Licensed to Rant

registrations, and purchases, those vehicles we rely on are being deliberately used by government as the vehicles of our unfreedom. The Real ID Act of 2005, which Bush signed into law on May 11, 2005 sets up federal standards for state drivers licenses. Two of the requirements of the law “physical security features designed to prevent tampering, counterfeiting or duplication for fraudulent purposes” and “a common machine-readabl...

Continue reading…

Radical Beekeeper Michael Thiele Ventures Into New Territory

...by radical biodynamic beekeeper Michael Thiele that, frankly, I walked into biased against. But by the conclusion I could tell that the whole audience, including myself, left deeply moved by what Thiele had to say. The reason for my bias was that I was not too impressed with the two other biodynamic lectures I attended. One was just too pseudo-scientific even for my intuitively biased brain. The other lecturer, when asked why biodynamicists follo...

Continue reading…

Cooking Bread in a Dutch Oven and Alternative Steaming Techniques

doesn’t work as well as the Dutch oven. And I was really surprised to read about an elaborate steaming technique that involves a length of chain in a roasting pan described in the Bouchon Bakery Cookbook. Too much work! For now I’m going to stick with my Dutch oven. Most of the time I manage to get the loaf into the pot and our kitchen is so small that we don’t have room for more gadgets. If I’ve left out any steaming tech...

Continue reading…

Gourmet Foraging and Advanced Acorn Processing

...s, chocolate truffles infused with white sage and dusted with dehydrated raspberry powder, plum membrillo and beer hopped with yarrow. We were there to learn about acorns, but they fed us well! Pascal and Mia are high caliber foragers and foodies.  Check out their sites, Urban Outdoor Skills and Transitional Gastronomy, and if you live in the Los Angeles area, you’ll definitely want to experience their forages and food workshops. Their Meet...

Continue reading…

Climate Change and Personal Responsibility

Erik and I make it a general policy not to engage in politics on this blog. Homesteading is about local and personal change foremost, after all, and it’s a big enough movement to embrace many beliefs. Also, talking politics brings out the trolls, and that’s no fun for anyone. But.  I’ve got to bring this up. And I hope you’ll go along with me and not see this as sort of support or condemnation of any political party, nor...

Continue reading…

Lady Urine, Water Conservation and Halfway Humanure

I approve of the oval shape of the opening of this funnel– and the sporty color. Fact 1: Human urine is an excellent source of nitrogen for your garden. It can be applied directly to a compost pile, or diluted 10:1 and used on plants. Fact 2: Nature has equipped the male of the species in such a manner that it is easy for him to contribute nitrogen to the compost pile. For women, it’s a bit more tricky. So, how do ladies give back to...

Continue reading…

Garden Design Trends: Interplanting and Plant Communities

...plant communities not allotments). Rainer says, “Massing is out.  Highly interplanted, mixed schemes are in.”  It’s a design aesthetic that mimics nature’s diversity, but in a somewhat more compressed form. The example he uses is the striking garden at Arthritis Research UK. You can see a video of that garden here. Rosalind Creasy has demonstrated, this same interplanting strategy can be used with edible and medicinal pla...

Continue reading…

Scott’s Pepsi-G Stove

t any hardware store. I keep both a Pepsi can stove and a MSR backpacking stove in my backpack. That way I’ve got a backup in case one fails to work. Mrs. Homegrown here: I thought I’d toss in a little more detail for those of you unfamiliar with the concept. A Pepsi can stove is tiny and very light weight, good for two things–ultralight backpacking and as a simple cooking device for what some people call a bug out bag–eme...

Continue reading…

Poo Salon and Urban Forage Classes with Nancy Klehm

Our good friend Nancy Klehm is coming to town for a visit. We’ve invited her to be a guest lecturer at our “Academy of Home Economics” and she’s agreed to teach a couple of classes. If you live in the LA area, this is a chance not to be missed. First, who is Nancy? Nancy Klehm is a radical ecologist, designer, urban forager, grower and teacher. Her solo and collaborative work focuses on creating participatory social ec...

Continue reading…

Cleaning the Sink with Baking Soda and Lemons

...ium bicarbonate) is an inexpensive, non-toxic, mild abrasive. You can use it safely on enamel, stainless and fiberglass sinks.  While you can find baking soda in the baking aisle of most stores, search it out in bulk, both for savings and because you’ll go through quite a lot of it. We buy it in huge boxes or bags at our local restaurant supply chain. I expect it would also come in bulk at grocery warehouse stores. Make a shaker for i...

Continue reading…