Toby Hemenway On How Horticulture Can Save Us

...esteading movement for promoting an egocentric self-sufficiency–”MY food on MY land” as he put it–a kind of industrial farming on a household level. While “self-sufficiency” appears in the subtitle of our first book (our publisher’s idea), it’s not a term we use. Kelly and I always emphasize, like Hemenway, the importance of community. We are much more comfortable with the title “gardener̶...

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Comopost, Compost, Compost

...with no supplemental water in hard-packed clay soil contaminated with lead and zinc in a hot side yard. Why did it do well while the rest of my vegetable garden did not do as so good this summer? Homemade compost. I didn’t have enough compost for the rest of the veggie garden so I bought some at a nursery. The homebrew compost obviously had much more life in it.  And life is the point. Soil is a living thing. Plants, particularly vegetabl...

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Low Moments in Plant Theivery

...to be one of the grandest of all plant thefts. In the video you’ll see two women stealing an entire lawn. It took forty minutes and the thieves even took a smoking break. The BBC quotes the neighbor whose security camera caught the crime, “I can’t believe the cheek of them. I’m quite speechless about it.” In local plant theft news, a security camera at the Village Bakery in Los Angeles caught a woman stealing plant...

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The Miraculous Lavender

...d. Then I thought, “Is that a lavender plant? Growing here?” Curious to see what would happen, I let it go. I assumed it would not live long. It’s growing out of a crack. It may have sprouted on the back of our last pathetic winter rain, but we’ve had no precipitation for months now. I don’t water it. I don’t send water down the stairs. The soil off the stairs is dry, because that slope is planted with natives,...

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Apartment Parking Lot Gardening in East Hollywood

...re Foot Gardening Book by Mel Bartholomew I built two 5 ft. x 1 ft. square foot garden boxes from inexpensive ($ 2.15) 1 x 6  x 6 ft. cedar fence boards bought from Home Depot. I waterproofed them by sealing the insides with with pure tung oil from Jill’s paint in Atwater. Each planter gives me 5,  12 x 12 inch sq. ft. spaces for growing. These boxes take up a small amount of space and fit easily in the area  ( about 2...

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Revolution: A New TV Series About Extreme Suburban Homesteading

..., too.4 And America’s long lost archery skills have apparently been miraculously revived. Come to think of it, Hollywood seems to be having a love affair with archery of late. Is the javelin next? Put down those Xboxes kids and start practicing! In Revolution it’s also revealed that people suddenly know the names of plants and what to do with them even without access to Google. But the tranquil suburban homesteading is not to last for...

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Advances in Gardening Series: A Garlic Mystery

...w features of the garden this year is a long, trough-shaped bed that Erik installed along the edge of our patio. Its inaugural crop was garlic, which is generally a very easy plant to grow. We’ve done it before, many times, successfully. This year it didn’t work. The stalks failed to thrive. Many plants did not set bulbs at all, looking instead like green onions. The heads that were formed are quite small.  We’re not sure why t...

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Top Ten Vegetable Gardening Mistakes

...are best to outsource to the professionals at the farmer’s market. 4. Not having a plan My brain, to put it politely, is non-linear. If I were to overcome that cognitive flaw and plan out how much and where things should be planted I’d have both a steady supply of produce as well as a more attractive garden. 5. Not labeling plants What kind of okra is that? I have no damned idea. Too bad when I want to plant it again next year. All...

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So-So Tomatoes Become Excellent When Dried

...ther large for a cherry, more like mini-plum tomatoes, which made them awkward for salads. But they were healthy plants, and very, very prolific. In situations like this it is good to remember that tomatoes which don’t taste good off the bush often cook or dry well. The ratio of skin and seeds to pulp in these tomatoes made them a bad candidate for sauce, so we’ve been drying them. And man, are they good dried. Like tomato candy. It&#...

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Salsa Dancing in a World Without Oil

...Sept. 14, 6pm – Movie “The End of Suburbia” followed by community discussion Saturday, Sept. 20, 9am-5pm – “Designing the Transition” – a full day conference exploring the Transition concept Thursday, Sept 25, 7-9pm – Peak Oil Community Discussion – the first followup event to the Transition conference Thursday, October 23, 7-9pm – “Power Down” Location, details and regi...

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