A Favorite Tool: Canning Funnel

...ng–and I don’t know how I lived so long without one. See, a canning funnel is just a wide mouthed funnel made to fit the mouths of canning jars. It allows you to quickly and efficiently ladle up hot food from the stove top into the jars. If you’re canning without one, heaven help you! Go get one!  Even if you don’t can, you still need one. If, like me, you’re buying more dried goods and bulk foods, or drying herbs...

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Volvo Camper by John Ross

...he ones below: He insulated the tank with polyisocyanurate foam-board and covered the whole thing with a $70 tent to block out light. You access the tank through a hole in the roof of the Volvo. A vented heater doubles as a stove. Ross told me how easily it went together–just two hours to secure the tank to the car–much faster than building something from scratch.And no mortgage! You can watch the Volvo camper in action here....

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Revised and Expanded

...“expanded” part, new projects include:• How to sterilize jars and bottles• How to make infused oil• Six ways to preserve a tomato• How to make soda bread• How to store grain with dry ice• How to make a tomato can stove• How to make a Viet Nam light• How to make a Euell Gibbon’s crock• How to make L’hamd markad, or preserved, salted lemons• How to make a bike light “The Urban Homestead… touches on vegetable gardening, poultry, DIY cle...

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Ordo Ab Chao

...diary with other people in the L.A., area via Google docs so that we can all compare notes. More on that once we get our next book done! As for keeping track of planting times, simply hanging the Stella Natura calendar by the stove has done wonders. I now keep better records of planting and transplanting dates. Cooking while looking at the calendar prompts me to plan ahead and think about the things I actually like to eat. Less turnips next year...

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Sundiner

...minutes. Quartered chicken, 25 to 30 minutes. Temperature variations are possible by turning the Sundiner toward or away from the sun. The advantage of the Sundiner is that it can be used as a safe substitute for a fuel-fired stove on beaches, parks, decks of boats, and other restricted areas. Carrying handles are standard. The price is $29.95. From Sundiner. Carmer Industries. Inc., 1319 West Pico Blvd.. Los Angeles 15. Calif.” That price...

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Trapping bees out of a kitchen vent

...he house. With the patio it’s simply frustrating. The bees gave up on the brood and now we need to find more and wait another six weeks for the process to end. With my kitchen vent bees I blocked off the grill above the stove with metal screen and aluminum foil. Next time I’ll use sheet metal. The bees have chewed their way underneath the aluminum foil. The screen keeps them out of the house, but the foil is amplifying their buzzing....

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Another way to deal with prickly pear stickers

One of those “farm uses” could be burning off prickly pear spines . . Image via BoingBoing I’m drowning in prickly pear fruit which means a lot of nasty thorns in the kitchen and an angry Mrs. Homegrown. Previously I burned them off over our stove, but inevitably a few stickers would find their way to the kitchen sponge. Now I’ve got a new technique for removing stickers thanks to Norman of Silver City New Mexic...

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Low Sugar Prickly Pear Jelly Recipe

...gar. Low Sugar Prickly Pear Jelly 4 cups prickly pear juice (requires around four pounds of fruit) 1/2 cup lemon juice 3 cups sugar 1 package low sugar pectin 1. Burn off the spines by holding the fruit over a burner on the stove for a few seconds. 2. Quarter the fruit and place in a pot. Cover with water (around 2 1/2 cups). Boil for ten minutes. Crush the fruit with a potato masher.  Update 12/5/2012: I now recommend using a food mill, though...

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Stella Natura: Planting by the Signs

...is not inherently wrong or negative. It is simply in extreme presence in our lives today. In other words, it’s already well represented in everything around us, including agriculture.” I put the calendar up by the stove. When I’m cooking (often during the past few months with vegetables from our winter garden) I look at the calendar. It’s a nice prompt that it’s time to plan for the next planting of vegetables. Wou...

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