Edy learns to bake with solar oven

We use the recipe for Apple Pan Dowdy from my ancient Fannie Farmer cookbook.

Edy does the math to double the recipe and makes the cottage pudding topping.

4258 - edy makes batter

4260 Edy adds topping to fruit

Apples, raspberries and concord grapes from our gardens are baked in the solar oven with cinnamon, nutmeg & ginger and placed in the bottom of the pan.

It took about 1 1/2 hours to bake.

It took about 1 1/2 hours to bake.

Edy carries his creation to the art studio opening

Edy carries his creation to the art studio opening



  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 medium apples, peeled, if desired, and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla



Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Arrange the sliced apples in a greased pie pan or 9-by-9-inch baking dish. cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar well. Add the egg, and beat until smooth. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt, and add this to the butter-sugar-egg mix, alternating with the milk. Spoon this batter over the apple slices. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the cake is golden brown. Cool slightly before cutting.


working out the bugs

Our kitchen scraps have been converted into fantastic compost and I wanted to top dress some of our plants with it – but it’s  full of sow bugs & pill bugs who don’t care if their meal is kitchen scraps or live plants.  Yesterday, i picked them out & fed them to the chickens for about 45 min.  Today i got smarter & put several boxes of compost in the chicken coop.  It took them about 5 min. / box  to eat the bugs.

these girls are really into it!

these girls are really into it!

Video: LA Eco Village: self-reliance in car-free urban homestead

This half hour video filmed by Johnny Sanphillippo  (his blog at Granola Shotgun) is a great little tour of our Eco-Village.  The video had 15000 views in the first 5 days (and climbing) and there are a ton of comments on YouTube (that are perhaps worth checking out).     Check out other popular videos by faircompanies.com on Kirsten’s youtube channel.

Also, thanks to our very inspiring friends at RootSimple for sharing this video on their website.  Johnny also made a fantastic video about them that you should go watch right now.