Gift Suggestions, from the Other Half

...remember me writing about them earlier.  Apologies for the California bias: Healing with Medicinal Plants of the West, by Celia Garcia and James D. Adams, Jr., Abedus Press, 2009 Co-authored by a Chumash healer and a USC pharmacology prof., both of whom write for Wilderness Way magazine. A fascinating resource documenting both historical uses and current scientific opinion on our native plants. My post on it is here. Tending the Wild: Nat...

Continue reading…

Saturday Linkages: Basil Downy Mildew, Bees and Grow Lights

...ent-wind-turbines-could-generate-half-household-energy.html … A bacteria that helps produce stay fresh AND saves the bats AND saves the bees??? http://magazine.gsu.edu/article/future-food/ … Fascinating food history–the historical colors of vanilla and chocolate: http://www.ediblegeography.com/vanilla-is-the-old-black/ … Colorado Ham Tracks Down, Resolves Interference from Pot Cultivators’ Grow Lights: http://www.arrl.org/news/view/colorado...

Continue reading…

Laundry to Landscape 2.0

...217;ll do a blog post on this shortly, as I discovered one major manufacturer claiming that a detergent was safe for greywater only to discover that it contained several different sodium compounds, definitely bad for soil! Ludwig gives both a version of this project in PVC and another in HDPE plastic. I chose to work with the politically incorrect PVC since I couldn’t find the groovier 1-inch HDPE in less than 300 foot rolls. If any of you...

Continue reading…

Of Gnomes and Peak Oil

...pply of oil is not finite. It is more like a supermarket’s supply of canned tomatoes. At any given moment, there may be a dozen cases in the store, but that inventory is constantly being replenished with the money the customers pay for the cans they remove, and the more tomatoes that customers buy, the bigger an inventory the store will carry. Paracelsus uses a more poetic metaphor. Instead of ordering shipments of tomatoes, it’s our...

Continue reading…

Growing Strawberries in a Self Irrigating Gutter (SIG).

...from Larry Hall, who made a video showing how he uses gutters as self watering containers. In the first part of the video Larry shows how to use a gutter to supply water to a row of pots. In the second part he shows a two gutter strawberry growing system. I decided to build Hall’s self-irrigating gutter (let’s call it a SIG) to grow strawberries. Here’s how I did it: With some scrap wood I made a support system for the two gutt...

Continue reading…

Self Watering Containers

Today, something for our apartment homesteaders. If you’ve got a patch of sun and want to grow some food crops container gardening is the way to go. But container gardening has several drawbacks. Containers dry out quickly and if you forget to water, especially with vegetables, you can easily kill your plants. In fact inconsistent watering is probably the number one cause of container plant failure. Container gardening also uses a lot of...

Continue reading…

The Great Greywater Debate- PVC or Polyethylene?

...e system to be replicable so that we can share it with others and encourage them to use greywater. Searching for the parts for the polyethylene version is confusing – pvc is easy and accessible. This is the challenge. So what do people think- should we go with pvc or polyethylene? Mr. Homegrown here. So I just found a local source for 1-inch polyethylene: Aqua-Flo. Cost is in the neighborhood of 33¢ a foot depending on how much you get. It...

Continue reading…

Food Storage as Art

Artist Jihyun Ryou’s work uses food storage techniques from the pre-refrigerator era in a way that’s both useful and beautiful. Her goal is to, “Try to bring your food in front of your eyes” to counteract that tendency we all have to make our refrigerators unintentional composters. The techniques she demonstrates include: Evaporation Sand, both to keep vegetables vertical and to decrease humidity Using the ethylene g...

Continue reading…

Low Tech Solar Heating with a Thermosyphon Collector

Yet another great post from the folks at Build It Solar: a simple and low tech solar heating system called a thermosyphon collector mounted in the wall of a garage. It uses the same principle as the solar dehydrator we have on our garage roof–basically it’s just some clear plastic and a heat collector made out of black window screen. If your climate is cold and sunny (think Colorado) this would work nicely. Read the post to see a r...

Continue reading…