Feral Tomatoes on the Bayou

While walking along Houston’s Buffalo Bayou, just next to a concrete plant and under a bridge we stumbled on some feral tomatoes. We theorized that some fast food meal pitched in the gutter found it’s way into this meandering, heavily industrialized waterway. The tomatoes separated from the cheeseburger, floated to the surface of the water and were deposited on the muddy banks of the bayou. Houston’s hot and humid climate sprou...

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Capparis spinosa – Capers

Capparis spinosa When we changed the name of this occasionally updated string of musings from SurviveLA to Homegrown Revolution to make it more national, as the publisher of our upcoming book the Urban Homestead requested, we had one big challenge. While Mrs. Homegrown Revolution hails from the snowy mountains of Colorado, Mr. Homegrown Revolution has never lived anywhere else other than sunny Southern California. And neither of us have tende...

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Tree Spinach – Chenopodium giganteum

For most of the country planting time is far off but for us, here in the Homegrown Revolution compound in Mediterranean Los Angeles, it’s time to start the winter garden. The billowing clouds of apocalyptic smoke from the fires ravaging the suburban fringes of our disaster prone megalopolis are the only thing that keeps us inside today, giving us time to contemplate one of the seed packets that has crossed our desk, Chenopodium giganteum a...

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Nopales Season

It’s nopales (the pads of the prickly pear cactus for you Yankees) season at the Homegrown Evolution compound. Our prickly pear has thrown off so many leaves that a neighbor dropped by last week to ask for some. We filled a bag for her and declined the dollar she offered us. To cook up our nopales we use a simple recipe found in Delena Tull’s book, Edible and Useful Plants of Texas and the Southwest. First scrape off the spines with...

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A Seed Pokin’ Thingy

Planting seeds seems like a simple task, and yet when you’re faced with hundreds of tiny seeds and dozens of pots it can take a surprising amount of time. Thankfully there’s an elegant and simple tool that can make life easier during planting season. To make this handy tool all you need to do is take a sick (something smaller than a chopstick is ideal) and stick it into a wine cork. You use the cork end to gently tamp down the soil a...

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Moldy Grapes!

...they would disintegrate when rolled. I was sure to only pick the youngest, freshest leaves. I should have done a small test batch, but went nuts and filled a half-gallon jar with many rolled up bundles of leaves, and covered it in a brine and whey pickling solution. A week later I tasted the leaves. They looked right, they tasted right, but no matter how much I chewed, the leaves didn’t break down. I ended up with a mouthful of cud. Now th...

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Stoicism as a Toolkit for Modern Life

1;all these kinds of things help keep us grounded and hopeful. But sometimes you need a little more help. Maybe we’ll call these posts “When chickens aren’t enough.” Whether the world is ending or not, it’s important to have a tool kit for dealing with stress and anxiety. Stoicism, an ancient form of philosophy which has not been too popular of late, but which did have a profound influence on Western thought, and whi...

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Saturday Linkages: I’m tired of doom, let’s garden and make things . . .

er-et-al/ … Small batch artisanal high-fructose corn syrup: http://boingboing.net/2013/05/30/small-batch-artisanal-high-fru.html … Nolita’s Little Free Library http://www.stereotank.com/Little-Free-Library … Fitness Is It Better to Walk or Run? http://ow.ly/lyt12 Activate Demand Home Depot, Lowe’s stop selling bee-killing poisons. Click to take action: http://bit.ly/13mU9GQ Help the EFF save podcasting from a patent troll: http://b...

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Salsa Dancing in a World Without Oil

...e the use and availability of public space. LOVE APPLES is an experiment in public space in the city of Los Angeles, imagining new ways in which such spaces could be utilized to make our communities more livable and engaged. It promotes community awareness, sharing, food safety, public resources, and organic gardening. LOVE APPLES is also a celebration of public art and of activated citizen artists. The festival doubles as a thank you to the ra...

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Saturday Linkages: Insect Hotels, Edwardian Hipsters and Biomorphic Light Fixtures

DIY insect hotel spotted on the ever amazing Lloyd’s Blog. Insect Hotels http://lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/2013/06/insect-hotels.html#.UcEUtDWXvN0.twitter … Good Yard or Bad Yard? Garden Design Pitfalls | Garden Rant http://gardenrant.com/2013/06/good-yard-or-bad-yard-garden-design-pitfalls-2.html … Q & A – Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land http://j.mp/1844StH Edwardian stunt bikers – in pictures http://gu.com/p/3ggde/tw  Intera...

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