Archive for September, 2011

September 30, 2011

Dumpster Score #Cheese: Arcata

This just might be Arcata’s best kept secret… but we can’t eat all this cheese by ourselves, so we’re spreading the word!

Goat Cheese Factory on Q and 13th: oh, i dunno… like THIRTY POUNDS of amazing chevre goat cheese

Wildberries Marketplace: several boxes of various deli food, inc. sushi

Murphy’s: deli sandwich, slice of Butterfinger cheesecake, 2 boxes of blueberry muffins

September 29, 2011

Goin’ (back) to California…

Just a quick update for y’all: we finally said our good-byes at Maitreya Ecovillage in Eugene and headed west and then south on the 101 for northern California.  We took about a week to get to Arcata, camping in or near National Forests, taking time to swim in rivers, gaze out over the beautiful ocean, and chat with folks we met along the way.  Here are some pics for your enjoyment.

September 13, 2011

Sustainable Cycles

We somewhat unintentionally spent the summer with Eugene as a home-base.  Though we took advantage of several awesome camping/volunteering/direct action opportunities throughout Oregon, we left Ollie parked near a community called Maitreya Ecovillage and have thus spent quite a lot of time there and have made some good friends.

A couple days ago Maitreya had a pot-luck where we were introduced to a couple amazing guests, Toni and Sarah.  They are biking from Seattle to LA (I told them to check out the TTT!) visiting communities of all kinds and giving informal presentations about sustainable menstrual products.  Their trip is sponsored by Diva Cup, the Keeper, and Gladrags (the “big names” in sustainable menstruation, lol), and all three companies have given them samples and literature to give to the people they meet.

During our pot-luck about 10 of us (all women, which surprised Toni and Sarah, who said that men usually show more interest; Maitreya isn’t the most feminist community out there) sat down in a circle and talked about our knowledge and experience of menstrual cups, sea sponges, and re-useable pads.  Everyone had heard of these alternatives to disposable, chemical-laden products, but not everyone had tried them.  I, for one, used a Diva Cup for several years before switching to my home-made cotton pads.  Everyone asked me to bring one of my pads, so I got to show them my amateur (but improving!) handiwork; Toni and Sarah said that they’d put my contact info on their website for people to buy from me, which is awesome, but I’m not quite prepared for that yet!  Maybe someday (sigh).

Here is Toni and Sarah’s blog (please contact them if you’d like them to visit your community!):


P.S. Speaking of bleeding (always)… I recently read The Red Tent by Anita Diamant.  If you are interested in an alternative to the mainstream way of thinking about menstruation (that it’s bad, gross, irritating, etc.) I would highly recommend reading this incredible book.  I am always saddened when women talk about their periods with nothing but disgust and dread.  The patriarchy has convinced so many people that their natural bodies are bad; we have forgotten the beauty and inspiration that comes with a monthly heightened awareness/sensitivity and connection to the Universe’s cycles and to each other.  The Red Tent is a compelling reminder of that ancient perspective.

September 13, 2011

WVO Experiment Conclusion

In our previous post about our most recent WVO experiment, we explained how we took a small sample of our waste veggie oil + salt + baking soda concoction and let it sit for the same amount of time that we let our 55 gallon steel drum of oil sit, so that we’d have an idea of what was going on inside the drum.  This picture of our sample was taken after about a month of the concoction sitting and separating.  You can see how the layers separated out: oil on top, emulsion in the middle, and water (or very watery oil) on the bottom.  According to the websites (linked in the previous post), this is what was supposed to happen.  Hurrah!

Assuming that a similar separation existed in our 55 gal drum, we went ahead and siphoned off the top layer of oil from the drum.  We used a clear tube so that we could turn the pump off as soon as the color went from amber to milky white.  There was about 30 gallons of amber-colored oil, out of maybe 40 gallons total (the bottom 10 being emulsion + watery oil).  We put the good 30 gal into a holding container, and then removed the bottom 10 gal into our sludge bucket.  (This was more difficult than it sounds, as the very bottom of the drum was covered in a couple inches of thick salty sludge that had to be scooped out with a make-shift shovel!)

Once the drum was clean (“clean” being a relative term), we put the good 30 gal of oil back in and turned on the centrifuge.  This time, the centrifuge worked like a charm, removing the small amount of gunk and water that hadn’t separated out.  Several hours later we had clean oil, ready to be used as fuel!


September 4, 2011

More Dumpster Scores!

So this is probably about a weeks worth of late night runs to various spots around town.

Market of Choice: On 2 or 3 occasions–buckets full of tomatoes, avocados, onions, lots of bell peppers, various tasty pastries, apples, pears, plums, peaches, melons, bananas, potatoes, cookies, croissant muffins, bread, carrots, cucumbers, grapefruit, shittake mushrooms

Trader Joes: Parmesan crisps, whole wheat sliced bread, granola-y cereal, clementines, 2 pkgs green beans, 2 pkgs yellow squash, a very pretty bell pepper, 2 pkgs raisin bran, carton tofu, edamame, carton eggs, feta cheese, 2 1/2 gallon containers of rice milk, bottle of sweet white wine.

_____ Market: Lots of little cups of blueberry and mango yogurt. A dozen bags of vegan pirate booty (nooch puffs), 2 bottles of kefir, 2 large containers of greek yogurt, bananas, half a bottle of pinot grigio white wine