Our New Straw Bale Garden–Part I

...yet to be built). We’ll keep growing in bales until we have enough compost for the beds. The problems presented by our property–lead and zinc contamination and a backyard that is up 30 steps–make straw bale gardening a promising solution. Bales and fertilizer are easier to carry up the stairs than bulk soil. It will be cheaper than buying soil. No lead and zinc. I was also inspired by this attractive straw bale garden in Ariz...

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Straw Bale Garden Part III: Adding Fertilizer

After watering our straw bales for three days our next step is to apply a high nitrogen fertilizer. We’re following West Virginia University Extension Service’s Straw Bale Gardening advice. They suggest a 1/2 cup of urea per bale or “bone meal, fish meal, or compost for a more organic approach.” (I think they mean blood meal as bone meal does not have much nitrogen in it.) Choosing the organic approach, we’re water...

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Saturday Linkages: Bow Drills and Cramped Apartments

Bow drill from Low Tech Magazine Gardening The End of Molasses Malarkey: http://ow.ly/1TC4aU DIY Making Wooden Spoons http://lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/2013/03/making-wooden-spoons.html#.UUPl2rFofzQ.twitter … Low-Tech Wonders Hand powered drilling tools and machines: http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2010/12/hand-powered-drilling-tools-and-machines.html … Endless Rope Drives: http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2013/03/the-mechanical-transmission-...

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Saturday Linkages: Hiding Spots, Bedbugs and Rodents of Unusual Size

...objects/ … 130 Square Foot Micro Apartment in Paris | Inthralld http://inthralld.com/2013/04/130-square-foot-micro-apartment-in-paris/ … Bedbugs! How a Leafy Folk Remedy Stopped Bedbugs in Their Tracks http://nyti.ms/12H9HDI Gardening All About Gabions : Cheap Retaining and Other Garden Features http://shar.es/JHCQS  New killer compost problem–Imprelis: http://ow.ly/1UWcBj How to protect plants from frost: http://ow.ly/1UMWLG Farmers tack...

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On Living in Los Angeles Without a Car: A Debate

...that makes me sad. Also, I’m worried about the animals. We have a cat in heart failure. How will we get her to her specialty vets, both of which are in other cities?  What about emergencies? What about all the farm and gardening supplies we have to haul around? It seems to me that deciding to live without a car in a city like this is a little like deciding to take religious orders. It involves a reworking of all your habits and considerabl...

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Saturday Linkages: $1 Homes, Compost Heated Showers and Potty Talk

3573 Lincoln St.in Gary, Indiana. Yours for $1. Home Sweet Home Gary Indiana unveils Dollar Home Program: http://bit.ly/19HD517  Gardening Pipe planters http://www.recyclart.org/2013/06/pipe-planters/ … Mariposa Nabi Community Garden features this alter via @GlenDake http://pinterest.com/pin/306667055846811135/ … DIY IKEA Hackers: New life for Old Poang! http://www.ikeahackers.net/2013/06 13 Ways To Turn Your Outdated ’90s Tech Into Truly Usa...

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Saturday Linkages: Sidewalk Koi, Papercrete, Jaywalking and How to Grow Fresh Air

...-yourself Pole-barn Building http://www.naturalbuildingblog.com/do-it-yourself-pole-barn-building/ … Fitness Healthy Design: 3 Core Engaging Chairs http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/three-unusual-ergonomic-task-chairs-191874 … Gardening How to Grow Fresh Air http://www.naturalbuildingblog.com/how-to-grow-fresh-air/ … Secret Garden of Survival – How to Grow a Camouflaged Food Forest http://www.naturalbuildingblog.com/secret-garden-of-survival-how-...

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How To Stop Powdery Mildew

...w did it work? Leave a comment and join the conversation! And I put the question out on the Root Simple twitter feed and got a few divergent opinions: Christopher Kennedy ‏@ckpfunk Bonide’s Copper Fungicide for organic gardening. I spray every 14 days this time of year instead of every other w/ baking soda. Alec ‏@Alec I’ve tried horsetail tea, sea-crop, baking soda, compost tea, and neem oil on mildew, but none compare to milk. Ali...

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LA’s Parkway Garden Dilemma: Not Fixed Yet

A parkway vegetable garden on Sunset Blvd.. The City of Los Angeles’ crackdown on parkway vegetable gardens made international news thanks to an article by LA Times columnist Steve Lopez. Lopez was reporting on two parkway gardens that were issued citations by the LA Bureau of Street Services. This crackdown came two years after Ron Finley was busted for being a vegetable gardening outlaw. Over the weekend I started seeing articles, Tweets...

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