoop house. He's purchased materials enough to extend the hoop house to 20' x95'. This should give him enough area to use to grow vegetables in the winter for local use and sales.

Even Dan's mom has gotten into the action. She's been canning. Here's a sample of the harvest and her canning efforts.

One day last week Dan harvested 21 pounds of tomatoes in one picking. Not bad for five tomato plants. 

Some of these tomatoes are just downright... HUGE.  Here's a tomato that is the size of his fist and he's big boned.

Here's a 9-inch plate and the tomato covers about 6 inches of it. I bet that was a wonderful tomato sandwich in the making.

Keep in mind that all these vegetables have been grown with organic heirloom seeds, so saving their seeds for next year is very important. Dan has been saving these wonderful seeds so there'll be an abundance to use and look forward to next year. The great thing about heirlooms is not only are their seeds fertile, but they've been collected from year to year because they do produce consistent results, unlike hybrid seeds that do not give the same kind of yield from year to year. If a person learns to work with nature, rather than manipulating nature like much of what science and multinationals have been doing over the past 50 years, it really does allow for an abundant life.

Enjoy the sweetness of the summer fruit juices... Bon appetit!

My Permaculture Experiment...

With the scarcity of rain becoming more and more of an issue across the US and me planning to grow my own food, now and into the future, I figure I better learn how to conserve water when growing said food. When I learned about a guy named Sepp Holzer growing his food without irrigation, I was baffled. Especially when I saw him pull up radishes the size or turnips! How could he do that?! What magic techniques did he use?

I'm brand new to this type of food growing but it uses principles that make sense. So here's my very first baby step down the road of Permaculture... wish me luck!

I've had these raised bed for a few years now and I've also been doing extended season growing by using hoop houses. This has been great fun. Now to become more efficient in my growing—that sounds like a giant leap forward. I decided to try this in manageable chunks. I started with one small section of a raised bed. I dug out the greens that were past along with a layer of dirt and weeds, placing all of that into my wheel barrel. I still have to separate the weeds from the dirt, but I'm saving that job for tomorrow night.

Excited to see some progress and work through the steps, I dug out another layer of soil and placed it on a large sheet of cardboard. I separated the weed roots as I was digging since there weren't nearly as many the second layer down as there were in the wheelbarrow layer. The principle with permaculture is to layer things with wood fibers that contain cellulose at the base of the bed. When it rains or gets irrigated, the cellulose fibers will swell with water and retain it for use later by the plants. The roots will grow toward the water source. Ingenious! For the first layer, put down newspaper...

The next layer place cardboard. I happened to have this very large chunk of cardboard from something that I decided to save rather than take to recycling. I'm recycling in my own yard! How's that?!

On top of the cardboard, you place logs. I happen to have a lot of logs from all that logging I did at my property last winter; so now I can use some of them in these permaculture beds that I'm setting up.

I don't really know if three logs are enough or if I should put in more. If you have experience with using permaculture, I'm open to suggestions. Send them my way...

I placed a layer of black plastic over the dirt I dug out tonight thinking that by heating up the dirt, I have a chance of baking, aka killing, the weed remnants. I'm not sure how long I need to leave the black plastic on, so again, I'm open to learning.

That's as far as I got with this project tonight... I plan to work on it a bit every night that I don't have some other pressing thing to do.

Just to let you know... after the logs you place the soil... then seed it. Sepp uses a mixture of seeds that he just casts onto the ground. No straight rows or little holes or trenches for him. On top of the seed, place a layer of compost or manure, depending on what you're growing. For mushrooms use manure. For vegetables, use compost. I have a bunch of compost that I've been collecting for a few years now in the back by the shed. I think it's getting time that I start using it.

You may be wondering why am I prepping a bed in August... I'm creating this permaculture bed in my hoophouse area so I can grow through an extended season by covering the area with plastic when the weather turns cool to cold. I'm hoping to have potatoes by winter : )

Other projects that I've been busy with...

Dehydrating herbs and packaging them for use in teas and cooking:

Preserving the abundance of tomatoes this year, Hallelujah! I'm dehydrating both the yellow pear and red tomatoes. 

Don't they look terrific?! When you bite into a dried tomato the intensity of the flavor is astounding. It hits your taste buds like nothing else. Some people call them candy because they are so tasty. Really... who'da thunk?!
Then I use my seal-a-meal machine to suck all the air out of the bag and make a seal. It's pretty cool. I'm trying some with olive oil and some just dry.

It almost looks like beef jerky or something... but it's really just tomatoes. Yum... : )

There was also the fun I had with growing Yellow Eggplants... aren't they the most adorable things you ever did see?!

Here they are after harvesting... : )

I turned them into a persian stew, called koresh. Eggplant koresh with lentils is one of my favorites. Really I like many of the koreshes, but it's fun to have enough time to make one now and then. 

One day we ran across an apple tree (MacIntosh) on sale, so we snatched that up and planted it. With a peach tree and a pear tree already established, I figured adding an apple tree to the mix was a good idea.

One day we decided to harvest the volunteer potato plant that showed up this season... Trying to teach my kids that food comes from the land, I try to involve my kids a bit at a time so they have these memories to draw from as they go out into the world and need to make their way. Who knows what they may need to do in life and if they know that they can grow their own food and what it looks like, they're way ahead of many folks these days.

We cooked those spuds into one tasty treat. It's really fun to eat food that is just that fresh! Every one walks away with smiles on their faces.

Bon appetit!

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