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Eat your vegetables, don’t smoke your weeds

April 17, 2014

I caught a story on the radio today about the effects of recreational marijuana use on a student’s attendance records and grades. It seems that students in Colorado who regularly smoke the weed are less likely to show up at class and make poorer grades. “What!! You spend your time and money researching something we all figured out in the 70’s”
Then I thought, what if they did a study concluding that people who eat fast food 10 times a week were more likely to have diabetes? Or what about a study that showed that eating a diet rich in locally grown fresh vegetables and grass fed meat would lower your cholesterol and blood pressure. Those studies would be no less ridiculous to me than one that says that marijuana makes you more interested in a dripping faucet than a calculus equation.
I assume that everyone knows that most of our health problems are related to our diet. If there are people out there that do not understand the relationship between what we eat and our health, I suggest that behavior has consequences. Marijuana consumption can make you consume junk food and the junk food can cause diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, those can result in high medical bills. Pharmaceuticals will mask the symptoms but not cure the effects, side effects of the legal drugs will cause you to be prescribed more drugs.
The question is, is it the fault of you consuming the marijuana or the fault of you not eating your vegetables. (Either way you should have invested in pharmaceutical companies instead of majoring in theatre.)
Some people even eat fast food without the influence of munchie inducing drugs.
For a few million dollars in research money I will collect the statistics, coo-elate the conclusions and produce a paper evaluating whether you should expect to get out of your body what you put into it. Or you could do like me and say “They did a study on what?”
editor note:
occasional use of junk food can be hazardous to your health
marijuana makes you very hungry and too lazy to cook–and that is a good thing because cooking would be hazardous

Knowing I have followers whose first language is not English I must say that there is satire in this post.

Farm open house Sunday, May 4

April 11, 2014


On Sunday May 4 we are opening the farm to all our friends. Bring a picnic and check out the farm. We have lots of wild space with great bird watching, sheep and lambs, chickens and baby chicks, aquaponics, and a few gardens newly planted. We will play around with scything and grafting, and walk the trails. We open at noon and will continue until 4:00.


Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home


Food without a plot

April 2, 2014


In 1973-74, working as a scenic designer in Mexico City, I earned extra money dubbing movies on Saturday mornings. A group of us English speakers would meet at a studio to serve as vocal “extras”. All the main scenes had been dubbed by the pros, and we were there to fill in the bit parts. We would be given our lines, see a quick preview, and they would play the scene while we said lines like “I didn’t do it”. We never knew the plot, the motivation or the title of the movie.

Some people have that kind of relationship with their food. Cooking is not a family experience, shopping is like speed dating, and the garden is a decoration. Does it matter that the food you ate was unhappy, tortured, polluted, in poor soil, grown by an exploited farm hand, cooked and served by people disappointed with their jobs and eaten alone in a car with the dinner conversation on a cell phone?
Food is a glue for a society. When we get together, it is around food. I met a man named Gerardo Marin from the group Rooted in Community. He told the story of his grandmother making molé. It took a long time to make the meal. Her recipe had 52 ingredients, each with their own story. The day long process produced food, conversation and a connection to that meal through family history. I grew up eating out of our family garden. We all snapped “greasy beans” together from seeds that had been saved for generations. I still grow those same beans and cook them the same way my grandmother did. Food at our house has always been about knowing where the food came from, knowing it was handled with love, cooked with conversation and eaten as a family who was happy to be part of the story. The last time I saw my grandmother at her home she was 95 and making grape juice from the grapes she had picked that morning. She was straining the boiled and crushed grapes through a cloth that was tied to a broomstick, suspended between two ladder-back chairs. When I think of Thanksgiving, I think of Dylan, Brett, Kenan and me spending the entire day in the kitchen together.
Life is too short for fast food. I can’t miss out on the fun, the companionship, the meaning, and the memories. It would be like making movies without a plot.

Fruit tree workshop: Grafting and other asexual propagation methods

March 25, 2014

Sunday April 27This class is sold out. The next grafting class is on June 22 and we will be only grafting citrus. More info to come.

apple-tree-graftFruit trees and berries are mostly propagated by asexual methods. It is rare to grow these plants from seed. We use grafting, budding, layering, division and cuttings at the farm. Participants will perform a cleft graft, do stem cuttings of figs, grapes & pomegranates, leaf & petiole cuttings of herbs, root divisions & tip layering of blackberries, air layering on muscadines, and mound layering of rootstock. Each participant will leave with a tree they graft and the cuttings they have potted. The next class is Sunday April 27, 2:00 at Laughing Frog Farm. You can register by email $45
Spring classes

Aquaponics Workshops June 8

March 24, 2014



Sunday June 8
I will be offering an additional aquaponics workshops.



We will discuss the biological system, various systems being used by others, possible fish and other aquatic life, various organic feed options, pumps, stocking rates and growing bed sizes. We will talk about the types of plants that do best, the nutritional information of aquaponic fish and vegetables, types of media for the beds, and what you are eating when you buy grocery store fish. In both classes we will go through the construction of each simple, inexpensive system I have.
We will put together an IBC system, a simple to build system that will cost you around $250 and can yield 50 pounds of fish annually and lots of vegetables on a 4′ x 8′ footprint. This class will come with a complete parts list and written instructions.

Workshops begin at 2:00 in the afternoon and will last until about 4:00. The cost is $45 per person $80 for two people. Register by emailing me and pay at the event. You will have the opportunity to purchase an IBC system without the fish, water, media and plants. Classes are limited to ten people. Most of the class is outdoors.

Earth Qi Gong for Women

March 24, 2014

Kenan Rote will teach an introduction to Earth Qi Gong for Women April 6. Instructor Tina Chunna Zhang’s says “This special medical Qi Gong was originally developed and perfected over the course of 1700 years by Daoists, Traditional Chinese Medical (TCM) doctors and Qi Gong experts in China. It integrates the principles of TCM with the classical internal arts to feed the needs of a woman’s unique anatomy.”
Class begins at 2:00 Sunday April 6. $45
Kenan is a certified instructor who trained under Tina Zhang.

Qi Gong

Qi Gong

Register by email

Texas spring crop massacre

March 18, 2014

Today is the fifth time that we are starting to plant tomatoes. We have lost peaches and plums, due to frost and cannot plant corn and beans yet. Too much mud followed by unseasonable freezes have interfered with our schedule. I make decisions easily but I was never very good at making the right decision.
When I was young and lived in Austin I designed the sets for quite a few movies. They all paid about $500 for two weeks of round-the-clock work with promises of residuals. I never saw a viewing of any of the movies I worked on in Austin, much less residuals–not even from gems like “Vampires, Second Blood”. One night in 1974 I got a call in the middle of the night asking if I could come down and become the scene designer on a new film. They had no money and were not paying any salaries, but would pay residuals. I had bills to pay and had no interest in working on some movie for some mythical future payment. Before I hung up I was told the title. It was so ridiculous and I knew I was right to refuse the project.
Sometimes you know you are making the right decision. I am planting tomatoes today. It is the right decision.
And of course I refused to design the sets for a movie called “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” for nothing other than royalties. Wouldn’t you?
True story.


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