Defining a Garden’s Purpose

...ee 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 soak in the overwhelming peacefulness of this lush space. Sean Stout looking down on the garden from the balcony of his apartment. It’s also clear that the Organic...

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Annie’s Annuals and Perennials

...’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 myself from buying plants I had no way of getting home on my bike. The good news is that Annie’s does mail order. And she’s got a bunch of tutorial videos covering topics such as contai...

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Filter Fail: How to Cure Internet Addiction

...ation overload,” but I prefer the phrase “filter fail” that Douglas Rushkoff introduces in his book Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now (Rushokoff borrows this idea from the writer Clay Shirky). The problem is not that there’s too much information out there. The problem is that we’ve failed to screen out what is irrelevant. It happens to me everyday and I’m not alone. This year, according to the research...

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What is Killing the Bees?

...ueens. 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 interfere with complex systems like beehives or the economy. When we don’t allow failure (such as trying to prevent mites with chemicals) we set ourselves up for bigger disasters down the road. It’s very convenient to be able to p...

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Planetwalker John Francis

Check out this interview in Grist with Dr. John Francis, the man who not only did not own a car, but opted to not ride in motorized vehicles at all for twenty-two years–and spent seventeen of those years in silence. He crossed America on foot, completed two college 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&...

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Saturday Linkages: Poison, Pee and Plagiarism

Birdhouse shaped like a Google Map icon. Via Dornob. For the birds Avian Accommodations: Google Map Pin-Shaped Birdhouses | Designs & Ideas on Dornob http://dornob.com/avian-accommodations-google-map-pin-shaped-birdhouses/ … Thar she blows . . . Here’s to No-Blow Gardens | Garden Rant http://gardenrant.com/2013/03/heres-to-no-blow-gardens.html … DIY Pure Salvage: 10 Eclectic Tiny Homes Built with 99% Scrap | Designs &am...

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We’re Car Free

...treet bankers. There would be a whole lot less texting while driving and financial risk taking if, as Taleb puts it, “captains went down with their ships.” Move to Venice, Italy Not only is Venice car free it’s also bike, moped, bus and train free. But then I’d probably end up in a nautical accident caused by a texting gondolier. Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! I’m cursing my useless music degree. If only I had gone t...

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How to Bake a Traditional German Rye Bread

...many fault lines as the state of California. And this is a bread that requires no kneading so you can easily fit it into a busy schedule. Here’s how I make it (recipe based on Hadjiandreou’s caraway rye sourdough): 350 grams dark rye flour 150 grams white bread flour 10 grams sea salt 1 teaspoon caraway seeds 250 grams rye sourdough starter (see step one) 400 grams warm water 1. The night before I want to bake I take a tablespoon of r...

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Why You Should Avoid Staking Trees

...to practical horticultural advice, let’s say you have a tree from the nursery that is too weak to stand on it’s own. Or you need to stake a tree planted in a public place to keep people from pulling on it. What do you do? Linda Chalker-Scott, Ph.D., Extension Horticulturist at Washington State University has some advice: •    If trees must be staked, place stakes as low as possible but no higher than 2/3 the height of the tree. •    M...

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Feral House and Process Media Winter Soltice Party

Feral House and Process media, the publishers of our first book The Urban Homestead, will be holding their annual solstice party on Saturday December 8th from 7 to 10 pm at La Luz de Jesus Gallery, located within the Wacko gift store. Judging from the flyer, naked Shriners will frolic in the Griffith Park Fountain later on in the evening. Whatever happens, it’s a fun event not to be missed. Kelly and I will be there to...

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