new bikes and plans for the winter

Tony and I have been visiting his family and friends in Wisconsin for the last month, and we will soon be heading to San Diego to spend time with my family. We have had time to reevaluate our goals, and set new ones. We left Wheaton Labs, after almost a year living in the Tipi, and spent a couple of months traveling in the Canadian Rockies and central Idaho where we felt inspired to get serious about our plans to start a farm. We are still unsure of where we’d like to live, but in the meantime realize that we can cooperate with existing farmers and start our own small farming enterprises. We plan to spend this coming winter on a farm to develop these ideas.

One of our thoughts has been to go on a long bicycle tour to visit any potential place to set roots, and to visit other small farmers. So this last spring we decided to buy nice bikes: Surly Ogres:

our new bikes on the back of the tercel

our new bikes on the back of the tercel

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The Lost Art of Sharpening

Grinding.

Grinding on a  grit Japanese waterstone.

I like sharp things. They are useful beyond belief. Sharp edges were one of the first tools of mankind. They have been adapted in many ways to be many tools: knives, axes, chisels, and so much more.

I think that the vast majority of american culture has lost respect for the value of sharp things. It is easy and quick in our culture to replace a dull tool with a new one. There are endless outlets for purchasing cheap tools made of soft metal. The classic characterization of this is the disposable razor. So instead of fixing, we throw away and buy more stuff.

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