Escape from LA

...lso going to Santa Rosa to experience a place which was home to the Chumash Indians who lived for 13,000 years off the bounty of the land and the sea without needing to load up the kids in the mini-van and head to the 99 cent store. Santa Rosa Island is also a land of mystery that once was home to the paradoxical combination of pygmy mammoths and giant prehistoric rats. Sadly, in order to commence this journey we will be commemorating World Carfr...

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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...

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Dog Cheese

...ow we’re talking about here–but no one ever said living in the city was easy. We came home with a bucket full of dog milk. We’ve already proved that a decent Neufchâtel can be produced in a home kitchen with store bought cow’s milk and bottle of rennet (which curdles the milk). Improvising on the same recipe we managed to turn that gallon or so of dog milk into a soft farmhouse-type round of what we believe to be a first ....

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Whole Wheat Sourdough Starter Recipe

...r, you must feed the starter every single day or it will begin to rot. This is particularly important with whole wheat flour which will go bad much more quickly. If you can’t keep up with the feeding you can temporarily store the starter in the refrigerator, but for no more than two weeks with whole wheat starter. White starter will last in the fridge for longer. If this turns your crank, you can sit around your compound watching your sourd...

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The High Cost of Golf

Though I’m partial to my Xtracycle cargo bike, once in a while I’ll rent a pickup truck to haul some big items. Yesterday it was time to get a bunch of straw bales to use as bedding for the chickens. While driving by a public golf course on the way to the feed store, the windshield suddenly shattered startling me and my passenger, Ari of Islands of LA, who had come along to help out. Instictively, we ducked thinking that someone was...

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Vegetable Gardening for the Lazy

...more. We planted ours in the spring from tubers we picked up in the produce section of our local market, Trader Joes. You may be able to find Jerusalem Artichioke at fancy food markets such as Whole Foods. Stick those grocery store bought tubers in the ground and in a few months you’ll have a field of these things. 3. Regular old Artichokes (Cynara cardunculus). Here’s a perennial for those of us lucky enough to live in a Mediterrane...

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iBullshit

It’s amazing how insidious is the real religion of our age, brand allegiance. In the PC vs. Mac argument I often find myself, unconscious and zombie-like, coming to the defense of a company run by a turtle neck wearing multi-billionaire. Sweater wear aside, Apple’s got a lot to answer for on the environmental front. In a provocative earth day post, bike-riding comrade and Apple store employee Mikey Wally calls out Apple for their gre...

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Using Greywater from your Washing Machine

...“bung holes”, and plumbed it based on a design from Aquabarrel.com. The folks at Aquabarrel offer kits or a DIY video. We put our barrel together ourselves with a couple of common pvc fittings from the hardware store and omitted the overflow pipe, since our washing machine load will never exceed 55 gallons. The basic idea behind the Aquabarrel design is to turn the barrel upside down and use the preexisting threaded bung holes to...

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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...

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Make a Pepsi Can Stove

...no longer works. We'll try to find an alternative.] [Editor note 10/5/11: The instructions are back! In PDF form.] The stove uses denatured alcohol solvent, sometimes called shellac thinner which is available at any hardware store. The stove is fabricated with the bottom of a Guinness beer can and the bottom of a Pepsi can and the end result is incredibly light. I cut the top off of a 24 ounce Heineken can to make a pot and I used some chicken w...

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