Country Wisdom

...s to a tip from the Soapboxers, SurviveLA augmented our homesteading library with a copy of the extremely useful book, Country Wisdom & Know-How by the editors of Storey Books. Country Wisdom is a compendium of tips culled from the Country Wisdom Bulletin published in the 1970s and oriented to the “back to the land” movement of that time. While geared to country living there is plenty in here for city dwellers such as ourselves....

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Essential System #3 – Sew Your Own Damn Clothes

...er blood and sewing your own clothes. The big problem with the latter solution is that sewing is a bitch — it’s time consuming and at times incredibly frustrating. Nevertheless this homesteading revolution we propose won’t be a cake walk, and will be as much about rediscovering old techniques as it will be about new technologies. Fellow crackpot Daniel Pinchbeck in his funky new book The Return of Quetzalcoatl says, Instead of e...

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Free Introduction to Permaculture

Local permaculture expert David Khan will be presenting an introduction to permaculture on Saturday January 20th 2007 at 10:00 am at the Audubon Center at Debs Park: 4700 North Griffin Ave.Los Angeles, CA 90031 After the lecture author Shay Salomon and photographer Nigel Valdez will do a slide show and talk about their book Little House on a Small Planet. SurviveLA attended Khan’s introductory lecture last month and found it thought provok...

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More Washing Machine Greywater Fun

...above the level of the machine. 7. Rig up a bypass to somewhere the water can flow if you live in a place where it freezes. This is not a problem for us in sunny LA. 8. Since the water is under pressure it’s possible to rig up fancy distribution systems in the garden. For ideas on this see Ludwig’s book, Create an Oasis with Greywater. 9. Lastly, a note to our rentin’ homesteaders–this is a greywater strategy you may be...

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The revolution will be fermented . . .

Homegrown Revolution’s month of fermentation continues with the following bubbling containers–from left to right: Rye Sourdough Starter More info in a future post, but rye flour is much more active than a starter made with white flour! White Flour Starter We’ve already ranted about this stuff here and here. So far, much success. Crème Fraîche Special thanks to Susan of Northeast LA’s “culture club” for givin...

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Pee on your Compost

...can burn them as anyone who owns a dog already knows about. Urine is easiest to apply to non-food crops, though it’s perfectly safe to use on fruit trees and bushes. Applying it to root crops is more controversial, and frankly seems like a practice best left to hippies, so if you try this at least cease application at a respectable interval before harvesting. There is even a book called Liquid Gold on the subject of pee as fertilizer and t...

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Build a Washing Machine Greywater Surge Tank

...t held toxic materials. The best kind of drum for this purpose is one that has a lid, both so that you can clean it out periodically, and to make it easier to fit the hose connection at the bottom. 2. Drill a 1 inch hole in the side of the tank at the bottom. 3. You will need to improvise what is called a “bulkhead” fitting in order to hook up the tank to a regular garden hose. Instructions for doing this can be found here. Seal the...

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Secure your Ride Part I

.... We credit this tip to a recent visitor to the SurviveLA compound, Nicholas Sammond author of the award winning book Babes in Tomorrowland and a former NYC bike messenger back in the day. Now, many of our modern rides come with quick release levers so that folks can throw their bikes in the back of their Hummers and drive to the nearest bike path. Unfortunately these quick release levers make it real easy for crackheads out there to steal wheels...

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Essential System #5 – First Aid Kit

...eering to inform our choice of first aid supplies. The assumption with a first aid kit in the wilderness is that it will be quite a while before you can be reached by a paramedic. But first some disclaimers – we are not medical experts here, and this first aid kit is in a “first draft” status. We welcome any suggestions for items that should be included. We have copied this list (and added a few things) from the book Mountaineer...

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Urban Farm Magazine

We have a article on urban farmers across America in the premiere issue of a magazine bound to appeal to readers of this blog, Urban Farm. Our article, Where Urban Meets Farm, profiles the efforts of our friends the Green Roof Growers of Chicago, Em Jacoby of Detroit and Kelly Yrarrazaval of Orange County. All of these fine folks have repurposed urban and suburban spaces to grow impressive amounts of food, a common sense trend popular enough to...

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