Redneck Sustainability: Dirt Can Make You Clean

Let’s start with the dirt wash.  Working on the ranch one day, my wizened father showed me how dirt can actually make you cleaner.  It’s true, and oh so sustainable.  What cleanser can be more natural than dirt?  Anyway, we had just finished replacing spent rods in a windmill.  It was my first time as the “monkey man” on the top of the mill (perched up on the top platform without safety gear in order to latch and unlatch the long wooden rods as they are pulled up and out of the ground).  Everything you pull up out of a well is greasy and slick with mud, slime and, well… gook.  After sloppin’ this stuff all over for a couple hours and taking in views of red-tailed hawks diving for twittering and cooing quail hiding in scrub oak thickets, the monkey man tries to climb down the metal rungs on either side of an angle iron windmill support without slipping off and dying.  (Really mom, it’s not that dangerous.)

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A New Affair with Unsexy Sustainability

Darn it all, but I can’t keep ignoring reality.  My dirty little secret is that I live in a 1920’s brick on brick home built by a Mormon pioneer who’s last name apparently started with “S”.  (I am assuming this because of the large iron “S” that was built into the front of the home.)  This little home has a rounded front door, sloping Northern roof face, high pitched roof made of cement tiles, a 14 SEER 93% efficiency furnace, insulation wherever we could add it, cork floors in the basement, some cob wall in the basement, reused materials, a small garden/vineyard/orchard in the back and caulk and weatherstripping galore.  I challenge anyone to look it in the eyes and say it’s ugly.  Honest, it’s a cute home, but…

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Redneck Sustainability: Fact or Fiction?

Confession:  I was in college before I understood what recycling meant.  I grew up in the country outside of Fort Worth, TX.  People didn’t “recycle”.  All trash bins were green, or whatever color the bed of your pickup truck was.  Honest, I never threw trash on the ground.  But somehow a lot of it managed … Read more Redneck Sustainability: Fact or Fiction?