Root Simple Video Podcast Episode 3: A Tour of Our Straw Bale Garden

...ted planting the bales. In the video you’ll see the veggies we planted in early June. The soaker hose you see comes from Home Depot. I’m pretty sure it is this stuff. Every other week I add some fish emulsion to a watering can and hand water the plants to make sure they have enough nutrients. Leave your questions in the comments. And you can download a copy of this video here. And note that the Root Simple Video Podcast is now availab...

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Rain Barrels

...quirements and weight of thousands of gallons of stored water. Thankfully, there are simpler strategies for harvesting rainwater. Rainwater used for irrigating plants does not need filtering or purification, and since outdoor watering accounts for the number one household water use, you’ll be using that water where it is most needed. Now, once again at the risk of sounding like a broken record, our strict rule around the SurviveLA homestead...

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Make a Garden Work Table from a Pallet

Pallets are a ubiquitous building material, your free lumber yard in tough times. Homegrown Evolution patched together the garden work table above for use with seedlings and storing pots and watering cans. Hopefully the picture is all you need to put one together yourself. Some tips for working with pallets: 1. We prefer projects that don’t involve disassembling the pallet. The nails in pallets aren’t meant to be removed. Trying to t...

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Arduino Homesteading Projects

An Arduino-based chicken coop controller on Instructables. At the risk of putting high tech in our low tech, I just took an introductory Arduino class at Crash Space along with the folks at Zapf Architectural Renderings. An Arduino is a simple, low cost microcontroller thingy. It’s got a bunch of digital outputs, analog and digital inputs and a programmable microchip. You download a program onto the chip (either one you’ve written yo...

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Saturday Linkages: Keeping It Cool

Watering the roof. One of the low-tech home cooling tips on the Build It Solar Blog. Tiny Home in Italy made out of pallets http:// bit.ly/NGWlPS Build-It-Solar Blog: Cooling Without Power http://www. builditsolarblog.com/2012/07/coolin  … Build-It-Solar Blog: DIY Solar Water Heating for 7 Unit Apartment http://www. builditsolarblog.com/2012/07/diy-so  … Measure for Measure – Beth Schaleben’s Yardstick Table http:// bit.ly...

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Cargo Bike Roundup

...!” We imagine this sturdy old model, pictured above, delivering barrels of sauerkraut, blood sausage and hefeweisen to the local Bier Garten. The bike equivalent of the sturdy old Frau behind the bar at our local German watering hole, the Red Lion. This is Utility with a capital U. Sadly, Mr. Homegrown Evolution has forgotten every word of his college German, so all we can make out is that this bike represents the Grüne Liga, some sort of e...

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Vegetable Gardening for the Lazy

One of the problems with growing vegetables is all the labor involved–starting seeds, composting, watering and watching out for bugs. It’s worth it, of course, for the tasty rewards, but many busy folks are simply too exhausted after work or corralling the bambinos to pick up a shovel and garden. For those who’d rather sit on the porch with a martini than laboring in the field, and we often include ourselves in that category, p...

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Cat Litter Compost, Installment #3

...he New Paradigm I heard about a new kind of litter tray made specifically to work with pine pellets. I hate to be advertising–I get nothing out of this–but there’s only one and it’s called the All Pine Self-Cleaning Litter Box. (And that name is pretty dubious, btw, because I spend plenty of time cleaning the boxes still.)  Anyway, it’s basically a nesting system, two trays nested together. The inside tray has a perf...

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Gourmet Foraging and Advanced Acorn Processing

...es, Urban Outdoor Skills and Transitional Gastronomy, and if you live in the Los Angeles area, you’ll definitely want to experience their forages and food workshops. Their Meetup groups are The Los Angeles Wild Food and Self-Reliance Group and Foraging Foodies LA. It’s rare to find folks who combine deep food know-how with a love of wild foods. Too often wild foods are considered mere survival foods. Pascal and Mia are using them to d...

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How Much Can You Carry on a Bicycle?

...e the world’s smuggest blogger, but you pick your battles), 12 cans of sparkling water, a jumbo box of kitchen trash bags and a few other items. Here’s another grocery store trip. And the haul being inspected for self righteousness by the cats: The Xtracycle easily accommodates four heavy grocery bags. If you bring some bungee cords, you can carry even more (cat litter!). I can load up a full grocery cart and transport home just as...

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