Bucket Crapping

Those ubiquitous five gallon buckets we’ve used to make self-watering containers are good for another purpose– an improvised crapper. When the shit hits the fan, you’ll need a place to shit and thankfully the fine folks at the World Toilet Organization have come up with a clever design for an improvised flush toilet using just a five gallon bucket, a coat-hanger, and a plastic bag. Now, not to be too graphic, but thanks to the...

Continue reading…

DIY Outdoor Shower

...off is the camping shower in a bag concept. The principle is simple–you fill a black bag with water, leave it out in the sun, and hang it somewhere for your very brief shower. We’ve not tried one of these things, but we suspect that the result would be less than luxurious, and after all, part of the reason to bathe is the relaxation it offers. But, for the mortifier of the flesh out there, one of these things might just suffice. They...

Continue reading…

Is Purslane the New Kale?

...ikipedia. Salty, crunchy, nutritious and edible raw or cooked, purslane (Portulaca oleracea) could soon be ready for its fifteen minutes of vegetable fame. We planted some this year in our summer vegetable garden and I’ve used it in a lot of salads this week. Purslane is a common weed in North America. We’d love to be able to forage it in the neighborhood but, for some reason, it only tends to appear in unappetizing locations: usually...

Continue reading…

Filter Fail: How to Cure Internet Addiction

.... We may be well past the point where the distraction potential of the internet is beginning to adversely effect its usefulness. Preventing filter fail So what can be done on a personal level to prevent “filter fail?” Only two things have worked for me in the past: Checking email only twice a day, though this is getting difficult. I find myself falling behind. Putting distance between myself and the computer by getting out of the ho...

Continue reading…

Saturday Linkages: Mobile Pods, Soil Erosion and Getting Doored by a Porta-Potty

A pod on wheels. Image: Relaxshacks.com A Micro Pond-Side Reading Pod/Cabin for an NYU Professor: http://relaxshacks.blogspot.com/2014/06/a-micro-pond-side-reading-podcabin-for.html?spref=tw  7 Ways to Prevent Soil Erosion – http://tafarm.us/1qIPpp Interactive: Inside the changing American diet http://ti.me/1hPvPrK  via @TIMEHealth Maybe there’s hope? Report Offers a Way For California to Become Water-Sustainable h...

Continue reading…

Delicious Cauliflower

...We’ve been eating it hippie style, over brown rice, but it would be more elegant over an herbed pilaf, or it could be used as a side dish. I suspect it would be good cold, too, but we’ve never had leftovers. Cauliflower in Tomato Sauce (Kharnabit Emforakeh) 1 large head of cauliflower 6-8 tablespoons of oil 2 cloves of garlic, crushed 3 green/spring onions, sliced thin (I’m sure you could sub. regular onion for this) 2 tablesp...

Continue reading…

Reforming City Codes

...e that file complaints are usually victims of someone else that complained and now they want everyone to suffer, it’s a vicious cycle). Most code enforcement people are not actively seeking out violations to write citations on, that’s why she was able to grow her veggies for 17 years without a problem, once the complaint is filed it must be addressed (even as a City bureaucrat, I have been a victim of anonymous complaints on my own property about...

Continue reading…

Build a Ghetto Solar Cooker

...sed on plans from Backwoods Home Magazine, the Dwell of the Ted Kaczynski set. We just substituted an old cooler for the cardboard boxes, and we finished it off by using one of Los Angeles’ ubiquitous abandoned car tires as a cradle to keep the cooker oriented towards the sun. It ain’t pretty but it works. In our first test we reached 160º inside the oven, but we think we can do better with some refinements such as finding a black pot...

Continue reading…

What Mountaineering Accidents Can Teach Us About Food Preservation

...nt to preserve garlic in oil: Garlic-in-oil should be made fresh and stored in the refrigerator at 40°F or lower for no more than 7 days. It may be frozen for long term storage for up to several months. Package in glass freezer jars or plastic freezer boxes, leaving ½-inch headspace. Label, date and freeze. The take home from the botulism review is that the problem is rare and that home food preservation is very safe assuming you follow sta...

Continue reading…

How To Freeze Fruits and Vegetables

...Photo by Flickr user leibolmai Freezing foods is just about the most boring food preservation method. It’s also the easiest and best way to preserve nutrients. But, when it comes to freezing fresh vegetables from the garden there is one important step: blanching. Blanching slows down enzymatic activity that can deteriorate the quality of what you freeze. How much to blanch depends on the vegetable in question. Thankfully there...

Continue reading…