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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What’s the Best Solar Food Dryer?

...Second to freezing, it’s the best way to persevere nutrition without adding sugar or salt. And if you use the power of the sun, you won’t need to spend any money on electricity. In a desert climate you can just put your food out on screened trays. But just a bit of humidity in the air makes this approach risky. Food can spoil before enough moisture is removed. That’s why you should build a solar food dryer. B...

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Damned Figs!

“In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once.”-Matthew 21:18-19 We find it hard to cut down a mature tree, especially a fruit tree. But after living with a substandard fig tree for ten years we finally understood t...

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Planting a Mini-Orchard

...hillside drains fairly well. A properly sized mulch basin should suffice to allow greywater to infiltrate. Also, the new generation of washing machines use a lot less water than the old one that I still have. Other than the unnecessary bucket and the persimmon tree (died, for some unknown reason) this greywater application has worked very well. Our fruit trees are lush and happy. With the news that Lake Mead could go dry by 2013 we figured it wa...

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Dookie in the Tomatoes

...nth’s tomato scare–it’s just a guess. But let me offer a few solutions that would take care of the problem no matter what caused this most recent outbreak: 1. If you can, grow your own tomatoes and make your own fertilizer. Yes, it’s possible (but a lot less likely) to get salmonella from your own home grown produce, but at least you and your family will be the only one infected. 2. Support small family farms. Again, a sma...

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Matching Your Waste Stream to Your Composting Method

...nt of compost. This is a great way to deal with yard trimmings, grass, manure, and food waste. Advantages: makes the kind of high quality compost needed in large quantities for a vegetable garden. Disadvantages: a lot of work, can’t be added too once the pile is built, may require car trips to gather materials. “Disposal” compost pile There’s also stuff that can’t go in the worm bin. And once you build a big pile it...

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Appropriate Technology

...websites: 1. Rocket Stoves: our brick rocket stove and a link to a video on how to make a simple metal version. 2. The glorious Solar Cooking Archive which has links to dozens of simple solar cooker plans that you can build yourself. We built our cardboard and aluminum foil Pavarti cooker with plans from the solar cooking archive. 3. AfriGadget. The subtitle of this blog says it all, “solving everyday problems with African ingenuity.”...

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It’s always been fun to stick it to the Man

...ht and reached into a box of slides we found years ago at a thrift store and never looked at. That box turned up these images showing a previous generation enjoying the “water of life” coming out of what appears to be two different home built stills. Homegrown Revolution applauds the DIY spirit (so to speak) and these images seem an appropriate way to begin the dreaded holiday season. For info on how to build your own still read our e...

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Homegrown Revolution at the Silver Lake Film Festival

Thanks to the cinematic revolutionaries at the Echo Park Film Center, Homegrown Revolution’s debut video “How to Build a Self Watering Container” will premiere at the Silver Lake Film Festival, as part of the Sustainable LA program on SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY May 6th at 11:30 a.m. at the LosFeliz 3 (1822 North Vermont Avenue-map). We’ll be sharing a program with composting Culver City comrade Elon Schoenholz, the Fallen Frui...

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Make a Pepsi Can Stove

Preparedness means having a backup system for all of the things we depend on. If the gas goes out in an earthquake how are you going to cook? Thankfully the world of backpacking offers a number of solutions. Our favorite is the Pepsi can stove which you can build using these incredibly detailed instructions. [Editor's note 7/27/08: looks like the author of that Pepsi can stove site failed to renew the url and, sadly, the link no longer works. We...

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