May, 2011 Issue #120




It happens every year and we generally invest in a flat.  This is 24 pounds of strawberries which ended up as jam.




Bob found time to make jam and boy is it tasty!  Here he holds one of the strawberries from our patch outside the front door.  Most of those got eaten fresh, a few found their way into jam and the deer and slugs made off with some, too.  For more photos of stuff we grew, please visit Trouts Farm Gardens




At least until UPS stops delivering, this is what modern homesteading looks like.  Part bulk food order.  Part CSA.  This year we're getting our summer CSA box from CCCC's Land Lab and our winter box will come from next door.  Not to mention Bob's prolific garden.  See link above.




Our house has turned into a neighborhood gathering place.  We are lucky to have the time to keep up a space people enjoy relaxing in.  Sebastian lived next door in a tent for a while when he was working as a volunteer on the farm and of course, got to meet Spot.

A shoe pile on the back porch is a common sight because we ask guests to remove their shoes before stepping inside.  We learned this trick while living in China, Guam and Hawaii and can't believe we once used to wear our shoes inside the house.  The custom of removing footwear has cut our housecleaning time by a third.




Both the snapping turtle and the thirteen-year cicada made temporary appearances in our yard this month.  For more see Wild Kingdom




Just so you don't go thinking we live in a palace, here's the view of our back porch with its leaky roof.  But, like anything else, home is what you make of it and we love ours.  We recently replaced the roof on the rest of the house and had roof over the front porch rebuilt.  Our next project will be to add gutters so we can catch water for the garden.  After that we'll think about getting the back porch roof rebuilt.  As all home owners know, it all takes money and money takes time.  Meanwhile, speaking of time and money, Jason and Haruka are plugging away at their root cellar next door.



Bob was at the college one day, standing in the parking lot.  One minute there was no donkey and the next there was.  He could could only deduce that the young lady who had just driven up in her Honda Element had unloaded a donkey.  So he went over and asked her if she had brought her donkey in her car and she said yes she had.  Now, that's something you don't see every day!  Reminds us of rodeo clown Leon Coffee pulling a little burro from his pants...



Here we go again, just like we do every May.  This year we got smart (well, Bob is the smart part here) and rented a car rather than drive one of our old cars which have close to 500,000 miles between them.  Read about all of our exploits here: Annual Trip North




After a night in Armentrout land we drove up to Illo land for five nights. We spent time with John and Mom, to name a few.  More on this here: Shippensburg Visit




While we were in Pennsylvania we hooked up with Matt, who happily hosted our annual tour of Dickinson College




In a completely self-indulgent move, we took the train to New York City and booked a B&B in lower Manhattan for two nights.  The highlight of our trip was spending some time with cousin Frank.


"Look at some of the older, more stable cultures in the world: Their organizing principle is not self but community.  You don't just do what is good for you.  Our culture is paying the price of self-interest as an organizing principle." Peter Coyote from his interview in the June issue of The Sun magazine

"Please do not mistake your empire-building for creation or your mutual palm-greasing for cooperation." from E.T. 101 - The Cosmic Instruction Manual for Planetary Evolution by Zoev Jho and Mission Control

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