Moonshine

...de 020001″, ship it “Bulk, Truck, Bulk Rail, or Tank” and as Journal reporter Eric Felten concluded, “Cut it with water — preferably from a source that will lend itself to a pretty picture on the label — bottle it, and you’re in the vodka business.” As it turns out there is an art to good homemade moonshine — a far cry from the soulless mouthwash Archer-Daniels-Midlands turns out. Here’s...

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Plum Lemon Tomato Power’s Heirloom Tomato

...d those loads of melamine laced pet food from China, they did somehow manage to track 1,840 confirmed cases of food-borne illnesses in domestic tomatoes. Again, urban homesteading revolutionaries, GROW YOUR OWN! We found that label and it’s a tomato called “Power’s Heirloom”. Here’s how the Seed Saver’s exchange catalog copy describes it, “First offered in the 1990 SSE Yearbook by Bruce McAllister from Fr...

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Making It

Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World, by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen (Rodale Books, 2011) ISBN-13: 978-1605294629 Buy it at:  Amazon • Abe Books • Barnes & Nobel • Powell’s Making It provides you with all of the tools you need to become a producer instead of a consumer and transform your home from the ground up. Projects range from the simple to the ambitious, and include activities done in the home, in the garden an...

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A Primitive Bow Workshop

...ptable if short lived bow. Ash and oak and bay trees are local woods which are better for the purpose, but our goal for the day was a quick and dirty bow. These bows aren’t bowyers’ masterpieces. They are survival tools, and their effectiveness is not about their long-range accuracy, but on the skills of the hunter. Native hunters used their tracking and stalking skills to get very, very close to the game before they shot. The next st...

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Erik’s 2012 New Year’s Resolutions in Review

...e license. Fail: Get HAM technician’s license. Learn Morse code Attend CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) classes. Organize messy office so it doesn’t look like an episode of Hoarders. Organize supplies in garage into labeled boxes: still messy. Turn the garage into the ultimate man cave. Increase running distance. Organize bug-out box. Backpack more often. Camp on Santa Rosa island again. Return to biodynamic practices in the garden. Lea...

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Yes, We Do the Pinterest Thing

...ellis came in part from an image I pinned off the interwebs: Not having a natural design sense, I gather images and synthesize them to come up with plans I can build. Google image search and Pinterest are great inspirational tools. But I have not made good use of Pinterest’s social features. Towards that end, follow us on Pintrest and we’ll follow back. Let’s exchange ideas!...

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Joshua Tree Earthen Oven Class

...se design and materials Sizing Sand Form and Oven Domes Natural oven plasters and finishes Firing and baking in your oven. Instruction Type: This is a hands-on class. Attendees will have the opportunity to get dirty and use tools and equipment typical of adobe construction and earthen finishing. Due to the course format, enrollment will be limited to 10 individuals. In the unlikely event of inclement weather, instruction will occur indoors. Ins...

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Joshua Tree Earthen Oven Class With Kurt Gardella

...e design and materials Sizing Sand Form and Oven Domes Natural oven plasters and finishes Firing and baking in your oven. Instruction Type: This is a hands-on class. Attendees will have the opportunity to get dirty and use tools and equipment typical of adobe construction and earthen finishing. Due to the course format, enrollment will be limited to 10 individuals. In the unlikely event of inclement weather, instruction will occur indoors. Ins...

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A Review of Masanobu Fukuoka’s Sowing Seeds in the Desert

...ays, I call it “the cave of the intellect.” It shows two men toiling in a pit or a cave swinging their pickaxes to loosen the hard earth. The picks represent the human intellect. The more these workers swing their tools, the deeper the pit gets and the more difficult it is for them to escape. Outside the cave I draw a person who is relaxing in the sunlight. While still working to provide everyday necessities through natural farming, t...

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Entropic

Our friend Elon Schoenholz, the new editor of Cool Tools (the online offspring of the Whole Earth Catalog), has a lovely “irregular series” of compost breakdown photos on his blog. We’re looking forward to witnessing the ongoing transformation of Elon’s compost pile. Elon also has a Etsy site where you can see his witty ficus tree photos....

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