Sustainable SW Blogs

Ground Station

The Field Lab - Mon, 2022/06/06 - 4:29pm
Successfully downloaded and installed mission planning software for the autonomous rover project.101,105,62,0,B

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A tough nut to crack...

The Field Lab - Sun, 2022/06/05 - 2:50pm

Matthew 5:44  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.  

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Option 3

The Field Lab - Sat, 2022/06/04 - 2:27pm
Already on to option three for the rover project.  Although I have a use for it (it may still be a good test platform for the ESP8266 Mode MCU), I am moving on from the first toy RC car I ordered.  It doesn't play well interference-wise with Wifi, and it won't work with the Radiolink RC6GS long range transmitter that I just got.  So, I ordered this RV crawler due to the price point and good reviews.  A good combination of drive features for a rover project - low speed and high torque.   94,99,68,0,B

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big show / no rain

The Field Lab - Fri, 2022/06/03 - 4:57pm
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First class this Sunday-Soil Health Principles

Home Grown New Mexico - Fri, 2022/06/03 - 12:25pm


    There’s still time to sign up for this class. In case you never heard me talk on my gardening show, I always say the key to a great garden is great soil. “It’s all about the soil baby” as one of my giant pumpkin grower friends once told me and I take it as my motto now. Come and find out how to be good stewarts of the soil,  improve your soil health which will help you grow great vegetables and fruits. Hope to see you there! Jannine Cabossel/The Tomato Lady



Sunday, June 5th
10 am to 12 pm

Healthy Soils Class

Learn how soil stewardship can increase soil nutrients and increase carbon capture in your backyard-Outside class

Isabelle Jenniches is co-founder of the New Mexico Healthy Soil Working Group, a grassroots alliance that formed in 2018 to pass the state’s Healthy Soil Act. The group’s mission is to support land managers in soil health stewardship while creating favorable government policy and raising active awareness in civil society.

In conversation with long-time gardener Alessandra Haines, Isabelle will demonstrate implementation of the 6 soil health principles in the home garden. We will discuss the many benefits of soil health, including increased water infiltration and retention, greater nutrient density of produce, and improved resilience to the effects of climate change and drought.

Instructor: Isabelle Jenniches
Location: 52 Mansion (Alessandra & Steve Haine’s house) • Santa Fe
Fee: $5 for members/$20 for non-members-to become a member and save money for all our events go to our membership page and pay first before registering


Space is limited to 25 people

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Pool Party

The Field Lab - Thu, 2022/06/02 - 5:35pm


82,90,70, .05",G

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How hard can it be?

The Field Lab - Wed, 2022/06/01 - 4:28pm


today's reading78,100,69, .01",B

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Free Stuff

The Field Lab - Tue, 2022/05/31 - 4:30pm

I guess I've been talking about the Wyze cameras enough to get the attention of another camera manufacturer.  I was contacted by the folks at EZVIZ and they are sending me a free camera to test out and review.  80,105,75, .16",B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Option 2

The Field Lab - Mon, 2022/05/30 - 6:08pm


So the plan is to build an FPV rover (a project that has been on my mind for years thanks to the Mars rovers).  My recent experience with the Wyze cameras got me to thinking about it again.  My first thought was to use the parts I posted a photo of on Friday to enable wifi control of a toy RC car.  The micro controller and motor driver circuits will come in handy (and together they were only 15 bucks) in the event that I progress to the point of attempting to make a rover that is autonomous which is the ultimate goal.  I found some tutorials online that are pretty thorough, but I am not very confident I can get that to work so if I run into a snag, there is another option that seems to make perfect sense for this stage of development.  I already know the Wyze camera is easy to power by battery and works fine over my boosted wifi out to about 500 meters - but the remote control that comes with this rc toy car is only good to about 100 meters.  After doing a little digging on YouTube, I discovered the transmitter above which comes with a receiver that is easy to replace in the toy car and should give me control out to 600 meters - and no programming skills needed.  We shall see... 97,103,65,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Superfood Security is a Seed Away: Doug Fine’s AMERICAN HEMP FARMER is here.

Doug Fine - Mon, 2020/04/13 - 2:54pm


Doug Fine’s AMERICAN HEMP FARMER is here.

As are many of us, I’m feeling grateful for a lot of things at the moment. In particular, I’m sure glad it struck the three-years-ago-version-of-me as a fun idea to write an optimistic, humorous book that also provides a blueprint for establishing food security in your backyard.

For whatever reason, folks seem to want “funny” and “uplifting” at the moment. And laughing your way to food security? Seemed like a pleasant route. Still does. I’m doing it today – my fingers are still dank with humus as I type. Hemp farming is pretty easy, it attracts bees, and it’s all around about the most fun you can have outside the bedroom.

What I’m describing (and living) is  my new book, AMERICAN HEMP FARMER. It details a season in the burgeoning and newly-legalized hemp industry from a regenerative farmer perspective. The premise is this: a billion-dollar industry is great, but only meaningful if the actual farmers benefit at the retail level from the hemp renaissance.

For customers, the  win-win is that regenerative farming modes result in by-far the best hemp products. It’s not even close. Like fresh squeezed OJ beats frozen concentrate. All while sequestering carbon.

Turns out we have friends in low places. In nurturing a hemp field, we’re not the only species midwifing our hemp crop by planting time. To name one of a few hundred million, I recently gathered and brewed some fluffy white steaks of my watershed’s mycelium allies (fungus), which my family and I applying to our preseason soil in a compost tea this week.

Which leads to the core reason I wrote the book, from the introduction:

Six years ago, a bear fleeing a wildfire in our New Mexico backyard killed nearly all of my family’s goats in front of our eyes. It wasn’t the bear’s fault: he was a climate refugee. It was June of 2013, and drought had weakened the ponderosa pines and Douglas fir surrounding our remote Funky Butte Ranch. Beetles took advantage, and all of southern New Mexico was a tinderbox. Ho hum, just another climate event that until recently would have been called a “millennial” fire.

That’s the paramount reason I’m an overworked employee of the hemp plant: The people I care about most are one blaze away from joining the world’s 20 million climate refugees. At least I get the pleasure of putting “goat sitter” under occupation on my tax form.

The conflagration convinced me that I had to do something, personally, to work on this climate change problem. After some research about carbon sequestration through soil building, it became clear that planting as much hemp as possible was the best way to actively mitigate climate change and help restore normal rainfall cycles to our ecosystem.

This is why I treasure much more than just hemp’s flower gold rush (CBD, CBG, etc.). I also love hemp seed’s superfood and hemp fiber. It’s why I carry a 3D printed hemp plastic goat nearly everywhere I go.

A biomaterials-based economy doesn’t just perform better in our stuff, it means goodbye Pacific Garbage Patch. That is, when everything, even our batteries, is compostable or reusable (I mention batteries because next-generation hemp-based supercapacitors are discussed in AMERICAN HEMP FARMER).

We actually have been given a realistic opportunity to bridge humanity’s climate stabilization mission with its digital trajectory. In AMERICAN HEMP FARMER, I endeavor to connect the dots in my work, my food, and my whole life, with the thinking that if enough of us do the same, humanity’s got a shot in this here bottom of the climactic ninth.

It’s a solution-based book. Which is to say, it’s chock full of my own mistakes, as well as the triumphs and travails of many of my regenerative farmer friends and colleagues. Michael Pollan argues that we have co-evolved with certain plants, including cannabis. To be sure, hemp/human relations do go back 8,000 years. AMERICAN HEMP FARMER broaches the proud history of government-supported Hemp For Victory gardens going beyond the well-known World War II “Hemp For Victory” effort, all the way back to George Washington himself: in fact, at Mount Vernon last fall, I helped harvest the first hemp crop since President Washington’s time – I did this in colonial clothing and with (trust me) a very sharp sickle.

And that was before nutritionists knew about hemp’s ideal Omega 9-6-3 balance, high mineral content, and rare amount of GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) — a fatty acid associated with anti-inflammatory properties, Whereas my family’s own hemp diet once bankrolled the Canadian economy, for the past there years it’s been free. Hemp got federally legalized in the 2014 Farm Bill, and I and my sons get in the soil at this time every year and grow it ourselves. In AMERICAN HEMP FARMER, you’ll even read about a study that indicates a hemp diet might combat obesity.

Sowing hemp is pretty easy, and the harvest is both copious (around 1,000 pounds per acre) and extremely delicious. And I eat a lot of it. Easily a cup a day. As do both my human kids and my goat kids. Indeed it’s very hard to keep the goats out of the field. Hemp seeds are an essential part not just of my family’s health maintenance plan, but of our food security plan. And anyone can do it.

AMERICAN HEMP FARMER is available everywhere now in book, e-book and audiobook form (I narrated the audiobook, which was super fun). And I hope that you find yourself at once giggling and learning as you read it. You can order it here.

Please feel free to share this Dispatch with your friends, family and professional networks. It would be great for folks everywhere to know that not just food security, but superfood security, is a seed (and a permit) away.

Meanwhile, it’s spring on the Funky Butte Ranch, and as AMERICAN HEMP FARMER advises, I’ve got my own hemp permit application filed, I’m building soil (just as the Funky Butte apricots burst into bloom), and I’m ready to grow another scrumptious crop. I like the feeling of knowing my family will thrive for another year no matter what.  When you read AMERICAN HEMP FARMER, you’ll see that you and yours can too. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy.

Some reviews follow below, and I’m sending immense thanks for your support/ in ordering this book and telling your friends. OK, I’m off to the field to dump more goat poop and alfalfa on the soon-to-be-planted Funky Butte Ranch hemp field

-Doug Fine

Funky Butte Ranch, New Mexico

April 13, 2020


Book Doug’s Live Event here.

 Subscribe to the Dispatches From the Funky Butte Ranch newsletter and follow Doug on Instagram and Twitter @organiccowboy



American Hemp Farmer would have been in George Washington’s library. President Washington grew hemp and was a passionate, regenerative agriculturist. Washington sought advice from those that practiced their trade. Doug Fine‘s American Hemp Farmer is a scholarly, practical and impeccably enjoyable work and a must-read for those who cultivate hemp or are interested in leaping in.”  –J. Dean Norton, Director of Horticulture, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate.

“With American Hemp Farmer, Doug Fine shows he is not just our preeminent hemp author, he is one of the most important authors of our time. As I’ve watched him leap between tending goats on his Funky Butte Ranch and hemp fields in Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont and who-knows-where else, it sometimes occurs to me that he might be the most interesting man alive. The resulting book is an absolute must read.  –Eric Steenstra, Executive Director, VoteHemp

“A fantastic piece of Americana that shows the way to a sustainable future.” -David Bronner, CEO, Dr. Bronner’s Soaps

“I hope every hemp farmer and policymaker reads this book carefully. It details a roadmap for success, for farmers and the planet. And that’s probably because Doug doesn’t just write about hemp, he lives it.” —Cary Giguere, State Hemp Program Coordinator, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets.

                                  Further Praise for Doug’s Work
“Fine is a writer in he mold of Douglas Adams.” —Washington Post

“Fine is Bryson funny.” —Santa Cruz Sentinel

Doug has written the best book of the year and a blueprint for the future of America.”                       –Willie Nelson

About Doug Fine

Doug Fine is a comedic investigative journalist, bestselling author, and a solar-powered goat herder. He has cultivated hemp for food, farm-to-table products and seed-building in four U.S. states, and teaches a college hemp class. Willie Nelson calls Doug’s work “a blueprint for the America of the future.” The Washington Post says, “Fine is a storyteller in the mold of Douglas Adams.”  A website of Doug’s print, radio and television work, United Nations testimony, Conan and Tonight Show appearances and TED Talk is at and his social media handle is @organiccowboy.

Book Doug’s Live Event here.

 Subscribe to the Dispatches From the Funky Butte Ranch newsletter and follow Doug on Instagram and Twitter @organiccowboy

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