Thinking Inside and Outside the Box

Issue 7

Quote for the Month:

"What you get by reaching your destination is not nearly as important as what you will become by reaching your destination." ~ Zig Ziglar

Editorial :

Welcome to Country Living and Farm Lifestyles' e-zine #7

This has been a busy month once again, where lots of pages have been built, and more information has been put up for you to read and enjoy. We have several new sections to our sustainable living page, how to make yoghurt, juicing vegetables, home canning, and helpful hints and tips for your home and kitchen. We encourage you to add tips and hints of your own to this page.

One of the more exciting bits of technology we are using at the moment to be part of a growing social community of farmers, homesteaders and people interested in growing organic food, is of course Twitter. To many of you, it might seem like an odd concept of telling people what you are up to, but what it does is build social networks and links to businesses and people that you may not have known even existed. Within less than a week, 42 people have signed in to follow my website updates, and news. Look at Twitter Away for more information.

The other bit of exciting news is that I came across two external websites that are offering you inside knowledge of how to reduce your electricity bills by 80% and how to convert your car to run on water and gas. Now the last one really had me interested, so much so, that I have done some investigation of my own, and you can read more about it below. But it's especially interesting when you consider the high price of fuel at present, and the simplicity of the concept. Both these people do charge for this information, but I still thought that it was worth passing it on. The links to both these sites can be found in Self Reliance Page.

This Month's Articles: Think Inside the Box!


With the cost of food spiraling, many of you bemoan the fact that you just wish you had that small farm plot somewhere where you could grow your own. And yet, why wait for that big piece of farmland that may never happen?

If you live in a house with a yard, what are you doing with that valuable piece of real estate, other than probably growing a patch of useless lawn? Lawn is decorative, to some; even quintessential to your happiness, but really it is a white elephant. It is not feeding you, nor is it giving you a chance of earning extra income.

Instead of dreading mowing the grass every weekend why don’t you turn it into something useful? I came across a video the other day, which I have put up on my Free Farm Videos page of a family that did just that, in fact there are several interesting videos showing other families, but the one that really grabbed my attention was the video of a man and his family living in suburban California. Not only did they manage to be totally self-sufficient with vegetables, eggs, goat's milk, herbs, etc. but he was also able to sell his excess produce, make ethanol fuel from his vegetable waste - all on one fifth of an acre! Now that is not a big piece of property, by any stretch of the imagination, and admittedly, he turned not just his backyard into something productive and usable, but he also turned his frontyard into all things edible.

What if you only have a very small piece of land, not big enough to swing a cat in? So what? You need to think inside the box, including those who live in flats and have access to small balconies; even you can grow herbs and vegetables if you wanted to. So what do I mean by that?

What if you have that extremely small piece of land which is even smaller than a fifth of an acre? Well, you won't be able to have poultry and livestock, but you can still grow vegetables and herbs, by growing them vertically, rather than on the ground. You will need to build boxes, or trays, deep enough for your vegetables to grow, about 10 inches is fine, and then build them into vertical frames with space in between for the sun to get to them. For tall growing plants such as tomatoes, green peppers and egg plants, those should be grown on the very top tray.

Think about other options such as having a couple of fruit trees or even growing some grapevines in your urban garden. There are videos on these topics too for you to have a look at. Even if you have just a small balcony, you can also have these frames and grow your vegetables in the same way. Or buy some pretty window boxes and containers and grow herbs and salad vegetables in those. What about a strawberry barrel or two?

If you are interested, have a look at his video, and if you want to do something similar, remember, no one will stop you planting fruit, herbs and vegetables, but check your by-laws to make sure that you can keep chickens and livestock in your municipal area. And if you want to sell your vegetables, you will have to get a trading license. However, if you merely swop your produce for services that others can provide, then no license is necessary.

Remember, you don't need lots of land; you just need, sun, soil, and water!

Feature of the Month: Think Outside the Box - Running your Car on Water

The idea of running your car on water sounds almost laughable, until you start doing some research and find out that Denny Kline patented this new technology called HH2 gas to use just water to power welding machines. In addition, he then took this concept one step further and can now run cars on water. In travelling a 100 miles in his modified car, he uses just 4 ounces of water. So how does it all work?

Well, if you want some convincing video footage of what he does, you can see it here. Click here. But basically, what he does is use an electrical charge to separate the atoms of H2O into HHO, a gas he calls "Aquygen." To quote:' An "electrolyzer" in Klein's 1994 Ford Escort uses electricity from the alternator to initiate the electrolysis process to make the HHO gas out of water, explained Lusko. That gas is then pumped to the manifold and into the gas tank.

"The gas then bonds with the gasoline in the gas tank," Lusko said, "and then upon combustion, that's when you get the reaction, giving you higher gas mileage and cleaner emissions."'

According to Klein, he can provide assistance with converting both new and old cars to accepting this technology and some modification needs to take place with regards to parts. However, all parts, plans and instructions will also be provided.

Now whether one can convert farm machinery such as tractors and harvester to run on water, I have no idea, but it certainly is an innovation that has great potential to create a cleaner, greener environment, and one which saves big bucks in the long run.

Recipe of the Month: Chocolate Pots de Creme

I know I have given you several pudding recipes in the past, but I couldn't pass this one up. So enjoy it, and try not to think of waistlines and calories!

6 ounces Bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine

7 large egg yolks

1/3 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Place the chocolate in a large bowl and set aside.

Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and salt together in a bowl until smooth. Bring the cream and milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Remove the pan from the heat and slowly whisk about 1 cup of the cream mixture into the yolks. Slowly whisk the yolks back into the cream mixture.

Return the pan to low heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly, just enough to coat the back of a spoon with a thin film for about 7 - 9 minutes.

Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into the bowl with the chocolate and let stand for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk the mixture until thoroughly combined.

Stir in the vanilla and then divide evenly among 6 6-ounce ramekins.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours. Serve cold with a dollop of clotted cream.

Well, we hope that you have enjoyed reading the seventh issue of our e-zine, as much as we had fun writing it. We also hope that you will stay with us for a long time, visit our web site for updates, and feel free to contribute to the many forums we have created especially for you.

Until next time!
Philip & Kathryn Bax

Country Living and Farm Lifestyles
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