Toilet paper in the woods: a rant and some advice

...for safety and fun and convenience. I just wish that there was some more education about how to properly pee in the woods. It’s not hard to take care of your own needs and take care of the land at the same time. To whit: 4 tidy ways to pee in the woods Carry a zip lock baggie in your pocket. Put your used toilet paper in the bag and carry it until you get to the next garbage can. It won’t smell, it’s not that gross. It’s...

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Quick Tip: DIY Decaf Tea

...t  (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 would have to be over 5 minutes. It’s an interesting article, worth a read–it also addresses the complex s...

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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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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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Sourdough Rye 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 the healthiest bread on the planet: a 100% whole grain sourdough rye. In this class you’ll learn how to start and maintain a sourdough starter and how to work with whole grains. We’ll reveal the secrets of whole grain baking, plus you’ll learn how you can grind your own grains. In the end, you’...

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Is Ham Radio Useful?

...zores, Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, New Zealand–the list of countries went on and on. I spent three hours in the club’s radio room, located in the emergency communications center at the offices of a local hospital. It was fun, but the utility of the exercise was not immediately apparent. The cell phone system is a lot more robust than it used to be and you don’t need a licence to use a phone in an emergency. I got home from the co...

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Farmstead Egg Guide & Cookbook Giveaway

...us whether you’d ever consider keeping chickens. We’ll draw a winner at random. Here’s one of the recipes from the book: Zucchini and Mint Frittata Mint is not just for iced tea and garnishes on plates! Used in a frittata, it adds just the right savory and herbal note to the vegetables. A frittata can be finished in the oven, or it can be flipped over in the pan and finished on the stove. This recipe gives d...

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Beekeeping Class at the Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano

...eekeeping tools, materials, and techniques to get started. Beekeeping, or apiculture, is said to have begun with the Egyptians who used logs, boxes, and pottery vessels to make hives. Today, with bees dissapearing at rapid and never before seen rate, the practice of caring for bees is needed now more than ever. Join us for this workshop on all natural, no treatment beekeeping. Learn the basics of beekeeping including makeup of the hive, equipemen...

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World’s Largest Kale

The Franchi kale (collard?) “Galega De Folhas Lisas” I planted in the fall of 2012 has reached six feet. It’s a Portuguese variety used in a soup called Caldo Verde. Given that we have such a small yard I’ve really got to stop planting gargantuan vegetables like this and those ridiculous Lunga di Napoli squash. Root Simple is at risk of devolving into a geek with large veggie Tumblr site....

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Decomposed Granite as Mulch: A very bad idea

...the front door orange, add a horizontal fence, redo the interior in a Home Depot meets Dwell Magazine style and then turn around and sell it for a million bucks. When house flippers tackle a yard they tend towards the “low-maintenance” landscape (in quotes because there’s no such thing as a low-maintenance garden). One of the favorite tools in the flipper landscaping toolbox is decomposed granite (DG) used as a mulch. Put some...

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