EDC Part I: Multi-tool and Knife

...bicycling and even military and law enforcement multi-tools. Leatherman is the Budweiser of multi-tools. There’s a whole array of other companies that make higher quality products but, alas, we don’t sell enough books for me to peruse the finer offerings at our local Ross Cutlery shop. Again, my basic Leatherman seems to have enough tools for most situations. Of course a multi-tool is just part of one’s EDC. On days that IR...

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Vegetable Garden Update: Too Much Salad

...Farms and ask him what I should plant. I grow salad greens by sowing the seeds densely in blocks and thinning as we eat. The dandelion greens and chard are started in flats and transplanted as John Jeavons recommends in his book How to Grow More Vegetables. I grow most of these cool season vegetables under a thin row cover material called Agribon-15 to keep out cabbage worms that go after the chard. Stay tuned for more vegetable gardening updat...

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New Homegrown Evolution Events Calendar Widget Thngy

...ting to your busy calendars. You can also Facebookasize it and tweet it. Right now we’ll focus on Southern California happenings, but will consider expanding it nationally (internationally?) with the release of our new book Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World in the spring. The fist event up is a lecture on raw milk by dairyman Mark McAfee, taking place today in Altadena. I’m still figuring out how to use this app...

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All is Fire

...“Healthy investments are those that produce goods that humans need to consume, not flat-screen TVs. Stocks are not a robust investment. Make sure you have a garden that bears fruits.” Amen to that. Taleb’s book, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable along with Seneca’s Letters from a Stoic and the fragments of Heraclitus are what I point people to when they ask, “so why do you do these things, garden...

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UMass Soil Testing

...to aerated compost tea. However, soil foodweb testing makes intuitive sense to me, though I have not tried it. You can read her interesting Soil Biology Primer here, and make up your own mind. There’s also an excellent book based partially on her research, Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to the Soil Food Web. Thanks to Cool Tools for the tip on UMass....

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I drank a bottle of MiricleGro and then got on my riding lawn mower

We’re deep in the middle of the deadline for our next book, coming out in November–more on that soon! Today some links: Solar hot air collector made out of soda cans. Built-It-Solar Blog. From the two steps forward and three steps back department. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa attends a groundbreaking ceremony for a school garden. So far, so good. But it’s sponsored by Scott’s MiracleGro who chipped in some do...

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Laundry to Landscape Legal in LA

...s. 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 book, Create an Oasis with Greywater is also highly recommended. And, if you’ve got a laundry to landscape system, make sure to use Oasis Biocompatible Detergent ....

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Avatar: I’m not lovin’ it.

...spends his last days on earth deep in the woods at his fathers remote cabin. Once in space Kelvin loses touch with reality. His dead wife appears to him, simultaneously real and virtual. Jerry Mander describes Solaris in his book Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television: “Without concrete reality, which is to say, contact with their planetary roots, they are adrift in their minds: insane. All information has become believable and n...

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Coffee Chaff Chickens

...n house, and as we all know, trees don’t grow on trees. But what’s a good alternative to shavings? Yesterday, Lyanda Haupt, author of Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness , a beautifully written book about crows and the path of an urban naturalist, posted about an intriguing chicken bedding possibility: coffee chaff, a byproduct of coffee roasting. You should go read about it. Maybe we all can’t access the ch...

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Bantam Returns

Homegrown Neighbor here: I’ve been busy in the garden and letting the neighbors focus on their book, so I haven’t been blogging in a while. But today something very special happened that I have to share with you, dear readers. My bantam chicken, Debbie, the lighter colored chicken in the photo, disappeared last week. She simply didn’t come in at chicken bed time. This is very unusual. The chickens usually all line up and go...

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