A Favorite Tool: Canning Funnel

I heart my funnel Mrs. Homegrown here: If you are a home canner, you probably already have one of these and know how useful they are. If you don’t can, you might never have seen one before. I hadn’t before we started canning–and I don’t know how I lived so long without one. See, a canning funnel is just a wide mouthed funnel made to fit the mouths of canning jars. It allows you to quickly and efficiently ladle up ho...

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Revolution: A New TV Series About Extreme Suburban Homesteading

...ouching Erik’s editorializing: 1Lest you think Erik is some virtuous, Thoreau-type character, I’ll just say that he may not watch series TV, he does watch movies and documentaries and youtube cat videos in plenty. 2They did not actually say why the power went out, or who was responsible. 3The opening scenes showing the subdivision “village” was the best thing about the whole pilot. There were lots of nice details, like s...

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Saturday Linkages: Orange Peel Lamps, Axe Porn and Craft Rooms

From Portugal Smallholding a orange peel lamp. Lamp made from an orange: http://www.portugalsmallholding.org/how-to/make-an-oil-lamp-with-an-orange/ A clever planter made from an Asphalt Handbook: http://www.recyclart.org/2012/03/asphalt-handbook-planter/ Hand-made Axe porn: http://bit.ly/GA0KWp Our friends at the Tangled Nest create an inspiring, low-budget craft room http://shar.es/pvLY5 And, yes, a toilet brush chandelier: http://...

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Emergency Supplies: It’s all about the lids

Above you see one five gallon bucket transformed into a toilet, and another into a food storage container, by virtue of specialty lids. The toilet seat lid I have here is called Luggable Loo Seat Cover and, miraculously, it is made in Canada. I bought it at REI. The other lid is called a Gamma Seal, and it is USA made. Do I see a trend, here? Anyway, this I found at an Army surplus store. The Gamma Seal is a two part lid that fits most 3-7 gall...

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Cornmeal Zucchini Pancakes

     More things to do with zucchini! Many of you know Rosalind Creasy, Queen of the Edible Landscape. If you don’t, look her up. She wrote Edible Landscaping, among others. It turns out that she’s not only an amazing gardener, one who makes colors and textures sing, who makes edible gardens more beautiful than any ornamental garden I’ve ever seen, but she cooks, too.  Darn her and her…her…competence!!! Erik fou...

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Plantago coronopus, a.k.a. Buckhorn Plantain, a.k.a. Erba Stella

Cruise down the produce isle of a supermarket in the United States and you’ll only find highly domesticated foods. Thumb through the pages of the Silver Spoon (the Joy of Cooking of Italian Cuisine) and you’ll discover entire chapters devoted to the use of wild or semi-wild plants. This summer I grew one of these semi-cultivated Italian vegetables, Buckhorn plantain (Plantago coronopus) also known as Erba Stella and Barba di frat...

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How do you care for cast iron?

They really knew how to rock cast iron in those days. A couple of months ago I found an 8″ cast iron skillet on the sidewalk. It was a newer model pan, already seasoned, hardly used. One of my neighbors had apparently decided they didn’t like it, or need it. I snatched that puppy up. Not that I need more cast iron–I have three skillets in varying sizes, and no room for another. But to me, cast iron is solid gold. So I gave it t...

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DIY Christmas Trees

...ctures. Two favorites: 1) The Mountain Dew Christmas tree.  On one hand, I’m appalled to think that somebody actually drank that much soda. On the other hand, the structure is really nice and it looks pretty all lit up: 2) And the hardback book tree, made out of a cut-up book. The cool thing about this one is that the cover stays intact, so you can close it up and store it on your book shelf until next season: Now, I know some people get...

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The Best Raw Flax Cracker Recipe

...the onion cracker bread you can find here. This easy to make recipe requires no pre-soaking or sprouting.  All you do is mix the ingredients (onions, flax seed, sunflower seeds, olive oil and agave syrup) in a bowl and spread it on a tray in your dehydrator. The problem is that these crackers are so tasty they disappear within a day. Do you have a favorite raw recipe? Leave a comment with a link!...

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The Homegrown Mailbox: How and Where Do I Get My Soil Tested?

...appy to take the letters from Kevin, the horse poop for compost and try our best. Here’s one question we get a lot: Q: Y’all know where I can get my soil tested? I’ve started HUGE garden in my side yard and it just occurred to me that it is where people used to park their cars. I’m concerned about Oil or other pollutants from the cars that might still be in the soil. Any experience with this? Can I test without it costing...

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