Whistle Stop Book Tour of the Northwest

              Erik does in fact bear an uncanny resemblance to Pierre Trudeau. Credit: Duncan Cameron/National Archives of Canada, PA-136972

Rodale, the publisher of our new book, is sending us on a speaking tour of the Pacific Northwest to promote Making It. Bringing this sort of groovy, DIY info to all you hardcore locavores, transitioners, freegans, goat herds and urban hillbillies in SF, Seattle and Portland seems a bit like bringing coals to Newcastle. But heck, we’re not complaining– we’re thrilled to be able to head north into your gorgeous lands.

San Francisco Events:

Friday, April 29, 7 PM: Speaking at Book Passage
Corte Madera Book Passage Store–not the one at the end of Market, the one on the other end of the ferry line: 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, CA 94925

Saturday, April 30, 12 PM: Meet us at 12 noon on the lookout point of Sutro Heights Park.

We’ll take a walk along the cliffs and forage a salad, then hang out and chat while we eat. BYOB and anything else you want to eat or share. Afterward we might retire to the Cliff House for cocktails. If it’s pouring rain that day, you’ll find us at the Cliff House bar instead of in Sutro.

Seattle Area Events

Sunday, May 1st, 2 PM: Speaking at the Elliot Bay Book Company  
1521 10th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122

Sunday, May 1st, 7 PM: Speaking at the Land Trust Building on Vashon Island
This talk is brought to you by a partnership between Books by the Way and the Vashon Island Growers Association (VIGA)

Monday, May 2, 7 PM:  Speaking at  the University Place – Pierce County Library
3609 Market Place W., University Place, WA 98466

Portland Events:

Tuesday, May 3rd: Possibly will do a gathering in some public place this evening, to meet any of you who want to come out and chat. TBA. Suggestions welcome.

Wednesday, May 4, 6-7:30 PM: Lecture at The People’s Food Cooperative
3029 Southeast 21st Avenue, Portland, OR 97202

(And before you all ask why we’re not speaking at Powell’s, the answer is we’d love to, but they’re all booked up. The timing wasn’t right. We hope someday to speak there, and will definitely be visiting anyway just to look around.)

Los Angeles Bread Bakers Demo This Weekend

First off, along with co-founders Mark Stambler and Teresa Sitz I’m proud to announce the Los Angeles Bread Bakers (LABB). Click on the link to join us via Facebook.

This Saturday April 9th at 2 p.m. LABB will demonstrate how to create a starter (levain) at Good Magazine’s Launch Weekend. The event will take place at:

Atwater Crossing
3229 Casitas Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90039

Looking forward to meeting new LABBistas. LABB’s goal is to share techniques, put on workshops and build wood fired ovens.  If you’re not in LA we hope you’ll consider forming bread baking groups all over the world!

Countdown

Our new book comes out just about a month–April 26th–and today two super-advance copies came to us by mail. Believe me, it’s awfully strange to see something that has existed only as computer files suddenly materialize on your porch!
We realize we haven’t given our new book a formal introduction yet, so here goes. 

Making It: Radical Home-Ec for a Post Consumer World is our follow up to The Urban Homestead.

The way we see it, The Urban Homestead was less a how-to book and more a “why should I?” Its purpose was to get people excited about this homesteadish stuff, and see that they could work toward self-reliance, no matter where they lived. Making It is a pure how-to book: Project #1 – #70.  There’s no chit-chat or opinionating. Its focus is on making the home an engine of production rather than consumption.
The book is a little eccentric (like us) because it covers a wide range of subjects, everything from lotion to compost bins to beekeeping. So it’s not the ultimate resource on any one subject, but it is an excellent place to get started on a wide range of self-reliant activities. Since it’s about so many different things, we arranged the projects by difficulty, as well as by how often they must be done, rather than subject matter. This means the fast and easy projects are in the front, and the more complicated, infrastructure-type projects in back.
This book was designed by the very talented Roman Jaster, and illustrated by the amazing Teira Johnson. As a result, it’s fresh and modern and easy to use. Our publisher is the esteemed House of Rodale. The whole team did a great job. It’s really pretty. And though it’s a paperback, it feels solid. Like you’re getting something for your money.
Here’s a couple of page spreads (excuse the layout marks) to give you an idea of what it looks like inside:
Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble have it available for pre-order. I was shocked to see that though the cover price is $19.99, they’re both selling it for $12.14. I’m not sure if this is a pre-order special, or if that’s where they’ll keep it, but it’s a wicked good deal. Not that we don’t support indie bookstores!!! Including big ones, like Powells.

Weedeater Street Medicine in Los Angeles

Painting by Kelly Pope

A brief reminder that our friend Nancy Klehm is coming to Los Angeles to give a series of classes. In addition to the Poo Salon, she’ll be teaching the following:

Weedeater Street Medicine in Los Angeles
February 19th+ 20th,10am – 5pm, $165 for two days; $90 a day

Learn to prepare and use the vast amount of medicinal plants that grow in the street and city lots. We will be exploring the cultivated and the wild plants of our surroundings that are readily available for the making of place based medicines. Each day will be rich with hands-on gathering and preparations, tastings and samplings and grounded with an urbanforage walk. A light foraged lunch and teas will be provided.

Day One
Introduction to basic herbal energetics and actions that includes a two hour urban forage walk. Preparations of medicines used externally: poultices, linaments and salves.

Day Two
Introduction to Plant Spirit Medicine that includes a two hour urban forage walk. Preparations of medicines used internally: infusions, tinctures and flower essences.

$50 holds your space. Registration deadline February 14.
Paypal account: [email protected]

Teaching locations and a short materials list will be given with registration. Questions? [email protected]
www.spontaneousvegetation.net
www.salvationjane.net

Poo Salon and Urban Forage Classes with Nancy Klehm

Our good friend Nancy Klehm is coming to town for a visit. We’ve invited her to be a guest lecturer at our “Academy of Home Economics” and she’s agreed to teach a couple of classes. If you live in the LA area, this is a chance not to be missed.

First, who is Nancy?

Nancy Klehm is a radical ecologist, designer, urban forager, grower and teacher. Her solo and collaborative work focuses on creating participatory social ecologies in response to a direct experience of a place. She grows and forages much of her own food in a densely urban area. She actively composts food, landscape and human waste. She only uses a flush toilet when no other option is available. She designed and managed a large scale, closed-loop vermicompost project at a downtown homeless shelter where cafeteria food waste becomes 4 tons of worm castings a year which in turn is used as the soil that grows food to return to the cafeteria. 

More information on Nancy can be found at her website, here: http://www.spontaneousvegetation.net/

Class #1:

Poo Salon
Friday, February 18th, 2011
7-9pm, Echo Park, $15

Have you heard about the concept of humanure composting? It’s the practice of composting human waste. It’s practical, easy, green as can be, and totally off the grid. Better still, all the cool people are doing it. Whether you’re interested in a viable emergency toilet, dream of living off the grid or are considering a revolutionary urban lifestyle, you’ll want to know these techniques. Nancy, a world class humanure expert, describes this class as part philosophical discussion, part problem solving session, part introduction to the technology of composting.
• Foraged snacks provided. BYOB to share.

SOLD OUT. But you can put yourself on a waiting list for a possible second session by sending an email with “Poo Salon waiting list” in the subject line to: [email protected]

Class #2

Urbanforage with Nancy Klehm (aka Weedeater)
Sunday, February 27th
2-4:30 pm, Echo Park, $25

Learn about the plants that share this city with us!

Urbanforage is an informally guided walk through the spontaneous and cultivated vegetation of the urbanscape. Along the walk, we learn to identify plants, hear their botanical histories and stories of their use by cultural use by animals and humans and share antidotes of specific experiences with these plants.

This walk will start with sharing an herbal beverage and end with a simple herbal food shared over discussion of the experiences and questions generated by the walk.

SOLD OUT. But you can put yourself on a waiting list for a possible second session by sending an email with “forage waiting list” in the subject line to: [email protected]

Los Angeles Fruit Tree Pruning Workshops

Homegrown Neighbor here:

Growing fruit trees has obvious rewards. You can eat the fruit at its peak, straight off of the tree, full of flavor, aromatic and juicy. And the sight of an apple, peach or other deciduous tree in bloom is an ephemeral yet breathtakingly beautiful sight. But many of these trees will not bear good fruit without proper pruning. Good pruning encourages stronger limbs able to hold heavy fruits, prevents limb breakage, improves air circulation and light penetration and overall makes for a more attractive tree. Improper pruning or sheer neglect can mean weak, spindly limbs, a chaotic looking, ugly tree and puny fruits.

But how do you know what to cut? I’ll be teaching two workshops this weekend for the locals. The first is this Saturday, January 15th at The Learning Garden in Venice. The workshop will run from 11 am-12:30 pm and there is a suggested donation of $25. The Learning Garden is at the southeast corner of Walgrove Avenue and Venice Blvd.

Then on Sunday, the 16th at Milagro Allegro Community Garden in Highland Park at 1pm as part of their ‘Organic Sundays’ series I’m teaching another one.

And for those of you who aren’t local, the Homegrown Evolution team is going to work on some web based stuff for you. I’m going to teach Mr. Homegrown how to prune (in exchange for help baking bread, which I’m terrible at) and we will take photos for a blog post explaining the basics of fruit tree pruning.

Cohousing Talk Tonight at the LA Ecovillage

Sorry for the late notice, but cohousing coaches Raines Cohen and Betsy Morris will be speaking tonight at 7:30 pm at the LA Ecovillage. More information here. I’m planning on attending.

I predict a big growth in cohousing arrangements particularly as baby boomers age. We certainly need more community and less anonymity in a big city like Los Angeles. Hope to meet more of our readers tonight!