Kelly’s “EDC”

...in a small dedicated pocket. Left to right: Phone, multi-tool, mini first aid kit, lighter, LED light Row 2: The items in this row all fit in the red pouch on the left. These are my personal comfort items. I admit I could survive with just the lip balm if I had to. Left to right: Pouch, lipstick, homemade lip balm (which is also gets used for hand cream and hair control), a small mint tin which carries analgesics of all sorts, comb, flash drive,...

Continue reading…

Medlar: The Best Fruit You’ve Never Heard Of

...trial food distribution system. Beyond that, when they’re ready to eat, they look like they’re ready for the compost heap–brown, squishy, a little wrinkly. It takes some getting used to–well, it takes about as long for you to eat your first one before you figure out rotten=darn good.  I’d describe them as tasting like really good apple butter. People will describe them as holding delicate notes of cinnamon, vanilla,...

Continue reading…

Moving Bees Out of a Meter Box

...I got an email the other day from someone who had a beehive in his electric meter box, a popular destination for bees in this area. It was a very small hive that had taken up residence just a few weeks ago. The house was about to be put up for sale so I had to get them out pronto. I brought along a cardboard nuc box–a temporary hive box used to transport bees. I smoked the electrical box (actually a wooden enclosure that surrounded the...

Continue reading…

How to Process Carob

...ations with carob as a 1970s era chocolate substitute, but the tree has a long history in the Middle East, where it’s used to make a tea, as a source of molasses, as a vegetable and as animal feed. The “locusts” that John the Baptist dined on were not insects but, instead, the pods of the carob tree. After. Photo by Bill Wheelock. In the Middle East carob has a reputation as a famine food. According to the carob article...

Continue reading…

Behold the Western Electric 500

...er causing radio frequency waves like cordless and cell phones do. My WE500, a thrift store purchase, sat around for years until I decided to fix a wiring flaw that silenced its bells. The WE 500 should be the poster child for Mr. Jalopy’s Owner’s Manifesto as it adheres to all the tenets:  The case is easy to open, all connections are labeled and subassemblies dissemble with ease. Virtually all repairs can be done with a screwdriver...

Continue reading…

Our Winter Vegetable Garden

...fanciest restaurant in the US. Frankly, every time I try another seed source I’m disappointed. I also like Italian cooking with its emphasis on flavorful ingredients prepared simply–no fussy sauces or complicated recipes. Salad Makings First off an endive and escarole mix from Franchi Seeds recommended and sold to us by our friends at Winnetka Farms. Looking forward to this one. “Cicoria Variegata di Castelf...

Continue reading…

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...

Continue reading…

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...

Continue reading…

Siphon Your Bathwater

So it’s back to greywater today with a tip on siphoning your bathtub water. The concept goes like this. When you take a shower keep the plug in. Yes it’s a bit gross at first, but you get used to it. When you are finished, submerge a length of tubing in the bath water. Hold your finger over one end and pass it to an accomplice waiting outside in the garden. As long as your bathtub is higher than the part of your garden being watered,...

Continue reading…

Leaf Litter

...inciples. One of our favorite notions in permaculture is the idea that “work makes work”. An example used to be the annual fall cleanup after our two large trees dropped their load of leaves in the back yard. Dave Jacke, author of the massive two volume permaculture guide, Edible Forest Gardens puts it this way, Simply relinquishing a need for “order” and “tidiness” in your garden will make a huge difference. ....

Continue reading…