003-Cooking From Scratch, Tortillas, Fencing and Listenter Questions

This week on the Root Simple Podcast Kelly and Erik discuss cooking from scratch, making tortillas, bathroom cats, fencing and answer a reader question about chickens in small spaces. If you want to leave a question you can call (213) 537-2591 or send an email to [email protected] The theme music is by Dr. Frankenstein. Additional music by Rho. A downloadable version of this podcast is here. You can subscribe to our podcast in the iTunes s...

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005 Amy and Vince of Tenth Acre Farm

...eder. This is a cool and low cost alternative to the electric Food Saver vacuum sealer. And Amy discussed her provocative post on why they don’t keep chickens. According to Amy, homesteading is “more of a marathon than a sprint.” They are in it for the long hall. We conclude by having Vince and Amy answer a Listener question about living a sustainable life in a cold climate (something we know nothing about!). Amy mentions growin...

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Update on Hedge Fund Billionaire Crispin Odey’s $250,000 Chicken Coop

...t Odey has had to do some damage control, Never one to sit still, he is also repositioning his poultry palace, which he said had “morphed into a library.” So what is the deal with the coop anyway? “For me it’s more of a folly than a chicken house,” he said, referring to the ornamental buildings that adorn some of the grand English estates of past centuries. He gamely showed photos of the nearly completed structure on his iPhone. “Once I started t...

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Easter Lessons

...abbage. The hibiscus was a total nightmare–for some reason its slime was thick and bubbly and black and utterly disgusting. I mean, like Black Plague-level disgusting. Easter buboes! Zombie eggs! Here’s my theory: chickens coat their eggs with a protective coating before the eggs leave the “factory.” Just like auto manufacturers! This protective coating is called the bloom. The bloom is washed off in industrial egg product...

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Dry Climate Vegetables

...ain we got last month. New Zealand Spinach The one I’m most excited about is New Zealand spinach (Tetragonia tetragonioides). It’s reappeared for at lest three years now. And for us it’s much easier to grow than (unrelated) spinach. Fennel Fennel also comes back every year–so much so that if we don’t stay on top of weeding we’d end up with a fennel forest. I wouldn’t plant this if I lived on the edge o...

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The Connection Between Human Health and Soil Health

...allergies later in life. Research that is taking an Integrated Pest Management approach to cancer, treating it as a symptom of a lack of internal biodiversity. Studies that have shown the higher nutritional value of eggs from chickens raised on pasture. It seems obvious that there’s a connection between the health of a farm and our own health. Biodiverse soils produce healthier, more nutritious food. And way too much of the food we eat com...

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Alektyomancy: Divination by Rooster

bet, and in each square seeds were placed. After proper incantations, a white rooster was released, and the letters were read in the order in which the rooster pecked the seeds. The interpretation of the oracle is unknown.(1) Thankfully you don’t need to own a chicken to practice alektyomancy. There’s an online version. 1) From I.P. Couliano’s book Out of this World: Otherworldly Journeys from Gilgamesh to Albert Einstein. Couli...

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To each hen her own egg

...ing chickens – Update on chicken integration: Regular readers may remember that we had to integrate Handsome, the surviving elder hen from our last flock, with this new flock. This involved many stages, but no violence, thankfully. At first, the new flock shunned Handsome. Handsome, a five-year old Ameraucana, who’d had only us humans for company for months, seemed sad. Then the tables turned and Handsome took over the coop. She had b...

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Our Keyhole Vegetable Bed: What Worked and What Didn’t Work

may have helped prevent skunk incursions. The compost bin in the center of the bed should have been sturdier. Skunks got into it eventually. The cheap bagged soil I bought had a lot of wood chips in it. Brassicas did fine but other veggies did not appreciate the high carbon content of the bagged soil. It would have been better to make my own soil with high quality compost, but I was in a hurry. Clover in the keyhole bed did well and produced som...

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Permaculturalist Paul Wheaton in Los Angeles

...A’s food culture. Darren Butler of EcoWorkshops.com 3:30pm to 5pm Systems Gardening Does gardening have to be such hard work? Learn how to work with Nature’s systems to make your garden easier to manage and more productive than ever before. Paul Wheaton on Irrigation Free Gardening at Armory Center for the Arts 6pm to 8pm   Paul will discuss Permaculture strategies to eliminate the need for irrigation in our gardens.  An especially relevant...

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