Picture Sunday: Images of Detroit

...n at auction. Land in Brightmoor is inexpensive. (One of the lots she gardens on cost $210.)  She also says that there’s a 170 acre forest at the edge of her neighborhood, which makes it feel more like the country than the city. Looking at Google images of the Brightmoor areas, I agree. It does have a country feel. There’s lots of open space, lots of green lushness — along with the blighted houses and other signs of urban decay....

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California Dreaming

...nt industry schmuck? see ad above) and moved into an apartment. The owners of the apartment building had torn up the parking lot and had converted every spare bit of space into a mini-farm. There were impressive rows of cabbage and other greens all planted in plowed rows. The crops took up so much room that there was, in fact, very little space left to even walk. It seemed, at first, a pleasant dream of a utopian future of efficient urban land us...

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Moonlight Medicine Foraging Expedition!

...nal Forage with Nance Klehm Wednesday, Dec 9th, 20097-8:30pm Cost: $15/person >>>> An after dark exploration of the sidewalk cracks around Machine Project for local medicinal plants, led by Nance Klehm. Get ready for the long winter dry, cold haul with simple knowledge on how to identify common wild plants that can be used in herbal remedies. >>>> Nance Klehm is a radical ecologist, designer, urban forager, grower and teacher. Her solo and colla...

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Edible Rooftop Gardens

...rom anyone who knows of a great rooftop edible garden, but I’d really like to find ones that I can visit. The picture here is of an urban farm in Chicago that I visited this summer. It isn’t on a roof, but it is smack dab in the middle of the city and was pretty impressive. And since I may be visiting Austin, I’d like to know of any cool projects or people I should visit there. Anyone who brews beer, builds bikes, does some s...

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Legalize Flowers and Fruit!

...seeing a lot of talk of bicycles and local food. But we’ve got some work ahead of us–please come to the meeting tomorrow! From the UFA website: SUPPORT LOCAL FOOD & FLOWERS! SUPPORT THE FOOD & FLOWERS FREEDOM ACT! The urban farming movement needs your support at the public hearing tomorrow in Van Nuys. Your voice and support for the MOVEMENT is critical. The hearing will take place tomorrow: Thursday March 25. Come...

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Get a Soil Test!

...Starting a plot in a community garden or a school garden Buying soil in bulk Property does not have to be on the former site of gas station to be suspect. Lead contamination comes not only from lead paint on older houses, but was also deposited all over urban centers and near busy roads via a constant rain of fine particulates from auto emissions. It really is a shame that lead testing is not a standard part of the inspection phase of home...

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Nance Klehm at Farmlab Tomorrow

...no food waste and grass clippings, horse manure from stables, spent coffee grounds) into biologically rich soil. The resulting waste-sponge systems sustain or aid: a habitat of native species of plants, digestion of the high salinity of the indigenous soils and the capturing, storing and using of precipitation. She has shown and taught in Mexico, Australia, England, Scandinavia, Canada, the Caribbean, and the United States. Her regular column WEE...

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A Sports Utility Bicycle

...e if we could go for a week in Los Angeles traveling only by bicycle. What made this car-free week a success was the ingenious Xtracycle, a cargo bike ideal for the challenges of urban American streets. The Xtracycle extends the back wheel of the bike and is essentially a huge pannier bag with a skateboard-like seat. We’ve managed to haul four bags of groceries, the same amount we used to carry in my car, and we’re talking heavy stuff...

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A Homegrown Revolution manifesto by way of a short (true) story.

1. Fitness is part of the urban homesteading thing So on our daily bike ride to the downtown YMCA we spotted four tires laying by the side of the road. 2. Try to grow as much food as you can Tires are a great way to grow potatoes–we’ll explain this when we try it ourselves. Meanwhile you can read about doing this, as well as many other uses for old tires in the informative archives of Backwoods Home Magazine. 3. Cargo bikes rule...

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La Alternativa

...m milk, a flan made with fruit or vegetables rather than scarce corn starch and eggs, and laundry soap made from the jaboncillo tree. What we like most about Gálvez is that she is a strong proponent of urban gardening, maximizing every available space for food, a contrast to Martha Stewart’s useless pesticide and fertilizer drenched flower gardens. See the the film Power of Community How Cuba Survived Peak Oil for more on Cuba’s inven...

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