Injera

...ry available agricultural space for corn to produce ethanol so that we can continue to drive our big-ass SUVs to the mall. In the meantime we’ll enjoy the teff while we can as we declare March the month of fermentation. Homegrown Revolution got our injera recipe from the astonishing and highly recommended book Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz. Katz offers recipes for every imaginable fermented food, from kimchi to Andean chewed-corn b...

Continue reading…

Defining a Garden’s Purpose

...ildings in San Francisco’s gritty Tenderloin district—into a place to sit, eat and enjoy nature apart from the hustle and bustle of the city. With that clear purpose in mind you can see why they made the design decisions they made. To fulfill those functions they created multiple outdoor rooms. It was easy to imagine living in the building and wandering down to the garden to read a book, do some work on a laptop, throw a party or simply to...

Continue reading…

Saturday Linkages: Artisinal DIY

Looks like the use of the word “artisinal” peaked–back in the 1990s! Artisinal Everything Artisanal Won’t Die – Jen Doll – The Atlantic Wire http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/04/artisanal-wont-die/63840/ … DIY! Make a Teardrop Camper Trailer: http://blog.makezine.com/projects/teardrop-camper-trailer/ … Backyard Bioshelter http://www.naturalbuildingblog.com/backyard-bioshelter/ …...

Continue reading…

Stoicism as a Toolkit for Modern Life

...toic flowchart below from an earlier post of ours. It’s an oversimplification, of course, but it gives you the gist: Wish we could credit this properly, but we got it off of Boing Boing. I was introduced to stoicism by Nassim Taleb in his book The Black Swan (nothing to do with the movie!). Taleb says, “My idea of the modern stoic sage is someone who transforms fear into prudence, pain into information, mistakes int...

Continue reading…

Annie’s Annuals and Perennials

...es are a great way to spread plant diseases over wide areas. Annie’s specializes in riotous color. Many of the spectacular gardens we visited on the Fling sourced their plants from Annie’s. And in addition to unusual and rare ornamental plants, Annie’s has a great selection of edibles. It’s first time I’ve ever seen Oca (Oxalis tuberosa) outside of a book. I had to keep a tight grip on my credit card to prevent mysel...

Continue reading…

Planetwalker John Francis

...degrees in silence, and became an ambassador for the U.N. You may have heard of him already–his story made the rounds years ago–but if you haven’t heard the details, haven’t heard him describe why he made the choices he did in his own words, you’re missing out. The man is wise, and he speaks from his heart. Bonus: You can watch him talk at TED. And find out what’s in his backpack. And he’s got a book, P...

Continue reading…

Top Ten Vegetable Gardening Mistakes

...and remember to add nutrients (most likely nitrogen) before even thinking about planting veggies. 2. Planting at the wrong time of year It took us awhile to find the right sources of information to guide us as to when to plant in our quirky Mediterranean climate (see this calendar and this book if you’re in SoCal). Seed package directions are useless here (what’s a frost date?). But, in fact, all climates have their quirks. Even two s...

Continue reading…

Karp’s Sweet Quince Update

...as not the best, but the fruit I ate was damaged and immature so it was not exactly a fair sample. Quince is not the only tree I’ve been having trouble with. Thrips took out our crop of nectaplums and damaged our nectarines. I’ve vowed this winter to pay more attention to the needs of our fruit trees. Towards that end I’m reading Michael Phillip’s book The Holistic Orchard. If you have an idea what the damage on my quince...

Continue reading…

What is Killing the Bees?

...ones the queen can make. Drones may be a sacrificial first defense against mites. Use queen excluders to prevent the queen from moving freely through the hive. Kill the queen and re-queen every year, often using artificially inseminated queens. Import hives from other climates. Feed hives high fructose corn syrup. Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s new book Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder warns about what happens when we prop up and inte...

Continue reading…

Picture Sundays: Doberman Chariots

“Ready for the race! Brutus of Quintre and his charge are ready for the sulky races, a regular feature of some of the South African sporting events.” Photos via The Doberman Insider. Now that we are without a car, it’s time for us to figure out alternative forms of transportation. Our late dog was a Doberman and I remembered a book we used to have about the breed that showed some unusual events that used to b...

Continue reading…