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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Free Permaculture Class

...Permaculture offers positive solutions to the problems facing the world; using ecology as the basis for designing integrated systems of food production, housing, technology and community development, you can learn to create a self-sustaining environment, on a farm or in your urban backyard or apartment. The Permaculture Design Course is for anyone interested in gaining skills and perspective for sustainable living and productivity. A Permaculture...

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Crapper Livin’

...le solar water heating system showers need to be taken at the end of the day and the very modest solar panel would not be able to power any major appliances. But these are minor sacrifices compared to the enormous benefits of self-sufficiency, namely one’s freedom. An aside here – SurviveLA encourages a trip out to beautiful Santa Rosa Island to enjoy the natural wonders and to visit this bathroom of the future. Unfortunately the vile...

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Roughin’ It

SurviveLA is off to Joshua Tree this weekend for the graduation ceremonies of the Sierra Club’s Wilderness Travel Course. We took the WTC class earlier this year both for tips on backpacking and for gaining general self-sufficiency. The Sierra Club’s approach to roughing it is to, well, not really rough it but to go down to REI and load up on all the latest stoves, tents and “technical” fabrics. This contrasts starkly wit...

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The Sound of One Hand Snapping

We’ve had to do a fair amount of carpentry around the compound – part of that self-sufficiency thing – and countersinking nails with a nail set, those pen like things you use to get the nail head below the surface of the wood, is a pain in the ass. Which is why we think that this tool, the “Noxon Two Bit Snapper” by the mysterious Spring Tools Corporation may be the handiest tool in the SurviveLA compound tool box....

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The Boy Scouts Suck

...Boy Scouts, whose ongoing attempts at being more relevant backfire so pitiably and whose founder, Robert Baden-Powell, was an anti-semitic, fascist, pedophile. If we had kids around the SurviveLA compound, in keeping with our self-sufficiency goals, we’d form our own SuriviveLA Scout troop. Here’s how the SurviveLA Scouts would differ from the Boys Scouts: 1. SurviveLA Scouts are coed. Men and women have gotta learn to work together a...

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Ridin’ On

...machine that a Hellenistic Greek might have invented and ridden. It does no violence to our normal reactions: It does not pretend to free us from our normal environment.” A bicycle is a great way to save money and true self-sufficiency entails being as economically prudent as possible. We can recommend compact fluorescent bulbs, hand washing clothes and a myriad of other energy saving ideas that will lesson our impact on the environment bu...

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In the Gutter

...have gutters. Gutters have two purposes, to channel water away from your fragile and very expensive to repair foundation, and to channel it to where that water can be useful, to your edible landscaping. As much as we support self-sufficiency, putting on gutters is a job we think is best left to professionals, specifically professionals who produce seamless gutters with a machine like the one pictured above. Putting up gutters yourself can often...

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Homegrown REvolution

...ame not already being squatted on by speculators in Turkey, we discovered a remarkable book, Mediated by Thomas de Zengotita. Zengotita argues that the media surrounding us is oriented towards what he calls a “flattered self”, thus things like blogs, Facebook, even the weather channel are all ultimately all about “me”. Furthermore the sheer volume of media we are exposed to, compared with the past, changes the way we relat...

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Mallow (Malva parviflora) an Edible Friend

...ste, but does make a pleasant addition to salads and can be cooked as a green. Both the leaves and the immature fruit are edible. An assortment of cooking ideas can be found on Of the Field, maintained by wild food author and self described “environmentarian” Linda Runyan. A Turkish blogger has a recipe for mallow and rice here. We’ve used mallow in salads, and it would also do well cooked Italian style in a pan with olive oil, garlic...

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