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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Country Wisdom

Thanks 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 ourse...

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Secure your Ride Part I

Today’s bike locking strategy is bound to be controversial as the subject of how to secure your bike is one of those tasks, like thwarting squirrels, killing cockroaches and arguing with Republican family members, for which there are no easy answers. 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,...

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Let’s Get Biointensive

...spaces his garden on This Girl’s Gone Green. Triangular plantings squeeze more veggies into small spaces. The tight spacing, with leaves allowed to just touch each other when the plant is mature, also creates a living mulch which shades the soil and saves water. Jeavons suggests cutting out some triangles in different sizes to assist in planting. Using scrap wood, I made triangles in 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, and 15-inch sizes, taking the spacing su...

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CooKit Solar Panel Cooker

...to cut curves, but with a sharp knife it wasn’t difficult. The other improvement would be a stand to lift the pot off the aluminum foil for more efficiency and to keep the cooker un-scuffed. When panel cooker season returns to LA in the springtime, you can bet I’ll be making a lot of rice with this thing. Detailed instructions for how to build a CooKit can be found here. Also, Mrs. Homegrown and I are writing a new book and we’...

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Laundry to Landscape Legal in LA

...n the ground.” By foregoing permits, city government can play a role in encouraging greywater. Legalizing the practice makes it possible for professional plumbers to do the installations in addition to plucky DIYers. Kinda like prostitution in Holland–keep it out in the open and you’l have less . . . shoddy plumbing. See Art Ludwig’s excellent website to see how to install your own laundry to landscape system. His boo...

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Favorite Plants- New Zealand Spinach

...summer when other greens may not grow so well. My front garden be is pretty much all New Zealand spinach now. The drip watering system broke and most of the plants withered and died or were mercilessly attacked by bugs. But this plant kept on going strong. I have been growing it for many years and find it a reliable plant. In The Complete Book of Edible Landscaping, Rosalind Creasy writes, “New Zealand spinach makes a marvelous tempora...

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Grow Italian!

It’s almost time to start planting seeds for the most productive growing season in Southern California – winter. While our friends in the cold parts of the country will be freezing their asses off we’ll be picking gourmet salads (sorry to rub it in). Since the climate here is like southern Italy, we like to plant Italian varieties. Which brings us to the source of many of our seeds at the Homegrown Evolution compound, Seeds fr...

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Essential System #5 – First Aid Kit

...elcome any suggestions for items that should be included. We have copied this list (and added a few things) from the book Mountaineering The Freedom of the Hills. Adhesive bandages – six 1-inch Butterfly bandages – three, in various sizes Sterile gauze pads – four 4-inch b 4-inch Carlisle dressing or sanitary napkin – one 4-inch (note sanitary napkins are much cheaper and make excellent bandages and provide some low-brow h...

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Nasturtium “Capers”

...sturtium is that the entire plant is edible – both the leaves and flowers have a strong peppery flavor and the flowers brighten up the Spartan salads we chow down on in the late spring. Once you plant this stuff, at least here in Los Angeles, the thousands of seeds it produces guarantee that you will see it again next year. Thanks to a tip from our frère et soeur at Terre Vivante, editors of a great book called Keeping Food Fresh, we now ha...

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