Emergency water storage

...rdy the container, there is always a chance for water leaks, so you should keep that in mind, too. We live in a very mild climate, so we’re keeping our barrel in constantly shady, protected corner of our back yard. Some resources: How to Store Water for Drinking and Cooking (PDF from Penn State) Backpackers Guide to Water Purification FEMA Preparedness PDF...

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Gift Suggestions, from the Other Half

...A fascinating resource documenting both historical uses and current scientific opinion on our native plants. My post on it is here. Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California’s Natural Resources by M. Kat Anderson, University of California Press, 2006 I’m still fascinated with this book’s thesis: that California Indians actively managed the California landscape, shaping it into the verdant par...

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Virtual Herbs

That list of preparedness resources on hardcorepreppers.com I blogged about this past week is now online and working again. There’s some great stuff there as well as some goofy items. As one Root Simple reader pointed out, the “herbalism” file is actually a list of imaginary herbs from World of Warcraft. Oh how I love when the virtual and real worlds collide....

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The Cat Poop Portal: Litter Box Composting, Installment #1

...nciples as well having special instructions regarding the safe handling of poop. If you don’t know how to compost, I’d start there. That book is widely available, and they have a free pdf on their website. See our resources tab.  Our cat litter is compostable–we’ve been using both Feline Pine and Yesterdays News–pine and paper, respectively. Compostable litter is made up of a true carbon source–that means plan...

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Karp’s Sweet Quince

...fruit and the tree’s susceptibility to fire blight disease means that it has fallen out of favor in the US. There are a few varieties that can be eaten raw including Karp’s quince, which the USDA’s Germplasm Resources Information Network describes: “Grown in the Majes Valley in the province of Arequipa in southern Peru. C. T. Kennedy of the California Rare Fruit Growers received this from David Karp of Venice, California,...

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We’re Changing

...figure things out. And really, that’s the best way to change. “What kind of changes?” you ask? Well, those ideas are still developing, but our overarching goal is to offer our readers more: more posts, more resources, more information, more voices.  This weekend, though, all we’re doing is changing our background to white, adding some navigation tabs, and changing our name. What’s our new name? Like the lady in the...

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Avocados

...irrigate to flush out salts that build up during the dry season. Avocados take a long time to ripen on the tree–12 months or more depending on variety. For additional reading Stucky recommended the following internet resources: Avocadosource.com California Avocado Society California Avocado Commission (The “growers” part of their website) One thing that I discovered this year is that you can leave avocados on the tree for a v...

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So I had this dream

...ried about them  because they are house-worms, acclimated to room temperature, and I’d left them out in the open, on concrete, and in a shallow bin. See, worms can take care of themselves just fine if given the room and resources they need to cool themselves down, warm themselves up, and regulate their moisture. However, when they’re in a shallow little bin, they just don’t have much latitude for adjustment. It’s our respo...

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Block Party Weekend

“Los Angeles is an army camped far from its sources of supply, using distant resources faster than nature renews them . . . Our region today is so dependent, so uninhabitable, yet so inhabited, that it must transform or die. Sooner or later it must generate its own food, fuel, water, wood and ores. It must use these at the rate that nature provides them. It can . . .”-Paul Glover Los Angeles: A History of the Future as quoted in...

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Another Panel Solar Cooker

...fashion a sunshade alone into a solar panel cooker, I’ve found that they don’t stand up well in even a moderate wind. Plans for Poyourow’s cooker can be found here (pdf). She also has a list of solar cooking resources here. And yes, for most North Americans this is the wrong time of year to be blogging on this topic since, as the sun gets lower in the horizon, solar panel cooking season is almost over. But I’ve got a backl...

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