Bean Fest, Episode 4: Frijoles Refritos

...ing pan along with some seasonings and fat. What makes them a little shady to the health conscious and vegetarian set is that they are traditionally fried in lard. But vegetable oil can be used just as well, and I’d add for the sake of fairness, that real, home cooked lard from well-raised pigs is not such a bad fat. For what it’s worth. To make refried beans you just need to have some cooked beans on hand, the classic choice being pi...

Continue reading…

Filter Fail: How to Cure Internet Addiction

here the distraction potential of the internet is beginning to adversely effect its usefulness. Preventing filter fail So what can be done on a personal level to prevent “filter fail?” Only two things have worked for me in the past: Checking email only twice a day, though this is getting difficult. I find myself falling behind. Putting distance between myself and the computer by getting out of the house in the evening and going to t...

Continue reading…

Mistakes we have made . . .

...disappointing, have more instructional value than our successes. And oh, how many blunders there have been in the past ten years. It’s about time to round up the top 6. I’m sure there are many more that I’ve forgotten, but here’s a start. 1. Installing a water garden. That water garden looks great in the picture above. That was before the neighborhood raccoons spent several nights a week treating it like rock stars used to...

Continue reading…

Michael Reynold’s Beer Can Houses

The National Archive just put thousands of 1970s era images from the Environmental Protection Agency online. One of the photographers working for the EPA, David Hiser, captured New Mexico architect Michael Reynolds building houses out of adobe and aluminum cans. See a selection of these photos after the jump . . . Caption: “Detail of a wall in an experimental home built of aluminum beer and soft drink cans near Taos, New Mexico. for th...

Continue reading…

A Tensegrity Table

ustrating than I expected, but once I got my head around the geometry of the concept and learned how to tug the rope, 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...

Continue reading…

Delicious Cauliflower

For me, cauliflower is a vegetable which eludes inspiration. I eat it raw. I roast it. I’ve made soup with it once or twice. That’s about the sum of my historic use of cauliflower. Now, everything has changed. I’ve found a recipe for cauliflower which I love. It comes from a book called Vegetarian Dishes from the Middle East, by Arto der Haroutunian. I think I’ve mentioned it before. It’s a good, reliable book. Lat...

Continue reading…

Grow the Soil

...moisture, and a thick application of mulch consisting of hay, stable bedding, or other bulk materials. Full instructions here via Agroforestry.net. See Toby Hemenway’s introductory permaculture guide Gaia’s Garden for a similar sheet mulching technique. 2. Cover Crop An alternate soil building method would have been to simply give the beds a rest for a season and plant a nutrient-building and soil-busting mix of clovers and legumes. P...

Continue reading…

The Rag and Bone Man

Loyal Homegrown Revolution reader Ken M wrote us with a challenge for us to figure out what can be done with old rags. Ken says that he’s made a rag rug once and proposes the intriguing idea of “patching a pair of jeans with rags for so many years that eventually every single thread from the original has been worn away and replaced by rags.” This sounds a bit like a poetic inversion of Yoko Ono’s “Cut Piece“,...

Continue reading…

Chicken Guantanamo

...keeping readers to add to and amend our advice. In our opinion the first step in keeping a backyard flock is to figure out where you’re going to house them. We’ll get into more detail over the next few months, but for now we thought a few pictures might help explain what we’ve come up with. The two main purposes of chicken housing are to protect them from predators and to protect your garden from destruction by your chickens. T...

Continue reading…

Homegrown Revolution at the Alt-Car Expo

Homegrown Revolution will be making an appearance at the Alt-Car expo this Saturday October 20th at 10:30 a.m. to pimp for the bicycle as an alternative to the electric and ethanol cars crowding the improvised showroom at the Santa Monica Airport. We’ll be joined on a panel discussion by Jennifer Klausner of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and Joseph Linton of Livable Places. The panel is entitled “Getting out of the BoxR...

Continue reading…