Upcoming Classes: Edible Gardening and Vermicomposting

...m bin with their larger  household systems. As cities struggle with basic recycling programs, and citizens  learn how to grow tomatoes for the first time on their decks in soil  from stripped from farmland and purchased at a store, there are some who  are curious about having a more intimate connection to their waste and  unveiling its worth. In this workshop we will go “beyond the bin” and build a large,  outdoor vermicomposting sys...

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Composting at the NATO Protests in Chicago

...with their food waste as they had already overwhelmed a small urban garden’s compost bin. It was late, so I waited until morning and drove my pickup to their site – a parking lot between a community center and an auto parts store. The scene was impressive: a maroon biodiesel school bus with windows dressed in curtains screen printed with frying pans and butcher knives and the largest wok and cast iron pan I have ever seen. A purple tent stretch...

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The Ecology Center of San Juan Capistrano

Kelly and I had the privilege of doing a short talk this weekend at the Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano. If you’re interested in Southern California food forestry, greywater, chickens, you name it, this is the place to visit. They have an amazing garden, classes and a well curated gift store. When people ask us how to design garden and house systems in SoCal, we’re going to send them to the Ecology Center....

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Barley Water

...ter to a boil for five minutes, then pour off the dirty water, replace it with clean and continue cooking. –Pearl barley is barley that has had the bran scrubbed off of it. It’s what I find around here in grocery stores. Hulled barley is less common, but if you have access to a good health food store you should be able to find it. It’s more nutritious than the pearled kind. –You will have leftover barley when you make thi...

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Your Essential Oil Toolkit

...al oils are great alternatives to synthetic perfumes, and they play a role in the world of alternative medicine. I don't know about other parts of the world, but in my experience here in the U.S., they are sold in health food stores, in the cosmetic sections, in tiny bottles on special display racks. You can also order them online, where you can often get a better price by buying larger quantities. ] The Picks: Lavender Essential Oil: Soothing, u...

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How to Roast Your Own Coffee in a Stovetop Popcorn Maker

...(freshly roasted coffee beans out-gas CO2). Unlike many home “artisinal” food methods (we probably need to retire the “a” word), home coffee roasting saves money and you get a much better product than store bought coffee. Of course quitting coffee would also save money but you’ll have to ask Mrs. Root Simple about that one–I’m an addict. If you’re in the LA area, you can take Ian Riley’s home...

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