Bread Ovens of Quebec Free e-book

North American has two regions famous for oven building: New Mexico and Quebec. The design of the ovens of Quebec have their origin in much older French ovens. The Canadian Museum of History has posted an amazing, out of print book, Lise Boily and Jean-François Blanchette’s 1979 book The Bread Ovens of Quebec, in its entirety online. The book includes the history of the Quebec oven, how to build an oven, bread recipes a...

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Initial Thoughts on the Age of Limits 2013 Conference

...owledge, don’t predict. Those who predict, don’t have knowledge.” Nassim Taleb has made a career of pointing out the failures of prognosticators. Taleb says, “What is surprising is not the magnitude of our forecast errors, but our absence of awareness of it.” We simply don’t know what the future holds. We do know that whatever happens, good or bad it’s in our interest to build community, grow gardens and eat healthy food. Back t...

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Roots Simple’s Last Minute Gift Guide

...th stainless steel trays. Expensive, but this thing works a lot better than those cheap round dehydrators. Truly the Cadillac of deyhdrators. 1.5 liter lactofermentation kit. Yes, you can make one yourself, but this is a nice all-glass model. Plus, when you buy this you are supporting Ernest Miller who has given countless volunteer hours to build LA’s Master Food Preserver program. What did you give to the homesteaders in...

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2013 in Review Part I

...g in LA without a car was easier than I thought it would be thought thanks to the expansion of the rail network. It was a tough decision, but we decided to burn dino juice again. April I began what was to be the most successful experiment of the year, a straw bale garden. It was the perfect solution to our lead soil problem–grow in bales temporarily and generate a lot of compost with which to use in permanent raised beds that I’ll bu...

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Greywater Design and Installation Workshop

...Tour Real L2L greywater system Gravity “branched drain” greywater system from sinks Date: February 22, 2014 – 10:00am to 12:30pm Location: Los Angeles EcoVillage 117 Bimini Place LA, CA 90004 Cost: Sliding scale $15 to $40, limited work trade positions available Register HERE Bring: Photographs of your laundry room and landscape. Site plan of your yard. For more information on an L2L system refer to the SF Graywater Guide for...

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Raised Bed Vegetable Gardening

...n the ground, according to our local soil lab. Putting together three new beds recently got me to thinking about the ups and downs of gardening in raised beds. I thought I’d list off the pros and cons: Pros: Keeps roots away from contaminated soil. Good for disabled or elderly gardeners. Neat. If high enough, can keep out some critters–and keep veggies above the dog pee zone. Plug and play–no need to build or improve soil. Keep...

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A viewing suggestion from the media arm of Root Simple

...pts. How a Tudor gentleman literally sewed himself into his clothes each day, & the mysteries and marvels of the codpiece. (I suppose that if I were transported to that era I’d eventually stop staring at the distracting cords dangling from gentlemen’s crotches. You’ll see what I mean.) You get to meet one of the last working teams of oxen in England (sad!), and see what it takes to plow a field. How to build and wattle and d...

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Composting the Deceased/ My DIY Funeral Fantasies

...’d be a pollutant. A low end version of this would be setting my ashes afloat in a wicker basket and using it for target practice with flaming arrows, while the Immigrant Song plays. Not great, because my ash is feeding no one, and it cost a lot of BTUs to turn me to ash, but at least I’d not be in a coffin, and there would be fire and arrows. Fantasy 2: As a huge fan of Patrick O’Brian’s novels of Royal Navy life in the 1...

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How to Make a Bee Skep

...store finds along with Mr. Spock’s Music From Outer Space and a classified 16mm film rocket test film from the 1950s. Should you not be so fortunate as to find a skep in your local thrift store, Modern Farmer Magazine has a post on how you can build your own. Looks like a fun project. How skeps are used The following series of videos show how skeps are used. Part 6 documents the steps leading up to the honey harvest. It’s a labor int...

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Induced Demand

Image: Wikipedia. I was on the phone the other day having a conversation about greywater with a person enrolled in an entrepreneurial program. She asked me an excellent question: did having a greywater system cause me to use more water? She was alluding to a concept known as induced demand. In other words, when you have more of something you use more. Buy a hybrid car and you end up driving more miles since you don’t pay...

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