Picture Sundays: Compulsory Chickens

I found this old ad posted in Facebook.

Even the smallest back yard has room for a flock large enough to supply the house with eggs. The cost of maintaining such a flock is small. Table and kitchen waste provide much of the feed for the hens. They require little attention–only a few minutes a day.

An Interested child, old enough to take a little responsibility, can care for a few fowls as well as a grown person.

Every back yard in the United Sates should contribute its share to a bumper crop of poultry and eggs in 1918.

In time of Peace a Profitable Recreation
In time of War a Patriotic Duty

Picture Sundays: Hyperbolic Crochet

Spotted at the Institute for Figuring in Los Angeles, a piece from their Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef. About the process:

The inspiration for making crochet reef forms begins with the technique of “hyperbolic crochet” discovered in 1997 by Cornell University mathematician Dr. Daina Taimina. The Wertheim sisters adopted Dr Taimina’s techniques and elaborated upon them to develop a whole taxonomy of reef-life forms. Loopy “kelps”, fringed “anemones”, crenelated “sea slugs”, and curlicued “corals” have all been modeled with these methods. The basic process for making these forms is a simple pattern or algorithm, which on its own produces a mathematically pure shape, but by varying or mutating this algorithm, endless variations and permutations of shape and form can be produced.

And, yes, they have a how-to book if you’d like to try this on your own.

Picture Sundays: The Huddle Couch

“It’s a bed. It’s a couch. It’s a multi-functional piece of furniture for laid back lifestyles. The HuddleCouch® offers new possiblilites for entertainment and comfort.”

Believe it or not this ad is dated 1994. And apparently you have to wear a suit to enjoy your HuddleCouch. But the formal attire doesn’t stop this couch from being, “the most fun you can have on a couch or a bed. It’s a way of life!” Indeed.

Picture Sundays: Toyon in Bloom

Our young Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) had its first bloom this year. What’s so great about Toyon?

Get one for your food forest! 

Picture Sundays: Giant Crops of the Future

From Paleofuture, some 20th century notions about the factory farms of the future, from Arthur Radebaugh’s Sunday comic strip “Closer Than We Think”

COLOSSAL CROPS — In addition to dire threats of destruction, the atomic age has also produced many brighter horizons for mankind’s future. One such happy prospect is the use of radiation to create more uniform and dependable crops that will end famine everywhere in the world.

Gamma ray fields now operating on the east coast point to a day when crops will grow to giant size, vastly enlarging yield per acre. These super-plants will be disease and insect resistant — more tender and tasty — and controllable as to ripening time. Seasonal vegetables like corn will be available fresh nearly everywhere for most of the year instead of only a month or so.

Loopy, but kinda prescient. Not sure it’s gonna work out so well!

Picture Sundays: Trout Smells Kraut

Somehow, in a post about a handy fermenter from the Farmer’s Kitchen, I failed to put up this shamelessly cute picture of our cat, Trout, interfering with the photo session.

If you’d like more proof that the internet is some kind of million typing monkey/non-linear/collective unconsciousness generation machine, try typing “cat and sauerkraut” into Google. You get a fluffy and deaf white cat who loves sauerkraut. We can now consider that long experiment in human civilization complete.

Picture Sundays: A Car Exhaust Powered Pressure Cooker

From the June 1930 issue of Modern Mechanics:

Automatic Food Cooker Runs by Exhaust Heat of Car
Meals can literally be cooked on the run through the use of the automatic cooker shown in the photo above. The cooker is mounted on the rear bumper of the motor tourist’s car and an extension from the exhaust pipe connected up with it, as shown in the insert. The cooker contains a steam pressure kettle which is heated by the hot exhaust gases. An hour’s drive is quite sufficient to thoroughly cook meats and vegetables. Total weight of the unit is so slight that running qualities of the car remain quite unaffected. Motor tours are much more pleasant when one is assured of a well-prepared meal at the end of the trip.

Thanks to the Los Angeles Master Food Preservers for the tip on this oddball bit of history.