Essential System #10 – Shelter

...om to stake out. The “Missing Link” was also very expensive and, as a cheap alternative, it’s possible to improvise shelter with a large garbage bag or the ubiquitous blue tarp material found at any hardware store. There are also commercially manufactured Bivvy Sacks and even cheaper thermal reflective survival bags which, combined with warm clothing, will function as shelter in a pinch. Improvised shelters can also be construct...

Continue reading…

Seltzer Works Doc Screens on PBS

...#8217;s Point of View series. Filmmaker Jessica Edwards, directed this engaging short. Photo by Film First Co/ Ben Wolf The thick glass bottles Gomberg uses allow him to carbonate at much greater pressure than either store bought or home carbonating systems. And the valve on those old bottles allows for dispensing seltzer without the entire bottle losing pressure. As Gomberg points put it in Seltzer Works, good seltzer should tickle the...

Continue reading…

The Kingdom of Bolinas

...Bolinas is a series of picturesque organic farms, including Gospel Flat Farm which runs an honor stand along the road. When we visited they had some nice looking beets: And a quirky mobile facility: Bolinas also has a free store: With its own unique signage: And a multi-denominational alter thingy on the main drag: With yet more creative signage: The list of former residents reads like a who’s who of American art and poetry. It̵...

Continue reading…

Bringing Blossoms Inside

It’s such a simple thing to do, and so beautiful. If you’re trimming your fruit trees while they’re in bud, as they are now here in SoCal, keep all those twigs and bring them indoors. Stubby little ones can go in jam jars. Long thin whips in a vase make for instant elegance. They’ll keep blooming for a while. For me, no store-bought cut flower can compare....

Continue reading…

Whistle Stop Book Tour of the Northwest

...ewcastle. But heck, we’re not complaining– we’re thrilled to be able to head north into your gorgeous lands. San Francisco Events: Friday, April 29, 7 PM: Speaking at Book Passage Corte Madera Book Passage Store–not the one at the end of Market, the one on the other end of the ferry line: 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, CA 94925 Saturday, April 30, 12 PM: Meet us at 12 noon on the lookout point of Sutro Heights Par...

Continue reading…

Dry Farming

...n arid climates can grow a surprising amount of food with a lot less water. Clarification: dry farming is not growing during the rainy season (which is called “rainfed agriculture”). Dry farming uses strategies to store water in the soil during the rainy season and then grow during the dry part of the year. Though controversial, dry farming traditionally involves tilling.  It also requires much greater spacing of plants. For more info...

Continue reading…

Your Questions Answered

...tor proofing it. We have a wicked raccoon problem here. As for keeping smells down, we use a “deep bedding” method–we throw down a very thick layer of straw or leaves, 6 to 12 inches, that we get at the feed store. I keep throwing straw in the run as needed. It kind of composts in place. I rake it out once a year and throw it on the compost pile. It does a good job of keeping smells and fly populations down. The thick bedding al...

Continue reading…

Announcement: Process Media/Feral House Party this Thursday in Los Angeles

Thursday, December 9, 6-9  La Luz de Jesus Gallery,  4633 Hollywood Blvd., L.A.  Free.  (323) 666-7667 Attention Angelinos (and folks nearby): Our incredibly groovy publishers, Process Media, and their sister company, Feral House, are throwing a holiday party this Thursday. We’ll be there, just hanging out. If you don’t know Wacko/La Luz de Jesus, it’s a combo art gallery, book store and novelty shop. You could ge...

Continue reading…

Backyard Orchard Culture

...yard. Follow Spellman’s backyard orchard guidelines and you’ll have many small trees and never be without fruit. 3. Grow what you will use. Spellman told the story of someone who went down to their local big box store and bought six trees for five dollars each. The problem was that he had bought six quince trees and did not know what to do with the fruit. Grow flavorful varieties that you can’t buy at the market. One quince...

Continue reading…