Lady Urine, Water Conservation and Halfway Humanure

...: 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 ladies give back to the soil? Yesterday we had a comment from an anonymous female reader, telling us how she adds urine to her compost pile. She uses an inexpensive funnel from an auto-supply store. (Auto parts for lady parts?) This funnel has a ha...

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Realities in my past

...w diary notes on the back. He can reflect with pride and joy on all the richness set down in these notes, on all the life he has already lived to the fullest. What will it matter to him if he notices that he is growing old? Has he any reason to envy the young people whom he sees, or wax nostalgic over his own lost youth? What reasons has he to envy a young person? For the possibilities that a young person has, the future which is in store for him...

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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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Advances in Gardening: The Trough of Garlic

...ow Your Own! If you haven’t grown garlic, it’s super easy. Just break up a head of garlic and plant the individual cloves pointy end up under an inch or so of soil, about six inches apart. You’ll want to use only big fat cloves, not those skinny ones that sit in toward the core. You can use regular old organic garlic that you’d buy at the store or the farmers’ market. Some warn against this, saying the heads might b...

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Cat Litter Compost, Installment #3

...han clumping brands, and I’ve heard that Equine Pine, bought in bulk, is much, much cheaper per pound than the kitty brands. Next time we go to a feed store I’m going to check it out. c) The urine soaked sawdust can be sent to the normal compost pile. The urine dust forms the majority of the waste material generated by the cat boxes. So I’m still composting say 80-90% of their waste, but with much less trouble. (Note: It’s...

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Content Mills: Pimples on the Information Superhighway

Yes, there really is a “How to Get Rid of Pimples on the Buttocks” video on eHow. If only they had a how to get rid of eHow article. Google’s powerful search engine has become an essential component of the urban homesteading toolbox. From diagnosing tomato diseases to cooking Ethiopian injera Google has the answers. In recent years, unfortunately, low quality “content mills,” such as ezinearticles and suite...

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Sourdough, Preserves, Barbeque Sauce and Chutney!

...rdough 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 Hooch. We’ll put up preserves, barbecue sauce and chutney of summer’s final fruits. We’ll dry some tomatoes and let the season add to our other endeavours. Erik will t...

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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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Row Covers in a Warm Climate

The aftermath of a skunk rampage. Here’s an unintended organic gardening chain of events: 1. Scoop up multiple trash bags full of fruit scraps from Fallen Fruit’s jam making event at Machine Project. 2. Add this large bounty of organic material to the compost pile. 3. Watch as a bunch of beetle larvae hatch and devour the fruit and other goodies in the compost pile. 4. Sift compost and feed most of the larvae to a happy flock of hen...

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Preparedness Now!

SurviveLA staff attended a fabulous survival salon hosted by the Process Media/Feral House revolutionaries to promote Aton Edwards hip new book Preparedness Now! Aton’s informative and well designed book is a fresh look at a subject that is usually the domain of nutcase libertarians and Mormons. Aton is neither and the book has many useful tips for us urban dwellers with chapters on shelter, transportation, self-defense, and a collection o...

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