Compost and Pharmaceuticals

...ure? This is really three questions: Does composting break down pharmaceuticals? Are some pharmaceuticals worse than others in terms of their ability to survive the composting process? If pharmaceuticals persist after composting do edible plants uptake them in sufficient quantities to effect humans? A look at what science has to say We really need a Root Simple research department! I was able to find a few studies that, at least partially, add...

Continue reading…

To each hen her own egg

...haven’t been able to ID their eggs yet. Closer surveillance is required! *** And while we’re talking 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...

Continue reading…

Permaculturalist Paul Wheaton in Los Angeles

In honor of the upcoming SoCal Permaculture Convergence, the Institute for Urban Ecology is proud to be partnering with several Los Angeles based organizations to bring you this once-in-a-lifetime event. Come learn from some of LA’s leading urban ecology experts and from internationally recognized Permaculturalist Paul Wheaton.  To encourage everyone to come and learn, this event is ALMOST FREE!!!!  Sign up a big group and pa...

Continue reading…

Arduino Homesteading Projects

..., home-tech” subjects covered on this blog. I’ll keep updating this list as I hear of more projects. Chickens Chicken coop controller Gardening Garden Bot (information about “an open source garden monitoring system). Includes links to other Arduino based gardening projects. Gardening moisture sensor/watering controllers An Arduino waterer that tweets! DIY Hydroponics Weather station Homebrewing Homebrewing Automation With...

Continue reading…

Initial Thoughts on the Age of Limits 2013 Conference

This is actually free desktop wallpaper. Who says we’re not looking forward to the apocalypse? Over Memorial Day weekend, Erik and I and our buddy John Zapf, attended a conference called The Age of Limits: Conversations on the Collapse of the Global Industrial Model. This conference brings together different luminaries from the “doomosphere” to discuss the impact and implications of the three-headed hydra of...

Continue reading…

We heal together

The bees in our back yard, glorying in poppy pollen Thank you everyone who shared their feelings and ideas with us all yesterday. Thank you, too, to those of you who read and considered those words. Thank you to those of you who are silent, but with us. I should be clear before I go on that this is a Kelly post. Erik is out tonight. I don’t know if he’ll disagree with anything I’m going to say–but we do...

Continue reading…

We’re Back!

...and transportation website Streetsblog and wishing that we had something like it here in Los Angeles. Well we do thanks to the work of Damien Newton who we were honored to be interviewed by last month. Read his interview of Mr. Homegrown Evolution rambling about bike issues here on Streetsblog Los Angeles. Damien also interviewed us on the hot topic of growing food at home for the L.A. Times Emerald City blog. Thanks Damien! Above, the backyard l...

Continue reading…

Pierce Disease Resistant Grape Vines for Southern California

Pearl River Grape–slightly critter chewed, but still tasty. At the risk of counting our chickens before they’ve hatched, I think we finally have grape vines that are immune to Pierce’s disease. Pierce’s disease is a fatal condition spread by sucking (and sucky) insects known as sharpshooters. Once a vine get it there is no cure. Pierce’s is why your glass of California wine may one day be genetica...

Continue reading…

Defining a Garden’s Purpose

...d junk storage. In more affluent areas people had lush grass and maybe a pool. Some had vegetable gardens, a few chickens and goats. One enterprising person, somewhere between Bakersfield and Fresno, had a walled garden protecting lush marijuana plants. Other than the food gardeners (a small minority even in rural areas) there was little evidence that people ever went into their yards. It confirms what a UCLA anthropology team discovered when the...

Continue reading…

Stoicism as a Toolkit for Modern Life

Lucius Annaeus Seneca ca. 4 BC – AD 65. This is the first in a series of posts focusing on positive techniques for keeping our heads screwed on straight in troubled times. Growing food, doing stuff with your hands, drinking homebrew with friends–all these kinds of things help keep us grounded and hopeful. But sometimes you need a little more help. Maybe we’ll call these posts “When chickens aren’t enoug...

Continue reading…