Winter Vegetable Gardening with Winnetka Farms

What the Winnetka Farms folks have done with a typical San Fernando Valley backyard is truly amazing. They’ll be sharing that knowledge by teaching a vegetable gardening class this Saturday December 4th from 9 am to 12 pm in Pasadena, CA. More info here. The class will conclude with a lunch of salad greens and homemade bread, all for $20. If you’re interested in vegetable gardening in Southern California I highly recommend this clas...

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Los Angeles Fruit Tree Pruning Workshops

...and Venice Blvd. Then on Sunday, the 16th at Milagro Allegro Community Garden in Highland Park at 1pm as part of their ‘Organic Sundays’ series I’m teaching another one. And for those of you who aren’t local, the Homegrown Evolution team is going to work on some web based stuff for you. I’m going to teach Mr. Homegrown how to prune (in exchange for help baking bread, which I’m terrible at) and we will take ph...

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Be a question. Be an answer.

.... They also minimize the exposure of your delicate parts to plastics, bleach and those insidious gel crystals in the high tech pads. Cloth pads are surprisingly comfy and effective–at least I find them so. Here’s a nice link to Ask Pauline with a pattern and instructions for making your own. As Pauline says, “Sometimes a lady finds herself a little short on cash. Better to spend what you have on good bread and good books.”...

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

...t’s MiracleGro who chipped in some dough in return for having their name and products liberally applied to the garden. A good science lesson for the kids? LAist. Memo to Scotts MiracleGro: Unprecedented Pesticide Contamination Found in Beehives. Beyond Pesticides Daily Blog. And speaking of bees: sign a petition to legalize bees in Santa Monica here. Crop Mob! Volunteers help small farmers. Cricket Bread. Via Joe Linton (thanks Joe!). Gree...

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Shibori Challenge Proves Challenging

...s. Love those fermentation processes! Nowadays indigo can be made quickly with chemicals of different sorts, and there’s a very easy to use artificial indigo available, but if you want to make your life hard–and smelly–like me–you will want to make a natural, old-fashioned fermenting vat. Out of stale urine. Yep. There’s also one made out of ammonia and bread yeast which might smell a little better. A very little. Bu...

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Injera

...ulture we reach for our knife and fork, since our compound’s test kitchen has been busy experimenting with the bubbling and frothing world of live cultures through the ancient art of fermentation. We revived our sourdough starter (to be explained in a future post), and cooked up a batch of the fermented Ethiopian crepe-like bread called injera. Injera is made by fermenting overnight a mixture of sourdough starter, whole wheat flour, water,...

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California Buckwheat

...d nectar for animals, grows with almost no water, and best of all it produces edible seeds. We’ve gathered the seeds we’ve found in fields and baked it into bread and added it to cereal to both boost nutritional value and to add a nutty flavor. The local and resourceful Tongva Indians used the roots and leaves for headaches and stomach problems, among many other uses including using the stems to pierce ears. California buckwheat is av...

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A DIY Whole House Fan

...Our DIY whole house fan. How hot is our unairconditioned, uninsulated old house? Kelly has temporarily banned bread baking and I’m thinking of opening my own Bikram hot yoga franchise. But seriously, a few summers ago I decided to install a whole house fan. What’s a whole house fan? It’s a large fan, mounted in the ceiling, that pushes hot air into the attic while simultaneously drawing cool air in from the outside. You turn...

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Our Rocket Stove

...can be built out of metal or masonry and consist of a L shaped tube, at the bottom of which you place your wood. The chimney effect creates a highly efficient, largely smoke-free burn. There’s no need to cut down a tree to cook your dinner–all you need is a few small branches or twigs. Before we built the rocket stove we considered making a cob oven, a mud domed wood fired oven in which you can cook bread and pizza. There’s a tr...

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Legalize Baking!

...rnia and many other states it’s illegal to hold a bake sale? That a synagogue in Los Angeles got busted by the Health Department for hosting a bake sale? That you can’t bake bread in a home kitchen and resell it? Obviously, we need to change this. In what looks like an economic climate that won’t change for the better anytime soon, we need to encourage micro-business enterprises, foster a entrepreneurial spirit and make it easy...

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