Why we moderate comments

...rom the inanities of spam. We thought you’d might like to see some of it, so you know why you have to wait for your comment to go up. The majority of the spam is of the False Reader sort. These comments are always agreeable and sometimes almost slip past us. Variations on “Thanks for sharing” are a real tip-off, though. Most of these types of spammers will use it, while I don’t know if any real reader has ever used that p...

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Cutting a Beehive Out of a Wall

...s like these that reveal Los Angeles as far more like the magical realism of a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel than the celebrity spectacle the media disseminates. Russ, Sue and property owner Jen When we got back to Sue’s garden we put the frames into a hive box and dumped the loose bees in. While we won’t know for a while if the hive will take to its new home, we all felt a great sense of accomplishment. Hopefully, other urbanites ar...

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Chairs, are they killing us?

...se (Lifespan Extending Villa),2004, photo: Léopold Lambert Maverick architects Madeline Gins and her partner, the late Arakawa (he only used his last name) had the idea that our houses should not be comfortable in the western sense of having lots of couches, chairs and ease of access. Rather, they designed off-kilter floors, awkward doorways and dangerous staircases with the idea that being forced to be more active would give us longer, health...

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How To Make Hoshigaki (Dried Persimmons)

...ersimmon season right now, so if you want to try this at home you better jump on it. While a lot can go wrong in the month it takes to make Hoschigaki, the process is not complicated. What kind of persimmons to use The persimmons used to make Hoshigaki are astringent varieties such as Hachiya. Ideally, choose fruit that still has part of the stem. There is a workaround later in these instructions if you can’t find persimmons with stems. Us...

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What To Do With Old Vegetable Seeds

...e to distribute those old seeds around our micro-orchard to see what comes up. Fukuoka has some tips in his book The Natural Way of Farming for creating a semi-wild vegetable garden: Include nitrogen fixers (in my case some clover seeds) Use daikon and other radishes to break up hard soil Sow before weeds emerge Scott Kleinrock has used the same strategy at the Huntington Gardens. Here’s what his semi-wild vegetable garden, growing in the...

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A Question About Gophers

...se galvanized hardware cloth or gopher wire as an underground barrier. We even mentioned this in our first book. The main problem I have with this advice is that the galvanized metal used for hardware cloth and gopher wire leaches significant amounts of zinc as it breaks down. Zinc, in high quantities, is toxic to plants. And, when using cages for trees, I’d worry that the cages would not break down soon enough, causing the roots to circle....

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Sunday Spam: Automatic Chicken Cage

...or Madam, Liaocheng Dongying Hengtong Metal Manufacturing Co.,Ltd here. Glad to hear that you are on the market for Automatic chicken cage. We are a professional producer of the complete sets of equipment for raising birds. At present, it is an enterprise which has the import-export license and exports a batch of complete sets of automatic equipment for raising chickens. These products gained good prestige among customers and they are not only u...

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How to Bake a Traditional German Rye Bread

...ark rye flour and 125 grams of bottled water. 2. In the morning I mix all the ingredients together. Ideally, let the mixture rest for a half hour to an hour before shaping it, but I’ve skipped the rest period and the loaf has turned out just fine. 3. Form into a boule (round) and dust heavily with rye flour. Place the boule in a 9-inch wooden proofing basket (banneton). You can improvise a banneton with a wicker basket. 4. In the late after...

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Why You Should Avoid Staking Trees

...University has some advice: •    If trees must be staked, place stakes as low as possible but no higher than 2/3 the height of the tree. •    Materials used to tie the tree to the stake should be flexible and allow for movement all the way down to the ground so that trunk taper develops correctly. •    Remove all staking material after roots have established. This can be as early as a few months, but should be no longer than one growing season No...

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Butterfly Barrier Failure

...#8211;a butterfly caught within the netting. So two alternatives: Floating row cover (inconvenient and too warm for our climate) More biodiversity in the garden I’m liking the biodiversity option the best. Planting a bunch of brassicas is like opening an all you can eat buffet for cabbage leaf worms. Our backyard has more biodiversity and fewer problems with pests. I used better (homemade) compost  in the raised beds in the backyard, thus...

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