farm fresh eggs - aka, golden yolks

This morning I brainstormed what needed to be done and came up with a list so long with the mind map, that I guess, much like my German lessons, I will take the next 8 weeks to complete most of it.  

One of the areas is the agrowvillage, where I am trying to distill and simplify all the parts down to almost a 5th grade level.  It is sad that in our current information age, everything has to be simplified down to a tweet, sound byte, or you have to make a pretty infographic for it.  Please don’t think I don’t like infographics, I love them, but to do a “good” one, it usually takes a lot of time to make everyone look, understand & “get it,” and think, “oh how simple!”

Perhaps that is part of the problem.  I don’t think people really understand the amount of time it takes to create, modify, refine, and then rework an idea till it gets to the point where you say, “this is it.  No more changes.”  I liken it to in the past working with traditional animation character development.   People would ask, “When do you know when the character is done?”   I would respond, “when it starts to talk to you from the paper.”  (how do you quantify that?)

Back to agrowvillage- I have a few sketches of how I want the flow of information to go, and I have some graphic skills, but I am not a professional designer, so it will take longer for me to massage the data/images.  One of the graphics is the closed an or open loop programs we have for animals meeting aquaculture, meeting vegetable production that can be placed anywhere in the world, and ironically work year round with the addition of some of the energy technologies we are working with.  In a sense I am excited about it, but I also know it will be a year before I go back to the usa and hopefully build the lab on top of the mountain, so while I enjoy talking and thinking about ideas, to me, they are simply ideas until you actually build them.  In those steps of prototyping you can come up with lots of things you didn’t think of with the coffee and sketchbook page.   It is also where 25 better ideas can help, modify, or create new ideas that unless you have a perpetual creation program in place, you will loose all the knowledge gained.  

Not that I have blabbered on about not much of anything that makes sense – but it helps me with other ideas churning in my mind – the doorbell rang.   I smiled when I realized it was the egg man.   I think I am finally getting to the actual idea I wanted to write about…farm fresh eggs.

People wonder, “mark, why do you have chickens in the mix for the lab?”   I reply, that there is a young lad in Ethiopia I know who was given a class by some amazing nuns.   What he does is get a few eggs each day and sell them in the market.   While this might not sound like much, the boy can make enough selling his eggs to buy food for his two other sisters.    Granted, the color of the yolks is not the orange/yellow yolks that you and I are used to seeing; rather, in many 3rd world countries even the chickens are malnourished with the people.  They have what I call white colored yolks.   I don’t know if I have a picture on this computer to share of one.

But on the lab grounds, I will grow chickens, at least take a chance at it.  While range free would be Ideal, I think they will have to stay inside a pen I have to construct and probably electrify – not to keep the chickens in, but I really am not in the mood to feed the wildlife around the site, or see a giant vulture pick one up and fly away with it.   You think I am laughing, but when the demolition guys came up to look at the site, they had two little dogs, when they saw the birds, they ran to get the dogs.  I looked quizzically at them, “what’s wrong?”

“We don’t want to feed the birds.”

The main reason to grow chickens for the lab is to work what I call the holy trinity cycle.   Fowl provides food and chickens provide hot nitrogen fertilizer that has many uses.   Some of it, can be allowed to go into the fish tanks where aquaculture happens, that water is then cycled through agroponics, aeroponics or drip irrigation to minimize and optimize water use and clean the water to recycle the trip.

I could go on and on about all the common sense things we are working with and putting a high tech twist to – perhaps that is why I get sad when I see the size of the waistlines inside the usa.   There is no one to blame for the country to turn into a junk food nation with obesity issues, but ourselves.

Perhaps that is the irony of my next paragraph.  Why do I also want farm fresh eggs?  With the golden, yellow, orange yolks? 

It makes the most delectable crème brulee, mousse au chocolate, and other decadent “custard” desserts which I have spent a lot of time trying to perfect each, without having a cooking teacher.  To me, this is one form of a fun hobby.

Hindsight dictates that the secret with everything, is simply use ample common sense to most of life.   You can’t eat crème brulee or a yummie fat cheeseburger every day and not expect some ramification on the waistline.   But once in a while…tis actually, ok.

I leave you this ramble with a thank you for hanging in while my mind and fingers went everywhere, and here is an image of the last batch I made for a brother in laws birthday.  Cross your fingers, the other brother in law just proposed to his girlfriend, she is an actual pastry chef.  Imagine if I got a few lessons?