Tomato Review #2 Banana Legs – it don’t look like a banana and it don’t got legs

It’s raining tomatoes here at the Homegrown Evolution compound and time for the second in our series of tomato reviews. Today, Banana Legs, a determinate variety with yellow flesh and light green streaks. It has a mild, low acid flavor and a meaty texture. Not bad, not thrilling, not nearly is as good as a similar looking tomato we grew last year, Power’s Heirloom. We grew our Banana Legs in a self watering container (SWC) and it pro...

Continue reading…

Straw Bale Garden Part II: Watering the Bales

In case you just joined us, we’re starting up a straw bale garden. I’ve decided to go with instructions provided by Washington State University. The first step is to wet the bales. Here’s what WSU suggests: To start the process, keep the straw bales wet for three to four weeks before planting. If you would like to speed up the process, here is a recipe that works well. Days 1 to 3: Water the bales thoroughly and keep them damp...

Continue reading…

Rooftop SIP Garden in LA

Got to visit John Zapf’s vertiginous LA compound yesterday. He’s got an amazing rooftop vegetable garden using self irrigating pots. John has little sun in the yard so the roof is only option for veggies. He uses drip line to refill the reservoirs. Reminds me of the Green Roof Growers of Chicago (minus the extreme weather). His two cents on what to grow: chard good, zucchini good, corn in pots not so good. For more info on self ir...

Continue reading…

LA ecovillage: self-reliance in a car-free urban homestead

Johnny, who shot that nice video of us for faircompanies.com just made another video about our friends at the LA ecovillage. It’s well worth a view. Some of the most amazing folks in Los Angeles live there. And I like that fact that’s it’s an ecovillage smack dab in the middle of my beloved hometown. Make sure to also check out Johnny’s blog Granola Shotgun....

Continue reading…

Self-Righteousness Fail: We Bought a Car

At least we got something interesting to drive. Image: Paleofuture. Back in March, a video producer who was texting-while-driving slammed into me and totaled the early 90′s hatchback that Kelly and I shared. We went from a one car household to a car-free household overnight. A combination of environmental guilt and distaste for car shopping led us to a six month car free living experiment in Los Angeles. That period ended in late September...

Continue reading…

Shameless Self Promotion, With Kitten

We’ve heard from several people that Making It is an excellent sleep aid. Just a reminder that our two books, Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World and The Urban Homestead make great holiday gifts. There’s also a Kindle edition of both Making It andThe Urban Homestead if you’re e-inclined. Even if you just click through our Amazon bookstore (on the right column) and don’t buy any of our books, we...

Continue reading…

Are Pallets Safe to Reuse?

at Great Lakes Chemical Corporation, a supplier of methyl bromide, Methyl bromide products are restricted use pesticides. A certified applicator license is required to purchase and use these products and strict adherence to label directions/requirements is mandatory. Under normal fumigation conditions methyl bromide is a gas and when the pallets are properly aerated according to label instructions, virtually no methyl bromide residue remains...

Continue reading…

Polyculture

...g. SurviveLA’s Impetuous Salad Bed Now the SurviveLA bed is not so well organized, because we don’t know as much as these permaculture folks, but it has been very successful so far, meaning no pests, no weeds, low watering, and tons of salad. This bed was started in October, as soon as the weather had decidedly shifted toward the cool. In LA, it makes sense to grow tender salad greens and the like in the winter, when the the sun is lo...

Continue reading…

Resources

...Larry Winiarski’s Rocket Stove Principles Our own 5-Gallon bucket stove Seed Sources: Garden Edibles–Heirloom Italian Seeds Seed Starter’s Handbook (pdf) Seeds From Italy Peaceful Valley Native Seeds Self Irrigating Planters Green Roof Growers How to Build a Self Watering Container PDF PVC-free instructions from Josh Mandel Our You Tube video on how to build one Our blog roundup of related resources...

Continue reading…

Side Yard Hops Trellis

...them into a “V” shape and cut down all but the strongest two bines from each mound in the spring. Year three of the front porch hops: Cascade and Nugget. Two years ago I started Cascade and Nugget hops in self watering pots placed by the porch on the east side of the house. This year I transferred those bines to the ground and they seem to be doing well. Cascade, especially, grows like a weed here. While I proved to myself th...

Continue reading…