Block Party Weekend

...geles Eco-Village is a so called “intentional community” of folks who, basically, give a damn and are interested in improving our forlorn, polluted, and abused city. The block party featured ecologically savvy and self-reliant touches such as solar ovens to cook the vegetarian buffet and photovoltaic panels to power the amplifiers of the bands entertaining the crowds on Bimini Street. The fine folks at the Bicycle Kitchen had a repair...

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Squash Baby Reconsidered

...and a water fountain. I could also do a better job of keeping it looking good (my summer garden was hideously ugly and unkempt). A more public parkway garden might also have the paradoxical effect of making it more secure and self-policed, since it will have communal value to folks walking by. Permaculture works better as social engineering rather than horticultural dogma. Permaculture is not about creating that stereotypical herb spiral. ItR...

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Raw Milk Talk With Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures on the Homegrown Evolution Podcast

Image from the Organic Pastures website In the second episode of the Homegrown Evolution podcast we present a talk by Mark McAfee, founder and CEO of Organic Pastures Dairy, a raw milk dairy in California. The talk was recorded on August 28th, 2010 and was sponsored by Altadena Heritage and the Arroyo Food Co-op. McAfee had slides, but I think the talk is self explanatory without them for the most part. When he mentions his neighbor...

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Appropriate Tech is the New High Tech

...ts starting your own library of appropriate technology classics. Both are great ideas. Our blog, in fact, was largely inspired by just this type of literature in the form of a book by Sim Van der Ryn The Integral Urban House: Self Reliant Living in the City as well as other books such as Lloyd Kahn’s Shelter. Keeping with Greer’s idea of building an appropriate tech library we’ll dig up some more books and links. In the meantim...

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Bean Fest, Episode 7: The Home-Ec Supper Club

...ing a backyard bbq can get pricey and involved. Well, maybe some people are liberated enough to not think this way, but I have deep, even genetically programmed anxiety about hostessing that transforms me from my usually lazy self into a Martha Stewart demon at the mere mention of a dinner party. (Ask Erik.) Well, good-bye to that and hello Home-Ec Supper Club, also called the Beans and Rice Party. This is the deal that Ari, Erik and I came up wi...

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Three Events Coming Up: Ciclovia, Huntington Plant Sale and Homegrown

...ants not organizers). According to the Homegrown website, it will be a “free event celebrating food, sustainable gardening and an ecological lifestyle.” We’ll be doing a workshop at 2pm on how you can make a self irrigating pot out of two five gallon buckets. At 12 pm Tull, author of The Natural Kitchen: Your Guide to the Sustainable Food Revolution will also do a workshop. The event will be held at Media Park in Culver City. Mo...

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I like my chamomile stressed

...wouldn’t grow, but it wouldn’t grow the way I wanted it to grow. See, chamomile is a tough, scrappy plant. In our dry climate, it pops up with the winter rains, and lives a fast, hard life, like a beautiful young self-destructive celebrity. It shoots up overnight and throws off blossoms like crazy, its one goal being to spread seed before it dies. In the past, I’ve harvested chamomile from volunteer plants in my yard. I never p...

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Have any ideas? We’re rewriting the anniversary gift list

...st talking about the importance of experience, but we do need good tools in a functional household, and a list could be built around that. The second option is the experience list. What sort of skills and knowledge make up a self-reliant household–and a good relationship? How would you prioritize that knowledge on a year by year time line? Can we think of 50? And maybe there’s a third option–feel free to toss out anything you l...

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Skid Row Community Garden Gets SIPs

Novice gardeners + hot rooftop accessible only by many flights of stairs = perfect opportunity to use self irrigating pots. Two master gardeners, Anne Hars and Maggie Lobl asked me to show them how to put together some SIPs (read more about what a SIP is here) for the Los Angeles Community Action Network, which works with homeless and low-income residents on skid row.  Hars, Lobl, myself and a bunch of folks from LACAN put together a few SIPs...

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Urban Homestead on Craigslist. Act Now!

...s caught on and is here to stay after discovering a Craigslist real estate listing in Livingston Montana using the term: $269500 / 4br – Urban Homestead (524 S. 10th,) It’s the best of both worlds…you can be self-reliant and live in town. Inside, this home features 3+ bedrooms, 2 baths, an office or hobby room, reading area, and large family room, plus cold-storage for canned goods. Outside, there are raised organic garden be...

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