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

...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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Pascal Baudar: Rock Star Forager

...e 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 nighshade berries redux sauce, sow thistle, curly dock, amaranth, wild radish sprouts, wild radish pods, cattail,...

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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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Today is American Censorship Day

...osting a family video in which copyrighted music is playing in the background. This bill is likely to pass, and it will happen soon. It’s hard to summarize all the nasty pointy prongs of this legislation in a few words. The video above does an brief overview–be sure to watch to the end for last second updates. Our smart friends at the EFF, who are helping us with the whole Urban Homestead trademark thing, have written several cogent,...

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Root Simple and LA Bread Bakers at Artisinal LA

This Saturday Kelly and I will be joining a panel discussion on urban homesteading along with our good friends Craig Ruggless of Winnetka Farms and goat keepers and cheese makers Gloria Putnam and Stephen Rucidel. The panel will take place at Artisinal LA on Saturday April 16th at 2 pm in Santa Monica. I will also be taking part in a bread baking demo along with the LA Bread Bakers the same day at 1 pm. More information at artisinalla.com....

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Till vs. No-Till

...al agriculture (compared to organic agriculture) to till, use excessive fertilizers, pesticides, etc. I guess it depends on how you regard the soil – as a medium for growing vegetables or as an ecosystem (and I’m not being judgmental). It’s a philosophical choice. No-till agriculture advocates argue that tilling oxidizes organic matter leading to a loss in soil fertility and the creation of carbon dioxide which, in turn, le...

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