Creating a Moon Garden

...n garden? For many people, nighttime is the only chance to see the garden during a busy work week. And sometimes it’s more pleasant to avoid the heat of the day and enjoy a garden after the blazing sun goes down. But perhaps most importantly, our gardens can provide habitat for night pollinators and other wildlife. Bornstein had a number of great tips for making a garden interesting at night: Consider color. White flowers, of course, will...

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Have you ever wanted a uniform?

...rsonality will rise above that eccentricity. But I’ve feared that if I wore a uniform I’d become one of those strange local characters, like “the kilt guy” or “the bathrobe lady.” Still, I do like the idea of fashioning a garment which suits all of my needs (fit, comfort, pockets, good fabric etc.) and making it my very own. I also like to think that having a uniform would eventually save in laundry and reduce...

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Flowers from Vegetables

Whenever possible I let vegetables go to flower, sometimes to save the seed, but more often to share the bounty with insects and birds. The usefulness comes in two waves: the first being the pollinators attracted to the flowers, and once the flowers go to seed the birds will move in. Of course this means that I’m “wasting space” and making my garden “unproductive” but the rewards outweigh any inc...

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What the Internet Will Look Like After the Zombie Apocalypse

..., completely independent of the internet. The map above is the network built by HAMs in Austin, Texas. Basically it’s a bunch of hacked Linksys routers connecting wirelessly over a wide area. Plug a laptop into any of the routers and you can trade messages, files and live video back and forth. This is possible because it just happens that the frequency range of off the shelf wireless routers overlaps with amateur radio frequencies making it...

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My Brand New Homebrew Soda Carbonator

...anything you can cram into a bottle.  You’re not limited to just charging water and then adding flavor to it. The mind reels with the possibilities. My first projects are going to be carbonating jamaica tea, then a barely sweet white sage lemonade, and maybe some rosemary infused water. Erik suggested carbonating a bottle of terrible Riesling he’s got in the fridge, but I don’t think that will make it any better. I also really...

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

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 Voluntee...

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Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land

...opy from the publisher because we’ve met Gary and like his work. Getting free books once in a while is one of the perks of blogging. This book, though, I would lay down cash for in a heartbeat. At the time I made the request, I merely though it would be an interesting read. In the wake of the Age of Limits Conference, and my subsequent reading about climate change–and the depression that resulted from that–its fortuitous arrival...

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Maintaining a Worm Bin

...omething. I freshened up our big worm bin today and I thought I’d report on what I did because I get a lot of questions about worm bin maintenance. First, I want to say this is just how I go about it. Other people will have different methods and habits. Worms are forgiving and reasonably adaptable, so you have a whole lot of leeway in keeping a bin. As long as you don’t let the worms dehydrate, drown, bake, or utterly starve, you̵...

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How Much Can You Carry on a Bicycle?

...good article for the Wall Street Journal, “Cargo Bikes: The New Station Wagon,” looking at a number of different cargo bikes. Coinciding with the Wall Street Journal article was a cranky editorial in a local rag by “futurist” Syd Mead (designer of Blade Runner and Tron and chief thoughtstylist behind the Playboy Land Yacht). Mead says, While the bicycle has many virtues, it also prompts people to go overboard. It’s...

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Los Angeles Permaculture Design Course Certificate Series

...arthFlow Design Works has announced a Permaculture Design Course that will start up here in LA this fall/winter. It will be taught by an exciting and engaging teaching crew. I’m hopping to attend myself. Here’s more info: The Los Angeles Permaculture Design Course Certificate Series First weekend of each month for 6 months October 2013 – March 2014 Begins Saturday & Sunday, Oct 5 & 6, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM In and Arou...

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