The grape arbor at the Getty Villa is simple: just a bunch of lashed together poles set in concrete and covered in vitus californica. It was the inspiration for the grape arbor I built several years ago and will blog about this week.
Well tended fires outperform modern cooking stoves: http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2014/06/thermal-efficiency-cooking-stoves.html …
Grace and Gratitude, an urban homestead in Norfolk http://fw.to/kSevPBG
‘Hobbit house’ set to be knocked down http://bit.ly/1qttpPH
10 Gardening Myths Busted! http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20815937,00.html …
One for the honey: Beekeeping frame storage – IKEA Hackers http://po.st/IdBwgN
A very low tech hearing aid: http://tinyurl.com/knbhgxr
Spartan House http://smallhouseswoon.com/spartan-house/
Something for @gilcedillo: What’s Up With That: Building Bigger Roads Actually Makes Traffic Worse | Autopia | WIRED http://www.wired.com/2014/06/wuwt-traffic-induced-demand/ …
The Hippie Guide to Conservative Economics http://wp.me/p4fosC-gY
For these links and more, follow Root Simple on Twitter: Follow @rootsimple
Salty, crunchy, nutritious and edible raw or cooked, purslane (Portulaca oleracea) could soon be ready for its fifteen minutes of vegetable fame. We planted some this year in our summer vegetable garden and I’ve used it in a lot of salads this week.
Purslane is a common weed in North America. We’d love to be able to forage it in the neighborhood but, for some reason, it only tends to appear in unappetizing locations: usually the gutter (I think it needs a bit more water than what falls naturally from the sky here). You can eat the whole plant: stems and leaves. It has a salty and slightly lemony flavor reminiscent of New Zealand spinach.
There’s always a huge bin of it at Super King, our local Armenian supermarket. In Armenia it’s gathered in the wild and used either raw in salads or lightly sauteed.
There’s even a World Cup tie-in. The color of the plant in South America is associated with green/white soccer uniforms.
Have you grown purslane? Foraged purslane? How do you like to eat it?
In the fifth episode of the Root Simple Podcast we talk to Amy and Vince Stross of Tenth Acre Farm in Cincinnati, Ohio.
We begin with the story of why Amy quit her job and how she began to radically transform their yard. Some of the first work they did involved constructing berms and swales in the front yard, the only part of their property that gets enough sun to grow edibles. Amy and Vince describe the trial and error process they went through to perfect this water harvesting system.
We also discuss the beautiful result you see above–a front yard that combines edibles as well as flowers that both please the neighbors and provide habitat for beneficial insects. The magic extends out into the parkway which is planted with a cherry tree guild.
Amy and Vince go on to discuss how belonging to a CSA inspired them to cook from scratch and learn how to preserve food. This knowledge came in handy once their garden got really productive. Amy shares why buying a pressure canner is a good investment.
We talked to Vince about his post on making a non-electric mason jar vacuum sealer with an automotive brake bleeder. This is a cool and low cost alternative to the electric Food Saver vacuum sealer.
And Amy discussed her provocative post on why they don’t keep chickens.
According to Amy, homesteading is “more of a marathon than a sprint.” They are in it for the long hall.
We conclude by having Vince and Amy answer a Listener question about living a sustainable life in a cold climate (something we know nothing about!). Amy mentions growing fruit trees and freezing fruit in one pound packages. Canning projects then take place in the winter when heating up the kitchen also heats the house. Vince talks about growing greens year round and references the books of Elliot Coleman.
You can visit their blog at tenthacrefarm.com. Amy also does a newsletter (see the sidebar on their website). When you sign up for you’ll get a free ebook describing a little more about all the amazing things they are up to. We could have chatted for hours.
If you want to leave a question for the Root Simple Podcast please call (213) 537-2591 or send an email to [email protected]. The theme music is by Dr. Frankenstein. Additional music by Rho. A downloadable version of this podcast is here. You can subscribe to our podcast in the iTunes store. Note that it takes a few hours for the new episode to show up in iTunes.
I’m a huge fan of making your own rye bread. Why? The rye bread you get at the market ain’t rye bread. It might have a bit of rye in it but it’s also got a lot of other stuff: often white flour, caramel coloring, dough conditioners and preservatives.
This recipe that I often teach as a class, has a lot going for it:
This recipe is also super easy. There’s no tedious shaping or worrying about a loaf deflating in the oven. Breads made with 100% rye don’t hold their shape–rye is low in gluten (though, it’s important to note, not gluten free) and that gluten doesn’t behave like the gluten in wheat–you bake it in a loaf pan which makes it easy as cake, so to speak.
A note on scheduling