Root Simple and LA Bread Bakers at Artisinal LA

This Saturday Kelly and I will be joining a panel discussion on urban homesteading along with our good friends Craig Ruggless of Winnetka Farms and goat keepers and cheese makers Gloria Putnam and Stephen Rucidel. The panel will take place at Artisinal LA on Saturday April 16th at 2 pm in Santa Monica. I will also be taking part in a bread baking demo along with the LA Bread Bakers the same day at 1 pm. More information at artisinalla.com....

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Root Simple Edible Gardening Classes at the Huntington Ranch

There are still some spots available for our edible gardening class at the Huntington that starts this Saturday. In the course of the three consecutive Saturday sessions, we’ll build a compost pile, dissect soil test reports, make a seed starting mix and discuss incorporating fruit trees and native plants into your edible landscape among many other topics. The class will be held at the Huntington’s spectacular Ranch. Here’s th...

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Grist & Toll: An Urban Flour Mill

...ay. Dig Grist & Toll’s Austrian grain mill and sifter: Rumor has it that Santa is bringing me a mini version of this mill. Grist & Toll is open for special hours this holiday season: Friday December 13th 12-6pm Saturday December 14th 12-5pm Friday December 20th 12-6pm Saturday December 21st 12-6pm Grist & Toll is located at 990 S. Arroyo Parkway #1 in Pasadena, California. Stop on by and get the bakers in your life some hard to...

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Yet more reasons not to wear lycra

Towards a more bikable/walkable US on this 4th of July, a nice quote about America’s silly relationship with cycling from bikesnobnyc: “I may be naive, but I continue to believe that one day humanity will reach a point at which we will no longer need to feel special while we do something normal. Putting on pants will cease to be the subject of a feature article. The notion of a “bike culture” will dissolve like body...

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Gift Suggestions, from the Other Half

...;re mentioned in both books. It doesn’t make them any less inspirational for me. Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World , by BoingBoing co-founder and Make Magazine editor in chief Mark Frauenfelder A quote from Erik’s review:  Made by Hand is not a how-to book it is, paradoxically, the most practical DIY book I’ve read in a long time. Why? Because it’s all about facing that fear of failure, the single...

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Recipe for Raising Chickens

...nd as such, her advice is wonderfully relaxed and commonsensical–and also joyous. Her love of her hens, and the pleasure she takes in watching them and learning their ways, is clear in every word. She won me over with a quote of the cover: “The main thing is to keep them happy.” That is so true. In fact, that might be all you really need to know. Above all, its her voice that makes this book so charming. Here’s a sample: T...

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Mushroom Porn

Funny how going to a mushroom fair can enhance your perceptiveness (and not in the way some of you are thinking!). Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have noticed these beauties in my own backyard, as they were deep under a rosemary bush. I’m no mushroom expert, so don’t quote me on this, but I think they are common blewits, Clitocybe nuda. The spore print was a very light yellow/buff. If they are Clitocybe nuda, they are edible when cook...

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The Brooklyn Bee

...n beekeeping, a future in which each neighborhood has a beekeeper to pollinate the many fruit trees that should grow on our city’s streets, but sadly bee news these days is on the depressing side. If the Albert Einstein quote is correct we’re in trouble since bees have been disappearing in the past year due to a phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder, in which the hive flies off and simply does not return. The cause of this myst...

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Humanure Happens

Simparch’s dry toilet located in Wendover Utah From the 1806 edition of the Old Farmer’s Almanac, “Four loads of earth mixed with one load of privy soil, will be equal to five loads of barnyard dung. Let it lie for several months and occasionally turn it over with a shovel, and it will be of use as manure.” The editors of the Old Farmer’s Almanac 2010, where I found that quote, deemed it necessary to tack on a dis...

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Borage: It’s what’s for dinner

...ar-like edible flowers, which can be preserved in sugar for cakes, or tossed into salads. I’ve heard of freezing them in ice cubes for fancy drinks, which is a lovely idea. Obligatory health warning:  I’m going to quote this directly from the very useful Plants for a Future database, from their entry on borage: The plant, but not the oil obtained from the seeds, contains small amounts of pyrrolizidine alkaloids that can cause liver...

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