Our backyard was in terrible shape when we bought our house. We already cleaned out heaps and heaps of debris that were stuffed under the hedge, got rid of an ugly dog house and dog run, removed a huge evergreen that was growing in the middle of the yard, trimmed back the neighbor’s hedge, and raked up a bunch of dead leaves and other junk.
The lawn was in pathetic shape, full of holes and bumps (hello twisted ankle or broken leg waiting to happen!) thanks to the previous owner’s dog, and being overtaken by moss, so we decided to take it out and replace it with something a lot lower maintenance, like some kind of Stepables, as well as dedicate some area to fruit trees, berries, a vegetable bed and chicken coop. Oh, and did I mention play house/swing for the kids?
And yes, we only have a standard 100 x 50 foot urban lot, which is mainly taken up by the footprint of our house. Needless to say, we have to plan the usage of our limited space very carefully. We started by taking out one of the plants in the corner to make room for the chicken coop, and then we tilled, added soil amendments (mainly lime and dolomite at the suggestion of Steve Solomon), and raked the yard. Well, we tilled the entire yard, but still have to rake and grade it.
Here is our ginormous compost pile now! Our Earth Machine from Metro is overflowing just a wee bit!
And a bunch of rubble (from Dan taking out the concrete walkway) that we can probably use as fill when we level the front yard.
Ah, the never ending projects of having bought a fixer for a house!
My taste buds know that raw milk tastes better. My brain knows that raw milk is safer (I have read statistics showing that pasteurized milk has caused more illness and deaths than raw milk), and that raw milk is healthier (I’ve read how pasteurization kills all the good bacteria and enzymes and how homogenization is linked to heart disease), yet when I learned about The Raw Milk Controversy, a DVD available from Chef Jem, a co-representative of the Gold Country Chapter of the WAPF, I was absolutely stunned at the interesting and insightful historical information provided about why there is an idea out there that dairy — a traditional nourishing food — is bad for you.
Among other things, I learned that milk production became industrialized at the same time that distilleries moved into almost every major city in the US. Fields were needed to grow grains for ethanol production, and cows were forced off their pastures and into confinement in factory like conditions next door to the distilleries. Instead of grass, they were fed some kind of nasty grain by-product from the distilleries, and immediately the quality of the milk produced by these poor cows dropped. This is why milk became bad, and why it started making people sick.
There is lots more to this absolutely fascinating story! You can view about 30 minutes of the discussion between Dale Jacobson, DC and Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures Dairy online, but I urge you to get the DVD and organize showings of it for all your friends and family. If you are located in the Portland, OR area, feel free to contact me. I am planning to host screenings of this film. It really might change your family’s life!