Build Your Own Furniture

...raw bale and rammed earth houses. All of these innovative architectural ideas may have great potential, but when it comes time to buy supplies at the lumber yard, the overly creative builder will soon realize the difficulty of utopian designs in a world of 4 by 8 sheets of plywood and drywall. That geodesic shape is hip, but what do you do with the rest of the plywood sheet once you cut it out? The same limitation applies to making furniture. Tha...

Continue reading…

The Rag and Bone Man

...bits of her clothing. So what to do with the rags? 1. Compost them–cotton rags will decompose just fine. 2. Mulch–a layer of cotton will make a good first layer. We’ve used newspaper in the past with organic material on top, but in our dry climate here in LA the newspaper can actually prevent water from getting to the soil when it rains. We’re guessing that cotton might work better. 3. Household cleaning–this is ob...

Continue reading…

How to Cycle Safely

...Many cities also have bike maps that can also be handy. When going through an intersection watch out for people making left tuns. Assume that you are not seen even if you are wearing a florescent pink bunny suit. Also watch out for people making right turns. Always assume the worst is about to happen and have a plan to either turn quickly or slam on the brakes. Avoid the door zone. There are rare exceptions when I will dip into the door zone bri...

Continue reading…

Doomsday Preppers: Exploitative, Uninteresting, Unreal “Reality”

...of its cynical producer, that you are crazy if you don’t just “act normal”, consume and shop. It holds its subjects up for ridicule because they are self-actuated people and, hence, “different”. The people profiled (victimized would be a better word) on Doomsday Preppers are actually getting up off the couch and doing something: growing food, building communities and making sensible preparations. My heart goes out t...

Continue reading…

SIPS and Kraut at Project Butterfly

We’ve got an event tomorrow–that’s Tuesday August 25th at 7:30 p.m. in downtown Los Angeles at Project Butterfly. There will be a lecture followed by two demos: how to make a self irrigating pot and how to make sauerkraut. Cost is $20. RSVP to [email protected] Here’s the 411: Step into the 21st century by making your house, apartment and kitchen a center of production. This lecture/workshop by the authors of The...

Continue reading…

Interview With Apartment Gardener Helen Kim

...a friend recently gave me a little lecture on the importance of fertilizer and I thought I’d finally give it a whirl… and I have to say that, yes, the plants are a bit happier than they were this time last year. I’ve been using Dr. Earth fertilizer and making fertilizer tea. HE: Did you choose your apartment with the idea that you’d be gardening in it? If so, what should a prospective renter look for? HK: I had three m...

Continue reading…

Home cooking advice?

...r them, along with the “usual suspect” types of food that you keep on hand for breakfast and lunch.  It really helps. Not just with organization, but also because it helps you set your intention to cook. This wakens your inner cook. 4) For bonus points on your weekly planning, consider how ingredients from one meal might transfer to another, and save you effort. Say you’re going to be making soup stock for something (or somethin...

Continue reading…

Bushcraft Video

...in the Rain — mostly because the invisible Nick is funny in this one. Fan quote: “Drip. Drip.” Making The Shoveaxe Bush Tool: He makes this incredible axe/shovel hybrid. It looks like a work of art. It looks like Thor’s hammer. This video is the actual making, step by step. I don’t know why, but I like watching welding. You can skip to the last couple of minutes to see it in action. The Hand Drill: What Works for Me:...

Continue reading…

Review: Quaker Lower Sugar Instant Oatmeal

...he instant oatmeal has become a tradition, an easy no-brainer for sleepy grey mornings in the woods, even though its nutritional qualities are highly suspect. While doing a quick shop for a recent camping trip, I was reaching for the usual box of oatmeal when I saw one next to it marked “lower sugar.”  In my extreme naivete, I said to myself, “That’s fantastic! They finally cut down the sugar! They could easily reduce the...

Continue reading…

Are Pallets Safe to Reuse?

...ticides. A certified applicator license is required to purchase and use these products and strict adherence to label directions/requirements is mandatory. Under normal fumigation conditions methyl bromide is a gas and when the pallets are properly aerated according to label instructions, virtually no methyl bromide residue remains on the pallets and wood materials. Now I’m not a methyl bromide fan and I find it’s use as a soil fum...

Continue reading…