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...

Continue reading…

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...

Continue reading…

Planting a Mini-Orchard

Ignore the bucket in this illustration! See update below. Update 3/13/2011: I met Brad Lancaster last night and he told me that he and Art Ludwig no longer use the upside down bucket described in this post. The reason is that detergents can build up in the hole. In my experience the bucket was also an unnecessary step. While I have a clay soil, the hillside drains fairly well. A properly sized mulch basin should suffice to allow greywat...

Continue reading…

Dookie in the Tomatoes

...lmonella in check. Wash off the Enterobacter and salmonella thrives (read more on this theory at New Scientist). The same holds for washing eggs–bad idea. I count myself very fortunate to have a bit of land to grow some tomatoes and feel sorry for those who don’t have this luxury. I wish more journalists would spin this story as a reason to build more community gardens and allow apartment dwellers to grow some food on the roof. It lea...

Continue reading…

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...

Continue reading…

Appropriate Technology

...bsites: 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.”...

Continue reading…

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...

Continue reading…

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...

Continue reading…

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...

Continue reading…

Essential System #6 – Fire

On the crazy path of life you may someday find yourself needing to build a fire. When it’s wet and when kindling wood is lacking this can be a challenge. Which is why we always have fire starting implements on hand including a butane lighter and waterproof matches. Most importantly we carry something to really get the fire going – our homemade wax and dryer lint fire starters. To make a wax and lint fire starter, save up the ends of...

Continue reading…