Saturday Linkages: Well Tended Fires, Gardening Myths and a Spartan House

Image: Low Tech Magazine. Well tended fires outperform modern cooking stoves: http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2014/06/thermal-efficiency-cooking-stoves.html … Grace and Gratitude, an urban homestead in Norfolk http://fw.to/kSevPBG  ‘Hobbit house’ set to be knocked down http://bit.ly/1qttpPH  10 Gardening Myths Busted! http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20815937,00.html … One for the honey: Beekeeping frame storage – IKEA...

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Deadly Nightshade vs. Black Nightshade

...at deal of superstition when it comes to toxicity. Remember that many Europeans considered tomatoes to be poisonous well into the 18th century. Even today tomato leaves, used by my Filipino neighbors as a seasoning, are still labeled by many as poisonous. An interesting article in the New York Times “Accused, Yes, but Probably Not a Killer” busts the tomato leaf toxicity myth. Atropa belladonna – don’t munch on this...

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Saturday Linkages: Bitters, Dogs and Native Plants

What our hometown looked like in the 1920s. We Only Bond with Complex Landscapes | Garden Rant http://gardenrant.com/2013/12/we-only-bond-with-complex-landscapes.html … How To Make Homemade Bitters Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-homemade-bitters-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-197883 … 100 Years of Dog Breed “Improvement” http://wp.me/p1VSYl-eg  Los Angeles Was Once a Forest of Oil Derricks http:...

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Salt Sugar Fat

...ne sitting. Moss stops short of calling it a conspiracy but, in an interesting chapter, details the takeover of home economics associations by food industry representatives in the latte half of the 20th century. Lessons about cooking from scratch receded and were replaced by how to use cake mixes and shop for appliances. But the primary focus of the book is how food industry has found ways to amplify our cravings. They’ve carefully calculat...

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Build a Rocket Stove

...y a goth dude named “vavrek”:Other Rocket Stove Designs The Aprovecho Research Center, a non-profit organization devoted to improving conditions in third world countries through the development of low cost, simple cooking and heating technologies have developed a number of rocket stoves that you can build for your urban homestead. They have a simple model called the VITA Stove made with sheet metal (note the better soundtrack music on...

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Sourdough Recipe #1 The Not Very Whole Wheat Loaf

.... Preheat the oven to 500º. Take the boule out of the proofing basket. We slam it upside down onto a scrap of floured cardboard. Slash the loaf on the top. 9. Using the cardboard, slide the loaf into the oven. We have a cheap cooking stone. Turn the oven down to 450º. Spray some water into the oven using a spray bottle. This simulates the fancy steam injection systems that commercial bakeries have. Steam will give your loaf an old-world style har...

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Quick Breads

...sourdough starter is that it required daily feeding–in fact it was a bit like having a pet–a very boring slightly messy pet that leaves moist and moldy flour all over your countertop. Sourdough is best for slacker cooking geeks who plan on baking bread almost every day, a process involving multiple risings and sometimes dicey results if the ambient temperature is either too cool or too warm. By all means give a try sometime, but for t...

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Yucca!

...gaves, “A Piece of Fiber Could Save Your Life“, the flower stalk of the yucca can be eaten and tastes a bit like asparagus. The flowers, fruit and seed pods are also edible and Nyerges’ article provides some cooking tips. As part of a edible/useful landscaping scheme yucca plants are attractive and with their sharp points can provide a kind of security barrier against marauding hooligans. Speaking of hooligans (and bad transitio...

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Our Rocket Stove

...decided to build a permanent one just off our back deck for entertaining and as a backup to our gas stove should an emergency take out our utilities. The rocket stove was developed for use in poor nations where wood used for cooking has led to the vast, wholesale, deforestation of large swaths of the earth’s surface. Rocket stoves can be built out of metal or masonry and consist of a L shaped tube, at the bottom of which you place your woo...

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Emergency Supplies: It’s all about the lids

...(For more on composting toilets, see this post of ours  or go straight to the source, The Humanure Handbook.) The green bucket holds enough preservative-filled, ready-to-eat food to hold her for a day or two without access to cooking water or a stove. I deliberately chose foods that she wouldn’t be tempted to eat prior to the natural disaster/zombie attack. Not gross things–you don’t want to be challenging your stomach in an eme...

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