Saturday, August 24, 2013

George Swanson Returns to SASL Meeting August 27th

We are in for a special treat for our next meeting on Tuesday the 27th of August. After a ten year absence (more or less), George Swanson of Swanson Associates in Austin returns to our group to tell us more than we ever knew before about Magnesium Oxide (MgO) panels and products and to answer any question you may have regarding MgO. We in the fringe construction business that's otherwise known as Green Building have heard quite a bit on the properties and advantages of MgO for some time now. With the revelations concerning some of the problems related to gypsum board oriented strand board, plywood, and cementitious exterior panels, MgO has held up some promise of it being a much more appropriate material for interior and exterior use. According to MgO promoters, just one of the more interesting aspects of MgO board is that the material absorbs more carbon dioxide over time (about three months) than the amount of carbon dioxide it required to be produced, therefore acting as an effective carbon "sink".  The trouble is that most of the MgO board has to be imported from China. That's right, the same country that supplied that wonderful sulphur and toxic-infused gypsum board on the market that made a huge stink (pun intended) a few years ago. Well, it turns out that the increased production of MgO panels is in no small way a reaction to that Chinese gypsum board debacle. George Swanson is connected in a large way with the MgO production operations in China where he travels to often and spends much of his time there. George will be telling us in detail the good news that he's setting up a highly automated MgO board production operation in Houston which will be providing the American market with domestically produced MgO board in the near future. He will also tell us about the hundreds of trailers here that are the healthy replacement for "FEMA" trailers using MgO board inside and out. That's just a little of the information that you will hear more about at our meeting on Tuesday. Knowing George, he's going to be telling us about much, much more. If you missed his memorable presentation the last time around, you will not want to miss it on Tuesday. You wouldn't want to wait another ten years for our next chance would you? Hope to see you all on Tuesday.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Meatless Monday Recipe-No Oil Spicy Coconut Curry

No Oil Spicy Coconut Curry
Vegan; Gluten Free; 30 minutes

I made this last night for my mom (since I'm staying with her) and she loved it. I served this with brown rice, but use what you have... I plan on making this again and adding some mustard greens, so if you have that or spinach wilt it in...

1 block of extra firm sprouted tofu, rinsed and cut into 1" slices
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of onion, minced
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 small yellow squash, sliced
1 cup of cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 cups mustard greens or spinach, coarsely chopped
2 large tablespoons of plain coconut yogurt
1/3 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 tablespoon of red curry paste (check the label to make sure it's vegan)
1-1 1/2 cups unsweetened hemp milk
1 teaspoon ginger powder or fresh
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons cumin
garnish with lime and fresh cilantro

1. In a large pan saute in the vegetable broth garlic, and onion over medium heat till the onion is translucent. Add the tofu and gently toss until coated with the broth. Cook until the tofu has become golden, about 8-10 minutes. Combine the ginger, curry powder, and cumin; sprinkle over the tofu.

2. Add the squash and zucchini, cook for about 5 minutes and add the mushrooms. If using spinach or mustard greens; add it now with 2 tablespoons of water to wilt in. Stir in the coconut yogurt, hemp milk, curry paste, and simmer till the sauce becomes slightly thick. I added some crushed Thai peppers to give an extra kick, fresh cilantro and lime...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Dan Rojas pesticide free drum fan mosquito trap did indeed catch quite few of the blood suckers

After a week or so of continuous work, it did catch a few.
Several months ago I noticed Dan Rojas' YouTube video DIY MOSQUITO TRAP pesticide FREE mosquito control which showed how to use a metal drum fan draped with window screening held fast by rare earth magnets to capture and eventually kill mosquito's and other flying insects.

The red is from strawberry juice, not blood sucking bug blood.
It took me a while but I bought the magnets from Amazon, the fan from Northern Tool and the window screening from a thrift store.   I put it together and it immediately started grabbing bugs and I killed and removed the catch after a couple of days.  Then I let it run for a week before cleaning it today.

No doubt there are more mosquitoes to catch in swampy Florida than in dry San Antonio,  but the bugs are still irritating and I'm glad to catch any I can.  The only problem with the fan was a persistent squeak which that thankfully has disappeared for now.

Obviously the trap caught more than just mosquitoes.  The first time I emptied it I wasn't sure if the ants had come to gobble up the insect remains (except the mosquito legs) as Dan had said they would.  It took a few hours but you can see in the short video that they did eventually did show up for a feast.