Loquat season is here!

...ones, and the color is darker. They also have a tiny bit of give under the fingers. You’ll get a sense of how to tell which ones are best with experience. I usually rub the fuzz off the skin before eating, which, in my book, counts as washing. Beware the pits! Some trees have better fruit than others, so if you try a loquat and find it less than thrilling, try fruit from another tree. You may find a new favorite seasonal treat. ETA:  Days...

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Cactus Thief Strikes Again

...me straight on what I should really do. He says, “Stop admiring your clothes and you are not angry at the man who steals them . . . our losses and our pains have to do only with the things we posses.” (Discourses Book 1.18) And wanting to posses a Home Depot cactus is quite pathetic. It reminds me of something a friend told me, “Never drive by and look at a garden in a house you once owned.” Our gardens are impermanent. T...

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A Year after The Age of Limits: 5 Responses to the End Times

...sen, and right in all things, and those who disagree with you will get theirs. In short, whenever someone is speaking about the end times, ask yourself what’s in it for them.  I thank John Michael Greer (especially his book Apocalypse Not  for his writings on this phenomenon, which I’d noticed, but could not articulate as well as he does. 2) The “Good Ol’ Days” were not good times for all of us Longing for a return...

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001-Transplants vs. Seedlings, Josey Baker Bread, Gluten Intolerance and Rats in the Compost

...detail. Plus we answer some long overdue reader questions. When we get more comfortable with podcasting we’ll start having guests. In this episode of the Root Simple podcast we discuss transplants vs. direct sowing, the book Josey Baker Bread, gluten intolerance and answer a listener question about rats. Let us know what you think and what you’d like us to cover. If you want to leave a question you can call (213) 537-2591 or send an e...

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Top Ten Vegetable Gardening Mistakes

...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 sides of the same town might have different planting dates. You ha...

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Karp’s Sweet Quince Update

...g 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 is caused by I’d appreciate a comment. David Karp thought it might be brown rot with some insect damage. If you live in the Los Angeles area,...

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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 hang out, chat and...

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Why You Should Avoid Staking Trees

...ut should be no longer than one growing season Now, back to the philosophical: Seneca’s tree analogy is a good example of a system that benefits from chaos and shock. This idea is the subject of Nassim Taleb’s new book on what he calls “anti-fragility“. By contrast, natural or organic systems are antifragile: They need some dose of disorder in order to develop. Deprive your bones of stress and they become brittle. This den...

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How to Bake a Traditional German Rye Bread

In the interest of health, I’ve focused my bread baking obsession of late on 100% or near 100% whole rye sourdough loaves. I’ve used as my guide a nicely illustrated book How to Make Bread by Emmanuel Hadjiandreou. His specialty is just the sort of rustic German style breads I’ve always wanted to learn to bake. What I love in particular about his caraway rye sourdough loaf (pictured above) is the crust. Unlike most other bread...

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Happy Mayan Apocalypse!

...ssing of this day will mark a peak in interest in apocalyptic scenarios. While I could opinionate about the Apocalypse meme, as John Michael Greer calls doomsday thinking, I think it would be best just to quote Greer from his book Apocalypse Not: there’s at least a chance that the upcoming failure of the 2012 prophecy might encourage people to take a hard and skeptical look at the apocalypse meme itself, to recognize that longing for the annihila...

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