Sunday, December 28, 2008

New Year's Resolutions - Welcome 2009!

This year's theme for us:

"Less and More"

- Less waste, more planning ahead
- Less sameness, more adventure
- Less naivete, more informed decisions
- Less sitting around thinking about it, more doing
- Less random television, more deliberate, edifying TV

Happy new year everyone!

Article #10: Why Food Matters

This month, we published an article about why food matters--the crux of why we moved back to New Mexico to own land in a rural area.

The article is a brief amalgamation of all the reading and research we've done over the past year, also a summary of the many conversations we've had with the intriguing people we've met here and elsewhere, who are thinking along the same lines. Read on for why food matters not only to me and Jon--but to all of us.

Science vs. Faith--The Great Debate

Upon returning from a wonderful week of family and friends in the Bay Area, Jon and I decided to spend our first Saturday back home at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History. While I grew up here in Albuquerque, I think I've only visited this museum twice--and one of those times was in a little black dress for senior prom--so for me it was like visiting for the very first time.

We strolled through an exhibit that showed how the weather works (where wind comes from, the effects of different kinds of cloud formations, etc.), then went on to a coral reef photo exhibit, onward to stalagmites and stalactites in a simulated cave, an astronomy exhibit, and finally into the history of the universe--from the Big Bang to the dinosaurs to their extinction. This is where we started our Great Debate.

Not only was the museum like a new experience to me, but this was the first I had heard of the K-T Boundary and the Chicxulub asteroid impact, a theory for why dinosaurs suddenly disappeared from the earth. The theory is relatively new, surfaced and debated in just the past 30 years with additional theories surfacing since 2000, so I guess I had been so wrapped up in earning my English degree, getting a job, moving around, and living daily life, that I missed this one. Or, blame it on the public school system (truly, I don't remember learning about any of this in any of my science classes, and I paid good attention in school).

I had of course learned about the Big Bang, but the Chicxulub impact theory is different--it's not about the origin of the universe, rather it's an explanation for why dinosaurs suddenly disappeared. I didn't know that this one theory was so institutionalized as to take up a good portion of the science museum. Of course, this sent my mind reeling in the possibilities and what this all means to my belief system (yes, you could call me a subscriber to Intelligent Design, or Creationism: I'm open to learning about new scientific evidence and theories--I just believe a higher being could have been responsible for all of this. It's not impossible!).

So the Great Debate for me and Jon goes like this: science is almost like religion in that it takes some faith to believe in scientific theories. Like religion, science evokes so many questions for which we may never have the answers. Jon's opinion: science is fact. My opinion: science can take just as much faith as religion does, and isn't always fact. Scientific theories are disproven or change all the time (for example, the K-T boundary is now called the K-Pg boundary due to recent findings). There are certain laws of science that have been proven: Newton's three laws of motion, the Third Law of Thermodynamics, Avogadro's Law, etc., but when it comes down to it, science and religion are both ways for humans to make sense of how we got here, where time began, where it's going, whether or how it will end, etc.

These are the kinds of things Jon and I talk about as we stroll through places like the Natural History Museum. Call us boring, but it's really quite fun talking about subjects like these, with two different opinions. We agree to disagree so it doesn't get nasty; but we never end up feeling satisfied with each other's answers, so it keeps us going, keeps us learning.

With Jon returning to school in the spring to work toward his Earth Sciences degree (focus on hydrology), we'll likely have a lot more conversations like these. So prepare to be bored with more blog entries like this in 2009 :-)

On a closing note, while reading a National Geographic article on the Chicxulub impact, I found this quote from a scientist who controversially introduced one of several other theories than the K-T (or K-Pg?) event for sudden dinosaur extinction:

"This is more religion than anything else," [Princeton University paleontologist Gerta Keller] says. "A lot of people are so wedded to [the Chicxulub] theory that it seems that no evidence can ever convince them of anything else."

I guess I'm not the only one who thinks that science can be a religion of its own.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Traffic Cops

We have been wondering if anyone reads our blog. We must admit, we haven't invested the time we used to in updating it because, well, we've been busy! And frankly with the farm dormant for the winter, we haven't been busy doing anything very interesting the past couple months, so we decided to start tracking traffic to our blog with Google Analytics. The results are veeeerrrrrry interesting....

So far this month, we've had 14 unique visitors with 16 site visits (Repeat offenders! Stalkers...), from three countries: the U.S., France, and Thailand. And yes, we know who you are....but not by name or IP address or anything. Just guessing by where we know our friends and family are.

It's seems so invasive to track our blog traffic, but it is truly interesting, and we're quite surprised even to have 14 unique visitors. So, the blog must go on...regardless of whether we have anything interesting to say, it seems.

Thanks for continuing to check in with us!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Article #9: Organics vs. Biodynamics - Good to Great

In this article, Jon shares his latest research on biodynamic farming. Read on for Jon's thoughts on how we might plan to apply some biodynamic principles to the farm:

Article #8: To Organic or Not to Organic

In this article, Jon explains what we would have to do for organic certification. No easy task....