The Urban Homestead

“The contemporary bible on the subject” — The New York Times The Urban Homestead (Expanded and Revised Edition): Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City (Process Self-reliance Series) by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen  (Process, 2010) ISBN: 978-1934170106 (The first edition, the one with the “American Gothic” cover, was released by Process on June 1, 2008) Buy it at:  Amazon • Abe Books • Barnes...

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A Primitive Bow Workshop

...ple device until you try to make one that will work repeatedly without breaking. A bow is actually a very complicated tool, something that should inspire respect for our distant ancestors. Paul Campbell author of an excellent book Survival Skills of Native California was along to co-teach the class and help us all shape our bows. The first step was to find some suitable wood. We used willow, a wood used by Native Americans in our region. It̵...

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When the Crate’s Better Than the Chair

...ertained that such a chest embodies an improvised, highly purposeful method of carpentry…there must therefore at long last be someone who chooses the crate rather than the piece of furniture.” You can bet our next book will have some Rietveld inspired DIY designs. In the meantime, for the industrious makers out there, the chair above would be a cinch to back-engineer with pallet wood. Rietveld sold pre-made kits for the volk to assem...

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Apron Contest Winner

...ther long, so I’ll just give you the highlights. She said she would first roll around on the floor and wrap herself up in the apron like a “sexy burrito.” She cooks, of course. She even makes her own recipe books of tasty treats. In addition to cooking she notes, “ I am also in printmaking, so this apron can come with me to my art classes to make the bindings for the recipe book for the recipes that Apron and I were JU...

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Keeping it Local

.... The Edendale Dinar failed to catch on, spoiling my fantasy of becoming a ghetto Ben Bernanke with the power to manipulate the carne asada rate. Writer Douglas Rushkoff has been talking a lot about local economies in his new book, Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back and on his radio show The Media Squat. One of the topics Rushkoff mentions often is time banking, an alternative to currency and bartering where ho...

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Author and Urban Farmer Novella Carpenter Rocks Los Angeles

Yesterday, Homegrown Evolution had the great privilege of meeting urban farmer and author Novella Carpenter who was in Los Angeles to deliver a lecture and sign her new book Farm City. She’s a phenomenal speaker, both hilarious and inspiring. What we like most about Carpenter is her honesty in describing the ups and downs of raising pigs, goats, chickens, turkeys, rabbits and more on squatted land next to her apartment in Oakland. As she p...

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Humanure Dry Toilet Made From a Milk Crate

...wobble when you sit on them. For these reasons I designed a sturdy dry toilet making use of a scavenged milk crate. Even if the idea of humanure grosses you out (and it’s definitely the most controversial subject in our book), our milk crate toilet would be great for camping, emergencies or your remote cabin. Putting this toilet together takes just a few minutes. First, find a milk or beer crate and a five gallon bucket. Make sure that the...

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City Repair LA

..., put on some festive music and laid out a mural design in the intersection in front of the apartments that house the Ecovillage. Whole families came and the kids had a great time participating in what became a giant coloring book. At the conclusion of a day of painting under the bright LA sun, a piñata was hoisted, bashed apart and candy rained down across the colorful new street mural. Jimmy Lizama operating the piñata. The mural incorporates...

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Sourdough Pancake Recipe

Yes, that’s a real children’s book from the 1970s. A question came in as to what to do with extra sourdough starter. First off, check out the new way we feed our starter, which wastes a lot less flour. But another answer is to use all that tangy delicious starter to make pancakes. For years we’ve used Nancy Silverton’s recipe. Basically, the starter fills in for the flour and milk used in standard pancake recipes. That...

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Notes on Mark Bittman’s “Behind the Scenes of What We Eat”

...an unprocessed vegetable. And that number is actually 1 in 5, because the 1 in 4 number comes about from counting burger toppings as vegetables. Then think about this– our friends at The Ecology Center just gave us a a booklet on water conservation. In there they recommend you eat one vegetarian meal a week in order to save 450 gallons of water a week. They estimate that it costs about 650 gallons of water to raise, transport and process t...

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