Picture Sundays: Giant Crops of the Future

From Paleofuture, some 20th century notions about the factory farms of the future, from Arthur Radebaugh’s Sunday comic strip “Closer Than We Think” COLOSSAL CROPS — In addition to dire threats of destruction, the atomic age has also produced many brighter horizons for mankind’s future. One such happy prospect is the use of radiation to create more uniform and dependable crops that will end famine everywhere in the world. Gamma ray fi...

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Saturday Linkages

Not exactly sure if this is a good idea. Maybe if it collected and diluted urine for use as fertilizer! Combination Urinal Concept Surprisingly Blends Sink & Toilet | Designs & Ideas on Dornob http://dornob.com/combination-urinal-concept-surprisingly-blends-sink-toilet/ Making Shelter Simple: An Interview with Lloyd Kahn: http://boingboing.net/2012/05/15/making-shelter-simple-an-inte.html Horticultural myths: http://www.puyal...

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Nettle Harvest

...d my wrists were stung quite severely. But oh well. I was so excited about harvesting I just plunged my arm into the deep green patch and started cutting. I cut the plants off near ground level and carefully placed them in my paper bag. Then I closed the paper bag and hung it inside near a sunny window to dry. If you live in a humid climate or need it to dry quickly, I recommend setting your oven at a very low temperature, like 200 degrees an...

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Greywater Guerrillas in LA this Weekend

...il Matt Moses Space is very limited so register early! Workshop will include a presentation on greywater reuse, the design process of the system we’ll be building, and the construction of a greywater system from the washing machine to ornamental of plants. Activities will involve digging, measuring, cutting pipes, observing, and more! Sunday July 20th: Presentation: How to Disengage from the Water Grid: With Greywater, Rainwater, and Compo...

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Introducing Lora Hall

...be we can get her to explain this!). You can meet Lora in person and pick up some seedlings and fruit trees at the Highland Park farmer’s market (map) where she runs a booth with Trisha Mazure every Tuesday from 3 to 8 pm. When we visited her at the market last week Lora had a bunch of interesting plants including purslane, tomatoes, tomatillos as well as a selection of fruit trees appropriate for our warm climate. In the LA area and want...

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Real Estate Bubble Bananas

...ble has a fruit filled silver lining. I imagine that all across America there are abandoned fruit trees yielding their bounty for a new generation of gleaners. Thank you Angelo Mozilo for creating a literal banana republic! Bananas are not my favorite plant for Southern California as they take a lot of water and get somewhat rangy looking when the wind rips up their leaves. But they are one of the most greywater tolerant plants and a good choice...

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Greywater Workshop at Good Magazine

We’ll be doing a greywater workshop at Good Magazine this Wednesday May 27th from 7 to 9 p.m. Directions and RSVP info are here. We’re going to focus on what I consider to be the easiest way to reuse your greywater: hacking your washing machine. We’ll take a look at a couple of approaches including our surge tank, pictured above, which we just got around to elevating with scrap lumber to get a gravity assist. We’ll also...

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Land Girls

...there’s no need to look like a slob out in the garden, trailing your already disreputable bathrobe through the mire–as Mrs. Homegrown is wont to do. Instead, as The Chap (and historical record) suggests, we could adopt sassy belted sweaters, crisp trousers and sexy Wellingtons. The fellows at The Chap also make some savvy suggestions for planting, captioning this photo, “Come along Tiffany, these tobacco plants, juniper berri...

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Vertical Vegetables

...schools. The company has a plan to sell this system nationwide. The problem is that I have serious doubts about the long term viability of vertical garden walls for a number of reasons: irrigation, maintenance and start up costs just to name a few. And I’m not alone. The New York Times did some critical reporting on the subject of vertical garden systems in a recent article, “Gardens That Grow on Walls.” For certain plants vert...

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Thyrsus: the new hipster accessory

Ancient thyrsus on left, modern hipster version on right. The traveling exhibition Pompeii and the Roman Villa, currently at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, has a few nice tchotchkes worth considering for those of us attempting to garden in Mediterranean places. One of the centerpieces of the show, a large fresco depicting a garden, includes many familiar plants: chamomile, oleander (who knew oleander existed before freeways!), strawberr...

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