All Natural No-Treatment Beekeeping Class at the Ecology Center

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I’ll be teaching a natural beekeeping class tomorrow at the Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano at 1pm. Sign up here.

Become a backyard beekeeper and enjoy a healthy garden full of pollinators. Understand the basics of bees, all natural beekeeping methods, tools, materials, and techniques to get you started.

It’s said that beekeeping, or apiculture, began with the Egyptians whom used logs, boxes, and pottery vessels to make their own bee hives. Today, the practice of beekeeping lives on. Help save a dying species, encourage pollination in your garden, and enjoy raw, organic honey!

In this workshop, come together with Erik Knutzen of Root Simple to learn the basics of bees. Explore the all natural, no treatment method of beekeeping, plus, visit a working hive and learn how to assemble a hive box, perform a hive inspection, and address any health issues.

For those who wish to participate in the hands-on component, we recommend the following: If you own a bee suit, please bring it to wear! If you don’t own a bee suit, please wear boots, jeans, and a long sleeve t-shirt. Thanks!

Summer Nights in the Garden at the Natural History Museum


Join us for an evening of music, art, nature and science at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum’s Summer Nights in the Garden. We’ll be part of the festivities this Friday July 25th where we’ll be:

POTTING SUCCULENTS! They’re one of the most low maintenance plants out there, and one that’s perfect for our dry L.A. climate. Urban homesteading experts Erik Knutzen and Kelly Coyne are here to help you plant your own succulent and give you tips on keeping them alive.
Supplies are limited. Available to participants on a first-come, first-served basis

PAINTING! Don’t have a green thumb? Stop by the painting booth and that can soon be changed. Artist Peter Tigler brings participatory image making to NHM. Learn the hi-tech method of fingerpaint meets the ancient art of color-by-number!

RSVP HERE for free admission to L.A.’s best garden parties!

Unable to RSVP? We will continue to allow limited entry at the door until we hit capacity.


MUSIC! Enjoy the ambient music of KCRW DJ, Anthony Valadez

TOURS! Available at 5:30 pm, *6:30 pm, 7:30 pm:  Awaken your senses on a botanical tour led by our NHM Nature Gardens Staff
*Spanish speaking tour at 6:30 pm
Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis

NATURE MAPPING! Help us map L.A.’s nature by using your smartphone. Stop by our Citizen Science table to learn how you can get involved in local projects.

DRINKS! Sip on a botanical inspired cocktail as you wander through the Nature Gardens.

FOOD! Bring a picnic or grab a bite from one of the food trucks in the North Plaza.

PERFORMANCES! Butterfly stilt performers at 7 pm and 8:30 pm and don’t miss the enchanting Toy Theater show at 8 pm!

009 Artificial Turf Wars and Fashion Disasters


On the ninth episode of the Root Simple podcast Kelly and Erik recap a post on artificial turf as well as our reaction to the frightening landscaping at one of our local utility’s distribution stations.

During the course of our artificial turf discussion we mention the amazing garden at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History which demonstrates how you can create a garden in a dry climate that welcomes wildlife and does not use grass. We also mention an organization in Petaluma, California called Daily Acts that has set a good example by creating turf-free gardens on municipal and private property. As examples of parks that are either turf-free or use turf strategically, we mention the High Line in New York City and Playa Vista Park in West Los Angeles.

Fashion on the Homestead


In the second part of the podcast we discuss the homesteading fashion conundrum inspired by a quote from dapper film director (and cat lover) Alexandro Jodorowsky.


Kelly talks about her strange uniform idea and I mention Johannes Itten’s uniform for the Bauhaus (that, during the podcast, I mistakenly attribute to Kazimir Malevich–oops!).


We also mention Soviet artist Alexander Rodchenko’s attempt at a uniform.

We close with a quote from David Lee Roth, “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how good you look.”

If you want to leave a question for the Root Simple Podcast please call (213) 537-2591 or send an email to [email protected]. You can subscribe to our podcast in the iTunes store and on Stitcher. The theme music is by Dr. Frankenstein. Additional music by Rho. A downloadable version of this podcast is here.

Saturday Linkages: Dystopian Knitwear, Green Tomatoes and Drought


Great Moments in Dystopian Knitwear

Animals as the answer to recycling food waste: …

A Food Has an Historic, Objectionable Name. Should We Change It? 

How good are we at transportation prediction?

Green Tomatoes: Not Just for Frying

Why the modern bathroom is a wasteful, unhealthy design

Re-imagining Parking Spaces as Micro-Apartments …

At Tour de France, Safety Concerns Arise About Selfies

Couple Threatened With Fine For Brown Lawn Even As State Gripped In Drought 

One drought buster for the entire city of LA: …

RAST Bike Wall Mount – IKEA Hackers 

How To: Make a Modern, Trough-Style Concrete Planter: …

Scientific Heretic Rupert Sheldrake on Morphic Fields, Psychic Dogs and Other Mysteries …

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