Choosing the Perfect Tortilla Press

#8217;s recent closing described it as, “like ‘Taco Tuesday’ at an elementary school in Kansas.” One of the many reasons the food at this place was substandard was the store bought tortillas they used. For some reasons, few Mexican restaurants here make their own tortillas. Tired of substandard Mexican fare, I resolved to make my own tortillas. Thus began Root Simple’s “Taco Tuesday.” The first step was t...

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The Whip: A Homemade Moisturizer How-To from Making It

...could eat it! You might find it heavier than what you’re used to, because it doesn’t contain all the chemicals that the store-bought stuff employs to make it absorb fast into your skin (see the Skin Deep database for the scoop on what’s in your favorite moisturizer). But I promise you that if you use it for a couple of days you’ll get used to the difference–and then you’ll get hooked on the results. My skin ha...

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What is Killing the Bees?

sticides interfere with honeybee’s resistance to a common parasite Nosema ceranae. Bees exposed to a widely used agricultural fungicide, chlorothonatil, were more likely to succumb to nosema. The most provocative result for me was that bees exposed to fluvalinate, a miticide used by beekeepers on their own bees, were also likely to get nosema. Perhaps the villain in CCD is the beekepers themselves. Don’t get me wrong, pesticides proba...

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Stencils as Garden Art

...air talks about. So let’s make some stencils! Here’s how I do it: Image processing First step is to find a suitable image. This tutorial shows you how to use Photoshop to make your stencil. Materials and tools I used acetate, but it’s expensive. Bruce used old manilla folders. A cheaper alternative is freezer paper. I cut my stencil using an exacto knife. Painting First I spray the surface I’m stenciling with some Krylo...

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Least Favorite Plant: Tree of Heaven

...s trees of heaven (aka Ailanthus altissima, aka “ghetto palm”). The higher the ghetto palms, the more likely a city is to be in the crapper. Tree of heaven is a super weed much reviled by gardeners and landscapers for its unstoppable ability to grow in nearly every climate in the most inhospitable conditions. In a move that will raise a lot of horticultural hackles, the Detroit Tree of Heaven Woodshop has gone beyond the “if you...

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Bar Codes on Veggies

Via the trade journal Wireless Watch Japan comes a story on Japanese cell phone users with built in QR bar code readers using their phones to check food safety, “Forget any assumptions about Hicksville. Japanese farmers have little fear of technology. Rural Ibaraki Prefecture has turbo charged their QR coding for agricultural products tagging a wide variety of vegetables grown in that prefecture. Ibaraki Prefectural authorities and the JA...

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Non-GMO Versions of Grape Nuts and Cheerios Less Nutritious Than GMO Versions

...bit and find a healthier breakfast alternative. Any suggestions? Note from Mrs. Homegrown:  This post took me by surprise. Erik has eaten Gravel Nuts–I mean, Grape Nuts–for breakfast since I’ve know him (and for who knows how long before that) and that, my friends, is a long, long time.  If we are what we eat, Erik must be half composed of Grape Nuts. I can hardly imagine this new era of breakfasts which lays before us! We are u...

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Teflon Coated Light Bulbs Deadly to Chickens

..., it creates fumes potentially fatal to confined birds.” GE does not have a warning label. I let the ladies take the winter off of laying and it never dips below 40ºF here so we do not have a light bulb in our coop. But for those of you who do, make sure you don’t use one of these shatter resistant, Teflon coated bulbs. See also the McMurray Hatchery warning on shatter resistant bulbs....

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New Health Food Trends at the Natural Products Food Expo West

This weekend I attended, for or the second year in a row, the Natural Products Expo West. At this massive convention, health food, natural supplement and cosmetic concerns pitch their products to retailers. And, again this year, I did a lot of intemperate sampling. For the sake of you, our dear readers, I ate every known power bar, sports beverage and processed soy/hemp/chia meat substitute so you won’t have to. It was the human equivalen...

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Review: Quaker Lower Sugar Instant Oatmeal

I prefer long cooked oatmeal when I’m at home, but we’ve always packed instant oatmeal with us when camping. I think the habit goes back to when Erik and I took epic backpacking trips, and food weight was a prime consideration. Now, camping is a more gentle endeavor–but the instant oatmeal has become a tradition, an easy no-brainer for sleepy grey mornings in the woods, even though its nutritional qualities are highly suspect....

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