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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Are Raised Beds a Good Idea?

...remove them soon. If a soil test shows high heavy metal levels I’ll just go with some ornamental/insectary plants.  Above, broom corn (Sorghum bicolor ) doing just fine straight in the ground. A partially sunken bed. Extra points for finding the stinkhorn mushroom. This bed is somewhat of a compromise. I cut the bed in half lengthwise to make it half as tall as it used to be thus getting two beds for the price of one. Then I sun...

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Roundin’ up the Summer Urban Homesteading Disasters

...sh was still edible, but bland. Moral: winter squash just ain’t space efficient. Next year I’ll tuck it around other plants and trees rather than have it hog up space in my intensively planted veggie beds. Luscious compost tomatoes. Unintentional Gardening I built a cold frame this spring so that I could get a head start on propagating my tomato seedlings. So guess which tomatoes did better: the ones I carefully propagated fr...

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How Can We Fix Our Public Landscaping?

...er landscaping of most of our public spaces. This egregious LADWP “garden” is the last straw for me. It’s time we do something about it. Two California based organizations come to mind: Daily Acts in Petaluma and the Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano. Daily Acts has landscaped public spaces such as libraries and schools as well as private homes. These gardens provide an example that others can follow. The Ecology Center has...

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Spore 1.1

Spore 1.1 from matt kenyon on Vimeo. From artists Matt Kenyon and Doug Easterly of S.W.A.M.P.(Studies in Work Atmospheres and Mass Production), “Spore 1.1.” It consists of a rubber tree plant, purchased from Home Depot, that is hooked up to a self-contained watering mechanism and calibrated on a weekly basis, according to the performance of Home Depot stock. If the Home Depot stock does well, Spore 1.1 gets watered. If Home Depot stock does...

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Ask Lowes and Home Depot to Stop Killing Bees

If you haven’t heard, Friends of the Earth is swarming (ahem) Home Depot and Lowes with cards around Valentines Day, asking these retailers to “show the bees some love” and stop selling bee-killing pesticides (neonicotinoids) and garden plants which have been pre-poisoned with such pesticides. In our opinion, systemic pesticides, like Imidacloprid (which is a neonictinoid) should preferably not be used at a...

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California’s Drought and What To Do About It

By this summer, due to the worst drought in memory, California will resemble the desert planet Arakis in Frank Herbert’s novel Dune. Not only will we be watering our lawns less, we’ll be drinking our own urine. Knife fights with a bikini clad Sting will break out and we’ll be trading our bikes for rides on the over-sized worms emerging from our compost bins. But I digress. Let’s cover what we’re...

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Saturday Linkages: Elves, Archdruids and Open Source Furniture

20 Open Source Furniture Designs http://www.shareable.net/blog/20-open-source-furniture-designs … “The Valley of The Elves” by Ellie Pritts https://elliepritts.exposure.so/the-valley-of-the-elves … The Archdruid Report: Seven Sustainable Technologies http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2014/01/seven-sustainable-technologies.html?spref=tw … Silver Lake stays in step with Rudyard Kipling http://feedly.com/e/2K1ZbhCt  Leaked:...

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Saturday Linkages: Basil Downy Mildew, Bees and Grow Lights

.../www.furtherfield.org/programmes/exhibition/seft-1-abandoned-railways-exploration-probe-modern-ruins-1220 … When Plants Get Metal: Part 2 | Popular Science http://po.st/RXw4JD  In SF, empty lots now can be designated agricultural zones: http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/2014/06/18/empty-lots-now-can-be-designated-agricultural-zones/ Here’s what happens when GMO antagonists get together for a friendly chat http://grist.org/food/what-happens-whe...

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