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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Emergency water storage

...0;  How much water should you store?  1 gallon of water per person per day. This is the minimal amount necessary for drinking, cooking and very basic hygiene. If you live somewhere it can get beastly hot, factor in extra water for drinking. In scorching temps you’ll need a gallon per person a day just for hydration. Expect you’ll need at least a two week supply. That’s a minimum 14 gallons per household member. Then be sure to a...

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Is Purslane the New Kale?

...ikipedia. Salty, crunchy, nutritious and edible raw or cooked, purslane (Portulaca oleracea) could soon be ready for its fifteen minutes of vegetable fame. We planted some this year in our summer vegetable garden and I’ve used it in a lot of salads this week. Purslane is a common weed in North America. We’d love to be able to forage it in the neighborhood but, for some reason, it only tends to appear in unappetizing locations: usually...

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Saturday Linkages: Mobile Pods, Soil Erosion and Getting Doored by a Porta-Potty

A pod on wheels. Image: Relaxshacks.com A Micro Pond-Side Reading Pod/Cabin for an NYU Professor: http://relaxshacks.blogspot.com/2014/06/a-micro-pond-side-reading-podcabin-for.html?spref=tw  7 Ways to Prevent Soil Erosion – http://tafarm.us/1qIPpp Interactive: Inside the changing American diet http://ti.me/1hPvPrK  via @TIMEHealth Maybe there’s hope? Report Offers a Way For California to Become Water-Sustainable h...

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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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Cargo Bike Roundup

...ntion of the Xtracycle “FreeRadical” back in 1998. The FreeRadical extends the back wheel and allows for the installation of two huge pannier bags and a seat. You provide the bike–I used a cheap 1980s era hardtail mountain bike. I’ve had my FreeRadical since 2006 and can’t say enough good things about it. I can easily pack four bags of groceriesin the generously sized bags and still easily glide through traffic in Lo...

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Chicken Guantanamo

...d they will munch and scratch down every plant they find edible behaving, as the Petaluma Urban Homesteaders put it, “like a pack of delinquent teenagers”. Our chicken housing consists of three zones. Zone one is the hen house–that aluminum structure on the right in the photo above. It contains a roost for the chickens to sleep on at night and a nesting box for the hens to lay their eggs in. Zone two is a secure run covered in...

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Build a Ghetto Solar Cooker

...sed on plans from Backwoods Home Magazine, the Dwell of the Ted Kaczynski set. We just substituted an old cooler for the cardboard boxes, and we finished it off by using one of Los Angeles’ ubiquitous abandoned car tires as a cradle to keep the cooker oriented towards the sun. It ain’t pretty but it works. In our first test we reached 160º inside the oven, but we think we can do better with some refinements such as finding a black pot...

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Stickers for the Organic Gardener

Via BoingBoing a clever re-purposing: “Evil Mad Scientist Labs wants you to proudly label your organic garden with these handsome “Now Slower and with More Bugs!” stickers, originally produced to adorn software products. The influence of the Slow Food movement is increasing, and gardening is getting ever more popular. Even the tech bloggers are posting about local pollinators and getting beehives. In this environment, it is fi...

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The Organic Minefield: How organic are your organic eggs, soy and dairy?

...sues in detail. But the main reason I’m posting this is because they produce useful quick reference charts for brand names and stores. I’ve just found their dairy chart, and wanted to share it with you, and thought I’d share some others as well while I was at it. We’ve posted about the eggs score card before, but it is important enough for a repeat. Check it out: Organic Dairy Scorecard Organic Egg Scorecard Organic  Soy P...

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