What Does Tromboncino Squash Taste Like?

...cchini. I planted seeds in April, transplanted the seedlings in May and in early November I still have squash on the vine. Like all squash it benefits from copious amounts of nitrogen and compost. We grew ours in straw bales. I’ve heard that it’s resistant to squash borers (not a problem I’ve had, so I can’t speak from experience). The seeds came from Franchi via the Heirloom Seed Store. Have you grown...

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Shoemaking Advice?

...ill putting up with our old mattress, but one day I will be letting you know what I’ve decided to do about the new mattress) Meanwhile, I’m wondering if this one will be half as popular. Are people as dissatisfied with their shoes as they are with their mattresses? Probably not. I know I am–but this is mostly my own fault. I’ve spent too much time barefoot and my feet don’t seem to fit store bought shoes anymore. Don...

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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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Have We Reached Peak Kale? Franchi’s Cavolo Laciniato “Galega De Folhas Lisas”

...o 2 feet apart is my guess for spacing. This variety caught my eye when I overheard a farmer talking about it in the Heirloom Seed Store’s booth. He liked it a lot but complained that his customers would not buy it because of its unusual appearance. I do think there’s an opportunity for an enterprising young farmer to raid the Franchi catalog and grow a farmers market booth full of Italian (and in this case Galacian) vegetables. If yo...

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How to Answer the Question, “What Should I Do With My Life?”

...There’s another broad category : books relating to symbolism, Carl Jung, Rudolf Steiner and media theory. The rest are oddball topics: electronic circuits, 70s land art and fencing tactics. Together these topics make me the crazy person that I am. In short, I’m non-linear weirdo with a DIY streak and an interest in topics that have fallen to the bottom of a hole as deep as the as-is bins at LA’s vast St. Vincent de Paul thrift...

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On the documentary, Fed Up, and giving up sugar

...y hard it is on our systems, how sugar, not fat, not lack of exercise, is behind rising obesity rates as well as the rise in type 2 diabetes and a host of related diseases–and most worrisome–how sugar is hidden in almost every prepared and packaged food on grocery store shelves, especially those marketed as healthy, low fat products. They also describe sugar as an addictive substance, pointing out that given a choice, lab rats choose...

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Easter Lessons

...g. Easter buboes! Zombie eggs! Here’s my theory: chickens coat their eggs with a protective coating before the eggs leave the “factory.” Just like auto manufacturers! This protective coating is called the bloom. The bloom is washed off in industrial egg production facilities because the eggs have to be washed and sometimes bleached to get the filth off them before they go to market. So bloom is never an issue when dyeing store-b...

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Choosing the Perfect Tortilla Press

...s. When you had their stiff margaritas (the strongest in town) the room would spin. Combined with those mirrors, the effect was unintentionally psychedelic. The food? A commentator on a local blog that covered the restaurant’s recent closing described it as, “like ‘Taco Tuesday’ at an elementary school in Kansas.” One of the many reasons the food at this place was substandard was the store bought tortillas they used....

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Los Angeles Interior Earthen Plaster Workshop

...nishes) with an earthen plaster mix using affordable, off-the-shelf bagged clays and sands. Attendees will leave the class with the knowledge necessary to finish their own walls using inexpensive materials that can be easily found at any pottery supply store. The class is suitable for homeowners, building professionals and do-it-your-selfers. No prior experience is necessary. Topics Include: clay sourcing, testing and preparation (bagged clay sc...

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