CoEvolution Quarterly Online

...rmaculture before Bill Mollison gave it a name: [Kourick] is developing methods of growing edible and ornamental plants together for maximum beauty, minimum upkeep, and a self-sustaining yield of food. He does it by concentrating on growing perennials that do not need to be replanted each year and annuals that reseed themselves spontaneously. He uses ground cover plants that fertilize other plants, such as the beautiful pastel-flowering lupin whi...

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Peat-free Planting Mix Recipe With Coconut Coir

Nancy’s coconut coir-based planting mix. Here she’s doing the squeeze test, which we talk about below. From an environmental perspective peat moss is a nightmare. Mining of this material is unsustainable, contributes to global warming and destroys habitat for many plants and animals. But, for starting seeds, we’ve used it for years. Our friend Nancy Klehm taught us recently how to make a seed starting mix with coconut...

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Why not plant some Calendula?

...ilizer: You don’t really need it, but if you’ve got some nice compost you can spread some around the plants.  Harvest: To save flowers for medicine, pick them when they’re open and at their peak. Don’t worry about picking too much. Picking just forces them to send out more flowers. Not picking is what leads to plants going to seed and closing up shop. Take the heads inside and dry them face down out of direct light. Whe...

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I like my chamomile stressed

...zy, its one goal being to spread seed before it dies. In the past, I’ve harvested chamomile from volunteer plants in my yard. I never planted or tended them, but one or two would get about knee high, and from those one or two plants I’d gather all the flowers I needed by remembering to pick a handful every time I went in the back yard. The thing about chamomile is the more you pick, the more it produces. But I was greedy–and so...

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Chumash Plant Wisdom

...California (and parts near)! I’ve just found the holy grail of local plant guides: Healing with Medicinal Plants of the West. It’s co-authored by a Chumash healer, Cecilia Garcia and a USC pharmacology prof., James David Adams, Jr., both of whom write for Wilderness Way magazine. It features full-color pictures of plants familiar to you from hikes in the desert and the chaparral, and discusses the recommended use of the these plants...

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The glass is half full–even if it’s full of greywater

...The front yard isn’t looking bad. Not organized, but at least not barren. Lesson the First: make weed-like plants the backbone of your yard, meaning edible plants that grow no matter what–which kind of plants will vary by region. Grow fussy annuals too, if you want, but have these survivors as back up. And learn how to cook them. For instance, we get nopales from that huge cactus that is swamping our hill. The cucumbers may refuse to...

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The Barrier Method

...insects, particularly the cabbage worms that harass our brassica crops. It’s not pretty, but it keeps the plants pretty within. Heavier gauges of row covering can be used to ward off frost, or help jump start plants in cold weather. Our chickens have a very secure coop. Connected to it is some extra play space, bounded by picket fence. This doesn’t protect the chickens from much, but they only use it during the day, when pr...

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Poo Salon and Urban Forage Classes with Nancy Klehm

...#2 Urbanforage with Nancy Klehm (aka Weedeater)Sunday, February 27th 2-4:30 pm, Echo Park, $25 Learn about the plants that share this city with us! Urbanforage is an informally guided walk through the spontaneous and cultivated vegetation of the urbanscape. Along the walk, we learn to identify plants, hear their botanical histories and stories of their use by cultural use by animals and humans and share antidotes of specific experiences with t...

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Row Covers in a Warm Climate

...ed holes in the corners of the beds and bent some scrap PVC pipe to create hoops to hold the row cloth above the plants. Agribon is so light that you can just put it on top of many plants without hoops. Now I can sleep at night knowing that my beds are locked down in a kind of “vegetable Guantanamo”. Johnny’s Seeds sells Agribon 15 in 250 foot rolls for $45. Seeds of Change sells it in 5o foot lengths for $26. It would make se...

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Book Review: A Feast of Weeds by Luigi Ballerini

...of Italian style recipes for what to do with them such as spaghetti with nettles and purslane frittata. The wild plants Ballerini writes about are found in Italy, but most (minus capers, sadly) can be found all over North America. This is not a guide book–it assumes you already know how to identify the plants Ballerini is discussing. I had one quibble with the chapter on prickly pear cactus–you do not need to peel the pads to eat them...

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