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 g...

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Sourdough Pancake Recipe

..., which wastes a lot less flour. But another answer is to use all that tangy delicious starter to make pancakes. For years we’ve used Nancy Silverton’s recipe. Basically, the starter fills in for the flour and milk used in standard pancake recipes. That’s all there is to it. The only downside to the new way we feed our starter is that I don’t make these delicious sourdough pancakes anymore. You could, of course, still make...

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

This is what our keyhole bed looked like yesterday just before I fed the remaining vegetables to our chickens and the compost pile. Ignore the large pot–that’s a future solar powered fountain that will be incorporated in a new vegetable garden we’re working on. Here’s what the keyhole bed looked like just after I installed it back in October. Note the compost repository in the cente...

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Arduino Homesteading Projects

...y infinite number of devices, called “shields”, that plug into the Arduino–to give the device, for example, GPS or wireless capabilities. And there are vast libraries of programs for Arduinos–useful for non-programmers such as myself. In the class we used the $24 Leonardo model of the Arduino, which is commonly used for prototyping. Once you figure out what inputs and outputs you need for your project you can get a cheaper...

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Saturday Linkages: Forklift Furniture and Pickled Turnips

...il 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/ … Champions of wood planing: http://boingboing.net/2013/02/08/champions-of-wood-planing.html … IKEA Hackers: IKEA featuring JBL http://www.ikeahackers.net/2013/01/ikea...

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Anne Hars’ Top Ramen Keyhole Vegetable Garden

...ears and I feel less guilty then I did when I was using wood,” says Hars referring to the straw wattle she used to edge the keyhole. Straw wattle is a (mostly) biodegradable material made out of rice straw and plastic netting. You can find it at irrigation supply stores and on order at Home Depot. It comes in 25 foot lengths. Soil for the bed came from the ground, from bagged soil that used to be in the wooden raised beds and from compost t...

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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 b...

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The tale of the worm bin celery

...ich can be used to scoop up peanut butter. It grew stringy, dark green stalks which tasted powerfully of celery. It made excellent stock, and chopped into fine pieces, it was good in soup, too. Since I don’t eat much raw celery, this suited me fine. All winter long I used this plant as the basis of my cold-weather cooking–chopped onions, carrots and celery in the bottom of every pot. It was a real treat not to have to buy celery for s...

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Filter Fail: How to Cure Internet Addiction

.... We may be well past the point where 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 ho...

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Root Simple’s New CritterCam

Say hello to Root Simple’s new CritterCam and to some of Los Angeles’ many enterprising rats! For my recent birthday Kelly got me a Moultrie M-990i game camera, a device used by hunters and wildlife researchers. It’s a digital still and video camera with a infrared flash and a motion detector. If something moves in front of the camera a picture or video is taken. It also stamps the time and records temperature and moon phase...

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