4 Vermicomposting Tips

...ecause the worms don’t have as far to move. You can harvest faster, and get it done all at once instead of forming and reforming the pyramid. Of course when you’re doing either method you should remember the worms are very vulnerable when they’re out of their bin like this, vulnerable to heat and sun–you don’t want to forget about them!–and also to predators like chickens, birds and even dogs. 3) Some of you ha...

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Cargo Bike Roundup

First, thanks all, for your help with my cargo bike review that I’m writing for Urban Farm Magazine. For those of you not familiar with the new crop of cargo bikes here’s what I’m writing about: Longtail Bikes Xtracycle FreeRadical The “longtail” revolution began with the invention of the Xtracycle “FreeRadical” back in 1998. The FreeRadical extends the back wheel and allows for the installat...

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Animal Tracking

...measurements. Once you know for sure who is causing the mischief, it might be easier to come up with solutions for how to protect your garden. For instance, you could look up advice from your local Integrated Pest Management program, like the one offered by the University of California. Note: If you’re in the market for a good tracking book, I can recommend the book we used in class, The Tracker’s Field Guide , written by one of the...

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Return of Bean Friday: Spicy Mayocoba Beans

Mrs. Homegrown here: Our neighbor Teresa of Tularosa Farms gave us this recipe. She not only gave us this recipe, but a bag of beans to go with it, and a loaner dutch oven.  How’s that for neighborly? I made it a while back and really liked the results. Erik proclaimed it to be the best of all the Bean Friday dishes, though I remain partial to the Bastardized Puerto Rican beans. I’m happy to finally get a moment to share th...

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Sun Bleaching Really, Really Works

...unteract yellow. All of these may have been combined with sun exposure. Villages had designated, communal areas for spreading out laundry. Do an image search for “bleaching ground” and you’ll find lots of old paintings on the subject. Linen manufacturers also used to bleach linen in the sun, so you might find pics of huge operations as well as ordinary laundresses. • Some nice factoids on old fashioned laundry techniques can b...

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Weedeater Street Medicine in Los Angeles

...with hands-on gathering and preparations, tastings and samplings and grounded with an urbanforage walk. A light foraged lunch and teas will be provided. Day OneIntroduction to basic herbal energetics and actions that includes a two hour urban forage walk. Preparations of medicines used externally: poultices, linaments and salves. Day TwoIntroduction to Plant Spirit Medicine that includes a two hour urban forage walk. Preparations of medicines us...

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Why not plant some Calendula?

...One of my favorite plants in the garden is Calendula officinalis, aka pot marigold. It should not be mistaken for common marigold, or Mexican marigold, both of which are in the genus Tagetes. Tagetes marigolds are popularly used in companion planting (to ward off bugs in the garden), and for combating nemadtodes in the soil. Calendula is for helping people. I grow Calendula in order to make lotions, balms and salves. I’m a firm believer...

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Addendum to the previous post: Nasal irrigation and pressure points

...you’ll feel so much better afterward: all clean and fresh. *** The second technique that I found helpful for sinus pain was pressure points. I don’t know much about this therapy, a friend suggested it and I just did as she said. I found it helped, or at least distracted me, when I wasn’t under my steam tent. I used two sets of points: 1) Press the tips of your index fingers on either side of your nostrils. Not on the nostrils...

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A New Fitness Craze: The Kayak Balance Stool

...land got a meaty bone to nibble on while they practiced on one of these things. I’m going to skip the bone for some reading material and slowly increase my time on the board. For a fancy kayak balance board tip yourself over here. Note from Mrs. Homestead: Came home last night to find Erik had made this highly attractive new toy on the porch. I was actually somewhat intrigued, because it looks like it could be used to build core strength w...

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A Tensegrity Table

...ope, my slightly wonky scrap tensegrity miraculously seemed to assemble itself. Tensegrities make a nice project for using up short scrap materials and can be stacked to form a tower. An example of a very tall tensegrity structure is sculptor Kenneth Snelson’s “Needle Tower”, installed at the Hirshhorn in Washington D.C. While more of a traditionalist when it comes to architectural forms, tensegrities make a nice addition to the...

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