Watering 101

This is watering 101. Those of you who have been gardening for a while have probably learned this the hard way. Those of you just starting out may find it helpful. Soil lies. It looks wet, but it’s bone dry a fraction of an inch beneath. Or it looks dry on the surface, but it’s actually quite wet below. Or it’s wet, but only for one inch down. The only way to find out if you’ve watered your garden enou...

Continue reading…

In Defense of the Paper Wasp

...-burn of cheap booze. The wasps I see the most around our house are paper wasps (family Vespidae and probably of the genus Polistes, though there are many different kinds of paper wasps). Paper wasps like to build their small nests under the eaves of the house. Their diet consists of caterpillars, flies and beetles—anything that eats those kinds of bugs are a friend of mine. Nests consist of around 30 to 40 wasps–workers, queens and d...

Continue reading…

Getting Things Done

One of the side benefits of the Age of Limits conference, that we attended back in May, is that whenever we tired of what was going on in the main tent, we could always find Archdruid John Michael Greer holding court outside on everything from HAM radio to vegetable gardening to the history of obscure fraternal societies. He’s got another good blog post this week. My favorite quote from that post: . . . if the global e...

Continue reading…

Saturday Linkages: Sidewalk Koi, Papercrete, Jaywalking and How to Grow Fresh Air

...s http://tinyhouseblog.com/construction-articles/straatlokaal-dumpster-structures/ … Building with Papercrete at the Good Life Lab : http://wp.me/p22K2I-1mgi  Straw Bale Dome Home in France http://www.naturalbuildingblog.com/straw-bale-dome-home-in-france/ … Do-it-yourself Pole-barn Building http://www.naturalbuildingblog.com/do-it-yourself-pole-barn-building/ … Fitness Healthy Design: 3 Core Engaging Chairs http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/three...

Continue reading…

Village Homes: A Model for Sustainable Suburbs

...st. All of the rainfall is captured and instead of being directed to the sewer system, it runs to swales between the houses, to nourish fruit trees. The resulting space is a lush park full of edibles, from exotic jujubee trees to grapes to almonds. Residents can stroll around in the abundant shade and pick fruit at will. Only the almond crop is off limits–the almond crop is harvested every year and sold to support the the gardening services...

Continue reading…

How to Deal With Cabbage Worms

It happens every year. I forget the gardening lessons of the year before. Take my many failed attempts to grow cabbage, for instance. It always gets decimated by the imported cabbage worm (Pieris rapae), a creature as abundant in Los Angeles as aspiring actors. There are several strategies I could use to deal with this pest (cabbage worms, that is–I have no problem with actors). I could spray Bacillus thuringiensis but...

Continue reading…

Saturday Linkages: $1 Homes, Compost Heated Showers and Potty Talk

...c.streetsblog.org/2013/05/31/ford-keeps-trying-to-get-millennials-to-like-them/#.Ua0wFau-q3s.twitter … Attacking the Language Bias in Transportation Engineering http://dc.streetsblog.org/2013/06/03/attacking-the-language-bias-in-transportation-engineering/#.Ua0vPVM6-Ps.twitter … Potty Talk Dollar Shave Club Bets on a Stealth Craze: Wipes for Men http://adage.com/u/HSacEb Is this the world’s smallest bathroom? http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-...

Continue reading…

Saturday Linkages: Rocket Stoves, Big Cargo Bikes and Shopping for the Apocalypse

Image: BoingBoing. The Flying Tortoise: A Very Gorgeous Little Rocket Mass Type Terracotta… http://theflyingtortoise.blogspot.com/2014/05/a-very-gorgeous-little-rocket-mass-type.html?spref=tw … How to mount staghorn ferns in your garden http://bit.ly/1nosn5W  #diy Getting to the root of gardening’s role in mental wellness | Victory Gardens Blog | http://buff.ly/1o3lIkd  Darrel Morrison’s Addition to the Brooklyn Bo...

Continue reading…

Saturday Linkages: Gourds, Cats and Cider Bread

The Mukombe. Image: Afrigadget. The Mukombe–a hand washing station made out of a gourd:  http://www.afrigadget.com/2014/04/06/the-mukombe/ … Farine: Mike Zakowski making cider bread http://www.farine-mc.com/2014/04/mike-zakowski-making-cider-bread-video.html?spref=tw … 6 Methods for Harvesting Rainwater – Homesteading and Livestock – MOTHER EARTH NEWS http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/...

Continue reading…

A Year After the Age of Limits: Mr. Homegrown’s Take

...ping, they seemed to reinforce a depressive and unproductive group dynamic. Meaningful ritual comes from deep in the collective unconscious. It’s not something you can wing with some bad poetry, encounter sessions and bongos. On the positive side, it was a pleasure to hang out with and talk to John Michael Greer. Throughout the conference he held court outside the tent and discussed many of my favorite topics: organic gardening, Ham radio,...

Continue reading…