Sustainable SW Blogs

new test coming up...

The Field Lab - Mon, 2021/04/19 - 5:57pm

 


3D printed a property corner marker to cast in aluminum bronze.  66,75,47, .06",C

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

I keep seeing this prayer...

The Field Lab - Sun, 2021/04/18 - 4:40pm

 


Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Pandemic Saturday

The Field Lab - Sat, 2021/04/17 - 5:12pm

 

daily cases worldwide3,000,000 dead

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Another view of the Starlink swarm...

The Field Lab - Fri, 2021/04/16 - 3:10pm
Starlink satellite movements in a 6 hour timelapse. Each satellite completes a full orbit of the earth in approximately 90 minutes. Interesting note: The flat map of the world known as the "mercator projection" was created by 16th century geographer and cartographer Gerardus Mercator in 1569. A prolific map, globe, and scientific instrument maker - he is most renowned for creating a world map based on a new projection which represented sailing courses of constant bearing (rhumb lines) as straight lines—an innovation that is still employed in nautical charts today.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

plaque for a friend

The Field Lab - Thu, 2021/04/15 - 3:13pm


Broke out the 3D printer to make a master to try to cast in bronze.  86,89,64,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

rootin tootin

The Field Lab - Wed, 2021/04/14 - 3:32pm


My 2 year old tomato plant is thriving - has 9 tomatoes on it now.  Took a cutting to root from this healthy rooted cutting today to keep the dream alive... 82,88,54,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

MEET THE WHEAT

Home Grown New Mexico - Wed, 2021/04/14 - 9:43am

SONORAN WHITE WHEAT
Sonoran White wheat was introduced to the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico in the 16th century by the Spanish colonizers to make communion wafers and provide sustenance and it became a staple in the local cuisine as exemplified by the flour tortilla.  It is adapted to this region’s growing conditions and is very hardy and drought tolerant, thrives in alkaline soil and it is disease resistant. Wheat was a useful food crop as it could be planted in the fall and grown in winter and early spring before the native crops of corn, beans and squash which are all warm season crops. As recently as 100 years ago southern CA, Sonora, Mexico, New Mexico and Arizona were major wheat producers and Sonoran White was a widely grown variety.

Sonoran White is now being rediscovered by eaters and bakers and farmers interested in heritage wheat as an alternative to industrialized dwarf modern wheat.  Older wheat varieties are incredibly hardy and need less inputs and lend themselves to regenerative organic farming.  As a fall planted crop, grains can provide living root systems in the soil all winter long which reduces erosion and builds soil fertility and sequesters carbon from the atmosphere.  Ancient and heritage grains also contain more nutrients which have been bred out of modern wheat in favor of a high starch content.  Heritage wheat also offer an incredible array of flavors and textures not found in supermarket wheat.

It is a soft white wheat meaning that its outer bran layer is light in color and it has a low gluten/protein content which makes it excellent for pastries and tortillas where gluten strength is not required.  It makes a very stretchy dough which rolls out very well. When you mill whole berry Sonoran White wheat you get a 100% wholegrain flour with a lovely pale golden color much lighter than standard whole wheat.  It’s flavor is rich, smooth and nutty and it  is a great choice if you want to work in more wholegrain flour into your baking.

It is a soft white wheat meaning that its outer bran layer is light in color and it has a low gluten/protein content which makes it excellent for pastries and tortillas where gluten strength is not required.  It makes a very stretchy dough which rolls out very well. When you mill whole berry Sonoran White wheat you get a 100% wholegrain flour with a lovely pale golden color much lighter than standard whole wheat.  It’s flavor is rich, smooth and nutty and it  is a great choice if you want to work in more wholegrain flour into your baking.

If you are interested in exploring the wide variety of heritage grains available for baking a counter top grain mill is essential.  While there are many small mills producing heritage and ancient grain flours the home mill gives you access to a wider choice of grains and freshly ground flour is more nutritious and flavorful.   Whole grain flour tends to deteriorate rapidly after milling due to the volatile oils in the germ and bran.  Refined white flour has these super healthful components removed and so has a much longer shelf life.

The Rio Grande Grain project is one of many groups promoting small scale heritage and ancient grains.  We feel this is a needed component in our local food supply chain.  Here in New Mexico we can find amazing locally grown beans and corn at our farmer’s markets but the wheat and other cereal grains are under represented.  Farmers will be more willing to grow these grains if we are willing to pay a fair price and learn how to use them!

Let’s get started with the classic flour tortilla!

SONORAN WHITE FLOUR TORTILLAS
I’m no tortilla expert and I’m more familiar with making corn tortillas than flour ones but I just had to see how the Sonoran White flour worked in the homemade tortilla!  This recipe is 100% whole grain Sonoran White milled to a fine flour in the Komo Mio mill.  Whole grain flours tend to be thirstier and require more water than refined white flours so this has been adjusted for in the recipe. Whole grains also benefit from a longer resting time after adding the water to the flour to absorb the water.

Lard would be the traditional shortening but I used butter as it was handy.  Duck fat also was tasty.

Using a stand mixer combine the dry ingredients:

279 grams (2 cups) Sonoran White whole grain flour

15 grams (aprx 1.5 teaspoons salt depending on the type of salt)

5 grams (1 teaspoon) baking powder

With a paddle attachment drizzle in:

30 grams (2 tablespoons) melted shortening

180 grams (3/4 cup) hot water.

Watch the consistency here.  The dough should be somewhat wetter and stickier than the final consistency for rolling it out as it will get less wet as the whole grain Sonoran White absorbs the water during the resting period.

Knead for about 2 minutes then let the dough rest in a plastic bag 1-2 hours to fully hydrate the flour.

Make golf ball sized balls and rest covered on lightly floured surface for 20-30 minutes.

Heat cast iron pan or comal over medium-high heat.  When it is ready a few drops of water will sizzle and pop on the surface.

Since my tortilla rolling skills are abysmal I used a combo method to shape the tortillas.  First I hand flattened the balls into thick discs and then pressed these between plastic sheets in the tortilla press as if making corn tortillas.  This produced a nice round shape that was then hand rolled out as thin as possible.  You can also just handroll out the tortillas with a rolling pin.  Either way they should be thin enough to be translucent when held up to the light.

Cook tortillas on the hot pan until a few golden spots appear on the bottom.  Then flip over. Total time is about 20-30 seconds on each side.  Wrap in a clean towel and keep warm until serving.

SOURCES:
Until we have some local sources here in New Mexico you can find Sonoran White wheat at:
Hayden Mills, AZ
Native Seed Search AZ
Barton Springs Mill, TX
Breadtopia

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the new pups...

The Field Lab - Tue, 2021/04/13 - 2:47pm
69,72,60,0,B
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First batch...

The Field Lab - Mon, 2021/04/12 - 1:47pm


...cast and ready for cutting, grinding, sanding, and polishing.  90,94,56,0,B 

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watch your mouth...

The Field Lab - Sun, 2021/04/11 - 2:38pm

Ecclesiastes 5  Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God.  God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.  A dream comes when there are many cares and many words mark the speech of a fool.  

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

Order AMERICAN HEMP FARMER here

Book Doug’s Live Event here.

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

 

Reviews of AMERICAN HEMP FARMER

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 dougfine.com 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

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs
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