Compost Field Trip

...ended with wood chips or wood ‘fines’ as needed. Huge windrow machines straddle and churn the piles. They look like something out of Star Wars. Several months later the finished compost is sold to farmers. Community Recycling is a totally vertically integrated operation so of course they farm a little too–organic almonds, some row crops and some forage crops. That way, if they have too much compost on their hands at one time, t...

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Seeding Change

Lora “Homegrown Neighbor” Hall is in the New York Times this week in an article by Michael Tortorello, “Packets Full of Miracles.” Tortorello asks six gardeners to pick out their favorite seed varieties. Homegrown Neighbor chose New Zealand spinach, Nero de Toscana kale, Red orach, Sugar Ann snap pea, Crimson California poppy and Verbena bonariensis. I’m sure Homegrown Neighbor would appreciate a reminder that if y...

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Gideon Lincecum Virtual Herbarium

...y common summer sidewalk weed. Recognize it? Conyza canadensis (image courtesy of Wikimedia commons) And along the way I found a charming resource to share with ya’ll: The Gideon Lincecum Virtual Herbarium, a project hosted by the University of Austin, Texas. Dr. Lincecum was a 19th-century naturalist and “botanic physician” who lived in Mississippi and Texas. This virtual herbarium includes scans of more than 200 pressed sp...

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Bulk Bin Microgreens

...alth food store scent. Is it some chemical reaction between soy, wheat grass and carob fumes? But I digress. For the sake of science I chose this forlorn store, which will remain nameless, since I assumed the stuff in their bulk bins has been sitting around a long time and I wanted to test seed of questionable viability. This store sells seeds for sprouting and microgreens, such as radish at around $9 a pound. The much cheaper bulk bin items, how...

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Kimchi Secrets Revealed

Kimchi champion Granny Choe at Krautfest 2009 – photo from Eating L.A. The last time I tried to make the spicy Korean fermented cabbage dish known as kimchi it was such a disaster that Mrs. Homegrown exiled the batch to the back porch where it rotted for a good two months before we got around to sending it to the landfill. At Krautfest 2009, which we helped organize back in September, we had the great privilege of learning to make kimchi...

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Grow Italian!

...ables for several years now and have enjoyed everything from sweet beans to powerfully bitter weed-like greens. The purple Sicilian Cauliflower we grew last year was a revelation – fresh cauliflower is a billion times better than store bought cauliflower though, along with broccoli, it can be challenging to grow and it takes up a lot of room. It was still worth it, as was the somewhat less difficult to grow quick maturing broccoli rabe Se...

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Secure your Ride Part I

...ever had a wheel stolen with this technique in many years of riding the bad-ass streets of North America and Nic theorizes that crackheads don’t carry screwdrivers. We hope this is true, and we will add that if you hose clamp your wheel to the fork you will have to carry a screwdriver to fix a front flat. Of course loyal SurviveLA readers already carry a multi-tool (such as a Leatherman) with them at all times to deal with any number of con...

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Film Industry Blocks Bike Lanes, City of LA Doesn’t Care

Film industry trucks block bike lanes all the time here in Los Angeles, particularly along busy and fast moving Sunset Boulevard. Shutting down a bike lane on Sunset forces cyclists to merge into traffic that is sometimes going as fast as 50 miles an hour. It’s a tragedy waiting to happen. Not much room between a fast moving bus and a film industry truck. As to the legality of blocking a bike lane I don’t have a good answe...

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Instructables

The SurviveLA inbox contained a useful link from Komrade Box – a web site called “Instructables”, which is a compendium of useful tips ranging from how to pimp out your bike to how to recycle stuff you have laying around the house. Sites like this make the “internets” seem useful. Of course, you could also waste your time watching shit like this....

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Essential System #5 – First Aid Kit

...itary napkins are much cheaper and make excellent bandages and provide some low-brow humor potential to cheer up the patient who may find themselves with a sanitary napkin duct-taped to their forehead) Nonadherent dressings – two 4-inch by 4-inch Self-adhering roller bandages – two rolls 2-inch width by 5 yards SAM splint – one Athletic tape – one roll, 2-inch wide Triangular bandages – two 36 inch by 36 inch by 52 i...

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