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

Image: Build It Solar. Build-It-Solar Blog: Four Interesting New Projects from Around the Web http://www.builditsolarblog.com/2014/04/new-and-interesting-solar-projects.html?spref=tw … John Cage: Mushroom Hunter http://hyperallergic.com/118615/john-cage-mushroom-hunter/ … The lasting legacy of the Dobson telescope http://www.scpr.org/programs/brand-martinez/2012/09/12/28381/amateur-astronomers-stars-john-dobson-telescope/ … Th...

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Bad Forager: Mistaking Hemlock for Fennel

Hemlock (courtesy of Wikimedia) Hemlock (Conium maculatum) and fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) are in the same family, the Apiaceae or carrot family (which also includes dill and parsnips and chevril and cumin and anise and corriander and parsley and Queen Anne’s lace and more–a very nice family, all around). Hemlock and fennel share characteristics of that family, having those distinctive umbrella shaped flower clusters which beneficial...

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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...

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Mellow Yellow: How to Make Dandelion Wine

Today on Root Simple we welcome another guest post from our Midwest correspondent Nancy Klehm: In the past week, we Midwesterners have experienced three hard frosts – killing back the growth, that emerged too early of my grapes and hardy kiwis and zapping peach blossoms. We will see if there is any fruit onset and if my vines recover. Meanwhile, it is dandelion wine time! I first tasted dandelion wine when I bought a bottle of it at a folksy gi...

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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

Using a tampon as a “survival straw” water filter. Outdoor Deck & Inside Room Linked via Climbing Walls & Ladders | Designs & Ideas on Dornob http://dornob.com/outdoor-deck-inside-room-linked-via-climbing-walls-ladders/ Did you know lemons are hybrids? The secret lives of citrus fruit – Boing Boing http://boingboing.net/2012/06/08/the-secret-lives-of-citrus-fru.html The Archdruid Report: Collapse Now and...

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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?

I think I’ve stumbled upon a strange phenomenon: the smell released by turning compost pisses off bees. Yesterday was the third time this has happened to me. I took a sting just underneath my eye and another one to my right hand when I was turning a pile located about 15 feet away from a hive. Coincidentally, the same thing happened to a friend yesterday: he got stung while working with compost near a hive. Ordinarily our bees are reason...

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