Citified Parched Corn

...ing a source of dry parching corn. So I did what any Angelino would do — I drove to Trader Joes and bought a three bags of frozen corn nibblets. Then I put the nibblets in our fancy electric dehydrator. I dried a bag of baby green peas while I was at it, because I thought they might parch nicely, too. Fresh frozen corn is, obviously, very different than dried-on-the-cob corn. The fresh kernels are sliced off the cob, so they are open ended....

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Book Review: My Side of the Mountain

...y young mind. Jean Craigshead George died this spring at the age of 92.  I wish I’d re-read this book a little sooner, so I could have sent her a letter to say thank-you. * * * An excerpt. Sam’s first day with his baby hawk, Frightful:    The food put the bird to sleep I watched her eyelids close from the bottom up, and her head quiver. The fuzzy body rocked, the tail spread to steady it, and the little duck hawk almost sighed as she...

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Polyculture

...late maturing varieties. 4 weeks after sowing you can pull some of the first radishes, because they grow fast. As you eat those, put the cabbage seedlings in the holes. 6 weeks after sowing you can eat the lettuce. First as a baby lettuce mix, later in its more mature leafing form. Pull out entire plants to make space, so things don’t get too crowded. Continue this way until the soil warms up. As you eliminate lettuce plants, begin to put b...

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Bisphenol-A

Above, the bisphenol-A or BPA molecule, a type of plastic found in all kinds of products including baby bottles, plastic food containers, Nalgene bottles, some wines (from the plastic stoppers and the lining of fermentation tanks) and the lining in metal cans. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it’s safe, a viewpoint contradicted by at least 100 studies. The problem: BPA is a endocrine disruptor linked to a host of problems, acco...

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How to Cook Broadleaf Plantain

...so bitter and heavily veined, so I prefer to collect it as a medicinal herb. I infuse it into oil that I put into salves and creams and I use it as a fresh poultice on itchy bites and hives. But eating it? Meh. I’ll put baby leaves in a salad. Erik has sprinkled the leaves on pizzas--and I’ll eat anything on a pizza. The seeds can be collected and used in seedy applications. But all in all, the flavor and tough texture of plantain lef...

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Alternatives to the Funeral Industrial Complex

...into the horrific tales of abuse, theft of dental fillings, reusing graves, etc. The good news is that there seems to be a growing alternative funeral movement. The monks won their court case. And I have a feeling that as the baby boomer generation begins to grasp its own mortality, we’ll begin to see more changes. Either that or the funeral industry will start marketing fake green burials (they probably have already). What prompted this ra...

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Zombies!

I don’t know could’ve been a lame jogger maybeOr someone just about to do the freeway strangler babyShopping cart pusher or maybe someone groovieOne thing’s for sure, he isn’t starring in the movies.‘Cause he’s walkin’ in L.A.Walkin’ in L.A., nobody walks in L.A.Walkin’ in L.A.Walkin’ in L.A., only a nobody walks in L.A.-Missing Persons A number of loyal SurviveLA readers have forwarded...

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World’s Largest Kale

The Franchi kale (collard?) “Galega De Folhas Lisas” I planted in the fall of 2012 has reached six feet. It’s a Portuguese variety used in a soup called Caldo Verde. Given that we have such a small yard I’ve really got to stop planting gargantuan vegetables like this and those ridiculous Lunga di Napoli squash. Root Simple is at risk of devolving into a geek with large veggie Tumblr site....

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Giveaway: What’s your favorite tip?

...vestock, foraging, cleaning, cooking, building, general common sense–really, it can be just about anything. And the tip doesn’t have to be big and profound. Something like “X is my favorite variety of winter squash” is just fine. You can also tell us of a mistake you’ve made, something you’ve learned the hard way–a mistake is just an inverse tip! This way, the comments on this page will be a fascinating r...

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Deep Bedding for Chickens

...time, the floor of the coop and/or run becomes a deep soft deposit of compost. Ours is sort of like quicksand. We throw all sorts of stuff in there–kitchen scraps, huge stalks of bolted lettuce, armloads of nasturtium, squash rinds–whatever goes in vanishes within a day or two. The hens peck at it until all the good stuff is gone. Then they trample it. Then they bury it. It all becomes one. Wear and weather break down the bedding, so...

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