Saturday Linkages: Paleo Flour, Viking Tents and Chinese Cabbage as the New Kale

Author William Powers to Speak in Los Angeles

I had the great pleasure of hearing William Powers speak about his book 12 by 12 a few years ago. He’s returning to Los Angeles for a book talk and signing at Skylight Books on Saturday October 3rd at 5 pm. Powers is a very thoughtful, honest and engaging speaker. Living simply in the big city is, obviously, a subject close to our hearts.  From the book description:

New Slow City
Living Simply in the World’s Fastest City

Burned-out after years of doing development and conservation work around the world, William Powers spent a season in a 12-foot-by-12-foot cabin off the grid in North Carolina. Could he live a similarly minimalist way in the belly of the go-go beast — New York City? To find out, Powers and his wife jettisoned 80 percent of their stuff, left their 2,000-square-foot Queens townhouse, and moved into a 350-square-foot “micro apartment” in Greenwich Village. Downshifting to a 20-hour workweek, Powers explores the viability of Slow Food and Slow Money, technology fasts and urban sanctuaries, rooftop gardening and beekeeping. Discovering a colorful cast of New Yorkers attempting to resist the culture of Total Work, Powers offers an inspiring exploration for anyone trying to make urban life more people- and planet-friendly.

Skylight Books (a big supporter of our two books, by the way) is located at:
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA

A conflicting event will prevent us from being there, but please tell Powers and the folks at Skylight that Root Simple sent you.

A Pedal Powered Lathe


I’ve blogged many times now about the incredibly useful and free 3D visualization program Sketchup (and had John Zapf on to talk about it on the podcast). A few avid woodworkers used the program to help build a wooden, bicycle powered lathe for a school in the Dominican Republic town of Punta Cana. They built the lathe so that kids at the school could make their own baseball bats.

You can find out more about the project on the Sketchup blog.

061 National Heirloom Expo Report


This week we go to the Santa Rosa Fairgrounds in Northern California to the National Heirloom Exposition. The three day Expo is run by the folks behind Baker Creek Seeds and features speakers, a huge hall of heirloom fruits and vegetables, vendors, livestock, a biodynamic pavilion and live music. I’ve attended each year for five years in a row. This year I took my portable recording equipment and on this episode of the podcast you’ll hear interviews with root vegetable expert Grant Brians, Sir Cobalot, Sustainable Santa (yes you heard that right) and we’ll conclude with a discussion about the California Grange. During the show we mention:

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. A downloadable version of this podcast is here.