The World’s First Lamp

...f candles. One reason I burn little shell lamps like this because I like candlelight, but candles are expensive, especially beeswax candles, which I prefer over petroleum-based candles. Since these lamps use olive oil or any cooking oil for fuel, they’re a great way to us up those rancid or off-tasting oils which tend to clutter the back of our cupboards. I save the stale or otherwise suspicious olive oil from my herb-infused oil experimen...

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Book Review: A Feast of Weeds by Luigi Ballerini

The evening a review copy of A Feast of Weeds: A Literary Guide to Foraging and Cooking Wild Edible Plants came in I couldn’t put it down. I chased Kelly and our guest Nancy Klehm around the house to read excerpts: on the obscene etymology of the Italian word for the Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo), on the history of Mallow (Malva parviflora). And who knew that Italians eat red poppy leaves? Ballerini is a professor of Italian at the Univ...

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June: National Bathroom Reading Month

...ehm. Nancy explains how to make dandelion wine and extols the virtues of urine in your compost pile. Real Goods Catalog. This is sort of a Sky Mall for environmentalists. Produced by the same folks who put out the worthwhile Solar Living Source Book, most of the items in this catalog are beyond our modest writing-derived income level. Some things look useful, but there’s a lot of dubious stuff such as solar hat fans and electric scooters....

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Crapper Livin’

Your house should be like this National Park Service bathroom. Located on remote Santa Rosa Island, forty-six miles off the coast of Ventura, this handsome building features a solar water heater and a 12 volt electrical system to power the lights. Built of durable materials such as cedar and recycled plastic decking, this building should see many years of service. SurviveLA advocates the virtues of living small. Why not, for example, live in th...

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Saturday Linkages: The Archdruid, Cat Climbing Shelves, Rewilding, Tempeh Food Safety and More!

John Michael Greer The Archdruid Report: The Rumbling of Distant Thunder http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2012/05/rumbling-of-distant-thunder.html?spref=tw Simple and Elegant DIY Cat Climbing Shelves – http://www.moderncat.net/2012/05/31/simple-and-elegant-diy-cat-climbing-shelves/ Build-It-Solar Blog: How Large a Solar Collector Do You Need to Heat Your Hot Tub http://www.builditsolarblog.com/2012/05/how-large-solar-collec...

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Essential System #9 – Hydration

...r invest in an expensive and heavy reverse-osmosis system like boats have to turn seawater into drinkable water. Lastly we must put in a plug for the geniuses behind the artistic collective Simparch who are experimenting with solar stills to distill water as a method of purification. Distillation takes care of 99.9% of the bad stuff and the Simparch folks have created a solar still as a part of the border art shindig InSite. Solar stills can als...

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Appropriate Tech is the New High Tech

On his blog, the Archdruid Report, John Michael Greer has a provocative essay, “Seeking the Gaianomicon” that includes a link to a collection of 1970s/80s era appropriate technology handouts. The 190 page pdf Greer mentions (accessible at http://www.culturalconservers.org/apptech.php) includes information and how-to advice on insulation, storm windows, solar water heaters, super-insulated homes, simple photovoltaic systems and more....

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Erik Speaking at Maker Faire

I’m very excited to announce that I’ll be speaking at the Bay Area Maker Faire on Saturday May 19 at 6:30 pm on the Maker Square Stage (located in the Homegrown Village). The talk I’m giving will be about the appropriate tech projects we’ve been up to around the Root Simple compound–our new chicken run, greywater, solar cooking and Mediterranean edible gardening. I’d love to hang out, after the talk, with any...

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Simple Tech

...source of what we call “simple tech” can be found in a huge compendium of on this suspicious site. We especially like the “APPRTECH” section which consists of detailed information on everything from solar stills to pedal powered devices. Much of the tech info for third world counties is a strict one-way proposition. The university educated experts parachute in to offer advice to the locals but don’t bother to take...

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Stern Sprouted Wheat Vegan Cookie or Health Bar Type Things

...-Fired Oven by Richard Miscovich, where the recipe is used as an example of what you can cook in a bread oven which has almost cooled off,  because these bake at very low temps. Actually, they’d be good candidates for a solar oven. Or even dashboard cooking in the summer! There are four ingredients: sprouted wheat, raw almonds, dried fruit and a pinch of salt. There’s simply no room for sin. Sprouted Wheat Bars Makes a small batch, a...

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