Pakistan Mulberries

Lora “Homegrown Neighbor” Hall was nice enough to drop off some freshly picked Pakistan mulberries (Morus macroura) gleaned from a house sitting gig. It’s one of the tastiest fruits I’ve ever had, very sweet, kinda like nature’s version of a Jolly Rancher. If you’ve never had a Pakistan mulberry it’s not surprising as it’s a fruit that simply doesn’t ship well. Here’s what the Califo...

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Laundry to Landscape Legal in LA

Ludwig’s “Laundry to Landscape” California’s new greywater code, passed in August of last year, was a big step in the right direction. The revised code legalized simple “laundry to landscape” systems of the sort promoted by greywater guru Art Ludwig and allowed their installation without a permit. Here’s a pdf from the City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety confirming that you don’t...

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Least Favorite Plant: Tree of Heaven

Detroit Tree of Heaven Woodshop’s new ghetto palm farm. Photos from the Detroit Tree of Heaven Woodshop. Riding on the Amtrak San Joaquin train two weeks ago I discovered a new metric: the economic health of a city can be judged by the size of its trees of heaven (aka Ailanthus altissima, aka “ghetto palm”). The higher the ghetto palms, the more likely a city is to be in the crapper. Tree of heaven is a super weed much revile...

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Kelly’s Shibori Challenge

Hanging shibori fabric.  Image by Katie, courtesy ofWikipedia Kelly here: 1) I know, I know. What’s with Root Simple and all this Japanese stuff? I don’t know! 2) This is less a post than a plan. I’m going to tell you all my plan so I can’t get lazy, back out, and watch Netflix instead of working.  As I execute this plan, I’ll post some more and so hopefully will share some useful information with you along...

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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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Summer Nights in the Garden at the Natural History Museum

Join us for an evening of music, art, nature and science at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum’s Summer Nights in the Garden. We’ll be part of the festivities this Friday July 25th where we’ll be: POTTING SUCCULENTS! They’re one of the most low maintenance plants out there, and one that’s perfect for our dry L.A. climate. Urban homesteading experts Erik Knutzen and Kelly Coyne are here to help you plant your own suc...

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Mulch Volcanoes: Another Bad Gardening Idea

Image: Garden Professors. Root Simple reader Donna, in response to my post on decomposed granite as mulch, alerted me to a related phenomenon: the infamous mulch volcano. For whatever reason, I don’t see this viral gardening phenomenon much here in Los Angeles but it’s really common elsewhere in the US. Mulch volcanoes are generally considered to be a bad idea. It’s thought that the lack of air circulation at the base of the tr...

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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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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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