Sunday, July 27, 2008

DIY Bicycle Trailers

Pixie commented on the last post about the Sports Utility Bicycle that she would like to do some of this, but it looked pricey. I think that it can be as expensive or as inexpensive as you want it to be. If you go and buy the best at the bike shop, you will undoubtedly have a nice looking and top of the line bike. But there are a lot of good bikes looking for a home at DI. They might need a little oil and the grease in the bearings to be changed, but mostly they will be fine. Old Christmas and birthday presents that have been outgrown and neglected when kids go on missions and on to college. Annie got her bike at a yard sale, and I got mine at a thrift shop... and, yes, we will probably upgrade someday, or at least get some new shifters for her bike.

Mostly they work fine, and we ride all over town and some into the country with them. but they aren't set up to haul much, and we don't really want a big basket or panniers on the sides of the wheels when we run to town.

I came across some designs for do-it-yourself bike trailers, being somewhat inspired by the kid carrier trailer that M&J have for carrying Greta.

See what you think of these. They can all be built for a few dollars and don't require welding, although I am sure welding might make some parts of the fabrication easier. They are all pretty robust, one being designed for up to 300 lbs and to carry "loads as diverse as wood, water, maize, fertilizer, portable generators and pregnant women." So, as Pixie likes to say: There you have it.

Trailer 1: The Coleman Cooler Trailer

Trailer 2: The Scrap Metal Trailer

Trailer 3: The IBF Trailer

Trailer 4: The Bamboo Trailer

When I get done building fences, raised bed grow boxes, cradles, quilting frames etc., I think I will build one of these.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Sport Utility Bicycle - SUB

This was an interesting article and clip. Especially the blender. That is kind of new.

When I was a Freshman and Sophomore at the University of Colorado I didn't have a car. Being single, young and not employed it was not all that hard. It gets harder when you are older, have strict times when you have to be at work etc.

Annie got her bike at a yard sale, and I got mine at a thrift store. Real high end machines, but they get us around. We are limited to what we can carry on them. A few light items in a bag isn't a problem, but when you pick up a gallon of milk, it makes it a little unstable. In the olden days, when I was at CU, I would toss everything into an old army green pack and just head home up the hill. It was surprising what I could get in the pack, but I don't really want to go back to the pack either. This guy has an extended length frame bike, and some heavy duty panniers.... which I am not sure is the answer either. Give it a look. It's kind of fun.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hard Red, Hard White, and Soft White

I told Kevin that I would take 500# of hard red, 500# of hard white, and 200# of soft white. The cost will be $15/50# bag, or $30/hundred. So I am hoping (Friends and Family) that you take some of this off my hands so I don't have to store it.

Also, I think the honey people are getting ready for some harvesting. The bees haven't all died here. I will let you know what I find out.

The hard white is supposed to make a bread that is very mild, and tastes much like bread from white, milled flour. We tried some soft white years ago and it didn't keep really well, but I am thinking that it would be just the ticket in pilaf.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Wheat, Wheat, Wheat

If you are interested (family and friends) there might be some wheat available, double cleaned in bags in a week or two. Let me know if you are interested. But don't wait too long. He doesn't have anywhere to store it, and so will probably clean up what he harvests and sell it quickly.

If you don't have a grinder, or don't want to bake, here is a great recipe for wheat pilaf. Whole grain goodness and you don't have to worry about eating it too quickly.

Call me soon if you are interested in the wheat. I heard a price third hand, and talk to Kevin myself.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

For the Earth is full, and there is enough and to spare

In the midst of all the bad news that surrounds us, it is really important to remember that the 'earth IS full, and there IS enough, and to spare'. This a promise and a reassurance that had been given to us, possibly for times like these. If there is hunger or shortages, it isn't because the earth is failing us, but because we have the wrong system of farming or economics in place to realize the promise that we have.

I ran across a very encouraging web site that I hope you also like. The Dervaes family lives in Pasadena California. They harvest almost 6000 lbs. of produce off of 1/5 of an acre. They live off the grid and power their computers from solar panels. Here is a short trailer that shows a little about what they are doing. They believe they are 21st Century pioneers in the mold of Laura Ingalls Wilder from Little House on the Prairie

They have a website that has quite a bit of information on it. They also have a newsletter that you can sign up for. I just signed up today, so I can 't comment on the content.

It seems to be a common attitude when thinking about storage, to neglect home production. One friend said that he would just dig up his lawn and plant a garden, if conditions warranted it. I didn't know what to say. You can certainly dig up you lawn, and eventually have a good and productive garden, but not the first year. And probably not the second year either. It takes a while for the soil to become fertile, and it takes longer to learn how in the heck to get any kind of harvest.

Another attitude that I hear is that..... what can you do.... get some storage and wait for the Second Coming.... the problems are just too big. That would be great if the Second Coming was well scheduled, and we could count on it coming in the nick of time. More likely, we will ignore the coming storm, and then have to wonder how to feed our families. James Slessinger, former head of the Department of Energy also said that we (in the U.S.) have two speeds, complacency and panic. Complacency will just about guarantee panic somewhere down the road.

Anyway, I don't expect that we will ever get to where we were as self sufficient as Dervaes family, and I don't suppose that anyone that reads this will be either, but..... they have shown what can be done in small space in an urban environment. Granted, Pasadena has a much better growing season, and more natural rainfall than we do here in Utah, still, we can stand to make our yards and homes more productive, and while we have the chance we should make it a priority to do so.