Archive for the ‘Tuesday links’ Category

From the Georgia Straight:

What if you woke up one day and found that the world as you knew it had ceased to exist? It’s a thought that has probably crossed the minds of many and perhaps been quickly dismissed by most as silly.

For Brennan Wauters, this prospect is real. That’s why he’s preparing for what he describes as a “collapse”.

From Wauters’s perspective, the game changer is peak oil. He believes that in the past five years, the world has reached the point of maximum production of oil, and that the supply of this fuel source is on the decline. One day, the pumps may run dry.

But the 42-year-old Vancouver man is not the type to hunker in a bunker. He isn’t storing food, buying gold, or stocking up on weapons to survive in a post-oil world.

“I’m more a survivalist in the sense that I think we have to be psychologically prepared,” Wauters said. “I concentrate on being able to do things with as little as possible. It’s also an exercise to me, like there’s many things that I could just go to the store for. But I deliberately take a harder route just to test my own capabilities, to give me confidence that whatever happens, everything will be fine.”

Read the whole article here.


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Image shamelessly stolen from the article's source. Please don't sue me. I don't have any money. I don't even have bees.

Google has an official beekeeper? Now that’s pretty cool.

Dripping honey from his hands, from his white, sting-retardant bee suit and even from his face, he looked like a giant, slightly deranged Pooh Bear. He also looked happy. As he stood in one of the cafes on the search giant’s Mountain View campus, Tomaszewski held a jar of the golden nectar from Google’s first honey harvest.

Totally awesome. And I completely miss having bees.

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It’s about friggin’ time: Metro Vancouver’s Tap Map app shows iPhone users the closest water fountains

The free app takes your location and shows you sources of tap water in the vicinity.

These sources include 550 public drinking fountains across the region.

Metro Vancouver is also encouraging restaurants and others businesses that are willing to refill people’s water bottles to add themselves to the map.

Here’s the Web-based version for those of us lacking fancy tech gadgets, too.

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From the Globe and Mail: Waste-collecting cyclists put a new spin on recycling

ReCYCLISTS is the green vision of two trash-talking men, Aaron Bichard, 34, and Jason Adams, 36.

For Mr. Bichard, a committed cyclist who grew up in a funky Okanagan home where he “ate carob instead of chocolate,” nimble bikes are the answer to downtown waste collection for small businesses.

So three years ago in Duncan, B.C., he started a business where traditional recyclable materials are picked up by bike.

Looking to Victoria’s dense downtown, he realized the capital could be well-served by bikes that can wheel into spots unsuited to bigger vehicles.

Mr. Adams approached garbage from another angle.

While a University of Victoria student, he worked for a garbage-collection company that “made good money at the expense of the landfill.”

With three trips a day, Mr. Adams saw how quickly the dump was being filled, even with material that had value.

“There were commodities worth chasing,” he said.

Read the whole article here.

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First of all, my extreme apologies to the followers of the Farmhouse Blog. I’ve been … busy. Lots of fun life stuff. Haven’t spent more than three nights at the house in the past two weeks. Consequently I’m ridiculously behind on an update! But the garden is looking a-maz-ing and I will take pictures as soon as I can.

But until then, I’ve got a few links for your reading pleasure!


Is vegetarianism always worse for the environment? The bacon lovers and the soy huggers square off.


Cycling is sexy. Don’t deny it; it’s true. Mmm, sexy cycler ass.


Print this list out. The foods at the top are the most pesticide-free while the ones at the bottom are not. Food closer to the bottom has the most risk of being coated with chemicals and it’s recommended you buy organic versions whenever possible. (Check out your local farmers’ market for them!) The Farmhouse has a similar checklist hanging in our kitchen.


Alright. That’s it. Short and sweet. Hope you are all having beautiful summers!

Much Farmhouse love!

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Sorry for missing last week’s update, cats and kittens. Sometimes there are just not enough hours in the week for me to get everything done! But to make it up to you, you get two super-double-plus-awesome posts today.


I sat down for a brainstorm with the housemates the other day (okay, it was like two weeks ago) about just what’s been going on at the Farmhouse. Here’s the latest from the team:


  • the potatoes are getting huge … they sprouted in the pantry over the winter
  • Ander and Sara built a new trellis with peas in the back
  • drying kale for seed
  • lots of sprouts in the greenhouse
  • there’s a new container garden on the patio (it’s so amazing, need pictures!)
  • planted corn, squash, and beets along the side fence
  • lots of cut flowers for the house
  • borage and touch-me-nots are sprouting everywhere there’s bare soil
  • seriously, if you want a borage plant, let us know
  • Sara developed a kickass recipe for hot sauce based on things in our garden (TOP SECRET)
  • parsnips are ready to be harvested
  • mint is recovering after being transplanted (I did that!)
  • there’s a new dish line on the counter made of two kinds of tape … if the dishes cross it, you wash the dishes … if it’s not kept to Max’s standards, then he’ll take away the nice pots; if we keep it up, Max will make tasty treats
  • lots of group eatings, including impromptu brunch one lovely Saturday and a house dinner yesterday
  • quinoa and lentils sprouting right now
  • discussed the correct pronounciation of quinoa (which, in the Farmhouse, is kee-NO-wah)
  • harvested the burdock root … it’s surprisingly tasty according to the roomies, “sort of artichoke-y”
  • scavenged some stuff from a house that was torn down on our block, including an old-school oven that Sara’s going to convert into an outdoor cooking surface


Yeah, life at the Farmhouse is kicking ass and taking names.


This week in the links, MAIN STREET CAR FREE DAY! It’s one of several car-free events happening in Vancouver on June 20, but it’s the closest one to our house. They’ll be shutting down Main from 33rd to 16th from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The organizers are still looking for volunteers so if you’ve nothing else to do on Father’s Day, consider helping out a good cause.


Great news out of California: the state assembly has voted to ban single-use plastic bags in retail stores! It’s not officially law yet until it’s passed by the state Senate, but it’s looking like a done deal. California currently uses 19 BILLION single-use plastic bags each year. San Francisco has been plastic-bag-free since 2007.

In light of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster—now the worst in U.S. history (if not the world)—I’ll take any eco-friendly victory I can get.

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This morning I looked in my “Tuesday links” folder in my bookmarks (yes, I am that anal retentive) and found not one single link! OH GOD WHAT TO DO?

A look at the foundation of Curtis Wilson's sustainable house. Kerry Elspeth Crooks photo.

So I bring you a collection of videos and articles about weird stuff to build houses out of.


My pal Curtis Wilson, who lives in good ol’ Thunder Bay, Ont., is currently building a rammed earth house out of recycled tires and dirt. I’m super impressed and inspired by what Curtis is doing, although I think I’m even more impressed that someone my age owns 23 acres of land.

Be sure to check out Earthship.org for the complete word on these unique buildings.


This article also talks about earth/tire houses, as well as houses made of cardboard and straw bales.


This Argentinian man spent 19 years and used over six MILLION glass bottles and concrete to build his home.



In no mood for words? The Huffington Post has a slide show of buildings made out of garbage, including the Texas Beer Can House and the above-mentioned beer bottle house.


And finally, Built from Trash! chronicles how two women have been building a home out of discarded items for the last five years.


Please tell me someone gets the reference in the title!

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