The Sun Comes

photo credit: Henry Mühlpfordt Happy Winter Solstice! It is the darkest day of the year, and the shortest day of the year.  But from now on, every day will be a little longer and a little brighter, until the year turns once more. This is a rough time to be a gardener, even in Southern California. Everything seems to be sleeping. You, perhaps, wish you were tucked in a warm bed, sleeping, instead of frantically rushing getting ready for...

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Kelly’s 2012 To-Do List

...new passport, and making appointments for a physical, a dental exam and an eye exam. (In terms of engaging with the medical establishment, I prefer to behave as if though the zombie apocalypse has already occurred, thus I’m well overdue for a complete overhaul.) -Organize the labels or tags on Root Simple so our dear, somewhat abused readers can find information when they want it. -No processed sugar for the month of January. Or beer.  (...

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Fewer Linkages Today But More To Come

Not the usual link dump today since I was away all week at the National Heirloom Exposition in Santa Rosa. I camped, so the only tweeting I heard came from actual birds.  I’ll blog about the many talks I went to this week, but until that time, here’s some info from two of the speakers I heard at the conference. A very different take on bees: www.gaiabees.com From Sonoma Compost, information on: How to compost: http://www.sonomacomp...

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What Are Your Favorite Compost Materials?

...ot of expensive lab tests. And I never seem to have enough materials even for our modest vegetable garden. So in the past I’ve used: horse bedding chicken manure from our own chickens alfalfa hay (kinda spendy these days) straw (takes a long time to break down) spent grain from a local brewery vegetable scraps from the farmer’s market Once again I’ve got to build another pile and I’m interested in hearing from readers a...

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The Holiday Gift Truce

...217;re not very good at guessing what people actually want. In a Bloomberg article Waldfogel says, “People value the items they receive as gifts 20 percent less per dollar spent than the items they purchase for themselves. These are items that are not well-suited for their tastes.” Particularly in challenging economic times it’s hard to justify this orgy of value destruction, not to mention the stress and time spent in mall parking lots. I&...

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Thong Theory

As author Daniel Pinchbeck suggests, we’re in a time when technique is more important than technology. Take the Homegrown Revolution Thong for instance. A friend and fellow “thoughtstylist” posed the question last night, what else could the real survivalist do with a thong in an emergency situation? It’s all about the brain my friends, so get out there and innovate – that thong has many uses – tourniquet, band...

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So-So Tomatoes Become Excellent When Dried

...nvolving a pantry moth, its many offspring, and one big jar of dried tomatoes. For this reason I’m storing the dried tomatoes in a series of small jars, to offset the risk. Another good tip for fending off moths is to freeze any food stuff which you suspect might be at risk for 4 days to kill moths and their larvae. How did we dry our tomatoes, you ask? Usually we use our homemade solar dehydrator, but this year we’ve got a friendR...

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Essential System #5 – First Aid Kit

...elcome any suggestions for items that should be included. We have copied this list (and added a few things) from the book Mountaineering The Freedom of the Hills. Adhesive bandages – six 1-inch Butterfly bandages – three, in various sizes Sterile gauze pads – four 4-inch b 4-inch Carlisle dressing or sanitary napkin – one 4-inch (note sanitary napkins are much cheaper and make excellent bandages and provide some low-brow h...

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Scott’s Pepsi-G Stove

If you’ve ever backpacked any distance you’ll appreciate the need to reduce weight, taken to its logical extreme by the sort of folks who cut their toothbrushes in half. This ultra-light subculture, to our benefit, seems to be populated by engineering types who like to create useful lists and detailed instructions. And, even if you don’t backpack, these innovative ideas can be used in your emergency preparedness plans. One of...

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Building With Adobe

...exico College, is Director of Education for Adobe in Action, and is certified as an earth-building specialist by the German Dachverband Lehm. Ben Loescher is a licensed architect, founder of adobeisnotsoftware and principal of golem|la. Location: The class will be conducted about 12 miles outside of Joshua Tree National Park in Landers, California, some 40 miles from Palm Springs. Joshua Tree and the surrounding area have a wealth of great hiking...

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