Saturday Linkages: Artisinal DIY

Looks like the use of the word "artisinal" has peaked.

Looks like the use of the word “artisinal” peaked–back in the 1990s!

Artisinal Everything
Artisanal Won’t Die – Jen Doll – The Atlantic Wire http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/04/artisanal-wont-die/63840/ …

DIY!
Make a Teardrop Camper Trailer: http://blog.makezine.com/projects/teardrop-camper-trailer/ …

Backyard Bioshelter http://www.naturalbuildingblog.com/backyard-bioshelter/ …

Shed of the Year 2013 entrants via http://soa.li/AgsuA8K

Revolutionary Finnish Wood-splitting Axe http://lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/2013/06/revolutionary-finnish-wood-splitting-axe.html#.UbeCqntv-9w.twitter …

The best LED grow lights: http://ow.ly/1XdFBr

Just Add Water: Concrete Buildings Built With Air + H2O | Designs & Ideas on Dornob http://dornob.com/just-add-water-concrete-buildings-built-with-air-h2o/ …

We close with a quote:
“Inconvenient truths tend to create more anxious neurotics than they do enlightened stakeholders.” -Douglas Rushkoff in his new book Present Shock

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Bee Fever in Los Angeles

honey love photo

Photo: Honey Love.

This week’s LA Weekly has an article, “Could LA Become a Honeybee Mecca” detailing efforts by two groups, Honey Love and the Backwards Beekeepers, to legalize beekeeping in Los Angeles. The process, while slow, looks promising thanks to the hard work of Honey Love and sympathetic city councilman Bill Rosendahl.

The article also neatly sums up the radical “backwards” approach to beekeeping advocated by LA’s maverick urban beekeeper Kirk Anderson,

Anderson learned from apiarist Charles Martin Simon, who invented the concept of “beekeeping backwards.” Simon’s approach was stupidly simple: Give the bees a clean box, put them in it and leave them alone. If they get sick? Don’t medicate them. Let them die. Then get some more bees.

Amen. Selecting for strong bees is an approach that, in my opinion, holds the answers to colony collapse disorder.

I also like Anderson’s thoughts on mainstream beekeeper’s all consuming obsession with counting varoa mites. Anderson says, “To me it’d be like joining the Kennel Club and talking about my dog’s fleas.”

Self-watering terracotta seed-starters!

Plant a garden front

Root Simple reader and all around nice person Anne Fletcher has gone entrepreneurial with a really good idea: self-watering containers for seedlings. Most anyone who has ever tried to start a garden from seeds has had the experience of having seedlings die or go shocky due to a heat wave or a day or two of neglect. Starting seeds in a self-watering container makes a whole lot of sense. These containers can go up to a week between waterings. Even better, Anne’s seed starters are made out of terracotta instead of plastic. We’ve tried out her 6-pack model. It’s really cute, and it worked like a charm.

Now she’s doing a Kickstarter so she can move her business, Orta, out of the garage and produce a technically more complex 12-pack seed-starter.  So if you’re interested in getting first grabs at her new 12-pack model, or just willing to give a hand to someone trying to start a green, local business, take a look at her Kickstarter page, and let your friends know about it, too.

12-pack