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 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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Rainwater Harvesting with Joe Linton

With the driest spring on record here in Los Angeles, water and where to get it ought to be on all of our minds in this drought prone metropolis. Thankfully, artist, author, Los Angeles River expert and co-founder of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition Joe Linton will be teaching a workshop on rainwater harvesting at the Los Angeles Eco-Village on Saturday, June 14, 2008 from 9 am to 3 pm at L.A. Eco-Village (Directions) Here’s a desc...

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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

This 2011 post has been edited on 7/8/14, also to include new tips and new pictures. Most important of these are directions on keeping the lotion fresh. Confession: I can’t live without my homemade moisturizer. This recipe appears in Making It as Olive Oil Whip. It’s my everyday body lotion/face cream and I figured it was about time to share it with you. It only has three ingredients. It’s safe and wholesome and very effecti...

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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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