Permaculture Design Course at the Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano

...#8211; Intro to design process, elements of design, presentation graphics, interview, site analysis, group brainstorm, mapping with graphics APRIL 12 / WATER – Water in context, water systems, homescale vs. large scale, appropriate scale technologies. Presentation on rainwater and greywater basics, fundamental earthworks basics, observation and mapping water excersize, greywater workshop, rain barrel building demo APRIL 13 / WATER OFF-SITE...

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How to Process Carob

...tree. After. Photo by Bill Wheelock. In the Middle East carob has a reputation as a famine food. According to the carob article in Wikipedia the people of Malta ate carob pods and prickly pear fruit during WWII. How appropriate then that my neighbor Bill Wheelock, who just dehydrated a huge batch of my prickly pear fruit (and faced the thorny consequences), took on the onerous task of figuring out how to dry carob pods and process then...

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Allium ursinum

...tion to a number of dishes (see a detailed report on Allium ursinum in the Plants for a Future website). Favoring semi-shade, Allium ursinum thrives in moist, acidic soil–forest conditions, in other words. In short, not appropriate for our climate in Los Angeles, but folks in the northwest might consider planting some. Like all members of the Allium species it’s toxic to dogs, but we’ve never had a problem with our dog eating o...

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June: National Bathroom Reading Month

...bike gears are too complicated for Americans to figure out, or folks want to do what they do while driving: talk on cell phones. But why do Sid and Nancy have gears at all? Wouldn’t brake-less fixed gear bikes be more appropriate given the punk rock (not to mention murder/suicide) reference? Arthur Magazine. Homegrown Evolution, being cheap, can never pass up a free publication when we see one though we usually skip stooping to pick up t...

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Happy World Car Free Day

...city, the melting polar ice caps and dying polar bears, the 39,000 traffic fatalities on American roads, and all those folks dying in Iraq to supply the oil that feeds your addiction. So perhaps morning rush hour was not the appropriate time for my Tienanmen Square moment of blocking your forward progress by standing in front of your custom grill to scold you for nearly killing me and my dog. How amusing that you circled your finger around your...

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Roundup

...ly there are alternatives. First of all we are mulching much more than we used to. Newspaper topped with leaves and twigs seems to work great, and the newspaper takes much longer than one might expect to break down. While not appropriate for our dry climate and incendiary native plants, it’s possible in wetter climes to burn weeds with a propane tool such as these. Ultimately, SurviveLA has replaced Roundup with a zen expression, “If...

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Climate Change and Personal Responsibility

...action is all well and good, but as we’re always saying, change starts at home. We’re all in this together, and it’s important that we, as individuals, acknowledge the cost of our lifestyle and, if it seems appropriate to us after reflection, take action to alter that lifestyle. Leaving personal responsibility out of the equation has a two-fold effect. First, it makes the issue abstract. It becomes someone else’s problem...

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All Politics Are Local

I thought it appropriate on election day to repeat one of my favorite equations for happiness–a stoic flowchart that comes via Mark Fraenfelder of BoingBoing.  At the end of the day, about half of America will be happy, and half will be dismayed. All we can do is remember that beyond voting, we cannot control the outcome of the election. So a stoic would advise us to not to rail against what we cannot change or affect, but to focus on wha...

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Homegrown Evolution Food Review: Backpacker’s Pantry Huevos Rancheros

On our recent Homegrown Evolution journey to Santa Rosa Island we taste tested another freeze-dried food item, Huevos Rancheros from Backpacker’s Pantry. While this product has an impressive shelf life and ease of preparation, making it appropriate for emergency food supplies, we’ve had better freeze dried entrees. Our fellow campers had the same reaction to the visual look of the cooked and re-hydrated product: dog vomit. The taste...

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