Meet My Chickens: the continuing story of Chickenzilla

Homegrown Neighbor here. My chicken Whitey, a.k.a. Chickenzilla, has been laying some wonderful eggs lately. Of course, she is a meat chicken, not a layer. I think of her as a “rescue” chicken. Most meat chickens are harvested between just 7 and 10 weeks of age. At over a year old now, Chickenzilla is likely one of the oldest broiler hens alive.  But she is a surprisingly good layer, with a big, bad-ass personality to match her im...

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Farm in a Box

Farm in a Box ‘Little Tokyo‘ I never thought I’d see “permaculture” and “Home Depot” in the same sentence, but an article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal (For a Green Thumb, Just Add Water) connects the dots between the two with a new product line called Farm in a Box Aquaponics from Earth Solutions. Farm in the Box is a combined fish tank/planter box. Waste from the fish circulates into the p...

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Nasturtium Leaf Pesto

Chicago artist and permaculturalist Nancy Klehm gave me this idea. Funny how it takes an out of town visitor to make you aware of a resource at your own home–right now our yard is choked with nasturtium and I’ve never made good use of the leaves. I have used the flowers for a pesto, but it’s kinda labor intensive. Nancy made a pesto with the leaves and I had to try my own version: Nasturtium leaf pesto 2 fistfuls of nasturtium...

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Saturday Linkages: Lemon Peels, Shrub, Duct Tape and the Art of Relaxing

Air dried lemon peels from Food in Jars. Preservin’ Air-Dried Lemon Peel http://www.foodinjars.com/2013/02/air-dried-lemon-peel/ … Drinking Vinegars: The Other Kind of Shrub | Garden Rant http://gardenrant.com/2013/02/drinking-vinegars-the-other-kind-of-shrub.html … EDC Solutions for the Everyday Carry of Duct Tape | The Art of Manliness http://artofmanliness.com/2013/02/14/solutions-for-the-everyday-carry-of-duct-tape/ … Relax! Relax!...

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Saturday Linkages: Repair is Beautiful

...map-murals-make-for-excellent-contextual-wall-decor/ … Vintage DIY: Wired Staffers’ Favorite Classic Gear Manuals | Wired Design | http://Wired.com  http://www.wired.com/design/2013/01/owners-manuals/ … Thoughtstylings The Tribe of Teenager http://thetanglednest.com/2013/01/the-tribe-of-teenager/ … What your New Year’s Resolutions tell us about the way you think – Boing Boing http://boingboing.net/2013/01/16/what-your-new-years...

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Saturday Linkages: Of Granola and Turlets

Granola The New Granola http://nyti.ms/132CUM5 Coconut Quinoa Granola http://www.foodinjars.com/2013/02/coconut-quinoa-granola/ … Foraging Winter Purslane: http://dirttime.com/?p=2876 Potty Talk Hey, Science: Can You Eat Your Own Poop? – http://gawker.com/5985723/can-you-eat-your-own-poop … How to Install a Toilet | The Art of Manliness http://artofmanliness.com/2013/02/06/how-to-install-a-toilet/ … DIY Wax Seals: A History and How-To...

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Supper for a buck?

Recently someone asked me how much it cost us to make a loaf of no-knead bread. I had no idea, but was intrigued by the question, so I went home and did the math on the flour. We buy our flour in bulk from fine company called Central Milling through the Los Angeles Bread Baker’s Club. A 50lb bag of general purpose flour costs $30.00. This works out less per pound than the cheap-0 flour at the supermarket. We actually go through so much fl...

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On the Difficulty of Finding Pastured Animal Products

Chickens on pasture. Image by MentalMasala. I was hoping to bring some good news this morning, specifically about a non-profit animal welfare rating service that I found out about at the National Products Expo. There were two animal welfare rating organizations at the Expo, one I decided not to write about because I considered their standards too loose–specifically they do not mandate pasture. The other requires pasture and I was looking f...

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The Sundiner–A Groovy 1960s Era Solar Cooker

Backywards beekeeper Dennis of The Buzz in the Dale, was nice enough to gift me his vintage Sundiner solar cooker that he found at a garage sale a few years ago. Resembling a cross between a portable 1960s record player and a satellite, the Sundiner is compact, light and easy to carry. A built in thermometer lets you know when you have hit cooking temperatures. The unit is so efficient, that when I set it up at noon it hit 350° F within minut...

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One Secret for Delicious Soup–A Parmesan Cheese Rind

Our cats seem to sneak into every food related photo session. This is simple, but it works so very well. If you use real Parmesan cheese, like Parmigiano-Reggiano, save those rock-hard rinds. They are magic flavor bombs. All you do is add them to soup or bean dishes. Add them at the start of cooking, because they need a good long while to soften up and release their flavor goodness. They don’t make the dish taste cheesy, but rather add tha...

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