A Tensegrity Table

Tensegrities are an attractive structure that can be built with rods and string or wire. The term is Buckminster Fuller’s combination of “tension” and “integrity”, though Fuller probably did not invent the concept. Having seen a coffee table that used a tensegrity as a base, I decided to see if I could make a similar table, only out of scavenged materials (scavenging seems appropriate in these crummy economic times!...

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Arduino Homesteading Projects

...You can get a nearly 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...

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Anne Hars’ Top Ramen Keyhole Vegetable Garden

...getable gardens that contain a compost pile in the center. The compost pile provides nutrients and worm habitat. The keyhole form is said by permaulturalists to maximize space and ease of access. Hars’ keyhole bed replaced two square raised beds that were made out of wood. “Gardens have to be rethought every couple of years and I feel less guilty then I did when I was using wood,” says Hars referring to the straw wattle she used...

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How to Make a Bee Skep

...store finds along with Mr. Spock’s Music From Outer Space and a classified 16mm film rocket test film from the 1950s. Should you not be so fortunate as to find a skep in your local thrift store, Modern Farmer Magazine has a post on how you can build your own. Looks like a fun project. How skeps are used The following series of videos show how skeps are used. Part 6 documents the steps leading up to the honey harvest. It’s a labor int...

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

...hat 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 center of the bed. I used straw wattle (available where professional irrigation supplies are sold) to form the sides of the keyhole. A month later in November a few seedlings were popping up. I had to robustify the skunk barrier (...

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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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Grow the Soil

...uctions here via Agroforestry.net. See Toby Hemenway’s introductory permaculture guide Gaia’s Garden for a similar sheet mulching technique. 2. Cover Crop An alternate soil building method would have been to simply give the beds a rest for a season and plant a nutrient-building and soil-busting mix of clovers and legumes. Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply has a nice selection of annual cover crops here. We used their dryland mix...

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Do Something Day

...y, we present a memorable Craigslist ad found by our comrade, neighbor and art blogger Doug Harvey while looking for a refrigerator to replace the one that got fried in a freak electric storm the other night, “Never used, brand new 2008 GE Energystar fridge in original box. Blessed by his Holiness the Dalai Lama upon his last visit to Los Angeles, this fridge is sure to maintain the temperature and spiritual balance of all food. Due to heal...

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Quick Breads

Here at the Homegrown Revolution compound we used to make our own sourdough bread. In fact we used the exhaustive, fetishistic and ridiculously detailed instructions to be found in Nancy Silverton’s book Breads from the La Brea Bakery. Silverton did for bread what Starbucks did for coffee, before she arrived on the scene America was a Wonder bread wasteland but now, in our coast to coast boho yuppified age, you can even find decent La Bre...

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A Close Shave Part II: The Rolls Razor

Shaving authority and Root Simple Toronto correspondent Nicholas Sammond sent these handsome pics of a unique shaving system called the “Rolls Razor”. It looks like a safety razor, but instead of using disposable blades, the blade is permanent and re-sharpened on two stones contained in the case. One stone is used for occasional re-sharpening and the other stone is a “strop” used to sharpen the blade a...

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