Homegrown REvolution

...ia, spotted us and asked us to write a book, The Urban Homestead, thus beginning an unexpected course, which has forced us to consider things such as branding and marketing. Like all children of the late 20th century we’re inescapably linked to a “mediated” culture, to a world of appearances defined by mass media in all its many forms. In the midst of having to figure out a new name for ourselves, along with the incredibly frust...

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Using Greywater from your Washing Machine

...the water through pipes. The tank also slows down the flow of water going out to the garden, allowing more time for it to percolate into the soil. In addition the tank lets the water cool a bit, should we run a load in hot water. Bottom of barrel showing fittings Top of the barrel where the hose from the washing machine comes in For the tank we picked up a used and cleaned 55 gallon plastic drum with two “bung holes”, and plumbed...

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A Recipe for Injera

...hiopian restaurant and come home wondering how to make the bread, leading to a fruitless search of the internets for a recipe and our old post about one of the ingredients, teff flour. The recipe we used comes from the excellent book Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz. This is a life changing recipe book that every urban homesteader should own–so go out and buy a copy! So here’s how we made injera based on Katz’s recipe: In...

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A Close Shave Part IV

...out. Lastly, fellow bloggist and Starcrash scholar Doug Harvey writes to suggest a visit to a traditional barber for a professional straight-edge blade experience. We used to do this until a friend of ours started cutting our hair in exchange for lunches at pupusa joints. Perhaps we can get our volunteer hairstylist to take up the blade if we switch to three martini lunches at swankier digs. To our international readers we apologize for the O.J....

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The Chicken and the Egg

...f Korean melodramas, infomercials and the ongoing freak show that is Los Angeles public access television (click for some Francine Dancer!). Now instead of television we just pull up a chair in the late afternoon and watch the four chickens that populate our backyard in their ongoing search for seeds, bugs and the need to sort out the pecking order. After many hours of poultry behavior viewing it’s no surprise to us that some anthropologist...

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Broadleaf Plantain

...ite man’s foot”. The University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program describes its impact thusly: In turfgrass they form dense clumps that give poor footing for athletic fields and golf courses. The plantains have a texture and color that varies from normal turf cultivars, and their flower stalks extend above the turf, reducing its aesthetic quality. Frankly, SurviveLA applauds anything that will cause golfers to...

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Garden Like a Pirate

...n open pit mine or built our own miniature coal fired power plant without any City of LA official giving a damn. For our piratical parkway garden we built two six by six foot raised beds, filled it with quality garden soil, and stuck in two matching wire obelisks for growing beans and tomatoes. Much to our surprise it has been a big success – we had a bumper crop of carrots, beans, turnips, garlic, onions, and beets in the winter and our su...

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It’s Elementary

...Garden School Foundation. I can’t tell you how amazing this garden is, but I think the picture above says it all. It’s about the future, and that future is going to have more mulch and a lot less asphalt! The 24th Street Garden contains vegetables, a mini orchard and two native plant gardens, which are used as part of the school’s California history curriculum. A cooking class happens in the garden once a week, overseen by TV c...

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Poison in the Compost

No, not that Poison I’ve blogged about the dangers of  herbicides in compost before, but it’s worth repeating. Mother Earth News has been doing some excellent reporting on two herbicides, clopyralid and aminopyralid, that can decimate your garden for years should your compost get contaminated by them. I received the following note from Mother Earth news: “As the garden season ramps up, we at Mother Earth News want to let you...

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Italy Questions Neonicotinoid Pesticides, California Department of Food and Agriculture Loves Them

...d suggested that the polluted pollen was one of the main causes of honeybee colony collapse.”[1] Since the Italian government’s ban last year bee colonies have sprung back. In some regions no hives have been lost at all with the exception of citrus groves in Southern Italy where neonicotinoids were sprayed.[2] Which brings me to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, whose love for the neonicotinoid pesticide imidacloprid...

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