2013 in Review Part II

squashbaby

July
We got rid of our compact florescents and went back to incandescent bulbs. In most household applications, believe it or not, incandescent bulbs are a better choice. Mrs. Homegrown pondered equine touring by reviewing an obscure book, The Last of the Saddle Tramps. Perhaps she was inspired by our 2012 siting of the 3 mule guy (one of our most Googled posts, by the way).

August
I consider summer to be our winter in Los Angeles. It’s hot and dry and, other than harvesting tomatoes, summer here is not the best time for gardening. Time to contemplate closed vs. open floor plans and catch a crappy Hollywood movie. “Crappy Hollywood” is a redundancy, of course, as all Hollywood movies are crappy.

September
Mrs. Homegrown complained about my flour storage mess. I just bought a Komo mill and so this mess should diminish in the next few months. In the further interest of cleanliness, I blogged about the soap nut tree.

October
We attended Pascal Baudar and Mia Wasilevich’s life changing acorn processing class. Every time I take one of their classes I leave thinking, “that was the best food I’ve ever tasted in my life.” And one sure way to generate controversy is to discuss anything related to bees, especially Africanized bees.

November
I take a baking class with Craig Ponsford who’s a famous advocate of whole grain baking. Ponsford inspires me to orient all cooking/preserving projects on this blog towards good health. Look for more blog posts on healthy food in 2014. We also participated in Stoic Week 2013. Stoicism is a philosophy that helps us deal with the ups and downs of life. And I got my Ham license–KK6HUF.

December
I harvest one big-ass squash out of the straw bale garden we planted in the spring. In the ongoing post-modern funhouse of mirrors that is the interwebs, reader Molly informs me that Home Depot put our straw bale garden on their Pinterest page. Maybe I’ll get a free orange bucket, a unhappy flat of petunias or an ugly set of patio furniture as a kickback.

That big-ass squash is a reminder of how fortunate we are–care for nature and she cares for you. Of all the activities of our past year, the ones that stick out for me relate to simple, healthy food and communion with nature. Best wishes for an abundant and healthy 2014 to all of you.

What were the highlights of your 2013?

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7 Comments

  1. Here it is, December 31st in New England and we are looking down the barrel of a winter storm with the possibility of a foot of the white stuff, but I digress…I’m commenting because of your comment on incandesant bulbs(July) saw a report on the local morning news program about the phase out of said bulbs, I prefer them myself, inexpensive, safer to dispose of, and, they last long enough for me, except for the 3 ways, so I’ve stopped using those. For our off grid cottage we do use cfl’s and have tried the LED’s(they buzz)The worst thing I can image happening to me is hearing “We’re from the government and we’re here to help”…if it ain’t broke…just saying, I’ll be found in the seedy part of town looking for black market Edisons,”Psst, hey buddy, got any 60′s?, What?! soft whites are extra?”

  2. Mr. Homegrown, I have a bit of a bone to pick about “In most household applications, believe it or not, incandescent bulbs are a better choice.”

    The only value statement of what is “better”, in both your article and the linked Home Power article are about eye comfort and perceived useful brightness. Fair enough those are important things.

    But what about the ecosphere? Lighting is usually in the top three consumers of electricity–which is generally generated by coal power. So, climate change, mercury poisoning, particulate pollution, cancer…

    Even by the efficiency metric, Home Power says, “Running two “efficient” lights to replace a single inefficient one doesn’t make sense.”

    In fact, according to Wikipedia, “Compared to general-service incandescent lamps giving the same amount of visible light, CFLs use one-fifth to one-third the electric power, and last eight to fifteen times longer.” So, even running two bulbs, you are still making a better choice for the rest of the billions of organisms on the planet.

    Funnily enough, I just replied on your original thread this morning before I saw this…

    Now, obviously the best thing is to build buildings properly sited and designed to use natural light. Since North America is phasing out inefficient incandescents, we can expect a flurry of less expensive LEDs that will make this whole conversation moot.

    But, in the meantime, on this issue as in so many issues that Root Simple and its readers are on the cutting edge of, we need to pay a little more attention. Here is my comment from the earlier post:

    “Marianne, the reason your CFLs don’t last is because you are in the habit of turning off your lights…

    Switching CFLs on and off shortens their life a tiny bit. Apparently the break-even is 15 minutes. So, using CFLs in areas where they get lots of fast switching–stairs, hallways, bathrooms–shortens their life considerably.

    I use LEDs in the halls and highest use areas, like the kids room and kitchen. CFLs go in the office and living room, and incandescents are in the fridge and stove.”

    • As usual, Ruben, you make good points. Most of the bulbs I replaced were in places where they were not on for more than five minutes or so. Perhaps I was hasty in replacing the bulbs in our living room reading lamps. That being said, the light quality of the CFLs I had were terrible. Perhaps there are better options out there? I also replaced some CFLs at my elderly mom’s house where it was becoming a safety issue–they took way too long to warm up and the light quality made it difficult for her to see.

    • Yeah, I have recycled my share of bad CFLs. I can say that I hate IKEA CFLs. I like Phillips CFLs.

      It is definitely worth spending some time with a colour temperature chart. I like the bathroom and kitchen lighting to be much more blue–it is closer to daylight and things look more real.

      But, being down south, you can get cheap shipping from EarthLED. They had ten-packs for Christmas that were dirt cheap, and have a huge Earth Day sale each year. I usually put together a bulk buy with my friends.

      But all of these things are just the price of being Early Adopters. Every single technology goes through this–can you imagine how much the first incandescent bulbs cost? I bet people were saying they would never give up their candles….

      Root Simple and its readers are really figuring stuff out that everybody will be doing in few years. Hang in there with the light bulbs!

  3. I would rather have gasoline rationed than to use CFl or LED lamps! I just bought all the 40- and 60-watt bulbs in town that were 130 volt. They last forever. There were only 27 of those bulbs left, but plenty of 120 volts.

    No one seems to know that as of January 1, 2914, it will be illegal to sell these bulbs, so I hope to get a few more on Thursday. Maybe it illegal to sell to stores. I don’t know.

    LED bulbs have killed several people all in the interest of saving money. LED bulbs in traffic lights do not warm the snow or ice, so the light is covered and the cars do not know if there is a red or green light. I am continually terrified now for my daughter in NYC. So, it saves millions of dollars for one city. How much is a life of your loved one worth. It seems no one thought this through.

    The light from LED and CFL are horrible. CFL light gives me a horrid headache. Fluorescent bulbs in store and in schools give me a headache. They are not conducive to learning.

    If someone wants to buy LED bulbs for the porch and basement, I will gladly use them. I looked at the price of LED and found bulbs for around $8.

    I want to do everything that is good for the ecosphere except quit using fluorescent bulbs. I don’t use paper products. I just bought one 16 oz. stainless steel Klean Kanteen tumbler that I will rinse and put in the refrigerator each time I use it. I recycle everything.

    Just this one thing I want, just one–incandescent bulbs

    I have a lamp on beside me with three bulbs, all 40-watt. It actually helps me stay warm, so it is doing double duty. I can use one bulb when the sun is shining or when I am too warm in the summer.

    What will happen to Easy Bake Ovens?

    • “What will happen to Easy Bake Ovens?”

      LOL!

      I had one of those, and also a miniature sink with a water reservoir so I could practice washing dishes. The fun! Thanks, mom and pop, for the insidious domestic training.

      Maybe Easy Bakes are mini microwaves now?

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