Growing Heart Farm : Chest Freezer Conversions

Nice post from our amazing friends over at the Growing Heart Farm. They have used our YATC2 device to hack 2 chest freezers into refrigerators which prolong the life of their produce used for their CSA.

Angel of Trash

This was a sweet .25 cent find at a garage sale. A woodblock print of an angel carrying away a trash can, below it reads, "Angel Collecting Trash." A perfect Holy Scrap decor item.


Around The Corner and The Clock

This photo features a corner located just a block from Holy Scrap. The corner is Foch and Broadway. The second building in is virtually unchanged today, obviously the roads been paved!

One Thing You Never Do When Its Over 100 Degrees

Turn on an oven. Solar oven to the rescue!


Bits of This N That from the Garden

My garden has been neglected this summer. I don't even want to think about all I've missed and let go to seed! Usually I know the state of each plant. I see the fruit coming and recognize every small change. A big writing assignment that I'll soon tell you about has kept me distracted. I'm just now getting back to the dirt. Ahhhh. Today's picks include the first handful of potatoes, the first small tomatoes, more calendula flowers for salve and the usual strawberry reward, a fist full of refreshing sweetness that I much while gardening.


Things to Do When Its Over 100 Degrees

Make homemade iced cream! 

Slow Progress for Dinosaurs

Things are slow moving on the pre historic skeleton Mikey and I found at Elephant Butte Lake. The state tells me that they're seeking a university to fund the dig. I check on the bones often, they're still there hidden and GPS'd. But around the hiding spot there's loads of bone, fossilized wood and other treats. More as it comes. . . .

Oh La La LA Fermented and Fresh

I just enjoyed a few days in Los Angeles where I visited friends who showed off the amazing assortment of fermented foods and fresh fruit at the local farmers market. I was practically crying! Food porn shots are posted. 

Things Actually Getting Done!

In small towns it can seem as though things just cant get done. They get stuck between red tape, politics and corruption. Of course there's good ol' laziness too. Many of the best stuff in T or C gets done by way of and NGO called The Bountiful Alliance or volunteer groups. A recent walking trail called The Healing Waters Trail has recently been established by a group of local citizens plus NM Soil and Water Conservation and National Parks. Far as I can tell the city just gets to take credit by adding it to their chamber's web site. It's a lovely trail!


I was just gifted this lovely handmade item that I immediately hung on my porch. I love living in an artist's community! Oh la la!


Oatmeal Sandor Style

Oatmeal Sandor Style by mikeysklar
Oatmeal Sandor Style, a photo by mikeysklar on Flickr.
I'm not a big fan of oatmeal, but I like how easy it is to make. This batch had some unusual condiments added which again is due to Mr. Katz book. I combined peanut butter, miso, maple syrup and butter to get a wonderfully balanced bowl of oatmeal. The oats were also presoaked over night in a slurry of mostly water and a tablespoon of cultured whey.

Self Carbonating Carrot Ginger Whey Drink

I juiced 2lbs of carrots a big chunk of ginger and all I got was this 3/4" full mason jar. I added a tablespoon of whey to start the ferment and vacuum the lid on. It carbonated overnight then I moved the sealed jar to the fridge to prevent over carbonization. How does it taste? I don't know. I'm going to let it sit in the fridge for a few days to really absorb the CO2 and mellow out. This recipe was a result of reading Sandor's latest book "The Art of Fermentation".

5 Minutes of Rain

5 Minutes of Rain by mikeysklar
5 Minutes of Rain, a photo by mikeysklar on Flickr.
It wasn't much rainfall, but it was a big production. Clouds moved in, the sky went dark, Sesame ran around the house looking panicked as the thunder picked up. It feels like we are getting close to a real monsoon year.

5 Minutes of Rain #25 Minutes of Rain #3

Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer

I've just finished reading a book recommendation that I picked up from an advertisement on This American Life. The book titled "Imagine" contains a fascinating statistical report of how creativity works within companies, cities and people. Perhaps even more interesting is all the data showing how we are doing it wrong. The major tips I was able to walk away from the book include:

- problem solving - try relaxing it will make you more creative
- companies should have shared bathrooms and community areas to maximize random conversation
- live in a big city and walk/ride everywhere if you want to triple your personal performance
- the more real person to person connections you have to humans the more successful you will be
- teaching children - must be hands on, teach them grit (ability to follow through)

My tips summary does not include all the information the author provides to come to those conclusions. I recommend this read to anyone who has children, runs a company or has to be creative for a living.


Decade Long Hair Cut

I've been cutting my hair and Mikeys for ten years. The first couple of years I trained my eyes and hands to reverse the flipped image of the mirror. With that obstacle out of the way things got easier. For a while I kept it simple, I cut my hair to a straight edge, no layers or textures. I dreded Mikey's hair.

But over time I've advanced my skill. Now I cut little flip ups in the front of Mikey's, really like a hedge I can create just about any shape on his curly hair.  I cut my own last week and then flew to Los Angeles to visit an old friend. In previous visits to see her we had made a habit of my getting a fancy haircut. At the LA salon I paid careful attention, watched the moves of the hairdresser and ask lots of questions. But this time she noticed my hair which I have recently learned to cut in textured layers, and she was surprised. She said that it was at least as good as the salon where she goes and pays between $100 and $200. I have arrived!


Decent Bread

Decent Bread by mikeysklar
Decent Bread, a photo by mikeysklar on Flickr.
I'm trying a variety of new bread recipes in order to find a easy to make gluten safe bread that Wendy can enjoy. This one came out pretty tasty with a 12 hour ferment at 83F. I mixed up:

 1 c white flour
 1 c rice flour
 1 c garbanzo flour
 1 t salt
 1/4 t yeast
 1 t kefir whey

The bread enjoyed a nice rise and a little bit of sourness. The goal is to ferment the bread until enters the sourdough realm in order make the gluten easily digestible.

Decent Bread #2

Police Scanner

Police Scanner by mikeysklar
Police Scanner, a photo by mikeysklar on Flickr.
I picked up this functional scanner at a yard sale for $2. It's been a lot of fun to listen in on the county police/fire/misc radio stations. The unit did not include a full antenna, but this upside down metal hanger seems to work as a hold over.

Police Scanner #2

Extending the Fermentation Zone

We are slowly extending our fermentation abilities. Our china cabinet in the kitchen is teaming with fascinating bacteria and yeast colonies plus our oil and alcohol extracts. The most recent addition is the use of airlocks on our mason jars for to prevent over carbonization of our lacto-fermented kimchi. I'm hoping to use this new to me airlock setup for fermenting a variety of vegetables.

Extending the Fermentation Zone #2


Interns by mikeysklar
Interns, a photo by mikeysklar on Flickr.
Holy Scrap now has two electronics interns. Jack (age 10) and Ashe (age 12) stop by once a week and help me package kits and assemble the controllers we sell. They learn to solder, use the CNC and the fine art of home manufacturing.

Interns #2

Bad to the Bone

Bad to the Bone by mikeysklar
Bad to the Bone, a photo by mikeysklar on Flickr.
You pretty much have to write "Bad to the Bone" on a black station wagon with flames to get your message across.

Bad to the Bone #2


10 Tons of Sand Being Delivered

$300 + 30 for delivery. Our stucco guy says thats a lot to pay.

Update on the Vanilla Extract

We kicked off our first vanilla extract on March 31st (about 2 months ago). It went great. Within two weeks we were using the vanilla in many recipes and the taste was as a good as any commercial extract. Now I'm kicking off another round. Remember to slice the beans, remove the seeds and soak 6 beans in 1 cup of 80 proof alcohol to meet the USDA requirements.

Illustrator at Work

Illustrator at Work by mikeysklar
Illustrator at Work, a photo by mikeysklar on Flickr.

Expired Oatmeal and Last Years Peaches

You might be wondering why Wendy is so excited to be eating expired oatmeal and last years peaches. I'll give you the full description which should clear things up. The oatmeal was heated up with maple syrup, mesquite flour, vanilla, cinnamon, butter and salt. The peach smoothie is made from our peach harvest from last summer, honey, yogurt, cacao and vanilla. Most of the ingredients we played some role in preparing.


Venus Transit

Venus Transit by mikeysklar
Venus Transit, a photo by mikeysklar on Flickr.

Thank goodness our buddy Tim picked up those welding eye protection plates. They allowed us to view the annular eclipse and now the venus transit. I was surprised to see that even without magnification the transit was easily visible.

Fence Update - Scratch Coat

Fence Update - Scratch Coat by mikeysklar
Fence Update - Scratch Coat, a photo by mikeysklar on Flickr.
Luis was interested in trying our spraying setup to apply the scratch coat. He has been doing stucco for 35 years sometimes somtimes with large shotcrete setups, but mostly by hand. He was really impressed and kept offering to by my setup. I pointed him towards our friends at MortarSprayer.com

Doing a Little Business in the Garden

Extensive Unexpected Swamp Cooler Repairs

I'm stilling kicking myself over this one. I went to change the pads in our swamp cooler and noticed the water flow was reduced. Rather than buying a new one (which we really should have done) I figured this is a easy fix. I replaced the pump and some clogged tubing and everything was fine (for 10 minutes). Then I noticed that the motor was slowing down and overheating. That was my next opportunity to replace the swamp cooler for a new model, but after replacing the pads/pump/plumbing I could not bring myself to do it. I bought a new motor instead. Now I'm $150 in on repairs on a swamp cooler I should have replaced at the onset of problems. At least it is working well.

Extensive Unexpected Swamp Cooler RepairsExtensive Unexpected Swamp Cooler Repairs #3