Los Angeles Bread Bakers Blog

...Farm in Agoura Hills, a suburb of Los Angeles on the western end of the county. It’s the second year that we’ve helped farmer Nathan Peitso with planting wheat. We got no crop last year due to either birds or not harvesting the wheat soon enough. We’re hoping for better luck this year. Thanks largely to Mark Stambler, California has a cottage food law and Paul is also posting videos of a presentation that took place this weeken...

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Campfire Cooking: Fish in Clay (& Vegetarian Options!)

...tep is to find clay either in the wild or, in the case of this workshop, from the local art supply store. If you’re buying the clay, it doesn’t matter what kind–so go for the least expensive type. If you are harvesting your own clay, just make sure the ground in that spot you’re digging in isn’t polluted, e.g. the site of an old gas station. If you do dig your own clay, and find that it is not pure enough to hold tog...

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The Austrian Scythe is the New Weed Whacker

...o smooth out nicks). Scythes come in European and American styles. The European configuration is ergonomic and the American style is clunky and uncomfortable to use. There’s also several different blades for weeding and harvesting and, like a bicycle, it’s crucial that your scythe fit your height. Scythe use is intellectual for me since years worth of mulching, a dry climate and a very small yard means that I don’t have any stan...

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Nettle Harvest

...to harvest. I put on latex gloves, got my kitchen shears and a brown paper bag. I discovered that nettle can sting you right through a latex glove. And my wrists were stung quite severely. But oh well. I was so excited about harvesting I just plunged my arm into the deep green patch and started cutting. I cut the plants off near ground level and carefully placed them in my paper bag. Then I closed the paper bag and hung it inside near a sunn...

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2013 in Review Part I

...raw bale garden. It was the perfect solution to our lead soil problem–grow in bales temporarily and generate a lot of compost with which to use in permanent raised beds that I’ll build this winter. I’m still harvesting squash from those bales! May We attend the Age of Limits conference along with our friend John Zapf. Kelly and I blogged about our initial reaction to this doomy event but we never told the whole story–deci...

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Pee on your Compost

...ly safe to use on fruit trees and bushes. Applying it to root crops is more controversial, and frankly seems like a practice best left to hippies, so if you try this at least cease application at a respectable interval before harvesting. There is even a book called Liquid Gold on the subject of pee as fertilizer and the ever more resourceful Europeans have developed a number of urine diverting flush toilets similar to the one we profiled earlier...

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Borlotto Bean Lingua di Fuoco

...lly use them in soups. We’re considering growing an edible wall of beans along the south side of our house this spring in order to see if we can grow enough to collect dried beans and make some soup. For cultivation and harvesting details for dry beans click on over to the Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute. It may seem like we’re pimping for Seeds from Italy, but these beans are yet another success we’ve had with the Fran...

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Hops in Containers

...ll also to be able to continuously harvest rather than having to cut down the entire plant. Alternately I’ve seen hops trellises rigged with pulleys so that you can lower the “bines”, as they are called, for harvesting. Hops farmers in England demonstrating why you need to think about trellising. With a western exposure the hops get morning sun and shade in the afternoon, which seems to be perfect in our sunny, dry and hot Sou...

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How Can We Fix Our Public Landscaping?

.... Daily Acts has landscaped public spaces such as libraries and schools as well as private homes. These gardens provide an example that others can follow. The Ecology Center has a spectacular garden that shows do simple water harvesting to create a beautiful landscape with drought tolerant plants that attracts beneficial wildlife. We need similar organizations in Los Angeles. We have an immense pool of talent here that could fix that terrible pur...

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