About Us

...mestead (Expanded and Revised Edition): Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City (2008) and Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World (2011).  They live in the heart of Los Angeles, in a little bungalow set on a 1/12 acre lot where almost all of their land is devoted to growing edible or otherwise useful plants and trees. Their obsessions include bees, bikes, beer, chickens, healthy cities, healing herbs, simple li...

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Fruit Tree Update: Flavor Delight Aprium

...in a less than idea location (too much shade). Despite the lack of sun the tree bore some fruit in late May and it sure was tasty–the perfect balance between sweet and tart. The Flavor Delight Aprium is a cross between a plum and an apricot that is hardy to zones 6 to 10 and requires less than 300 hours below 45°F, making it ideal for warm climates. It’s one of many hybrid fruit trees developed painstakingly over many years by Zaiger...

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Saturday Linkages: Bus Offices and Secret Doors

Vintage Hungarian bus re-purposed as a home office. Via Dornob. (Kelly says: I can totally see Erik working in here, with a little hat to match.) DIY Hungary For History: Vintage Bus Becomes Rad Home Office | Designs & Ideas on Dornob http://dornob.com/hungary-for-history-vintage-bus-becomes-rad-home-office/ … Secret exterior door with remote control lock – Boing Boing http://boingboing.net/2013/01/24/secret-exterio...

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Make a Sourdough Starter

...ore feeding yourself. 6. If you feel guilty about pouring off that cup of flour every day, and you aren’t making a loaf of bread, try making some sourdough pancakes. 7. If you aren’t going to bake for a few days put the starter in the fridge. Feed it once a week. To revive it, take it out of the fridge and give it a day or two of feedings before you use it. So how does this work? What you have done is create a hospitable environment...

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Mandrake!

...er’s Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers that has inspired ambitious plans of a fall and winter season of beer making (things are too little too hot around right now for fermentation). What separates Buhner’s book from both the geeked-out world of middle-aged home brew aficionados on the one side and the Budweiser frogs on the down-market other is his emphasis on the ancient and sacred elements of beer making which used to be, he claims,...

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The Rag and Bone Man

...on top, but in our dry climate here in LA the newspaper can actually prevent water from getting to the soil when it rains. We’re guessing that cotton might work better. 3. Household cleaning–this is obvious, but we do go through quite a few rags with our too few household cleanings, not to mention keeping the bicycle chains clean. 4. Paper making–one traditional method of paper making begins with fermenting cotton rags in water...

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Interview With Apartment Gardener Helen Kim

...a friend recently gave me a little lecture on the importance of fertilizer and I thought I’d finally give it a whirl… and I have to say that, yes, the plants are a bit happier than they were this time last year. I’ve been using Dr. Earth fertilizer and making fertilizer tea. HE: Did you choose your apartment with the idea that you’d be gardening in it? If so, what should a prospective renter look for? HK: I had three m...

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Build Your Own Furniture

...raw bale and rammed earth houses. All of these innovative architectural ideas may have great potential, but when it comes time to buy supplies at the lumber yard, the overly creative builder will soon realize the difficulty of utopian designs in a world of 4 by 8 sheets of plywood and drywall. That geodesic shape is hip, but what do you do with the rest of the plywood sheet once you cut it out? The same limitation applies to making furniture. Tha...

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Stirred, Not Shaken

...e horns–that they represented a higher world unified with the earth by being buried and containing manure. It’s a symbol that recalls the ouroboros, the snake chasing it’s own tail, representing the cycles of nature, combined with the “as above, so below” gesture the magician in the tarot deck is making below. All this makes more sense if you compost! Now I’m a big fan of the scientific method (yea soil tests!)...

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Doomsday Preppers: Exploitative, Uninteresting, Unreal “Reality”

...of its cynical producer, that you are crazy if you don’t just “act normal”, consume and shop. It holds its subjects up for ridicule because they are self-actuated people and, hence, “different”. The people profiled (victimized would be a better word) on Doomsday Preppers are actually getting up off the couch and doing something: growing food, building communities and making sensible preparations. My heart goes out t...

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