Sustainable SW Blogs

Russian watch for the blind...

The Field Lab - Thu, 2020/07/02 - 5:17pm
Working on one of my Russian mechanical wrist watches.  Got it serviced, cleaned up, and ordered a new crystal - but having a beast of a time regulating it even after demagnetizing the watch and band.  Its running about 4 minutes fast per hour which is unacceptable.  86,99,78, .05",W
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Eight Years Old

The Field Lab - Wed, 2020/07/01 - 4:48pm
Tried 3 times to measure Ben's tip to tip today.  He wasn't interested in cooperating.Will try again tomorrow.88,102,78,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Sourdough Starter Crackers

Home Grown New Mexico - Wed, 2020/07/01 - 1:18pm


I’ve been making sourdough for over 10 years and I wish I’d had tried these crackers sooner! They are very easy to make and are a veritable umami bomb of flavor. The tangy quality of the lactic acids in the starter produces a tastes reminiscent of Parmesan cheese. This is an excellent use for excess sourdough starter that we are generating during the Covid baking epidemic.

My starter is 25% wholegrain organic rye, 25% organic wholewheat and 50% organic all purpose white flour. It is 100% hydration meaning that it is half flour and half water by weight. It is a thick pancake batter consistency. Any sourdough starter will work and flavors will vary depending on your starter. If your starter is thicker just add water.

The crackers are 100% highly fermented flours which improves digestibility and nutrient availability.

Butter will result in a more tender, flakier texture while olive oil tends to produce a slightly sturdier cracker.

Any type of toppings can be added for flavor and texture. Some favorites are flake salt (black), sesame or caraway seeds, herbs de Provence and edible flower petals which are more decorative than flavorful.

To get started you will need:

¾ C inactive (unfed and straight out of the refrigerator) starter

2 T unsalted butter or olive oil

½ t salt

Flake salt for the top plus any additional toppings



Preheat oven to 325F

Whisk together: starter, oil or melted butter, salt.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat




Spread the batter evenly on the pan. Don’t worry about getting it all the way to the corners. It also does not need to be crazy thin. This amount will mostly fill up a standard household baking sheet. A rubber bowl scraper or an off set spatula works well for spreading the batter.



Bake for 10 minutes and then score with pizza cutter or a knife

Bake another 40-50 minutes until they are golden and firm.

Cool on wire rack and enjoy!



Feel to share your results with us on Instagram by tagging @homegrownnewmexico





Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Enter at your own risk...

The Field Lab - Tue, 2020/06/30 - 1:33pm
Because of the recent spike in Covid-19 infections throughout Texas and the warnings from health officials at all levels, this mandate took effect today in Brewster County.

This was the response from the manager of one of our local stores. (It should be noted that it is a very small store and proper social distancing is nearly impossible inside.)

"The Little Burro Country Store per Judge Canos' order will ask our customers to bring your mask along.  We will not "mandate" our employees to wear a mask due to both physical and mental health issues.  Only if they choose or in the case of an emergency and only for a short period.  If you feel compromised, our help is glad to step back while running your card and you may lay your money on the counter and back away to the 6' distance.  We thank you for your patronage as our intent here at Jackass Flats is to raise the quality of life here in the Big Bend area.  Not to compromise our freedom and basic rights to make choices for our own health and welfare.  My staff are not children, they are adults and can make their own choices within the perimeter of the law and have their own health issues which you know nothing about.  As I stated, I am asking customers to bring their own mask with their own choices.  We still opt to distance for them and have masks available for short term wear if needed."

Guess where in this statement that she totally lost me.  And FYI - this is an emergency and the mandatory mask rule was issued because of emergency conditions.  I am curious - exactly what physical and mental health issues mean they don't have to wear masks?  Are they worse than the increased chance of catching and spreading the virus to the local community?  Are they somehow immune to Covid-19?  I suggest that if your intention is to improve the quality of life here, the store find new employees rather than jeopardize the general public as well as these current employees that have issues with masks.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Took a test today...

The Field Lab - Mon, 2020/06/29 - 2:48pm

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

beware of falsehoods...

The Field Lab - Sun, 2020/06/28 - 2:15pm
2 Peter 2: But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.  3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Pandemic Saturday

The Field Lab - Sat, 2020/06/27 - 12:41pm
Meanwhile in Trumpworld

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My favorite fix so far...

The Field Lab - Wed, 2020/06/24 - 4:35pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Bugs in your yard….. a closer look

Home Grown New Mexico - Tue, 2020/06/23 - 7:37pm

Take a walk around your yard and garden and you will quickly see that there are a lot of bugs and insects there; a lot of them! Some are beneficial and some can be real pests. A general bug killer will get rid of them all, but that is just ignorant and wrong. How good are you at telling them apart and what you can do to control the pesky ones? You know, the ones that can ruin your plants and make you want to quit gardening altogether!

Most of us know some of the good ones; bees, ladybugs and praying mantises for example, and some of the pests like aphids, squash bugs and flea beetles. But we may not recognize them in their immature stages when they can often be more voracious feeders. So… let’s take a look at some more insects in your yard and see how many you can recognize as either a “good bug” J or “bad bug” L

ladybug larva


#1 This is the larva of ladybug and it actually eat more aphids than the adult. J





praying mantis egg case

#2 This is an egg case of the praying mantis. The female creates a foamy mass full of eggs that dries and protects the eggs over winter. Just leave it alone.In the spring, the young emerge fully formed and begin eating aphids, leafhoppers, mosquitoes and caterpillars. J



pill bug


#3 Pill bug. You might think these “roly-polys are harmless detritivores but they can take out a whole row of seedlings overnight! Use Sluggo Plus to keep them under control.  L




spined soldier bug

spined soldier larva

#4 The spined soldier bug is a common stink bug and a great predator of the gypsy moth caterpillar, and the larval forms of the Colorado potato beetle and the Mexican bean beetle. The immature form looks somewhat like a ladybug. J


lacewing larva

lacewing adult

#5 The lacewing larva is the main predatory stage where they feed mainly on aphids. The adults are fragile looking, weak fliers and squash vine borergesubsist on nectar and pollen. J



#6 Leafhoppers are very tiny insects that can carry the curly top virus which will     kill your tomato plants and can damage peppers, beans, potatoes, spinach, beets as well. There is no cure. Cover your plants with row cloth to prevent the leafhopper from infecting them. Remove the cover in July when the monsoons arrive. J


squash vine borer

squash vine borer larva damage

#7 Squash vine borer. If you see this brightly colored insect watch out!   She’s about to lay eggs on the stem of your squash plant at ground level. The larvae will burrow into the stem and feed off the plant tissue causing the leaves to wilt. You might at first think that the plant needs watering, but take a closer look at the stem and you will see yellow-orange frass, or droppings around a hole. Once the larva has entered the stem, it’s very difficult to save the plant. Prevention is key. You can try covering the plants with row cover until the blossoms open. They overwinter in cocoons in the soil so don’t plant your squash in the same place as last year. Make sure you dispose of all squash vines at the end of the growing season. L


sphinx moth

tomato hornworm

#8 Sphinx moth. Often called the ‘humming bird moth”, it appears in the garden in late afternoons and evening. Enjoy the adults but be on the lookout for their caterpillars, called tomato hornworm. The female moth will lay her eggs on plants in the nightshade family including tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, pepper. The caterpillars grow quickly and can defoliate your tomato plants.   Inspect your plants regularly and pick them off as you find them. L


ground beetle

#9 As their name suggests, ground beetles live in the ground and both they and their larvae are considered beneficial predators of soil invertebrates. There are over 2.000 species in North America. Just leave them alone. J



squash bug adult

squash bug eggs

#10 Squash bugs are the bane of all gardeners. These bugs inject a toxin into the plant and suck the sap right out of it with their sharp, sucking mouth parts. This causes yellow spots that eventually turn brown. The leaves will wilt because the damage prevents the flow of nutrients to the leaves, and then they will dry up and turn black, crisp, and brittle. To control these you must be vigilant. Look for egg masses and scrape them off the undersides of the leaves or cut them out. Once they hatch you will have a difficult time finding them all. If you constantly have trouble with squash bugs, try growing squash varieties that are more resistant to them, such as butternut squash. Good luck! L

These are just some of the insects that you will come across as you spend time in your yard. Learning how to control the harmful ones without using pesticides will result in more beneficials and a healthier garden overall.

For more information about these and other beneficial garden insects check out this pocket guide to beneficial insects of New Mexico.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Another restoration...

The Field Lab - Tue, 2020/06/23 - 3:01pm
Today's pocket watch restoration.  New mainspring and case for an 18 size Elgin lever set movement made in 1891.  Still need to track down an hour hand for it.  89,97,76,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs


The Field Lab - Mon, 2020/06/22 - 3:47pm
brought back to life...99,112,74.0.C
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Father's Day

The Field Lab - Sun, 2020/06/21 - 1:26pm
Our Father who art in heaven...
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Silver Star

The Field Lab - Sat, 2020/06/20 - 3:37pm
This one put up quite a fight getting repaired and reassembled, but I prevailed in the end.  One of the nicest dials out of all the pocket watches I bought so far.  In other news:  over 1,000,000 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the world in the past week - the highest rate since the pandemic started.  Thought you should know.  Chump is too busy performing for his minions in Tulsa today. (oops...did I type that out loud?)   86,102,70, .01",B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Someone is at the door...

The Field Lab - Fri, 2020/06/19 - 11:36am
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Pay attention...

The Field Lab - Thu, 2020/06/18 - 3:40pm
I have been following this very carefully for 90 days.  FYI - the worldwide daily infection rate is going up - especially since everything has been reopening.  A major spike yesterday - higher than anything seen so far.  Over 1 million new infections worldwide in the past week.    For those of you don't see that as a problem because you think it is merely due to more testing - what that actually means is the pandemic is far worse than believed.  And if you still think it isn't a problem because your locality isn't seeing much action...keep in mind this worldwide pandemic all started with just one case in China and sooner than later it is going to hit home for you.  In the last week alone, Brewster County, Texas (where I live) was relatively unscathed with only one case and suddenly has 18 confirmed cases since things started to open up.  Meanwhile Donald Chump has stated: "We are going to put out the fires.  We're not going to close the country again.  We can put out the fires".  I don't know about you - but I smell smoke and all I have seen so far is our president fanning the flames.  The narcissistic idiot hell bent on getting reelected is about to hold a rally with 20,000 attendees (ignoring the advice of health officials) in a state that is seeing an increase in the infection rate.  (It should be noted that all attendees must sign a waiver admonishing the venue and the president of any liability if they contract the virus there.)  After the first confirmed case in the US, the president said on January 22, "We have it totally under control.  It's one person coming in from China.  We have it under control.  It's going to be just fine."  Tell that to the over 100,000 people who have died in the US so far.  96,100,67,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

a very fast mechanism...

The Field Lab - Wed, 2020/06/17 - 10:01am

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

off to the shop...

The Field Lab - Tue, 2020/06/16 - 1:44pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs
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