Monthly Archives: October 2007

New! Improved! Slop Bucket

RIP Slop Bucket. Aka our 1979 Benz station wagon. This past weekend I took it down to Pick n’ Pull and turned her in. She served us well: transporting the piglets from Mendocino, shuttling us to Baja, Mexico where we drove off a cliff, and hauling countless buckets of horse manure for our garden beds. As if that weren’t enough, she also carried the pigs bodies home after the slaughter. Needless to say, the car was a disaster. Old peaches rolling around, clods of horse dung, spilled biodiesel. Slop Bucket also suffered from a cracked windshield. But the real reason we turned SB in: clouds and clouds of pollution-y exhaust. One day I had a guy drive up to my car, unroll his Toyota truck window and yell: “You are bad. You are polluting this earth!” He had a Kenyan accent. I was going to argue with him, tell him to fuck off, but at that moment I realized he was entirely right. “I know,” I said. “But I’m poor. I know it’s dirty, though.” He smiled and thanked me for admitting I was destroying the earth. Even though we ran the car on biodiesel, there’s no excuse for that much smoke!
So now I’m on the bike. All the time. Hauling crap. Tonight I went to Chinatown and got snacks for the rabbits and turkeys. Lots of bok choy and pears. Rabbits love pears. I love the new and improved S.B.

Honey and Kate

My dear friend Kate is here visiting! Yesterday we went to the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Fest in Golden Gate Park. We sat in the eucalyptus grove and caught up while Gillian Welch sang and the sun went down. Today we ate bacon, of course. Then we went to the Oakland Farmers market. I found an apple farmer who grows the David apples–if you haven’t tried one, do it soon. They are almost smokey sweet. Back at the farm we extracted this year’s honey. I couldn’t believe that from 5 frames we got almost 5 quarts of honey. Our bees are so wonderful. I feel even better about this hive because they’re from that secondary swarm I caught at JR’s house. The honey is very dark and mysterious. Almost nutty. I can’t quite place the flavor. And yes, that’s my bum.

Turkeys in Bed

Blogging on Friday night. How pathetic! Bill’s at the Mekons show tonight. I was supposed to meet up with a potential housesitter (we’re going out of town for the month of November–but who’s going to take care of the animals?!!). I made fresh salsa with all the damn tomatoes, cooked beans with pork skin…but they didn’t show up. Sigh. I had even cleaned the ding-dang house!
Lots to report on the farm. Here are the turkeys just before going to sleep. They’re getting large. Edible. They follow me into the garden and we hang out most days, but then they start pecking me and I don’t feel bad about their future in my oven. Today I put up a bunch of nesting boxes for the new chickens. Also, discovered a secret nest constructed by our crazy Black Star hen who likes to lay eggs in strange places so I don’t find them. This time, just under the downstair’s neighbor’s living room window. The hen even used an old newspaper to make it homey. I tested the huevos and only three had gone bad–that is, floated upward when placed in a bowl of water. Guess I’ll have to host a brunch soon….


My friend Nanci had twins. She brought them over the other day–Annabelle (pictured) and Tula. What cuties. Bill pointed out that we don’t need babies because we have enough animals to keep us busy. Nancy said, “Yeah, but then you eat your babies!” Yup, true enough.
Also, I wrote another money column for–here it is. It is just a story about one guy’s experience with student loan debt. That’s the point of the column: a profile–I’m not asking readers to feel sorry for this person or make a judgement about his financial decisions. Why do people spend time posting comments that deride my subject’s personal life? Must be great being perfect…