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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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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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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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...

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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...

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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...

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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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What the Internet Will Look Like After the Zombie Apocalypse

...as it’s possible to send information over impressive distances–with the right antenna, some HAMs have managed to get the signal out as far as ten miles with a stock router and no boost in power. And the network is self healing. If one router goes out the other routers take on the traffic. For more info on how to set up a network like this see www.broadband-hamnet.org. or watch this series of videos. There’s also a free e-Book: W...

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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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