The Human-Powered Home: Choosing Muscles Over Motors

We’ve reviewed Tamara Dean’s new book The Human-Powered Home: Choosing Muscles Over Motors in this month’s issue of Yes Magazine. As we say in the review, don’t expect to be able to run your plasma screen with a bicycle (a lot of our favorite appliances take a hell of a lot more energy than pedal power can provide), but you will be able to grind grain, press apples, operate a sewing machine, and shell nuts. Dean’s b...

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Supper for a buck?

...more pennies  the salt costs, and yeast or, alternatively, the small amount of extra flour needed for the sourdough starter. But how do you calculate starter costs, since it involves constant feeding over time? And what about energy costs to run the oven? Or the investment in the Dutch oven we use to bake the bread, amortized over time?  This way lies madness. [Note: I have gone a little mad so I just figured out that there are 636 1/4 teaspoon m...

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Los Angeles Permaculture Design Course Certificate Series

...rse. WEEKEND TOPICS October 5/6 & November 2/3 Fire, Water, Earth & Air… Introduction to Permaculture Systems Thinking and Natural Pattern Understanding. December 7/8 & January 4/5 Food, Water, Shelter & Energy… Designing & Building the Complete Home Ecosystem. February 1/2 & March 1/2 Community & Green Business… EcoVillage Design and Community Celebration. TEACHING TEAM Instructors include Internatio...

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Tips on growing great garlic

...November 1. Thereafter, it’s a waiting game. Garlic takes a good six months to mature. You harvest most types of garlic when the stalk is nearly brown. And don’t forget to pick off the flowers if they appear. The flowers pull energy from the plant that is better spent making big cloves. The flowers are also edible: some farmers are actually making more money selling the flowers as culinary exotics. Growing garlic in hot climates I’ve had mixed su...

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Why Your Garden Should Be Dark at Night

...e travel, and gave up fantasizing about space colonies, we’d take better care of our home. Highline Park at night. Photo: highline.org. Keeping Gardens Dark Thankfully light pollution is an easy fix and saves money and energy too. We can keep our outdoor spaces dark at night to benefit our well being and as well as the survival of nocturnal creatures. Night Sky concluded with a brief interview with Hervé Descottes, one of the lighting desi...

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How to Deal with Extremely Root Bound Plants

...r loss. Baby them as much as you can. [ETA: One of our readers reminds me that another way to up your chances of success is to trim back the foliage of the plant. Fewer leaves means it will need less water, and can spend more energy growing new roots.] No plant wants to be handled this way but with luck and care, the plant might do well afterward. The only alternative is planting it root bound, and no root bound plant can thrive. As in its pot, i...

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How to Search for Science-Based Gardening Advice

...ions between the environment and a variety of disciplines such as agriculture, education, law, health and technology. Topics covered include global climate change, green building, pollution, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, recycling and more.” All of these databases overlap to some extent and you’ll probably need to check more than one to be thorough. They will also deliver results from trade and popular sources (not a bad...

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Breadbaking (Level 1) Class at the Ecology Center

...ave one), and an apron (if you have one). By baking bread at home, you’re in charge of what goes into every loaf and can choose to incorporate local and organic ingredients. Other benefits of baking at home include using less energy (used in harvesting, processing, and shipping store-bought bread), using less plastic packaging, and spending less money. Become a baker and join us during this heart-healthy workshop to learn how. Instructor: Erik Kn...

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Transition Founder Rob Hopkins in Pasadena

Monday, October 14: Pasadena, CA “Just Doing Stuff” Talk and Fair 10:30am–2:00pm Transition Pasadena hosts Rob Hopkins speaking at 11:00am about climate change and how communities across the country and world are transforming their economic, energy and food systems from the bottom up. Welcome by Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard. At the Fair: Repair Café, Learning Garden tours, potluck lunch, and networking with local sustainability groups and neighb...

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Urban Foraging with Nance Klehm

Via The Little Green People Show, a podcast with Chicago’s urban forager Nance Klehm: “We’re not talking gardens or dumpster diving. This is a discussion of the riches that grow in our highway medians, city planters, backyards and rail lines. Expert forager, Nance Klehm, sheds light on the city’s bounty, from medicinal plants to tasty greens. Getting to know the foraging landscape takes some time and energy, but gives bac...

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