Gardening Resources in Los Angeles County

...he comments if you know of a resource that I should have included. Soil Testing Wallace Labs. When you fill out the form check off the box for “Standard Agricultural Soil Suitability Analysis.” All healthy gardens start with a soil test and Wallace Labs will have your results delivered by email within a few days. Arborist Tree Care LA (Nick Araya, ISA Certified Arborist and Oscar Sanchez). Nick and Oscar did a great job with our tre...

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Coffee Chaff Chickens

...easy to scoop up the poo when it’s mixed with fluffy wood shavings. It also smells better longer. Straw in the house is just sort of substandard. However…the big however….them’s dead trees we’re shoveling into our hen house, and as we all know, trees don’t grow on trees. But what’s a good alternative to shavings? Yesterday, Lyanda Haupt, author of Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness ,...

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How to Keep Skunks Out of the Yard

...k defenses held up, I scattered some flour around the gaps in the fence I had fixed. If skunks managed to get in they would leave tracks in the flour. Here’s what I discovered: My new skunk proofing was not keeping skunks out–it was keeping them in.  I found tracks in the flour on the inside of the fence where they were trying to get out. I also saw the skunk late at night. Understanding Urban Skunk Habitat In the wild skunks dig den...

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Urban Farming in Oakland

Public radio station KCRW has an excellent interview with urban farmer and writer Novella Carpenter. Carpenter has pigs, goats, ducks, chickens and more all on a small lot in Oakland, California. You can listen to the radio interview here (along with some other interesting segments on hunting caribou, cooking pasta, roasting peppers, and more) on chef Evan Kleiman’s show Good Food. You can also check out Carpenter’s blog, meaningfulp...

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Is Urban Homesteading Over With?

...he mall to shop. I hope I’m wrong, that during our next economic bubble people will be more sensible. And the fundamentals have not changed, specifically the uncertain future of fossil fuels. I’m not trading my trips to the feed store for a shopping spree at Hot Topic anytime soon. So I thought I’d plug a few search terms relating to urban homesteading into Google Trends to see what is going on. This is, of course, highly unsc...

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Urban Chicken Classes

...ed by a general meeting of local chicken enthusiasts. If you aren’t local but want to learn about chickens there are of course many resources out there. And if you already have chickens maybe you can share your knowledge in your community. I know that I certainly wish I new more when I got started. But its live and learn. Sadly, not all the chickens lived. But the hens helped me to meet my fellow urban homesteading neighbors……...

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Podcasts for the Urban Homesteader

Let’s face it, mainstream radio programming, both talk and music, stinks. Podscasting democratizes the medium. Anyone with a microphone and laptop can make and distribute a podcast and, while quality varies, there’s a huge amount of excellent, highly specialized programming available. So should be on the iPods of urban homesteaders? I’ve got a few suggestions: Survival Podcast We just appeared on this podcast, which is hosted...

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Urban Livestock and Bikes!

India: chickens and bikes in a photo by Shabbir Siraj Urban Livestock Workshop Homegrown Evolution will be hosting an urban livestock workshop at our humble abode in Silver Lake on March 1st from 1-4pm. We’ll be talkin’ chicken, permaculturist Joan Stevens will be rapping about rabbits and Leonardo Chalupowicz will share his recent experience of becoming a “backwards” beekeeper. We’ll discuss how to integrate thes...

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Fruit Tree Update: Flavor Delight Aprium

One of my big regrets is not planting a bunch of fruit trees when we first moved into our house in 1998.* Thankfully though, we got our act together eventually. In 2011, we put in a call local fruit tree expert Steve Hovfendahl for some suggestions. His advice was based on what would grow in our warm climate as well as fruit tasting results conducted by the Dave Wilson nursery. It’s been over two years since we planted...

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