Broom Corn–or is it Broomcorn?

...or large scale (1908) says: Like cork, Broom-corn is one of those natural products that are so perfectly adapted for the uses to which they are put, that no substitute has been, or is likely to be, found for it. In toughness, elasticity, sufficient, but not too great rigidity, lightness, and ease with which it is manufactured, it excels all other materials used for brooms. The first recorded mention of it comes out of Italy in the 1500′s....

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The Whip: A Homemade Moisturizer How-To from Making It

This 2011 post has been edited on 7/8/14, also to include new tips and new pictures. Most important of these are directions on keeping the lotion fresh. Confession: I can’t live without my homemade moisturizer. This recipe appears in Making It as Olive Oil Whip. It’s my everyday body lotion/face cream and I figured it was about time to share it with you. It only has three ingredients. It’s safe and wholesome and very effecti...

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A Used Tire Compost Bin

There’s so many damn used tires littering the sidewalks of this grungy town, Los Angeles should incorporate them into the city seal. Thankfully tires make a fine raw material for building projects and Homegrown Evolution has been experimenting with their many uses over the past year. This week we built a compost bin. Step one is to cut out the sidewalls. You might be able to do this with a sharp knife, but it’s much easier with an...

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Moringa!

..., being a significant source of beta-carotene, Vitamin C, protein, iron and potassium. The leaves are cooked and used as spinach. In addition to being used fresh as a substitute for spinach, its leaves are commonly dried and crushed into a powder, and used in soups and sauces. The seeds may be crushed and used as a flocculant to purify water. The Moringa seeds yield 38–40% edible oil (called Ben oil, from the high concentration of behenic acid co...

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A Homegrown Revolution manifesto by way of a short (true) story.

...Fitness is part of the urban homesteading thing So on our daily bike ride to the downtown YMCA we spotted four tires laying by the side of the road. 2. Try to grow as much food as you can Tires are a great way to grow potatoes–we’ll explain this when we try it ourselves. Meanwhile you can read about doing this, as well as many other uses for old tires in the informative archives of Backwoods Home Magazine. 3. Cargo bikes rule Late...

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Making Salves, Lip Balms & etc.: Close of the Calendula Series

...n not only make skin salves, you can make lip balm and headache balm and stick deodorant and homemade cosmetics. It’s a simple technique, but it opens a lot of possibilities. My favorite herbal salve is made out of a mix of equal parts Calendula (pot marigold), chickweed (Stellaria media) and plantain (Plantago major) oils. These three work together to make an all purpose salve that is as good for gardener’s hands as it is for diaper...

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Making It

Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World, by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen (Rodale Books, 2011) ISBN-13: 978-1605294629 Buy it at:  Amazon • Abe Books • Barnes & Nobel • Powell’s Making It provides you with all of the tools you need to become a producer instead of a consumer and transform your home from the ground up. Projects range from the simple to the ambitious, and include activities done in the hom...

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A Used Tire Hose Caddy

Here’s a cheap and easy way, using one of our favorite junk building materials–used tires, to keep that hose from trippin’ you up in the back yard. Cut out the sidewall of one side of a tire using a sabre saw. You could use a sharp knife, but electricity makes this task a lot easier. You’ll end up with the half cut out tire you see above. But your work is not yet complete. Drill a bunch of drainage holes in the bottom of...

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How to make a Calendula oil infusion

...making sun tea. You take a nice clean jar with a good lid, and fill that about half way full of dried herb, top it off with oil, and let that sit in the sun. The resulting oil is medicinal. It can be used straight on the skin, or fashioned into salves and balms. I’m particularly fond of Calendula. As a skin treatment it displays regenerative properties, making it really helpful for healing dry, scraped up, or otherwise damaged skin.  Bu...

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My Sooper Seekrit Compost Pile

...of grim decision. The green bin is the dedicated wheelie bin given us by the city to collect green waste. We use it only for green waste we can’t compost, partially because we need as much compost as we can make, and partially because I hear the city often uses the green bin material as landfill covering. I just couldn’t put it in the green bin, so I went out in the back yard, collected a couple of the old tires rolling around back th...

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