Homestead Academy: A Two Day Course in Kitchen Self-Reliance

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I’ll be doing a keynote speech at the end of an intensive weekend of classes in bread baking, vinegar brewing, yogurt making and more. The event, which will take place on July 6th and 7th is presented by Growcology and the Emerald Village and will take place in Vista, CA.

This weekend intensive is designed to catapult you into a life of self-reliance through homesteading. Join Growcology and the Emerald Village Volunteers as we share the simple and effective ways to make: yogurt, cheese, butter, bread, home cleaning products, beer, salves, infusions, preserving, and healthy cooking. Special features include local farmers and food providers.

For more information and tickets head here.

Picture Sundays: Do You Believe In Magic?

mural at Sunset and Coronado

I really like this mural that just appeared in our neighborhood near the corner of Sunset and Coronado.

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Bunnies tumble out of a magic hat and there’s a silhouette of a coyote and crow (common urban wildlife here).

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The text, “do you beleav [sic] in magic” brought a smile to my face as I waited for the bus. My day had been re-enchanted by this symbolic bit of street art.

Saturday Linkages: Insect Hotels, Edwardian Hipsters and Biomorphic Light Fixtures

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DIY insect hotel spotted on the ever amazing Lloyd’s Blog.

Insect Hotels http://lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/2013/06/insect-hotels.html#.UcEUtDWXvN0.twitter …

Good Yard or Bad Yard? Garden Design Pitfalls | Garden Rant http://gardenrant.com/2013/06/good-yard-or-bad-yard-garden-design-pitfalls-2.html …

Q & A – Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land http://j.mp/1844StH

Edwardian stunt bikers – in pictures http://gu.com/p/3ggde/tw 

Interactive Light Sculpture Moves Just Like a Living Creature | Designs & Ideas on Dornob http://dornob.com/interactive-light-sculpture-moves-just-like-a-living-creature/ …

Plans for Lightweight Dinghies http://lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/2013/06/plans-for-lightweight-dinghies.html#.UbyvUcYCR7k.twitter …

For these links and more, follow Root Simple on Twitter:

Film Industry Comprimises Safety of Cyclists

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Photo: LA Streetsblog.

On Tuesday the Los Angeles City Council, under heavy pressure from the film industry, voted to remove most of the green paint from bike lanes on Spring Street. The lanes had been installed two years ago as part of a pilot project to test this type of highly visible bike lane used in other cities such as New York and Chicago. Film industry groups complained from the very beginning, claiming that the lanes screwed up their shots. The lanes, however, were popular with local businesses, the Downtown Neighborhood Council and residents. And a bike count conducted by the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition showed an overall 52% increase in bike traffic on Spring Street. There was a 100% increase in women cyclists on weekdays and a 650% increase in women cyclists on the weekend.

I was a part of a group of cycling advocates who attended the City Council meeting. Before the bike lane issue came up on the agenda, we all had to endure a two hour self-congratulatory tribute to an outgoing, term-limited councilman. When the bike lane agenda item finally came up, councilman Huizar announced that the Council and film industry had reached a “compromise” and that there would be no public comment. So much for democracy.

The “compromise” consists of removing most of the green paint. Here’s the before and after:

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Source: LA Times.

As a pilot project, theses lanes were under evaluation by LA Department of Transportation engineers. The council, essentially, interfered with this experiment at the behest of moneyed interests. It would have been nice to see if these lanes increased safety. Now we won’t know.

After the council approved the compromise, without public comment, Councilman Tom LaBonge came up to me and asked me what I thought. I told him that I thought the council was compromising safety. He told me that the film industry is important here. I asked him if he thought a film is worth a human life. He said, “we’ll have to agree to disagree.”

A Backyard Bioshelter

Jonathan Bates of Holyoke, Massachusetts has a nifty greenhouse he calls his “backyard bioshelter.” He uses it to grows veggies year round in a climate that often goes well below 0°F. An aquaponics setup and a worm bin are also integrated into the shelter. And he’s even trying to grow avocados!

You can keep up with what he’s doing on his blog at permaculturegreenhouse.com.

Thanks to the Natural Building Blog for the link.