Moldy Grapes!

We had a nice conversation with BoingBoing blogger and Make Magazine editor Mark Frauenfelder about how important mistakes are in the DIY life, so here’s two more recent blunders for ya’ll, courtesy of Mrs. Homegrown Evolution. Recent failure #1: Inedible Pickled Grape Leaves We have grape leaves. Lots of them. Our two table grape vines are a little hesitant to really bust out, but our native grape (Vitus californica) has taken over...

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Allium ursinum

Allium ursinum, a.k.a. Ramsons (in English), and Bärlauch (bear leeks, or wild garlic in German), are a member of the chive family so named because they are a favored food of bears and wild boar. People can eat em’ too, with both the bulb and leaves making a tasty addition to a number of dishes (see a detailed report on Allium ursinum in the Plants for a Future website). Favoring semi-shade, Allium ursinum thrives in moist, acidic soilR...

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Lord of the Flies Inspired Bike Rack

Homegrown Neighbor here. When I saw this unique piece of public art/functional bike rack I just had to stop and take a picture to share.  I was on my way home from the Central Library, where I had checked out some books on Belgian beer for a project I’m working on. I walked up Broadway to catch the bus home, stopping at Grand Central Market on the way. But outside the market I saw this truly strange sculpture with many bikes locked to it....

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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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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: Coop Plans, Moonshine and Mercury in Seafood

...vilion: Eco-Friendly Retreat Meets Regional Style | Designs & Ideas on Dornob http://dornob.com/pastoral-pavilion-eco-friendly-retreat-meets-regional-style/ … Gardening Loving David Culp’s Layered Garden. Scheming to see the garden. | Garden Rant http://gardenrant.com/2012/12/loving-david-culps-layered-garden-scheming-to-see-the-garden.html … The story of Mission grapes: http://garynabhan.com/i/archives/1942 Signs of the Mayan Apocalypse Ci...

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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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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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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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