Bushcraft Video

...while-driving music video producers, I’ll be laying low, watching bushcraft videos on YouTube. We may as well give up our Netflix subscription because this YouHole is bottomless. I’ve discovered there are hundreds of men roaming about the woods with their video cameras in one hand and their survival knives in the other, ready to share their knowledge with you. And they are almost all men. I’ve only found a couple of women who pu...

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Thyrsus: the new hipster accessory

Ancient thyrsus on left, modern hipster version on right. The traveling exhibition Pompeii and the Roman Villa, currently at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, has a few nice tchotchkes worth considering for those of us attempting to garden in Mediterranean places. One of the centerpieces of the show, a large fresco depicting a garden, includes many familiar plants: chamomile, oleander (who knew oleander existed before freeways!), strawberr...

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The Strange World of Artificial Plants

Ikea’s Fejka. On a recent pilgrimage to Ikea, I ended up staring at a large display of fake plants while Mrs. Root Simple found a replacement for our kitten-shredded drapes. Viewed from a distance Ikea’s plastic plants were realistic, though seemingly outside of any known plant genus. I found myself pondering the question of what permacultural context in which these plastic plants would be an appropriate design solution. I couldnR...

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Picture Sundays: A Handy Handyman

Kelly found a soggy flyer on a sidewalk near our house. The front showed a picture of a man with a mullet hairstyle holding a trophy below a headline “Best Handyman.” On the back said handyman promised the services you can see above. I laughed, then realized that it was my exact jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none set of skills. Well, except for “hydrophany” and gutters. And you’ll have to go to Kelly for both the fi...

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Garden Design: Quantity vs. Quality

There’s an old saw, probably apocryphal, about a ceramics teacher who divided her class in two, made one half spin as many pots as possible while the other struggled to create one perfect pot. The students who were graded by quantity rather than quality made the best pots. I’ve noticed, from the years I used to be in the art world, that he most talented creative folks I’ve met crank out lots of material. So how do we apply the...

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Book Review: The Blood of the Earth: An Essay on Magic and Peak Oil

Phoebe says that despite her midnight coat and lambent eyes, she has nothing whatsoever to do with magic. Or peak oil. And for the record, she also scorns Halloween. What do magic and peak oil have to do with one another? Quite a lot, actually, if you believe the author, John Michael Greer. And if you read The Blood of the Earth: An Essay on Magic and Peak Oil you’ll probably come to agree with him, because in this book, as in all of his...

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Why Lycra is a Bad Idea

Robert Hurst, author of the how-to book on how to ride a bike in the city, The Art of Cycling: A Guide to Bicycling in 21st-Century America says, “the thought of cyclists pedaling around in their standard everyday garb is heartening. The more riders who do this, the more obvious it will be to the general public that cycling is about straight utility in addition to recreation and exercise, an important point that has yet to penetrate the th...

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Saturday Linkages: Whole Systems, Critters and the Most Beautiful Garden in the World

Art by Casey Cripe Casey Cripe’s “whole systems” collages and illustrations: http://boingboing.net/2013/02/27/casey-cripes-whole-systems.html … Turn Down the City Lights and Make Streets Safer http://bloom.bg/XuXeCi  Coping with Critters http://www.motherearthnews.com/Modern-Homesteading/Protect-Your-Home-From-Critters.aspx … Is Antibacterial Soap Bad For You? (Part 1) http://shar.es/jrPgV  Jeffrey Bale’s World of Gardens...

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Make a Garden Work Table from a Pallet

...orking with pallets: 1. We prefer projects that don’t involve disassembling the pallet. The nails in pallets aren’t meant to be removed. Trying to take one apart with a crowbar will, in most cases, result in a lot of split, useless wood. A Sawzall reciprocating saw would work better if you must take one apart. For the table above we simply cut the pallet in half with a circular saw and handsaw. 2. Use screws not nails and predrill al...

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Brewing Demo

Hogarth’s formula: beer=good, gin=bad Homegrown Evolution will be conducting an informal beer brewing demo as part of an art opening in Eagle Rock this weekend. Curated by Nate Garcia, Needle in a Haystack brings together an eclectic group of artists exploring community and public space, including our comrade Ari Kletzky of Islands of L.A., with whom we’ll be interacting during the course of the show. At the opening, on Saturday Ja...

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