Interview With Apartment Gardener Helen Kim

...a friend recently gave me a little lecture on the importance of fertilizer and I thought I’d finally give it a whirl… and I have to say that, yes, the plants are a bit happier than they were this time last year. I’ve been using Dr. Earth fertilizer and making fertilizer tea. HE: Did you choose your apartment with the idea that you’d be gardening in it? If so, what should a prospective renter look for? HK: I had three m...

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Making Beer in Plain Language

...comparative literature Judith Butler via the Bad Writing Contest Huh? At least the terminology surrounding beer making ain’t that obtuse, but it certainly could use some simplification. For novice home brewers, such as us here at Homegrown Evolution, the terminology creates an unnecessary barrier as impenetrable as a graduate school seminar in the humanities. Let’s see, there’s a mash, a mash tun, a wort, some sparging, maltin...

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Saturday Linkages: The Calm After the Storm

Got a storm damaged tree? See Trees Are Good for advice. DIY Build-It-Solar Blog: A Unique DIY Solar Pool Heating Collector Using PV… http://www. builditsolarblog.com/2012/10/a-uniq ue-diy-solar-pool-heating.html?spref=tw  … Build-It-Solar Blog: Large DIY Solar Space and Water Heating System in … http://www. builditsolarblog.com/2012/10/large- diy-solar-space-and-water-heating.html?spref=tw  … Primitive Skills Roland T...

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Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS)

...how to disinfect water with just a PET plastic bottle. The diagram, developed by Unicef, pretty much speaks for itself. Too much gunk in the water? Let it settle and filter through some cloth. At least six hours of sunlight will be enough UV to kill bad buggies. Using solar water disinfection, or “SODIS”, replaces the need to boil water, thus reducing deforestation to supply fire wood. Obviously, this is not a long term solution. Dri...

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Made in the shade- Passive cooling

...onditions. Here in the Homegrown neighborhood, most of us live in old houses that are not designed with passive solar features. The Homegrown Evolution house is practically a greenhouse. My house is about 20 degrees hotter at night than it is outside. All of the hot air gets trapped and has no where to go. The windows are poorly placed allowing for little cross ventilation. Hot air rises so we need windows up high. Do you hear me architects? Yet...

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Book Review: An Everlasting Meal

...ike it was overdone. The tone started to wear on me, and I after a few chapters I began to wish she’d dial it down a bit. But then, before I wrote this review, I went back to find an annoying passage to make sure I wasn’t just being mean-spirited. Well, it turns out I couldn’t find anything terrible after a couple of minutes of flipping the pages. So either I am overly fussy, or (and this is what I suspect) the effect of the pro...

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Prickly Pear Fruit Chips

...ert climate you can dry fruit in the sun under screens, but here in Los Angeles the air has too much moisture in it. Fruit would mold before it would be dry enough to store. I’m not a fan of oven drying either since there’s not enough air flow and you run the risk of cooking rather than dehydrating. A dehydrator, either electric or solar, is a great investment if you’ve got food to put up. When the prickly pear fruit has a leath...

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The World’s First Lamp

...ork as wick rests.  Like any candle, the open flame can set things on fire, but if you knock one of these over it’s not going to erupt into a conflagration of doom. Olive oil and other cooking oils have high flashpoints. All that will happen is that you’ll stain your favorite tablecloth. The wick will most likely be snuffed out in the spill. If it doesn’t get snuffed out, it will continue burning if it can continue to draw oil...

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Saturday Linkages: An Egg Shaped Houseboat, Bamboo Joints and the Origins of Umami

...or: Uri Laio of Brassica and Brine http://wp.me/p1xg32-qw  “Umami” Was Coined by the Inventor of MSG to describe Its Taste http://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/umami-was-coined-by-the-inventor-of-msg-to-describe-i-693953580 … Why lettuce is making us sick: http://modernfarmer.com/2013/07/why-lettuce-keeps-making-us-sick/ … Devolution In Oregon, The GMO Wheat Mystery Deepens http://n.pr/15CRyHO Study: Wealthier Motorists More Likely to Drive Like Reckl...

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Our Rocket Stove

...base for one and then began to think about how often we would actually build a fire, especially considering that it has to burn for several hours before a cob oven gets hot enough to cook in. Also, where would we get the logs? And how good is it to burn such a fire and contribute to Los Angeles’ already smog choked air? Staring at the bricks we had scavenged to build the base of cob oven, we realized that we could re-purpose them for a perm...

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