The Blog

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Lawrence Farmer's Market and Gasper Farm

It was hard to get moving this morning so we didn't get to the Farmer's Market until about 10:30.  Catherine and I rode the 12 miles into town while Rolf drove the van in.  We chatted up a bunch of folks and scored some free food including a fabulous berry pie.
We then went to check out the Sunflower Bike Shop and found out that my chain and rear cassette needed to be changed.  I'm not sure why it all wore out and the mechanic was also not sure why I needed a new chain and cassette so soon.  (Only 2000 miles.)  The people at Sunflower Bike Shop were very interested in our project and happy that they could support our efforts.
While my bike was being worked on, we cruised around Lawrence, had Buffalo burgers for lunch and found some great local ice cream at Sylas & Maddy's.
After picking up my bike, Catherine and I rode out to Gasper Farm where we spend about two hours talking with Pete and Sally Gasper about their lives, their animals and the challenges they face trying to raise happy healthy animals for meat.  The Gasper's have chickens, dairy cows and lots of pigs.  They really love their pigs and enjoy sharing their passion for the eco-system they create.  The pigs graze down the grass and "weeds", root up the ground and add fertilizer.  The resulting healthy grasses in turn, support very healthy animals.
The Gasper's are moving their operations to an area south of here where the real estate is much more affordable and where there are no building regulations so they can build the kind of house they want.  They plan to build a post and timber framed building with straw and mud infill.  Rather than straw bale, straw is mixed with mud and compacted into forms that create the infill walls.  Sounds very cool.
The Gasper's have a weekly drop off where their customers come and pick up the meat that they have purchased.  They also have 4 boys under the age of six so they are very busy.

After returning from Gasper's, we found that Peter had already started working on the electric bike we built in Boulder last week.  He build a rather massive torque arm and after a number of attempts, we got the bike working very well and we feel like it's ready for the rest of the trip.
This has been a great stop for fixing all of the problems we've developed as well as some that we've only imagined.

So, here's our latest numbers
May 27-  64 miles  Headwind 10 to 15 mph
Catherine - 21.25 amps used   -   3.0 miles per amp
Oliver     -   16.23 amps used  -   3.9 miles per amp

May 28 -  76 miles  -  Slight headwinds  Hot
Catherine - 20.27 amps used  -  3.7 miles per amp
Oliver      - 16.6 amps used    -  4.5 miles per amp

Lots of creativity here
Getting ready to head out to the Farmer's Market
Chatting up the Green Riders
More chatting
Working in the office . . .
. . . while Catherine naps
One hot Swedish mechanic
The boys and the bike
Putting on the green

Nick testing the unit
Peter Gasper - The meat farmer