Gadget Love: The Johnson Temperature Controller

...ertime. Now I can make a batch or two without having to worry about the weather.  Use the chest freezer as a backup when I need to repair the gasket on our Scandinavian refrigerator YET AGAIN! Not wanting to be a profligate energy user I only use the chest freezer periodically. Now if only I could lower the temperature of the whole house which, thanks to the first heatwave of the summer, is now warm enough to make yogurt!  ...

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The Pressure is On

...buy supermarket meat). Someone does need to do a good vegetarian pressure cooker cookbook as the only one I could find was stuck in a kind of brown rice and bean sprouts 1970s style vegetarian groove. Pressure cooking saves energy, a real plus during tough economic times. And with this cookbook our great recession era meals need not be bland....

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Advances in Gardening Series: Thoughts on The Fan, and the problems of overabudance

...efforts, I know a ton of seed fell, and when the rains come next year, I’ll be pulling Calendula and chamomile volunteers. Moral is, know what you need, and plant no more than that. Unless you’ve got the time and energy to maintain larger, more flashy beds. I’m all about making it easy on myself, so next year I’ll plant less. Of course, it takes experiences like this to learn exactly what our needs are. This is just how i...

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Till vs. No Till Poll Results

US Department of Energy Our highly unscientific till vs. no-till poll results are in: 17% of you said you till43% of you don’t till23% of you double-dig15% are undecided Looks like most of you fall into the permacultural no-till camp. For more information on no-till ag see the no-till section of our publisher Rodale’s website. Meanwhile, we’re on our book tour of Northern California and the Pacific Northwest. Check out...

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Thoughts on Samhain

...aw in the palms: southern California Gothic. It’s my favorite season here. The Celts believed places and times of transition–dawn, dusk, midnight, crossroads, lakes and streams, caves, etc.–held supernatural energy. These were places and times where the boundaries between our world and the other world was very thin. Samhain was one of those transition periods, and coming as it did at the last harvest, at the beginning of winter,...

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Make a Brigid’s Cross

A little cross hanging on our chicken coop Spring is here. In LA, it’s definitely in full swing, but I suspect even in more northerly places folks may notice a slight change in the air, or find early flowers like snowdrops or crocuses pushing their way through the snow. Spring is stirring. To celebrate spring this year, I made a few Brigid’s crosses to hang in the house and out on the chicken coop. They’re protective s...

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Sonora Wheat at the Huasna Valley Farm

...ts short varieties and heavy reliance on herbicides. Norman Borlaug, the father of the “green revolution” used Sonora wheat to create Sonora 64, an early green revolution wheat. Ironically, as we face an uncertain energy future, we may have to go back to the original Sonora wheat as it performs better in organic circumstances and needs less water than modern wheat varieties. Ron shows off the combine. One of the challenges th...

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Lucius Annaeus Seneca on Living Within Limits

...#8217;s mansions, their roots springing at a height which it could have been presumptuous for their crests to reach? -Letter CXXII from Letters from a Stoic (Penguin Classics) Apparently the Romans had a thing for ridiculous, energy intensive vertical gardening schemes. Perhaps it’s what happens as empires trend towards the decadent and live beyond their means. It’s hard not to see modern parallels. Witness what happened when an upsca...

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Three Mules in Los Angeles

...here are we going? Nowhere, we’re here- the outside, the web of life- a beautiful  place like no other.We have come to this place-a place of golden sparkling light, a place for anybody and everybody. If your faithful of energy to this place at which time you connect to it and you’ll see the magic and endless possibility of infinity. As you walk in this place with these mules you spread the awareness that this beautiful earth like no other c...

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