Tour de Crap

...our fair city. Perhaps someday we’ll all take a bigger step and assume responsibility for out own waste as the folks in Scandinavia have done with in-house composting toilets like the Clivus Multrum. In the meantime people, remember that somebody has got to deal with what you all flush and pour down the drain so please don’t put cooking oil and grease down the sink. Not only is this bad for your own plumbing, but it causes clogs in th...

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Fava Fava Fava

...ution compound this spring. I can’t say enough good things about fava beans (Vicia fava): they taste good, the plant fixes nitrogen into the soil, making it an ideal cover crop, and it’s attractive. If harvested small you can eat fava raw but I prefer to remove the skins and briefly boil the seeds (around five minutes). Once boiled, fava can be used in a variety of dishes from soups to salads. We just toss them with olive oil, white w...

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Make an Aluminum Can Lamp

...like the Pepsi can stove) so you can also do this step with a pair of scissors. 4. Punch out a 1/4 inch hole in the bottom of the can for the wick. 5. Cut a 1/2 inch by 3 inch piece of cotton from an old shirt for the wick. 6. Cut out a 2 inch by 1 1/2 inch piece of aluminum and use it to wrap up the wick tightly. 7. Fill the can with the window with lamp oil. Insert the aluminum wrapped wick in the hole you drilled in the other can and squeez...

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Our favorite way to cook zucchini

...ecipe–or technique, rather– sounds too simple to be good, but it really works. As one friend said of the dish, “It tastes like there’s a lot going on, but there’s not.” All you’ve got to do is shred your zucchini up on the large holes of your kitchen grater. Saute the shreds in an uncovered skillet with lots of olive oil and some chopped up garlic, until there’s no water in the pan, and the volume...

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Recipe for the World’s Best Whole Wheat Pancake

...8217;s the secret: Use heirloom grains. Mill your own flour. Ferment for a long time with a sourdough starter. The heirloom grain I used is Sonora wheat, probably the oldest wheat in the Americas. It’s a soft, winter wheat traditionally used for tortillas. Recipe (based on Nancy Silverton’s pancakes) 210 grams starter 2 tablespoons maple syrup 3 tablespoons safflower or corn oil 2 eggs 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1/2 teaspoon baking soda...

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DIY Project: Reconnect with Nature

Caspar David Friedrich, Woman Before the Rising Sun, 1818-20, oil on canvas, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany This is called a Sit. 1) Take yourself somewhere away from noise and people. It is possible to do this in a garden, or even among your potted plants, but it is easier to do in a natural place. A quiet beach. In a meadow. By a lake. Up in the mountains. Go alone, or have your companion(s) leave you alone for a while. 2)...

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Rats

...was elevated to the rank of comestible during the siege of Paris in 1870, and which is eaten in certain regions. The flesh of well-nourished rats can be, it seems, of good quality, but sometimes with a musky taste. Rats nourished in the wine stores of the Gironde were at one time highly esteemed by the coopers, who grilled them, after having cleaned out and skinned them, on a fire of broken barrels, and seasoned them with a little oil and plenty...

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Bitter Greens

Today we continued our winter planting in our illegal parkway garden adding arugula, a green that America has suddenly discovered after last month’s factory farming spinach nightmare. We also added a tough and bitter leaf chicory from our friends at Grow Italian. Hopefully, by succession planting we should have a winter and spring full of green, if somewhat bitter vegetables. How do we prepare these bitter greens around the compound? Very...

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Welcome to the new Root Simple!

...casts but have decided to focus on video production for now. Keep an eye on the “Upcoming Events” in the right-side menu bar. More info will be found under the Events tab at the top. A hint for searching: The search box at the top of our layout works pretty well, but if your search is a tricky one, Google often works best. Just enter “root simple” in quotes and then the subject, e.g.: “root simple” olive oil mo...

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Garden Bench Ideas

...s monastery ended with many of the stones getting distributed around the park as benches and walls. Most went to the construction of a new abbey near Sacramento. Really nice stonework here–a bench midway up a staircase on the Lands End trail overlooking the entrance to the bay. It’s the most beautiful place on the planet with a nice bench to enjoy the view.  A bench at the Preston Winery, home of that olive oil I blogged about yest...

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