On why our vegetable garden is such a disaster this year . . .

...g out in groups and share goods and knowledge. I’ve got some talented vegetable growing neighbors. Perhaps it’s time we put our heads together and help each other garden. We’ve talked about it in the past, but somehow never got around to it. Lack of engagement with the garden. For me this is the most critical issue and I think it is related to dissatisfaction with the design of the garden, particularly the backyard. I don’t want...

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Making Beer in Plain Language

...comparative literature Judith Butler via the Bad Writing Contest Huh? At least the terminology surrounding beer making ain’t that obtuse, but it certainly could use some simplification. For novice home brewers, such as us here at Homegrown Evolution, the terminology creates an unnecessary barrier as impenetrable as a graduate school seminar in the humanities. Let’s see, there’s a mash, a mash tun, a wort, some sparging, maltin...

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City of Memphis Cites Front Yard Vegetable Garden

From Mr. Brown Thumb via Kitchen Gardeners: “This week Adam Guerrero, a math teacher at Raleigh-Egypt High School in Memphis, TN., along with three students became lawbreakers after they continued to tend to a garden after it was deemed a neighborhood nuisance. Guerrero was cited for violating city ordinances 48-38 and 48-97. His crime, as reported by the Memphis Flyer, consists of failure to maintain “a clean and sanitary condition...

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Rooftop SIP Garden in LA

Got to visit John Zapf’s vertiginous LA compound yesterday. He’s got an amazing rooftop vegetable garden using self irrigating pots. John has little sun in the yard so the roof is only option for veggies. He uses drip line to refill the reservoirs. Reminds me of the Green Roof Growers of Chicago (minus the extreme weather). His two cents on what to grow: chard good, zucchini good, corn in pots not so good. For more info on self ir...

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The Scary World of Garden Sculpture

...g fan of the late Scottish artist and poet Ian Hamilton Finlay. He’s probably best known for his enigmatic garden Little Sparta. As Finlay demonstrates, there’s nothing like a carefully placed bit of artwork to tilt one’s perspective on the landscape and make you see it in a different, and perhaps more perceptive way. But good luck finding said piece of garden sculpture unless, like Finlay, you can manufacture it yourself. Just...

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Remember to Label Those Jars!

...ult of some late night canning frenzy two years ago. At the time I probably thought to myself, “I’ll label them in the morning.” Not only should the jars be labeled, but it would also have been nice to have some notes on the recipe I used and where the fruit was sourced from. To this end I’ve started a preservation diary in a useful program called Evernote. Perhaps I should get a tattoo on my forearm that says, “Lab...

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2011 in Review: Urban Homestead Trademark Dispute

...steading, and the Santa Monica Public Library. In addition DI successfully manged to get Facebook to take down a page about our book The Urban Homestead, that our publisher had put up, in addition to Denver Urban Homesteading’s Facebook page. As of this date both of those Facebook pages are still down. The Electronic Frontier Foundation and Winston & Strawn LLP have generously assisted us in challenging the DI’s trademarks. The D...

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How to make a Calendula oil infusion

...ndula Harvesting and drying Calendula Oil infusion is as simple as can be.  Oil infusion is soaking. Think of it like making sun tea. You take a nice clean jar with a good lid, and fill that about half way full of dried herb, top it off with oil, and let that sit in the sun. The resulting oil is medicinal. It can be used straight on the skin, or fashioned into salves and balms. I’m particularly fond of Calendula. As a skin treatment it...

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Saturday Linkages: Spoiled Kids, Leaf Blowers, and Yet More Signs of the Artisinal Apocalypse

...http:// gardenrant.com/2012/07/chicke ns-vs-vegetable-beds-round-two.html  … Color in the (House and) Garden | Garden Rant http:// gardenrant.com/2012/07/color- in-the-house-and-garden.html  … Desperately Seeking Shade: How South L.A. Bus Riders Weather the Elements http:// la.streetsblog.org/2012/07/12/des perately-seeking-shade-how-south-l-a-bus-riders-weather-the-elements/#.UATeyLR4nH4.twitter  …   Color Palettes Inspired by Cats from Design...

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Mud for the People! Building an Adobe Garden Wall

...ions and how adobe construction can meet even California’s stringent building code. And, yes, if you build it right (vertical rebar and a bunch of other details) an adobe building will stand up well in an earthquake. To begin our garden wall we placed a “story pole” on each end of the wall to keep everything plumb and on the level. Since it was just a garden wall and not a building, we did a simple gravel foundation beginning...

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