The Exchange

Posted in Journey with tags , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2009 by imsolarpowered

I have been back in San Francisco for 7 months. I stumbled upon this video of The Exchange and wanted to share it here. I mentioned The Exchange in a previous post but basically it is a Salvation Army-esque thrift store, but instead of a set price on goods, you pay what you can. So incredibly smart!  Here is the story of The Exchange. I love that the founder says that their mission is education. He also says, “I love to make chaos out of order.” There’s a thought for you to chew on. 😉 He refers to the basis of The Exchange as ART:  Appropriate Recycling Technology. The idea is being able to use things in a certain time, place, and which are appropriate. I have seen many Exchange-finds be used in new and innovative ways. Oh, Orcas Island. ❤


Something new, just a few.

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , on August 1, 2008 by imsolarpowered

(1) Mead is a fermented alcohol made with honey, water and yeast. Made some with sage flowers a few weeks ago in a 5 gallon carboy.

(2) Many people have no idea about garlic scapes. I felt stuck on repeat at the farmers market a few weeks ago answering the questions: “Oh! What are these? How do you cook them?” So, world of blog readers here you go. A garlic scape is the prepubescent flower of a garlic plant. It must be cut off before going to bloom or else the garlic cloves in the ground will not form properly. They become tender when you cook them and have a delicate garlic flavor. They can be cooked in a variety of ways: grilled garlic scapes, sauteed garlic scapes, garlic scape pesto, garlic scape garnish, garlic scape pizza topping. . . yes, quite versatile! And if you’re feeling like you may have a vampire on your tail they also make for one beautiful necklace.

(3) Cows need to be milked 2xs a day- every 12 hours. This beauty from the Coffelts Farm gives about 4 gallons per milking. Watching her be milked reinforced my awareness of where food comes from. I hesitated to enjoy drinking it. The fact that this warm milkiness  was squeezed out of the interior walls of this huge creature just blows my mind. Here are some close ups to reconnect you with the orgins of milk.

Surfing, Trees and Vancouver Island

Posted in Journey with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 17, 2008 by imsolarpowered

As some of you know, my older brother, Jeremy Sherwin, is a professional surfer. Check out this spread from his sponsor REEF on and about surfing Vancouver Island, the NW logging industry and sustainability. I hope I can make it up to surf Tolfino before I head back to the city of San Francisco.


As I flew over to Portland last month in a Cessna I saw many patches of logged terrain. Yesterday I was looking at the business section of the Seattle Times attempting to gain some insight into the stock markets. (ha!) I was drawn immediately to the price list for commodities, of which includes lumber. The World Bank estimates that forest products are a $270-billion-a-year business and the worldwide appetite for everything from paper to building materials shows no sign of slowing. Global wood consumption is expected to rise by at least 20 percent by 2010 and by over 50 percent in 2050, according to the Resource Conservation Alliance.

Here are some images I took last month of land that has been cleared. Most of the wood pulled from this region are Douglass Firs which are prized for their strength in construction as well as a common Christmas tree. Here are some images from the plane of cleared Doug-Firs and a small paper mill outside of Seattle. Look at all those wood chips!!!

Summer time, when the living is eeeasy.

Posted in Journey with tags , , , , , on July 14, 2008 by imsolarpowered

I have officially biked across the isle of Orcas! There are no pictures as evidence because I was too busy getting my butt whooped by the rolling hills. It took me a little over 2 hours to bike the 18+ miles from Sea Acre to West Sound. Yahoooo.

I’ll have more to report on later, but for now here are some of the most beautiful shots from the fields of Orcas Island.

Golden Beets- tis the season.

Yes, it is from this world.

Baby organic strawberries. Melts in your mouth, not your hands.

Canning and pickling bull kelp. Who knew?!


Posted in Food with tags , , , , , on July 6, 2008 by imsolarpowered

abundance |əˈbəndəns|
a very large quantity of something

Orcas Island in July is overflowing with an abundance of food. Fresh prawns, crabs, deer, rabbits, goats, lambs, mussels, oysters, salmon. . . not to mention all the green veggies coming to fruition. Everywhere I turn there is fresh local food beckoning to be consumed. It is quite magical, to say the least.

I spent the day on the north side of Orcas helping my friend Lerner harvest kelp and mussles. Just as we were heading out his mom called up to say that she was on her way with fresh roadkill. (The resourcefulness of people here is astonishing.) She pulled up an hour later with a beautiful young doe. It was the first time I had witnessed the gutting, slicing and dicing of such a large creature. The pop when the air released from the body cavity let out a musty and gamy smell. I had to turn away for a second. Phew. I was hugely impressed by Ruby, an 18 year old Orcas Island local, who staked the claim on preparing the deer. It took her two hours to skin and butcher the whole animal and by the time we got back up from the beach she had even prepared lunch for us: fresh venison, brown rice and a salad from their garden. Life doesn’t get better.

Meanwhile down on the beach we harvested a variety of different sea weeds. The big one you will see is called bull kelp. We pickled and canned the whip in a spiced brine. Mmmm. Then we hung the leafs up to dry. They can be crushed and sprinkled on any meal for added salt, flavor and a serious boost of minerals. The kelp can also be thrown into a compost mix, releasing beneficial nutrients into the soil. Below I am posting a gallery of images because they do more justice than my writing skills ever could. Cheers.

What’s up, doc?

Posted in Food with tags , , on July 3, 2008 by imsolarpowered

My friend Kji is the farm manager at a small scale organic farm on Orcas Island, Morning Star Farm. He directed, stared, produced and edited this piece on rabbit “hunting”. I had some of this his Mornin Star Rabbit (as he calls it) which was BBQed at his place and let me tell you- DELICIOUS. Now, this is sustainable food. Rabbit eats your veggies, you kill and eat rabbit. A symbiotic cycle. . . sort of?

Road warrior!

Posted in Journey with tags on July 1, 2008 by imsolarpowered

Bike is polished and lubed and ready to go! I have yet to conquer the 13 miles from the farm to town but soon! Very very soon.  Isn’t she beautiful?