Broom Corn–or is it Broomcorn?

...ed a block of the stuff. Maybe I should have done a little research into broom making before planting, but I let it slide ’til harvest time. It’s not a disaster–I’m still going to try to make a broom. But now I know more and would do things a little differently if I was serious about the broom biz. I’m going to share with you what I know about growing and harvesting broom corn to make brooms. Making the broom will ha...

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Rainwater Harvesting with Joe Linton

...sues, including local multi-benefit watershed management efforts. A tour of Los Angeles Eco-Village stormwater harvesting landscape features, including the Bimini Slough Nature Park. A hands-on workshop to build terraced swales to detain and infiltrate storm water This workshop focuses on building earthworks that gather and infiltrate rainwater in the landscape. It does not cover rainwater harvesting with cisterns, which we anticipate will b...

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Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands

...y are to be used and to which one tries by trial and error to adapt them, not hesitating to change them whenever it appears necessary, or to try several of them at once, even if their form and their origin are heterogeneous.” -Jacques Derrida Homegrown Revolution loves cheap low-tech solutions (not to mention pretentious quotes), which is why we especially like “bricoleur” and Tucson rainwater harvesting guru Brad Lancaster and...

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Harvesting and Drying Calendula

...rown here: Okay, so in a previous post I talked about growing Calendula. This post I’m going to talk about harvesting and drying it. The next post I’ll do on the topic will be about making a skin-healing salve from the dried petals, olive oil and beeswax. When to harvest:  Start harvesting your Calendula as soon as the first flush of flowers is in full bloom. Don’t try to “save” the flowers. The more you harvest, th...

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The Whip: A Homemade Moisturizer How-To from Making It

...s instead of one big one, and we’ll talk about that later on. Note: This recipe is verbose, but the actual making of the lotion takes all of 10 minutes. It’s really very simple once you have the details down: melt wax into oil, blend oil with water, pour into jars. The Procedure I am going to describe my method for making this. It’s not the only way–you can tinker around to make it work for the equipment you have. I like...

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Making It

Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World, by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen (Rodale Books, 2011) ISBN-13: 978-1605294629 Buy it at:  Amazon • Abe Books • Barnes & Nobel • Powell’s Making It provides you with all of the tools you need to become a producer instead of a consumer and transform your home from the ground up. Projects range from the simple to the ambitious, and include activities done in the hom...

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Rain Barrels

...pumps, filters, UV purifiers, and very large and expensive tanks. We don’t want to discourage anyone from making an attempt at it, but for most urban homesteaders it won’t be economical or practical given the space requirements and weight of thousands of gallons of stored water. Thankfully, there are simpler strategies for harvesting rainwater. Rainwater used for irrigating plants does not need filtering or purification, and since ou...

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Rainwater Harvesting and Beyond

...n landscape into a Garden of Eden. Lancaster empasizes earthworks which capture and channel water where you want it to go, instead of uselessly sending it down the gutter. For those of you in Southern California, Lancaster will be delivering a free talk at the Santa Monica Public Library Monday September 15th at 6:30 p.m. More info via Westside Permaculture Gatherings. If you’re not in SoCal, you can get more information about LancasterR...

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Rainfall Harvesting Math

Our next step in designing a rainwater harvesting system is to figure out how much water your rooftop will provide. To do this measure the outside perimeter of your roof–you need not take into account the pitch or slant of the roof, since this does not affect the amount of water collected. Next, use the following formula: collection area (square feet) x 0.6 x collection efficiency factor x rainfall (inches) = gallons per year The collecti...

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Making Salves, Lip Balms & etc.: Close of the Calendula Series

My calendula after-bath salve. The camera refuses to capture the deep butter yellow color On Saturday, as a part of this long series on Calendula (here, here and here), I posted about infusing oil with herbs. If you’ve got some herb infused oil, you can make that into a medicinal salve or balm. Salve is nothing but oil thickened by the addition of wax. I prefer beeswax salves, though there are vegan alternatives, like candelil...

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