Sourdough Bread Class at the Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano

Ditch the preservatives and plastic wrap. Join us and learn how to make homemade, all-natural bread from scratch. Learn to bake bread the natural way, with a sourdough starter. Sourdough cultures make breads with bolder flavors, a longer shelf life and deliver the health benefits of living, fermented foods. In this hands-on workshop we’ll make a simple loaf using a version of the miraculous and easy Chad Robertson Tarti...

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The canning lid conundrum

How do you guys store your used canning lids and rings? We keep a lot of them around because we use canning jars for so many things other than canning: dry goods, leftovers, food-to-go, body care, etc.  My collection is driving me crazy. Never was there a set of more awkward objects than a pile of slippery, jangly rings and lids. Ideas? [Mr. Homegrown in my Master Food Preserver mode chiming in here--as per USDA advice we use...

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Toilet paper in the woods: a rant and some advice

...tay well hydrated while outdoors. You should drink lots and pee lots. I’ve heard that the most common call for mountain rescue is for women who collapse on the trail because of dehydration, because they weren’t drinking because they didn’t want to pee outdoors. Don’t let this be you. I want all women to be comfortable peeing outdoors, for safety and fun and convenience. I just wish that there was some more education about...

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Quick Tip: DIY Decaf Tea

EDITED  8/6/2014 It appears we have been taken in by a popular Internet myth.  A reader comment  (Thanks, Laura!) brought alerted me to an excellent post on tea myths and includes findings from (apparently) the only two studies to every test this methodology of reducing caffeine levels in tea.  These show that the reduction from a short steeping would be more in the 9-20% range, as opposed to 80%. To achieve 80% the steep wo...

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012 Damnation, Good Books and Listener Questions

...be, a documentary on China’s massive Three Gorges dam. I didn’t mention it during the podcast, but I used to work at the Center for Land Use Interpretation. The CLUI did a show on towns submerged by dam building projects called Immersed Remains. What we are Reading Kelly is reading The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv. Erik is reading Psychomagic by Alejandro Jodorowsky. Liste...

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The Mystery of the Zero-Irrigation Squash

We can’t sit down until we eat our squash. You guys might remember that last year our entire back yard was swamped with squash vines, as we were growing two types of large squash: Tromboncino and “Long of Naples”.  They were both tasty as juveniles, but our long wait for them to ripen was disappointing. Both were rather bland. Bland yet remarkably plenteous. We tried many things to make this stuff useful and/...

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Dome Building

...g the damn things, and the fact that all of these intersecting angles will someday leak. And we can’t also forget the embarrassing possibilities of the whispering dome effect, where the shape of the dome acts as a sound reflector, bouncing intimate sounds from one end of your domed domicile to the other. The Integratron But domes have an undeniable beauty, a pureness of form and it’s no coincidence that domes are often used for rel...

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Getting started with worms

...l worm biology, The Adventures of Herman, published by the University of Illinois Extension, is a great resource for both kids and adult who just want the basics. If you want a book on the subject, Worms Eat My Garbage, by Mary Appelhoff. remains the classic resource on aspects of vermicomposting (that is, keeping a worm bin) It’s been in print for a long time, so is easy to find new or used or at the library. Appelhof’s book has ever...

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Apartment Parking Lot Gardening in East Hollywood

...h with pure tung oil from Jill’s paint in Atwater. Each planter gives me 5,  12 x 12 inch sq. ft. spaces for growing. These boxes take up a small amount of space and fit easily in the area  ( about 2 feet wide) between the parked cars and the back wall of my apt building. The area gets about 6 hours of sunlight so it is ideal for growing. This is my second year of growing and I am a new gardener but I am happy with my...

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All Natural No-Treatment Beekeeping Class at the Ecology Center

I’ll be teaching a natural beekeeping class tomorrow at the Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano at 1pm. Sign up here. Become a backyard beekeeper and enjoy a healthy garden full of pollinators. Understand the basics of bees, all natural beekeeping methods, tools, materials, and techniques to get you started. It’s said that beekeeping, or apiculture, began with the Egyptians whom used logs, boxes, and pottery ves...

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