New Project: Making Bitters

w a few experiments together just using things you find in your spice cabinet. Since these are flavoring, not medicine, you don’t have to be as careful with the quantities and timing as you must be when tincturing herbs for medicine. Yet at the same time, it’s a great introduction to that essential herbalist’s craft. Read her post, and have fun! How to Make Homemade Bitters: Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn....

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Do Something Day

In honor of Buy Nothing Day, we present a memorable Craigslist ad found by our comrade, neighbor and art blogger Doug Harvey while looking for a refrigerator to replace the one that got fried in a freak electric storm the other night, “Never used, brand new 2008 GE Energystar fridge in original box. Blessed by his Holiness the Dalai Lama upon his last visit to Los Angeles, this fridge is sure to maintain the temperature and spiritual balan...

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Self-Irrigating Gutter Update

We’ll get back to our thoughts on responses to the Three Headed Hydra of Doom tomorrow, but for today we’re going to take a quick break for a practical post: Self-Irrigating Strawberries! This spring I built a self-irrigating gutter (SIG) using two gutters based on a video by Larry Hall. You can see my original post about this project here. Essentially, it is a gutter filled with potting mix, sitting on top of another gutter filled...

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Picture Sundays: Doberman Chariots

“Ready for the race! Brutus of Quintre and his charge are ready for the sulky races, a regular feature of some of the South African sporting events.” Photos via The Doberman Insider. Now that we are without a car, it’s time for us to figure out alternative forms of transportation. Our late dog was a Doberman and I remembered a book we used to have about the breed that showed some unusual events that used to be held in South Afr...

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Our Keyhole Vegetable Bed: What Worked and What Didn’t Work

Here’s what the keyhole bed looked like just after I installed it back in October. Note the compost repository in the center of the bed. I used straw wattle (available where professional irrigation supplies are sold) to form the sides of the keyhole. A month later in November a few seedlings were popping up. I had to robustify the skunk barrier (made out of bird netting) after repeated skunk raids. What worked: The compost decomposed nice...

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Compost and Pharmaceuticals

...t types of pharmaceuticals and other organic pollutants by various crop plants. What about hormones? A paper in the Journal of Environmental Quality concludes, composting may be an environmentally friendly technology suitable for reducing, but not eliminating, the concentrations of these endocrine disrupting hormones at concentrated animal operation facilities. But we’ve got a lot of hormones making their way into the environment due to agr...

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Anne Hars’ Top Ramen Keyhole Vegetable Garden

...nd a Cow that shows the construction of a keyhole bed in Uganda. Keyhole beds are raised, circular vegetable gardens that contain a compost pile in the center. The compost pile provides nutrients and worm habitat. The keyhole form is said by permaulturalists to maximize space and ease of access. Hars’ keyhole bed replaced two square raised beds that were made out of wood. “Gardens have to be rethought every couple of years and I feel...

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Saturday Linkages: Forklift Furniture and Pickled Turnips

Pickled turnips–photo and recipe by The Domestic Man Having some trouble with our blogging software this weekend–so Root Simple may look a little funky until we figure out what the problem is. Cookin’ Kabees El Lift (Pickled Turnips) http://wp.me/pWGRR-YU  DIY Forklift Furniture: 10 DIY Projects for Used Wooden Pallets | Designs & Ideas on Dornob http://dornob.com/forklift-furniture-10-diy-projects-for-used-wooden-pallets/...

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Maintaining a Worm Bin

This image might represent a new low in aesthetics from the Root Simple Photo Department. And that’s saying something. I freshened up our big worm bin today and I thought I’d report on what I did because I get a lot of questions about worm bin maintenance. First, I want to say this is just how I go about it. Other people will have different methods and habits. Worms are forgiving and reasonably adaptable, so you have a whole lot of l...

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