Lady Urine, Water Conservation and Halfway Humanure

I approve of the oval shape of the opening of this funnel– and the sporty color. Fact 1: Human urine is an excellent source of nitrogen for your garden. It can be applied directly to a compost pile, or diluted 10:1 and used on plants. Fact 2: Nature has equipped the male of the species in such a manner that it is easy for him to contribute nitrogen to the compost pile. For women, it’s a bit more tricky. So, how do...

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Straw Bale Gardens

...on the topic: strawbalegardens.com–the website of Joel Karsten, profiled in Tortorello’s article and the author of a book and a downloadable pamphlet on straw bale gardening. Some tips from an experienced straw bale gardener at The Gardener’s Pantry We’re going to bioassay (that is, test ) the straw from our local feed store. The Compost Gardener has good instructions for this. In our case, we’re doing the method whe...

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014 All About Pressure Canning With Ernest Miller

On the fourteenth episode of the Root Simple Podcast we talk to chef, historian, educator, consultant and speaker Ernest Miller about pressure canning. During the show we dicuss two types of pressure canners: Presto 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker All American 21-1/2-Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner Ernie recommends you get a canner with a weighted gauge–because it can be dif...

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Why are the pockets on women’s clothing so lame?

...it jackets sans any pockets at all. True confession: I have inner breast pocket envy. The inner breast pocket is the one of the most secure, useful pockets ever created, and yet they are scarce as hens teeth in women’s clothing. Whence this tyranny?? Or case in point: what about a casual jacket with motorcycle/military styling which promises a plenitude of pockets, only to disappoint? I found this jacket at a thrift store recently. I’...

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013 Keeping Chickens with Terry Golson of Hencam.com

Image: Hencam.com. On the thirteenth episode of the Root Simple Podcast we talk to chicken expert and author Terry Golson. Terry fields chicken questions from all over the world through her blog hencam.com where, as the name implies, you can watch her hens live through the interwebs. One of the main points Terry makes during the podcast is that chickens have not really been bred to live long and that they start to get health...

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012 Damnation, Good Books and Listener Questions

In this week’s episode, Kelly and Erik discuss the documentary Damnation, what we’re reading and answer a three part reader question about bread, weeds and fertilizer. We briefly mention our experiment in house cleaning inspired by a post on Apartment Therapy. Those damn dams! Go to the Damnation Website to watch the documentary trailer and find links to where you watch the whole movie. Via Youtube, a documentar...

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Sourdough, Preserves, Barbeque Sauce and Chutney!

..., executive chef of Jennie Cooks A Catering Company to offer a special cooking class on Sunday September 13th at 2 p.m in Los Angeles. We’ll demonstrate how to make sourdough bread and Jennie will cook up a batch of her mouthwatering chutney, barbecue sauce and more. Here’s the 411: “Hang out and cook with the Urban Pioneers who created an oasis in So Cal where they grow their own food, bake their own bread and brew their own H...

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Far Side of the Stairs

...he idea of combining “alley-cat” with our “middle-age” we feared might lead to a trip to the “emergency-room”. But the brave folks at SoapboxLA were clearly up to the challenge and took first place in the categories of non-crocodile wrestling Australian and fiery high-horse Hungarian. But seriously, part of this urban homesteading thing is about whipping our communities into shape and LA needs a serious thrashi...

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Mitchell Joachim’s Techno-Utopian Future

...a few simple but wonderful ideas that I’ll blog about tomorrow. But first I’ve got to try to digest the strangeness that was a presentation by architect and futurist Mitchell Joachim. Fab Tree Hab. Mitchell Joachim. Joachim is the thoughtstylist in chief of Planetary One and Terreform One, non-profit organizations that, “pioneer visionary socio-ecological and infrastructural strategies for urban environments.” Ar...

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Shamelessly Tooting Our Own Horn

Unfortunately for the sedentary out there this new urban homesteading lifestyle involves a fair amount of physical fitness. We’ve found that the best way to keep up with SurviveLA’s strenuous fitness requirements is to have a goal such as a race, or a particularly difficult hike. This is why we’ve been obsessed over the years with the Ketchum Downtown YMCA’s oddball Stair Climb to the Top which involves a heart-pounding a...

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