The Original L.A. Urban Homestead

...ucating Angelenos about simple ways to conserve energy and other resources, grow their own food and live a happier, healthier lifestyle, since 1988. The house is a charming bungalow full of warm dark wood. It features a small solar array, a fabulous greywater system and many other features that make this cozy home worth a visit. The most educational part of the Eco-Home, in my humble opinion, is Julia’s actual lifestyle. Sure, technical fea...

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Saturday Linkages: Keeping It Cool

Watering the roof. One of the low-tech home cooling tips on the Build It Solar Blog. Tiny Home in Italy made out of pallets http:// bit.ly/NGWlPS Build-It-Solar Blog: Cooling Without Power http://www. builditsolarblog.com/2012/07/coolin  … Build-It-Solar Blog: DIY Solar Water Heating for 7 Unit Apartment http://www. builditsolarblog.com/2012/07/diy-so  … Measure for Measure – Beth Schaleben’s Yardstick Table http:// bit.ly...

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Saturday Linkages: Goat Wars, Dinites and a Sanitary Pad Revolution

...opia-in-the-oce/ … Pay phone booth re-purposed as a tiny library – Unconsumption http://disq.us/8hkfz6  Avoiding pollution, drought’s evil twin http://chanceofrain.com/2014/02/avoiding-pollution-droughts-evil-twin/ … A Simple Solar Water Heating System for the Tropics… http://www.builditsolarblog.com/2014/03/a-simple-solar-water-heating-system-for.html?spref=tw … A Solar Heated Loo http://www.builditsolarblog.com/2014/02/a-solar-heated-loo....

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Root Simple Visits Simparch’s Utah Compound

...ield on land leased by the Center for Land Use Interpretation, Simparch’s project proves that self-reliance is possible in what must be one of the harshest climates in North America. Clean Livin’ features a set of solar panels, batteries, a solar shower, a refrigerator, and a composting toilet all housed in and around a repurposed WWII era Quonset hut. Water is biked in with specially adapted cargo bikes. Solar power pumps the water u...

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Resources

...o matter what material we’re composting.) Humanure Handbook in free pdfs Rodale Book of Composting Worms Eat My Garbage Culture and Horticulture Teaming with Microbes NRCS Soil Biology Primer by Elaine Ingham DIY Solar Build it Solar Solar Cooking Archive Earthen Construction/Adobe/Cob Kurt Gardella–our adobe teacher Build Your Own Earth Oven by Kiko Denzer The Cob Cottage Company Fermentation Wild Fermentation w...

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My Trip to Maker Faire

...ng elsewhere. To add to the low tech/high tech irony, I was not able to use my PowerPoint and had to speak extemporaneously. This worked out for the better, as I was able to pull up a member of the audience to demonstrate her solar cooker–much more fun than showing pictures of solar cookers. And, after all, maybe it’s time we retire PowerPoint. Some of the things I spotted at Maker Faire: Long lines for the tiny house. I’ll re...

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Saturday Linkages: Making Things and Herding Ducks

Herding ducks. Via The Tangled Nest. DIY Simple Swiss fences for the homestead: http:// dirttime.com/?p=2687 via Practical Parsimony Build-It-Solar Blog: Comparing the Performance of Two DIY Solar Water Heaters http://www. builditsolarblog.com/2012/07/compar ing-performance-of-two-diy-solar.html?spref=tw  … Build-It-Solar Blog: Using Your Lawn Sprinkling Water to Cool the House… http://www. builditsolarblog.com/2012/08/using- yo...

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Pedal Like Hell

Thanks to the folks at IlluminateLA for a tip on this human power competition on youtube. We especially like the entry above for the honest admission that our everyday tasks take a lot more energy than we imagine. It’s good to be reminded occasionally of the inescapable laws of thermodynamics, which C.P. Snow summarized as, 1. You cannot win (that is, you cannot get something for nothing, because matter and energy are conserved). 2. You...

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Water Conservation

...h toilet uses less than 1.6 gallons of water compared to 3.5 to 5 gallons for an old toilet, which many municipalities will give you a substantial rebate for getting rid of. If you live in an apartment or don’t have the energy to dump the old crapper, it’s possible to fill a plastic water bottle with stones and put it in the tank to displace and thereby reduce the amount of water used to flush. Don’t use a brick for this purpose...

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Failed Experiment: Bermuda Buttercup or Sour Grass (Oxalis pes-caprae) as Dye

...by a long sun steep. I opted for the long steep, put a bowl in the soaking pot to sink the plants beneath the water, and put the pot on the front porch. The day turned out to be cloudy and cool, so I don’t believe that solar energy aided my cause. Then, I ended up leaving the pot out all night long. In the morning some of the Oxalis had turned olive, other parts were still bright green. So I decided it was not done and put it on the stove,...

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