Can our landscapes model a vibrant future? Not according to the LA DWP.

...invillea. What goes on here? What is in your head, DWP? And how much did you pay for this redesign? The artificial turf is particularly insidious because it seems to be a placeholder for better days when we can all go back to watering our lawns into emerald brilliance. We need to say goodbye to the lawn for good, write it off like a bad boyfriend. And the purple gravel… I just don’t know what to say. Note that the design consists of a...

Continue reading…

Favorite Plants- New Zealand Spinach

...ue spinach which just bolts in Southern California’s heat. New Zealand spinach can be grown in the summer when other greens may not grow so well. My front garden be is pretty much all New Zealand spinach now. The drip watering system broke and most of the plants withered and died or were mercilessly attacked by bugs. But this plant kept on going strong. I have been growing it for many years and find it a reliable plant. In The Complete...

Continue reading…

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

...’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: electronic circuits, 70s land art and fencing tactics. Together thes...

Continue reading…

Who Wants Seconds? Winner Announced

What a great response we’ve had on this one! Thank you all for entering, and thanks to Jennie for giving us this book to share with you all. We’ve also enjoyed seeing how you all self-identify. Eating has become such a complex, even fraught activity. My grandmother would boggle at discussions like this, I suspect. I don’t think she even knew the word vegan. Since we’ve heard from you all, we’ll share our preference...

Continue reading…

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...

Continue reading…

Analysis Paralysis

...is Saturday I was buying lumber and cutting wood. I quickly drew up plans in SketchUp and started working. The first hexagonal raised bed attempt came out a bit too small so I went back to SketchUp and re-sized the plans.  My self imposed deadline worked. Within a few hours I had the beds that I wanted and was very pleased with the results. The analysis paralysis spell was broken. What had been a concept on a computer screen become reality in sho...

Continue reading…

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...

Continue reading…

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...

Continue reading…

Are We Keeping Too Many Bees?

...ndly plants to meet demand. I’m confused about the article and the quotes from the BLKA. Is the concern about the bees or about having less honey? Focusing on honey can indeed lead to bee overpopulation. Bee populations self-regulate. If there are not enough food sources colonies will die off. That is, unless people are feeding bee colonies sugar to prop them up (and I assume they are because feeding bees is one of the many misguided bits o...

Continue reading…