On the Difficulty of Finding Pastured Animal Products

...ply not big enough and my hens are in a coop/run arrangement all day. But I was hoping for a higher standard from this non-profit rating organization–specifically eggs and meat from a farm that looks like the one in the picture above. I’m hugely disappointed. And I wish I could be more specific but I don’t want to end up in a lawsuit. Let’s just say that at this point I’m not aware of any animal welfare rating servic...

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Pomegranate Factoids

...freeze much you should get yourself a pomegranate tree. They’ll grow in more humid climates but may not produce much fruit. Ours took five years, from planting as a bare root tree, to get the  modest crop you see in the picture. It’s one of my favorite trees–delicious fruit, a red flowers in the spring and a gorgeous display of yellow leaves in the fall–what more could you ask for? If you’ve been successful growing p...

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Altadena Heritage of Abundance

Our backyard last week (some ugly stuff framed out of the picture!) We’ll be doing a talk tomorrow morning as part of a sustainability series in Altadena, CA. We’re going to talk about self irrigating planters, chickens, bees and vegetable gardening. Here’s the 411: Saturday, May 30 from 9 to 11 a.m at the Altadena Community Center First in a series of events, workshops, and home tours on sustainable living. Reserve your plac...

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Lord of the Flies Inspired Bike Rack

Homegrown Neighbor here. When I saw this unique piece of public art/functional bike rack I just had to stop and take a picture to share.  I was on my way home from the Central Library, where I had checked out some books on Belgian beer for a project I’m working on. I walked up Broadway to catch the bus home, stopping at Grand Central Market on the way. But outside the market I saw this truly strange sculpture with many bikes locked to it....

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Book Review: The Blood of the Earth: An Essay on Magic and Peak Oil

...now. I’m sharing these because I think they show how down-to-earth and practical his thinking is, and how it will appeal to Root Simple readers. Greer explores these ideas in more depth, but I think you’ll get the picture: Learn One Thing: Learn a practical skill, so that you have something trade in a barter economy. Give Up One Thing: Choose one material possession that you believe you depend on, and that you also know is quite depen...

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Chairs, are they killing us?

...g, however, took place in a room of the house that had only an Afghan rug and some pillows–no chairs or tables–where we sat for several hours listening to a concert of classical Afghan music. It was a lot like the picture above. Everyone, young and old, sat on the floor, cross-legged for the entirety of the concert. Imagine a group of Americans sitting down to a Thanksgiving dinner like this. And we wonder why Americans injure themsel...

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Beans 101 (Return of Bean Friday!)

...nd hoping for the best”):  You can cook beans in plain water, but they can be a little dull. You could cook beans in pre-made stock, but what I like to do is toss the makings of stock into the pot with the beans. In the picture below you see the gleanings from my fridge and garden, ready to go into the pot. An oldish carrot, a couple of stalks of celery, half of an onion leftover from something, a garlic clove (I like more, but ran out), so...

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Garden Design Trends: Interplanting and Plant Communities

...this same interplanting strategy can be used with edible and medicinal plants. Another related design strategy are gardens inspired by wild plant communities. The example Rainer cites is the Daily Telegraph garden seen in the picture above. You can watch a video about that garden here. Now how do I get Sarah Price to redo our backyard? Have you seen a new garden you really like in the past year? If so, tell us about it in the comments . . ....

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Sunday Spam: Automatic Chicken Cage

We interrupt the usual picture Sunday feature to bring you the best and most misdirected spam email that has ever graced the Root Simple in-box: Dear Sir or Madam, Liaocheng Dongying Hengtong Metal Manufacturing Co.,Ltd here. Glad to hear that you are on the market for Automatic chicken cage. We are a professional producer of the complete sets of equipment for raising birds. At present, it is an enterprise which has the import-export license an...

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Make a Garden Work Table from a Pallet

Pallets are a ubiquitous building material, your free lumber yard in tough times. Homegrown Evolution patched together the garden work table above for use with seedlings and storing pots and watering cans. Hopefully the picture is all you need to put one together yourself. Some tips for working with pallets: 1. We prefer projects that don’t involve disassembling the pallet. The nails in pallets aren’t meant to be removed. Trying to t...

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