Sustainable SW Blogs

Honey Oat Wheat

The Field Lab - Thu, 2018/03/15 - 3:15pm
First test batch of the last Field Lab Solar Oven bread offering to go into production...Honey Oat Wheat. Needs a little more "spring". Second test batch prepped for baking tomorrow. Not only do I have to get the taste, texture, and look just right - but I also have to tweak the recipes for each batch to fit "X" amount of one quart dutch ovens. I probably would have done better in high school chemistry had they included bread baking. The ancient tradition of bread depends on a cascade of complex chemical reactions.  70,79,50,0,B  
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs


The Field Lab - Wed, 2018/03/14 - 5:05pm
Three loaves more to go.  63,69,48,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

a new void...

The Field Lab - Tue, 2018/03/13 - 4:23pm

Finally found a new home for all that insulation that was gifted to me six years ago.  I kinda miss those piles already.  62,69,48.0.B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

a monday matinee...

The Field Lab - Mon, 2018/03/12 - 12:37pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

for conscience sake...

The Field Lab - Sun, 2018/03/11 - 12:32pm
Romans 13  Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.  For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.  Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.       
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

The Bread Lab

The Field Lab - Sat, 2018/03/10 - 3:59pm
Two recipes taste perfected (Artisan White and Chupa Bread).  Now going for "the look".  78,87,53,0,B
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a friday night film

The Field Lab - Fri, 2018/03/09 - 4:00pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

cryptantha crassipes under glass...

The Field Lab - Thu, 2018/03/08 - 7:34pm

Day long visit from a professor and 2 grad students from the University of Idaho here to study the Terlingua Creek Cat's Eye plants.  It was kind of like an episode of CSI Texas.  Dr. Mark Schwarzländer and Masters degree student Karuna Nepal and PhD student Jessica Fung were here to extract volatiles from the leaves and flowers of some select plants.  They did this by isolating plant parts with little bags and setting up pumps that would pull air through them to be collected in tiny chambers.  Each collection lasted 6 hours.  They have to FedEx the samples to their lab tomorrow to be deep frozen and run through a GC-MS instrument (gas chromatography - mass spectrometry) to reveal the organic compounds in the plants.  Chupa helped.  66,76,41,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

cleaning and baking...

The Field Lab - Wed, 2018/03/07 - 2:30pm
The west side of the greenhouse finally reached a tipping point as far as the mess is concerned.  Another big load headed to the landfill soon.  Video coming Friday. 

Baked another test batch then headed down to Study Butte to visit my bread mentor India Wilson.  She is partly responsible for my latest bread efforts ever since she had a sample years ago of some of my first experiments.  Seems that every time our paths crossed,  she she would ask me when am I going to bake more bread in my solar oven.  She gracefully gave me some samples of a few of her latest efforts.  63,74,45,0,B 
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

fans from the UK

The Field Lab - Tue, 2018/03/06 - 5:59pm
It just so happens that a new fan from England was already planning a trip to Terlingua when the new Ben Fogle episode on The Field Lab aired in the UK.  She connected with me on Facebook and stopped by for a visit today - and brought me some English snacks and a set of tea towels for my bread baking experiments.  She was out with one of her sons to track down a piece of property she bought out here 14 years ago (sight unseen off the internet).  Turns out her 20 acres is land locked on a section of the ranch that has no direct road access...but at least she owns a little chunk of Texas.  Ben approved of their visit.  64,75,34,0,B
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a monday matinee...

The Field Lab - Mon, 2018/03/05 - 11:10am
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Biochar Demonstration Workshop in Albuquerque-March 25

Home Grown New Mexico - Mon, 2018/03/05 - 8:35am
Don’t Forget! Sign up now!

Sunday, March 25th—
12 noon to 2 pm

Biochar Demonstration Workshop-South Valley, Albuquerque area
Many of you have attended Michael Reed’s Permaculture classes with us. This year we will be going to his property in South Valley to learn about Biochar. This workshop includes: a sample burn to make the charcoal; hands-on participation in loading a drum with already shredded material; a full discussion of how to inoculate the charcoal to turn it into biochar, including several different recipes; and demonstration of how to incorporate the prepped biochar into the soil. We’ll also give you a zip-loc bag full of finished biochar for your very own.

Instructor: Michael Reed/Permaculturist
Location: Michael Reed’s property • 2401 Black Mesa Loop SW, South Valley, Albuquerque area 87105 • directions will be sent out 2 days before the event to those who sign up
Fee: FREE for members/non-member

Please sign up through Eventbrite below in orange:


Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

FREE Seed Exchange in Santa Fe-March 14

Home Grown New Mexico - Mon, 2018/03/05 - 8:32am


Wednesday, March 14th—4 pm to 6 pm FREE!

Home Grown New Mexico Seed Exchange
If you are looking for free seeds for your vegetable or flower
garden or got some to share, come to the Santa Fe Seed Exchange.

Location: Frenchy’s Barn • 2001 Agua Fria (intersection of Agua Fria & Osage Ave.) • Santa Fe
Fee: FREE for everyone! No need to sign up-just show up!

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

the peaceable kingdom

The Field Lab - Sun, 2018/03/04 - 4:00pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

back to manual

The Field Lab - Sat, 2018/03/03 - 5:40pm
Well...that Cheftronic stand mixer shit the bed on the sixth batch of dough.  Thanks to Amazon Prime, I am sending it back for a full refund.  Going to stick to hand mixing for now...but I have my eye on this one.  I think I will wait until I see some return on this venture before I invest in any more equipment.  I also need to refurbish my old large solar oven which can handle 18 one quart dutch ovens at a time.  74,90,44,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

a friday night film

The Field Lab - Fri, 2018/03/02 - 4:55pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

another bread test...

The Field Lab - Thu, 2018/03/01 - 4:33pm
Not a good solar oven day, so I baked these in the gas grill.  59,69,39,0,W
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Texas Cottage Food Law

The Field Lab - Wed, 2018/02/28 - 3:25pm
While I am toying with the idea of selling Field Lab Solar Oven Bread...I decided I should look into the legalities.  Prior to 2011, in Texas, selling any food from a home kitchen made you an illegal "food establishment" in the eyes of the Texas Department of State Health Services, even if you operated on a very small scale selling low-risk foods like baked goods.  You could legally not sell homemade food.  A group of dedicated home bakers changed that.  SB 81 was signed into law by Governor Rick Perry on June 17, 2011, and the law was expanded in 2013 by HB 970.  Texas continues to be one of the friendliest states for small business startups.  A number of foods covered by these laws includes - baked goods that do not require refrigeration, such as cakes, cookies, breads, and pastries.  To start a cottage food business, there are no permits, inspections, fees, or licenses required beyond a basic food handler's license.  I got my Texas Food Handler's License by taking an online course and passing the online exam (it took 45 minutes and cost $7.99).  And if I end up selling to the public, I will have to add a label such as this.  72,83,58, .03",W
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Prosciutto Bread

The Field Lab - Tue, 2018/02/27 - 2:57pm
Back in my NYC days ,I would pick up a couple of  prosciutto rings for my weekend breakfasts.  I used to buy them from D&G Italian Bakery at 45 Spring Street in Little Italy - a couple blocks away from where I used to live.  The store is now owned by my croissant friend Maury Rubin of City Bakery fame.  I found a recipe on YouTube that just about nails it.  I cooked up a test batch of loaves (not rings) and it tasted pretty much exactly how I remembered them.  Big chunks of prosciutto to dice up are cost prohibitive to buy in Texas (or even online) so I substituted summer sausage and it worked out pretty well.  Since it isn't truly authentic prosciutto bread, I think I will call it Chupa Bread instead - since they are the same color.  74,86,43,0,W 
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

a monday matinee...

The Field Lab - Mon, 2018/02/26 - 11:07am
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs
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