Decomposed Granite as Mulch: A very bad idea

...whoever is left holding the bag a couple of years down the road will be pulling decaying bits of plastic out of their garden for evermore. What’s a better approach? Wood chips. Pile it on thick. Skip the plastic liner. Eventually your new plantings will cover any bare areas if you space them correctly. It looks good,  and the mulch breaks down and turns into soil. You will still need to weed but that’s called gardening. Save the DG f...

Continue reading…

Village Homes: A Model for Sustainable Suburbs

...iscovered a truly inspiring housing development in Davis, California. This is not new news–it was built in the 1980′s, but it’s new to me and worth sharing. Village Homes is the brainchild of architect/developer Michael Corbett. It encompasses 70 acres and 200-some homes. It has all the space and privacy that brings people to the suburbs, but it’s designed with considerable intelligence. For instance, the homes are all des...

Continue reading…

Self Watering Barrel Gardens, Aussie style

Gardening Australia did a video, well worth watching, of David de Vries’ self watering containers that he builds for the Red Cross in Alice Springs. De Vries has devised a simple and efficient way to turn drums into gardens. They look good too. We’ve featured self watering containers on our blog and in our books. They are a great way to deal with hot climates and bad soil. And, in many places, drums are as plentif...

Continue reading…

How to Stake Tomatoes

...slabs, reinforcing wire comes in 3 1/2′ by 7′ sections. We use a circular saw with a metal blade on it to cut off the bottom rung, so as to leave spiky wires with which to stick the reinforcing wire tubes into the ground, but this is not absolutely necessary. Once in place that’s it. According to So Cal gardening guru Pat Welsh, tomatoes surrounded by a reinforcing wire staking system need not be pruned nor will they need any a...

Continue reading…

Saturday Linkages: Let’s Make Chickens Legal in Pasadena!

Let’s really make backyard hens legal in Pasadena CA!  Gardening Preventing the heartbreak of splayage: http://ow.ly/1RN6pB Uli Westphal’s Ripening Tomatoes http://greenroofgrowers.blogspot.com/2013/01/uli-westphals-ripening-tomatoes.html#.UQxX3qqq5vY.twitter … The Wild, the Domesticated, and the Coyote-Tainted http://j.mp/14EAlz6  Design Tiny Apartment in Soho/Insanely Well Designed http://lloydkahn-ongoing.blo...

Continue reading…

Saturday Linkages: Of Granola and Turlets

Granola The New Granola http://nyti.ms/132CUM5 Coconut Quinoa Granola http://www.foodinjars.com/2013/02/coconut-quinoa-granola/ … Foraging Winter Purslane: http://dirttime.com/?p=2876 Potty Talk Hey, Science: Can You Eat Your Own Poop? – http://gawker.com/5985723/can-you-eat-your-own-poop … How to Install a Toilet | The Art of Manliness http://artofmanliness.com/2013/02/06/how-to-install-a-toilet/ … DIY Wax Seals: A...

Continue reading…

Extreme Low-Tech Communication

This has to be the ultimate achievement in low-powered long-distance communication. Ham radio operator Michael Rainey, AA1TJ, transmitted a message over a distance of over 1,000 miles by yelling Morse code with his own voice into this primitive home-made transmitter, nicknamed “El Silbo.” No power was used other than that generated by his own voice vibrating the microphone (which was a re-purposed speaker). If you...

Continue reading…

How to Answer the Question, “What Should I Do With My Life?”

...space on my book shelf). Instead I could have jumped ahead to what I’m doing now. Unsurprisingly, most of the books on my bookshelf, now and in the past, are how-to tomes relating to the subjects on this blog: gardening, poultry health, beekeeping, food preservation, baking, cooking and self-reliance. There’s another broad category : books relating to symbolism, Carl Jung, Rudolf Steiner and media theory. The rest are oddball topics:...

Continue reading…

Front Yard Vegetable Gardeners Fights Back

Hermine Ricketts, vegetable gardening outlaw. Photo: Greg Allen, NPR. I’ve got a tip for to city bureaucrats. Bust someone for growing vegetables in their front yard and you’ll be held up for ridicule around the world. This time it’s the city of Miami Shores’ turn to make fools of themselves for forcing Hermine Ricketts and her husband Tom Carroll to tear up the front yard vegetable garden they’ve...

Continue reading…

Saturday Linkages: Chicken Hot Dogs and Toilet Museums

...ing-press-made-from-ikea.html … How to Build a Gypsy Caravan from Recycled Materials… http://bit.ly/S8pABN Gardening Home Depot’s Leaf Bags and their Eco-Terrible “Tips” | Garden Rant http://gardenrant.com/2012/12/home-depots-leaf-bags-and-their-eco-terrible-tips.html … Design High-Hanging Tea House Offers Suspended Getaway | Designs & Ideas on Dornob http://dornob.com/high-hanging-tea-house-offers-suspended-getaway/ … ??? South Korea&#...

Continue reading…