Sketches from Week 24 (Aug 19 - 25, 2013)

I was surprised to see flowering bamboos in my plantation this week… I’ve never seen a flowering bamboo plant before, actually. So I drew it here… and then found at least one more after that (for which I hope to do a second, better sketch :) ) I’ll have to try and harvest the seeds later and see if I can grow some golden bamboo from scratch.

I reworked the drip irrigation system and they are much happier now, as am I, hah. Nice and green and floppy. Starting to see some properly large shoots come out of the ground, promising 20+ feet in height. Excited! This Tuesday I get to commandeer 10 Pomona college students to help me lay weedblocker and cover the entire plantation with an entire dumptruck load of mulch. Thanks Mark for the mulch hookup!

Fez and Satchel helped me out this week and we finished the 4 shower units for Symbiosis. They are hot/cold showers using an Eccotemp propane flash heater… very portable, simple, and each unit costs $120. All you need is a garden hose for the water going in, a 5 gal propane tank to provide the heating fuel, and a couple of D batteries which ignite the fuel when you turn the showerhead on. Perfect off-grid heating option… I think this, coupled with a  solar thermal water heating array, would work great for both night and daytime hot showers.

Took Jonah, Fez and Satchel out to one of my (currently) favorite spearfishing spots on the Gaviota coast… Jonah found 4 fish for the hungry troops and I came up empty looking for crabs. Where were they? I saw so many last time! But I did spy the biggest fish I’ve seen yet, though I was coming up for air and couldn’t track it properly. It got away… Next time, perhaps... More to explore…

This weekend was the Fermentation Festival and according to Katie, it was a complete success… over 800 people showed up to learn about brewing beer, pickling veggies, growing food, play music… I think they covered all the good things :) We received a lot of grateful comments (and complementary beers) for the bamboo shade structure we set up, which was lovely… the whole thing took 6 of us about 5 hrs, not including the speedy ½ hr loadout at the ranch, heh. Thanks to Lora, RayRay, Michael, Satchel and Dusty for all your hard work and positive vibes!!! Enjoy the Braggs!

Sunday ended well… Sake with the Vapneks and celebrating the (quite nearly) completion of a small kinkakuji japanese fence for their backyard. The name comes from a famous temple in Japan where this particular style of fence was made popular. Thanks to Dusty (again!) for your valuable help this entire weekend.