The Horror

Terrifying photo via Bike Snob NYC The day began with the discovery that our neighbor’s roommate, practicing the kind of gardening we associate with crazy people and goats, had hacked off half the length of the native grape vine that we had counted on covering an ugly chain link fence. An innocent mistake, but evidence that some folks apparently don’t know what grape vines look like and that they loose their leaves in the winter....

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Something for Nothing – Wild Mustard Greens

...used as a potherb. Seed – sprouted and eaten raw. The seed takes about 4 days to be ready. A hot flavour, it is often used in salads. A nutritional analysis is available. The seed can be ground into a powder and used as a food flavouring, it is the ‘white mustard’ of commerce . . . The pungency of mustard develops when cold water is added to the ground-up seed – an enzyme (myrosin) acts on a glycoside (sinigrin) to produc...

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Rubber Sidewalks Rescue Trees

...just to complain about a tree being messy and littering their sidewalk or driveway. My personal take on that is it isn’t the tree that should be removed- it is the concrete. Leaves falling off of trees is a good thing. Leaves make glorious mulch or compost and that hardscape is just in the way of some healthy soil. Nonetheless, in a city there are sidewalks. There are also commonly trees near sidewalks. The wrong species of tree or a tree...

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Row Cover as an Insect Barrier

It ain’t pretty but it works. As one would expect, cabbage leaf worms love cabbage and nearly every other member of the brassica species.  Which  is why I’ve become a real fan of row cover material as an insect barrier. The perp in question. It rarely freezes here so I use the thinnest row cover possible, specifically a product called Agribon-15. If you live in a cooler climate and want to use row cover for frost pr...

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Thursday Linkages: Mason Bees, Hawks and Robot Cars

Image: BoingBoing For some reason I neglected to publish last Saturday’s gaggle o’ links. Here is a belated version: Build Your Own Mason Bee House http://boingboing.net/2014/05/16/build-your-own-mason-bee-house.html … Swiss Restaurant Imposes Fine on Customers Wasting Food http://www.ibtimes.co.in/swiss-restaurant-imposes-fine-customers-wasting-food-600131 … via @ibtimesindia1 #foodcrisis Hawks and Rats in NYC, on...

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Campfire Cooking: Fish in Clay (& Vegetarian Options!)

...in the wild or, in the case of this workshop, from the local art supply store. If you’re buying the clay, it doesn’t matter what kind–so go for the least expensive type. If you are harvesting your own clay, just make sure the ground in that spot you’re digging in isn’t polluted, e.g. the site of an old gas station. If you do dig your own clay, and find that it is not pure enough to hold together well, try adding an...

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Journal of the New Alchemists

...orts of the time is the Todd’s science background. The Journal has a refreshing research-based approach to its subject matter. The period I reviewed (their last decade of publication) covers mostly their agricultural experiments, but occasionally dips into urban planning and other subjects. Biodome. Image: Journal of the New Alchemy. It’s interesting to look back at their work to see what ideas went mainstream and w...

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Saturday Linkages: Well Tended Fires, Gardening Myths and a Spartan House

Image: Low Tech Magazine. Well tended fires outperform modern cooking stoves: http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2014/06/thermal-efficiency-cooking-stoves.html … Grace and Gratitude, an urban homestead in Norfolk http://fw.to/kSevPBG  ‘Hobbit house’ set to be knocked down http://bit.ly/1qttpPH  10 Gardening Myths Busted! http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20815937,00.html … One for the honey: Beekeeping frame st...

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Of Skunks, Sauerkraut and Stoicism

We were honored when the nice folks behind Stoic Week 2013 asked us to write a blog post. It begins, Practicality is why stoicism works so well as the philosophical operating system of urban homesteading. While Foucault and Hegel might help me navigate the epistemological frontier, when I’m staring at a carefully tended vegetable bed that just got destroyed by a skunk, you can bet I’ll reach for the Seneca. Read the rest here...

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Saturday Linkages: Cheese Powder and Torpedo Bikes

...r-ways-to-waste-your-money-than-this-crowdfunde-1458308873 … Berlin workshop on “Unpleasant Design”: urban design that bullies it users: http://boingboing.net/2013/11/11/berlin-workshop-tomorrow-on.html … It’s Time to Rethink America’s Corn System http://ensia.com/voices/its-time-to-rethink-americas-corn-system/ … Cheese powder: What is it?: http://boingboing.net/2013/11/14/cheese-powder-what-is-it.html … My Vintage Apron Collection h...

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