Review: Quaker Lower Sugar Instant Oatmeal

I prefer long cooked oatmeal when I’m at home, but we’ve always packed instant oatmeal with us when camping. I think the habit goes back to when Erik and I took epic backpacking trips, and food weight was a prime consideration. Now, camping is a more gentle endeavor–but the instant oatmeal has become a tradition, an easy no-brainer for sleepy grey mornings in the woods, even though its nutritional qualities...

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New Health Food Trends at the Natural Products Food Expo West

This weekend I attended, for or the second year in a row, the Natural Products Expo West. At this massive convention, health food, natural supplement and cosmetic concerns pitch their products to retailers. And, again this year, I did a lot of intemperate sampling. For the sake of you, our dear readers, I ate every known power bar, sports beverage and processed soy/hemp/chia meat substitute so you won’t have to. It was...

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Why we moderate comments

...e in their content, but are offensive in themselves, because they are irredeemably false: false discourse, false community. Community is something we treasure, and try to build, so we cannot let false comments stand. Real human presence cannot be outsourced to sweatshops. It takes lots of time and a deft touch to be a positive internet presence. Not everyone can do it as well. I think the most important thing is to have good product, and professi...

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Goat Worship: A Halloween Exclusive!

Dance with me in the witches’ grove! Bwah ha…ha…er…. Well, okay, if you’re not so into that, I’ll take an apple instead. This Saturday our friends Gloria Putnam and Steve Rudicel at the Mariposa Creamery in Altadena gave a free, two-hour class on the basics of goat keeping. I was there with bells on. I’ve always wanted goats. It was a wonderful afternoon–about forty “goat curious...

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Urban Chicken Classes

...of course many resources out there. And if you already have chickens maybe you can share your knowledge in your community. I know that I certainly wish I new more when I got started. But its live and learn. Sadly, not all the chickens lived. But the hens helped me to meet my fellow urban homesteading neighbors…… and the rest is history. The chickens helped us to create community in our neighborhood so now we are helping others to...

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Time Banking

...away from the Wall Street types? Get ready for time banking. With time banking, you get together with your local community members, friends and family and exchange hours rather than currency. Time Bank USA describes the concept succinctly: “For every hour you spend doing something for someone in your community, you earn one Time Dollar. Then you have a Time Dollar to spend on having someone do something for you.” Time banking isn...

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LA’s Parkway Garden Dilemma: Not Fixed Yet

A parkway vegetable garden on Sunset Blvd.. The City of Los Angeles’ crackdown on parkway vegetable gardens made international news thanks to an article by LA Times columnist Steve Lopez. Lopez was reporting on two parkway gardens that were issued citations by the LA Bureau of Street Services. This crackdown came two years after Ron Finley was busted for being a vegetable gardening outlaw. Over the weekend I started seei...

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Age of Apocalypse

...es, though none, as far as I could tell, were skeptics. This conference was less about conversion and more about community. It could be compared to a church retreat camp, where people go to strengthen their faith, not to question it.) I believe we were picking up on was what Greer calls the “apocalypse meme” within the doomer community. Greer has written extensively about this impulse, most notably in his book, Apocalypse Not, which s...

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Saturday Linkages: Passive Cooling, Cats and Three Mules

A Passively Cooled House in the Tropics http://www.notechmagazine.com/2013/09/a-passively-cooled-house-in-the-tropics.html … Catification: Beautiful Cat Climbing Shelves http://jacksongalaxy.com/2013/09/22/catification-beautiful-cat-climbing-shelves/ … DIY VIDEO: How to Make a Mason Jar Herb Garden with Model Summer Rayne Oakes http://inhabitat.com/diy-video-how-to-make-a-mason-jar-herb-garden-with-model-summer-rayne-oakes/ A...

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Village Homes: A Model for Sustainable Suburbs

I’ve recently discovered a truly inspiring housing development in Davis, California. This is not new news–it was built in the 1980′s, but it’s new to me and worth sharing. Village Homes is the brainchild of architect/developer Michael Corbett. It encompasses 70 acres and 200-some homes. It has all the space and privacy that brings people to the suburbs, but it’s designed with considerable intelligence. For instan...

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