Block Party Weekend

“Los Angeles is an army camped far from its sources of supply, using distant resources faster than nature renews them . . . Our region today is so dependent, so uninhabitable, yet so inhabited, that it must transform or die. Sooner or later it must generate its own food, fuel, water, wood and ores. It must use these at the rate that nature provides them. It can . . .”-Paul Glover Los Angeles: A History of the Future as quoted in...

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Roundin’ up the Summer Urban Homesteading Disasters

Everyday loaf on the left, “charity” loaf on the right. As we’ve noted in our books, part of the deal with this lifestyle is persevering through the inevitable disasters. Which means it’s time for a regular blog feature, the disaster roundup.   Loafing Around I agreed to bake a few baguettes for a charity function this evening. Problem #1 is that I can’t do baguettes in my small oven so I decided to do a s...

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Saturday Linkages

...mple-an-inte.html Horticultural myths: http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~linda chalker-scott/Horticultural Myths_files/ Where Laundry is Garden Art http://bit.ly/JdNs33 Video: Alphabets Heaven beat music and “Private Life of Plants”: http://boingboing.net/2012/05/14/video-alphabets-heaven-beat-m.html Carpenter builds incredible egg-shaped treehouse hidden from view on Crown land just yards from… http://bit.ly/IkAM7w Wood fired ov...

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Saturday Linkages: From The Woodsman Workout to Crafting With Your Cat

Yes, it’s the woodsman workout. Via the Art of Manliness. Gardening My new favorite botanic garden – in Mexico! | Garden Rant http:// gardenrant.com/2012/09/new-fa vorite-botanic-garden-in-mexico.html  … Deconstructing the cornmeal myth: http:// ow.ly/1Owd1F DIY Build-It-Solar Blog: DIY Solar Water Heating System in Southeastern Pen… http://www. builditsolarblog.com/2012/09/diy-so lar-hot-water-heating-system-in.html?spref=...

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Saturday Linkages: Of Sausages, Sandbags and Cell Phones

Sandbag couch via Dornob How to Turn an Old WWII Field Phone Into a Bluetooth Handset | The Art of Manliness http://artofmanliness.com/2012/06/21/wwii-field-phone-bluetooth/ Man robs man using stolen sausage | barfblog: http://bit.ly/MhRT9h  Another reason not to use cardboard as mulch: http://ow.ly/1O12ho 50 seconds in Cloudbreak Barrel with Kalani Chapman http://bit.ly/M4xQMZ Emergency sandbags repurposed as a couch http://dornob.com...

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Indigo 101

Graham stirs the vat with his “witchy stick” –which is tinted many beautiful shades of blue. One of the primary lessons of gleaned from my Shibori Challenge is that cotton is difficult to dye with natural dyes, whereas wool and silk take these colors beautifully. Know your materials! Building on that, I’ve also figured out that the reason indigo dye is the favored dye for shibori techniques is because indigo ge...

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Saturday Linkages: Of Granola and Turlets

Granola The New Granola http://nyti.ms/132CUM5 Coconut Quinoa Granola http://www.foodinjars.com/2013/02/coconut-quinoa-granola/ … Foraging Winter Purslane: http://dirttime.com/?p=2876 Potty Talk Hey, Science: Can You Eat Your Own Poop? – http://gawker.com/5985723/can-you-eat-your-own-poop … How to Install a Toilet | The Art of Manliness http://artofmanliness.com/2013/02/06/how-to-install-a-toilet/ … DIY Wax Seals: A History and How-To...

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California’s Drought and What To Do About It

217;s cover what we’re doing at the Root Simple compound. We’ve expanded our drought tolerant plantings over the past few years. These plants use less water and encourage beneficial wildlife. I consider them part of the vegetable garden, in a way. I just made a major change to our laundry to landscape greywater system–more on this in another post. I’ve consulted historical irrigation data to more intelligently program our...

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Summer Urban Homestead Failures: Exploding Beer Bottles

Somehow in last week’s roundup of the summer’s failures I blocked out of my memory the most exasperating: exploding beer bottles. I think I may have had a contaminated siphon hose which passed on some nasty, yeasty bacterial bug to every single bottle of two batches of beer I had made this summer. Three of those bottles over-carbonated to the point that they became beer grenades and exploded. One blew up on the kitchen counter and...

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Thoughts on Samhain

Image from the beautiful book, Haunted Air by Ossian Brown  Mrs. Homegrown here: I celebrate Samhain on November 1st because I enjoy marking the changing seasons of the year by making these old festivals my own. It’s so easy to lose track of time in an electronic culture. It’s even easier to lose track when you live in Los Angeles, land of the perpetual sunshine. Samhain marks the last harvest of the year. The weather is...

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