Friday, October 29, 2010

Visiting Harvey

Today we made a trip about 10 minutes away to visit Harvey. Harvey is the quintessential tinkerer. He spent 23 years in the Marine Corps and has perfected the art of taking old machinery and fixing it up to suit his fancy. Among the many projects he showed us, were a hand-made ditch witch, a small system of homemade equipment for distilling “straight vegetable oil” (SVO) from discarded fryer grease that he collects from a  restaurant chain, and a device for straining dirt into different particle sizes (the finest of which being material for his garden).

I am confident that it is people like Harvey who will rebuild society after the next major world conflict. Using worms, compost, and manure he has developed his little lot of desert into a rich loam that grows great mounds of tomatoes, eggplant, pomegranate, prickly pear, and at least a dozen other crops that feed him and provide slop for his four pigs. When we arrived he was working on combining parts of four broken diesel engines into a single engine that he would mount on a boat he had bought for a couple thousand dollars and which he estimated he would turn around and sell for ten times as much.

While we were at Harvey’s, I had cell reception, so I took the opportunity to raise Max on the phone. He informed me that my invitation packet had arrived at his place in Los Angeles. I’m going to have to head over their to pick it up. The timing would be great since the next day is an off day here on the ranch, except Max will be in San Francisco at a conference all weekend.

Unfortunately, my camera was out of batteries during the visit to Harvey’s. He’s going to be making adobe bricks with his friend, Jose next week, and I’m hoping I can make it to that, preferably with my camera. At one point he asked where everyone visiting was from. The roll call went as follows: Oregon, Arizona, Texas, Wisconsin, Ohio, Minnesota, New Jersey.

This is Alfred. He's top cat. He pretty much just sits on a couch pad by the door all day.

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