Analysis Paralysis

...is the way Shakespeare describes this condition in Hamlet. The re-design of our backyard lead to the worst analysis paralysis I’ve ever experienced. Weeks went by with no progress. Ideas came and went. The internet made it worse by providing way too many possibilities. A quote in a book finally broke my analysis paralysis spell. The gist of that quote was that we are all called by a higher power to build. I realized that I needed to set a d...

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Fashion on the Homestead

It’s about time I addressed, on this home economics/DIY/gardening blog, the importance of the way we dress. I’ve been bothered of late by my rumpled appearance. Like most Americans I wear in public what in an earlier era would have been considered pajamas. And I’m approaching fifty. The people I’ve met who have aged gracefully generally seem to dress well though not ostentatiously. Knowing what to wear and finding that w...

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It Quacks Like a Duck

The Happy Ducks of the Petaluma Urban Homestead It seems a new lifestyle is taking shape, in part born of the ashes of the World Trade Center, the aftermath of Katrina, and the endless resource wars our country feels the need to fight. There’s a great desire out there to “do something” and a refreshing DIY spirit of self-sufficiency is beginning to emerge. Two of the indicators of this new lifestyle seem to be the mixture o...

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Saturday Linkages: A Close Shave, Building Codes and Protected Bike Lanes

Image: Garden Professor’s Blog. Should you shave tree roots? http://blogs.extension.org/gardenprofessors/2014/06/02/another-close-shave/ … Building Codes and the Self Built Mortgage Free Home http://wp.me/p4fosC-fx  Can These $20,000 Houses Save the American Dream http://tinyurl.com/o8vp8a8 Nancy Luce and her chickens: http://poultrybookstore.blogspot.com/2014/06/nancy-luce-and-her-chickens.html … Protected Bike Lanes Make the “Interested...

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Josey Baker Bread: One Bread Book to Rule Them All

...believe that a lot of people self-diagnosing themselves as gluten intolerant might just be allergic to mass produced supermarket bread. Baker’s Dark Mountain Rye is an example of how whole grain bread should be made and it’s and easy to bake. In addition to the conventional breads Baker covers, there’s an interesting method of baking pizza in a home oven, a gluten free loaf that I’m going to try and some simple pastries. I...

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Anagallis monellii : A New Favorite

Last fall we planted Anagallis monellii “Blue Pimpernel” in a bed of mixed flowers and herbs. This plant is neither edible or medicinal, but we hoped the bees would like its many blue flowers. Anagallis monellii is a Mediterranean native, so it is well suited to the California climate, and it follows that it does not need much water. It is perennial in zones 9 to 11 (that’s us), but can be grown as an annual elsewhere. If you...

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Journal of the New Alchemists

“Six-Pack” Backyard Solar Greenhouse, 1975. Image: Journal of the New Alchemy. After reading an article by Paul Ehrlich, “Eco-Catastrophe!,” Nancy Todd turned to her husband John and said, “We must do something.” The year was 1969 and the Todds along with Bill McLarney went on to found the New Alchemy Institute. History repeats itself. What the New Alchemists did, in response to the 1970s era energy crisis and...

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Saturday Linkages: Tall Bikes, Za’atar and So Much More

..., a yard in Africa: # JoeMinter and 400 years of African-American history: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/25/garden/joe-minters-african-village-in-america.html?ref=garden … pic.twitter.com/qx07xlvDa4 Bikin’ Here’s what it feels like to ride a 14.5-foot-tall bike http://grist.org/list/heres-what-it-feels-like-to-ride-a-14-5-foot-tall-bike/#.UXl2JmJoeY0.twitter … Bikesnob on self driving cars: http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/2013/04/this-jus...

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As Above, So Below

Inspired by the response to my post on the need to keep our gardens dark, I decided to reclaim my childhood telescope from my mom’s garage and get it working again. It occurred to me that I haven’t looked up at the night sky in a long time. What a shame. This past week I’ve been thinking about how important it is to look up at the stars–just as important, I think, as staying in touch with the plants, insects and animals...

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Homegrown San Francisco Events

Homegrown Evolution will be in San Francisco this week to speak at the Studio for Urban Projects. The talk will be on Sunday, April 5 at 2:00 pm. We’ll rap about what we’ve been up to and do a brief demo about self irrigating planters, the ideal way to grow food when you don’t have any dirt to call your own. The Studio for Urban Projects is located at 3579 17th St., San Francisco (between Dolores & Guerrero). Also, in San...

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