A Fast Bean Friday: Khichdi

...ple of tablespoons of oil and toss in: 1 small chopped onion, or 1/2 a big onionLet that cook until translucent. Then all at once, I add the spices, letting them heat just until they’re fragrant: 1 heaping teaspoon of whole cumin1/2 teaspoon of turmericA big pinch of hot pepper flakesMaybe a teaspoon of coriander seeds, since I’m into those lately(One Hot Stove recommends garam masala, which I don’t have (yet), but you might.) W...

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What I’m Growing this Winter

...r in our Mediterranean climate is when we grow cool season vegetables. It’s my favorite time of year here. The hills turn green, the smog blows away and we have that phenomenon called “rain” (hopefully). As usual, I’m planting seeds from an Italian seed company, Franchi. Here’s what I’m growing: Arugula “Coltivata Sel. Ortolani” One can never have enough arugula. It’s my favorite vegetable....

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Make that 11 Vegetable Gardening Mistakes

In my post, Top Ten Vegetable Gardening Mistakes, several readers and Mrs. Homegrown pointed out that I left out “inconsistent watering.” I plead guilty. I would also suggest an “absentminded” watering category, such as setting up a irrigation system on a timer and not adjusting it throughout the season. And those of us in dry climates could also be better about selecting and saving seeds for drought t...

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Maintaining a Worm Bin

...The pale things are mostly eggshells, along with a few wood shavings that drifted over from the working side. There’s a soldier fly carapace on the far left, dead center. I ignore those. Eggshells never really break down in a worm bin, but I don’t mind them ending up in the garden along with the castings. If I wanted pretty worm castings–say if I were selling them–I wouldn’t put eggshells or fruit pits or pumpkin...

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An Easy and Healthy 100% Whole Rye Bread Recipe

...r 200 grams/3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cold water Let sit overnight at room temperature. Ingredients Day Two In the morning when you wake up mix in the dough from the previous night with: 200 grams/1 1/3 cups dark rye/pumpernickel flour 1 teaspoon salt 150 grams/2/3 cup hot water 1 teaspoon caraway seeds (optional) Directions 1. In a large bowl mix the 200 grams cold water with the sourdough starter. Add 150 grams of flour. Allow this mixture...

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Saturday Linkages: Saris, Punk Rockers, Poppies and Young Agrarians

Sari as Insulation: http://notechmagazine.com/2014/04/clothing-insulation-with-different-drapes-of-typical-sari-ensembles.html … Humanoid wasps’ nest built over an abandoned sculpture: http://boingboing.net/2014/04/24/humanoid-wasps-nest-built-ov.html … Punk rock homesteading resources: http://punkrockhomesteading.com/e-books/  Two new California poppy species: http://www.pensoft.net/journals/phytokeys/article/6751/two-new-desert-eschschol...

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Direct Seeding vs. Transplants

...I have to say I’m not getting good results. A week of temperatures over 100° F didn’t help. Nor did the long delay getting the vegetable garden planted while I attempted to evict skunks from the backyard. I know I sound like the president of an excuse factory. Let’s just say it’s good that we’re not trying to subsist on our home grown produce. My conclusion? I’m going to have to go back to sowing seeds in flat...

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Adopt an Indigo Plant in Los Angeles

...crowd sourcing an indigo project here in Los Angeles. You can help out by adopting indigo seedlings and growing them out–then harvesting the leaves and joining the other growers for a couple of indigo dyeing fiestas. We realize this is a highly local post, but it’s a great idea, and we hope it might inspire some of you to do group growing/harvesting projects in your hometowns. Here’s the 411 from his website, grahamkeegan.com:...

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Making Tofu From Scratch at the Institute of Domestic Technology

...he soy milk using nigari crystals (available at Asian markets). After the soy milk separated the curds were ladled into the forms. In just a short time we had blocks of delicious tofu. One of the students brought some dehydrated crackers to class. He makes them with discarded fruit pulp that he gets at a local juice bar. He dehydrates the pulp with some soaked sunflower seeds. The result...

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The tale of the worm bin celery

...ll, coriander, fennel, Queen Anne’s lace, etc. If you can let any of this family bloom in your garden, do. The parsley flowers grew almost as tall as me, and they were surrounded by clouds of tiny insects every day –shy, tiny little pollinators that I can’t name. I love to let things go to flower and seed in the garden, because it is a way of giving back to the rest of nature. Flowers for the insects, seeds for birds. And by giv...

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