Five Lessons We Learned About Lead in Soil

is problem is in urban areas. Towards that end I though I would share five things that we learned from our backyard lead crisis: Buyer Beware. When you are shopping for a house do multiple soil tests. Once you buy the house it’s too late. Real estate contracts in California (and I suspect elsewhere) have been loaded up with disclaimers about lead and old houses. I’m no legal expert, but I suspect it would be difficult to go after th...

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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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Nominate Your Favorite Complainer

At least once every other month there’s some municipality that sees fit to bust a front yard vegetable garden. Last month some Quebec officials ordered the immaculate kitchen garden, pictured above, removed. You can sign a petition 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 friend...

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Pascal Baudar: Rock Star Forager

radish and mustard flowers as well as home made infused California bay salt. A few weeks ago I had the privilege of eating a foraged green salad, soup and “deconstructed potato salad” that he and Mia cooked up. It was, no exaggeration here, one of the most amazing meals of my life. That green salad that Mia prepared and Pascal foraged looked like this: Photo by Mia Wasilevich It consisted of: Yucca flowers and bud in a n...

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Saturday Linkages: Collapse Now and Avoid the Rush

...ngboing.net/2012/06/08/the-secret-lives-of-citrus-fru.html The Archdruid Report: Collapse Now and Avoid the Rush http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2012/06/collapse-now-and-avoid-rush.html?spref=tw Our friend Nancy Klehm: Urban Foraging: Looking for Herbs on the Wild Side http://shar.es/qTEsU Why you should keep a tampon or two in your survival kit: http://artofmanliness.com/2012/06/05/survival-tampon/ A repurposed trampaline becomes teepee...

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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

...loops could form the basis of a new faith to replace our current consumerist spirituality. In-Vitro Meat 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. Li...

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The Art of Memory

...bards of the past who could recite thousands of lines of poetry, or the Greek rhetoricians who could speak for hours at a time without notes? Thankfully the basics of the lost art of memory can be mastered in an evening. And  it’s all in a short section of a 2,100 year old document called the Rhetorica ad Herennium. Here’s the memory trick the ad Herennium describes in two easy steps. Step one. Say, for example, you want to memorize...

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Meet the Gophinator

Ranch is one of those Gophinator fans, who stressed avoiding the cheap traps available at big box stores. The Gophinator is sturdy, easy to set and made out of stainless steel that lasts much longer than cheaper traps. To use it you need to dig around and find the main subway line the gophers ride. Scott hooks up a wire and a stake to the traps to remember where they are placed. The Gophinator is manufactured by Trapline products and you can orde...

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In Seattle, Headed to Portland

Photo from bikejuju.com Dig that tallbike, welded up by our host in Seattle Tom, a.k.a. “bikejuju” who has a blog at www.bikejuju.com. His wife Lyanda is the author of a book readers of this blog will enjoy, Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness . And they have the prettiest mixte I’ve ever seen in their living room. This afternoon we head to Portland. Hope to see you at one of our appearances....

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