Bees Like Mochi

This viral video proves two things: 1. Bees like sugar. 2. Foraging bees aren’t likely to sting. And I love the way this street vendor keeps on working. If this were the US, there’d be a major freak out, the fire and health departments would be called and an exterminator would show up to spray poison. If you keep calm and carry on you get your mochi and the bees get a free lunch. Thanks to Winnetka Farms for the tip. ...

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Saturday Linkages: Solar Projects, John Cage and Cat Litter

...tinez/2012/09/12/28381/amateur-astronomers-stars-john-dobson-telescope/ … The most epic Ikea hack ever–stool turned into child’s Draisienne – the Frosta bicycle – IKEA Hackers http://po.st/6gp9HM  Urban date foraging: http://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=13259 … No Men Allowed! Women Build Own Backyard Sheds http://lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/2014/04/no-men-allowed-women-build-own-backyard.html#.U0N9ikb3-YY....

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Bad Forager: Mistaking Hemlock for Fennel

...wed-maybe-chewed-and-spit seeds. Especially not dried up, sun baked seeds. Pascal wasn’t worried either, and waved away all the concern, distracting us with the tale of how he ate some fresh hemlock leaves in a an early foraging error and spent hours vomiting. And yes, I was just fine. It got me to thinking how vitally important taste and smell are to a forager. Looks can be deceiving, but scent and taste are always there for you. I hesitat...

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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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Mellow Yellow: How to Make Dandelion Wine

...lawns and parks spotting yellow, it’s time to gather. The general rule of thumb is to collect one gallon of flowers for each gallon of wine you want to make. Enjoy your wandering. People will think you quaintly eccentric for foraging blossoms on your hands and knees. Note: collect blossoms (without the stem) that have just opened and are out of the path of insecticides and pesticides. So here’s how I make dandelion wine… I pour one gallon boili...

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Disconnect to Reconnect: Ditching the “Flushie” for a Composting Toilet

Image from the Wikimedia Commons We’re lucky to have another guest post by Nancy Klehm (see a nice interview with her on foraging here). Nancy visits us at the Root Simple compound at least once a year. What follows is an account of a plumbing misadventure she had on her last visit.  To give you some context, ever since we’ve remodeled our bathroom and switched to a low-flow toilet we’ve had periodic backups. We think...

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Giveaway: What’s your favorite tip?

We want to give away a copy of our new book, Making It . To make this contest interesting for everyone, we’re asking you to give us a homesteading-type tip to enter. Leave us a comment on almost any subject you’ve had some experience with: gardening, fermenting, brewing, sewing, livestock, foraging, cleaning, cooking, building, general common sense–really, it can be just about anything. And the tip doesn’t have to be big...

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Saturday Linkages: Collapse Now and Avoid the Rush

...g.net/2012/06/08/the-secret-lives-of-citrus-fru.html The Archdruid Report: Collapse Now and Avoid the Rush http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2012/06/collapse-now-and-avoid-rush.html?spref=tw Our friend Nancy Klehm: Urban Foraging: Looking for Herbs on the Wild Side http://shar.es/qTEsU Why you should keep a tampon or two in your survival kit: http://artofmanliness.com/2012/06/05/survival-tampon/ A repurposed trampaline becomes teepee bed: h...

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Tree Tobacco as a Stinging Nettle Cure

Tree tobacco or Nicotiana glauca. Image from Wikipedia. Yesterday’s Solanum nigrum (Black Nightshade) post reminded me of a fascinating tidbit about another plant from the nightshade family that I learned from foraging expert Pascal Baudar: the leaves of tree tobacco (Nicotiana glauca) ease stinging nettle rash. We were out gathering nettles with Pascal, so the lesson was much appreciated–and field tested. All you have to d...

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Does the scent of compost make bees angry?

...s at this time of year, when honeybee numbers are at their peak and pollen and nectar sources are getting scarce (summer is hot and dry in Los Angeles and not much is blooming). If you don’t have a hive, I doubt random, foraging worker bees would go after you if you are just turning compost in your yard. But if you’ve got a compost pile and are thinking about installing a hive–or vice versa–I’d seriously consider kee...

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