More On the National Heirloom Exposition

Squash tower at the National Heirloom Exposition Quite honestly, between the lead and zinc in our soil and an endless heat wave that seems to portend climactic disaster, I’ve been a bit dispirited with our little urban homestead project this summer. The Heirloom Exposition up in Santa Rosa lifted me out of my petty depression. The amazing speakers, exhibits and vendors, left me inspired and ready to get back to work. This week I...

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Revolution: A New TV Series About Extreme Suburban Homesteading

..., too.4 And America’s long lost archery skills have apparently been miraculously revived. Come to think of it, Hollywood seems to be having a love affair with archery of late. Is the javelin next? Put down those Xboxes kids and start practicing! In Revolution it’s also revealed that people suddenly know the names of plants and what to do with them even without access to Google. But the tranquil suburban homesteading is not to last for...

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Saturday Linkages: From Plastic Bottle Kayaks to Canine Staircases

Kayak made from plastic bottles. Via Lloyd’s blog. DIY How To Turn A Mason Jar Into A Fermenting Crock – FARMcurious http://www. farmcurious.com/how-to-turn-a- mason-jar-into-a-fermenting-crock/  … Kayak Made from Recycled Bottles in Argentina http:// lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/2012/08/kayak- made-from-recycled-bottles-in.html#.UDPAXX9HYUs.twitter  … Paper Bag Flooring http://www. dudecraft.com/2012/07/paper- bag-floor...

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Nominate Your Favorite Complainer

...on to save this garden here. So what sane city official or neighbor would complain about this beautiful garden? It’s a complaint so outrageous, that it attains a kind of athleticism. Joking with some friends last weekend, we came up with the idea of creating an complaint competition patterned after the Olympics. People would complain and then a panel of judges would hold up signs, just like, say, diving or gymnastics. The truth, of course,...

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Saturday Linkages: Collapse Now and Avoid the Rush

Using a tampon as a “survival straw” water filter. Outdoor Deck & Inside Room Linked via Climbing Walls & Ladders | Designs & Ideas on Dornob http://dornob.com/outdoor-deck-inside-room-linked-via-climbing-walls-ladders/ Did you know lemons are hybrids? The secret lives of citrus fruit – Boing Boing http://boingboing.net/2012/06/08/the-secret-lives-of-citrus-fru.html The Archdruid Report: Collapse Now and...

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Erik and Kelly to Speak at Stories Cafe This Saturday

Join us this Saturday June 23rd at 7:30 PM at Stories Books and Cafe in our own neighborhood of Echo Park for a lecture and book signing of our first book The Urban Homestead. We’ll share what’s going on around the Root Simple compound along with some tips and tricks. Looking forward to seeing some blog readers! Stories is located at 1716 West Sunset Blvd. in the beating heart of Echo Park, Los Angeles....

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Mitchell Joachim’s Techno-Utopian Future

...House. Mitchell Joachim At the risk of being a nattering nabob of negativity, I just have to say that I think it’s time to grow up and stop fantasizing about jet packs, hydroponic farms and electric cars.  We need to get realistic about our future and explore design work that lives within the resource limits of this planet. Like Greer, I believe it’s time to return to what came to be called, in the 1960s and 70s, appropriate techno...

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Meet the Gophinator

The Gophinator Thankfully, we don’t have gophers, but dealing with them is one of the first questions we get when teaching vegetable gardening classes.  You can use raised beds lined with hardware cloth. But, other than target practice (a no-no in urban areas), most people I know with gopher problems end up using traps or zealous cats. Several sources have told me about the Cadillac of gopher traps, the aptly named “Gophina...

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Cargo Bike Roundup

...ra hardtail mountain bike. I’ve had my FreeRadical since 2006 and can’t say enough good things about it. I can easily pack four bags of groceriesin the generously sized bags and still easily glide through traffic in Los Angeles. And I’ve used it to go bike camping. A few years ago Xtracycle teamed with Surley to make the “Big Dummy” a bike frame with a FreeRadical welded in. This reduces the shimmy under load that ha...

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Lasagna Gardening Simplified

First popularized back in the 1970s, “lasagna gardening” involves piling up thick layers of cardboard and uncomposted kitchen scraps on top of (sometimes) double-dug soil. The practice is touted as a way of removing lawns and improving soil with little work. Linda Chalker-Scott, Extension Urban Horticulturist at Washington State University, proposes a vastly simpler version of lasagna gardening.  Chalker-Scott suggests skipping th...

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