Upcoming Classes: Edible Gardening and Vermicomposting

...GROW LA VICTORY GARDENING BEGINNING CLASSES In partnership with the LA County Master Gardener Program In Silver Lake: hosted by Root SimpleTuesday and Thursday evenings, Oct 4, 6, 11, 13, 6:00 to 9:00pm$85 early registration for payments received by September 23, $95 thereafter$25 per single class if availableSilver Lake series is filling up quickly  Recommended for those who have moderate organic gardening skills, are new gardeners, have moved...

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The Big To-Do List

Robert Heinlein, in his book Time Enough For Love, suggests a list of skills everyone should know, “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal,...

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Seed Mania

...one Age Wheat from Bountiful Gardens, the seed company founded by John Jeavons. I’ve grew a few Bountiful Gardens seeds this summer with great success (particularly their summer, late to bolt lettuce). I’m looking forwards to growing the world’s smallest ancient wheat field (2 square feet) this winter. Ancient wheat is known for being difficult to thresh and clean. At least I won’t have much to harvest! Perpetual Spinach C...

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Philosophical EDC: Seneca

The most important part of my “everyday carry” is not my pocket knife. It’s my slim and easy to tote copy of Seneca’s Moral Essays, Volume II . Why? Passages like this: But it does no good to have got rid of the causes of individual sorrow; for one is sometimes seized by hatred of the whole human race. When you reflect how rare is simplicity, how unknown is innocence, and how good faith scarcely exists, except w...

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Cheap and Natural Handsoap–and a rant

...ably cheaper to buy one at the supermarket, use up the soap and then start refilling with liquid castile soap. The one in our bathroom is an old Method pump and is still working fine after three years. The secret of the soap formula used in foaming pumps is that it’s super-diluted. It has to to diluted because full strength soap clogs the pump.  It’s kind of a scam, when you think about it, that when you buy a foaming pump you pay as...

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Peat-free Planting Mix Recipe With Coconut Coir

Nancy’s coconut coir-based planting mix. Here she’s doing the squeeze test, which we talk about below. From an environmental perspective peat moss is a nightmare. Mining of this material is unsustainable, contributes to global warming and destroys habitat for many plants and animals. But, for starting seeds, we’ve used it for years. Our friend Nancy Klehm taught us recently how to make a seed starting mix with coconut...

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Guilt Free Ice Pops

...aside, what I like about ice pops is that, unlike other desserts, you can make them with either small amounts of sugar or no sugar at all. All you need is a ice pop mold and a freezer. What follows are a few links to recipes for healthy ice pops, perfect for those hot August days: Homestead Survival has a recipe for orange blossom water popsicles. They are just fruit, water, honey, lemon juice and some orange blossom water. The Sweet Life has...

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A DIY Whole House Fan

...t in climates that have hot days and cool nights–like Los Angeles or many other parts of the Southwest. Diagram from Gear Hack. Whole house fans are usually placed in a ceiling towards the middle of the house. For us that’s the hallway. Unfortunately, between the attic access door and the intake for the central heater, our hallway ceiling had no room to fit a standard whole house fan. And I’m cheap. So I decided to mak...

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Deodorizing Wash

...8217;m a little too fragrant. I also bring it camping to help reduce the fugg. The baking soda cuts through body grease and deodorizes. The tea tree oil kills any stinky bacteria that remain. To be clear, this is specifically used to cut sweat on the upper regions of the body–pits, chest, neck and back. I wouldn’t recommend using it “south of the equator.” Deodorizing Wash/Cleaning Spray You’ll need: Baking soda (s...

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Barley Water

...r in a can from a Japanese supermarket, and I believe unsweetened barley water is a health drink all the way from India to Japan. And of course, there’s hot and cold roasted barley tea in those parts, too. Health claims for barely water vary depending on how and where it’s made. It has been used as a pap for infants, as a balm for digestive systems, to sooth sore throats and to cure UTIs, to promote lactation, and even to combat hig...

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