All is Fire

...along with Seneca’s Letters from a Stoic and the fragments of Heraclitus are what I point people to when they ask, “so why do you do these things, gardening, pickling, brewing etc.” Invoking these stoic philosophers both ancient and modern is along winded and perhaps pretentious way of saying that I believe, along with Taleb, that the “highly improbable” is more probable than we think and that it’s best to do...

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Plantago coronopus, a.k.a. Buckhorn Plantain, a.k.a. Erba Stella

Cruise down the produce isle of a supermarket in the United States and you’ll only find highly domesticated foods. Thumb through the pages of the Silver Spoon (the Joy of Cooking of Italian Cuisine) and you’ll discover entire chapters devoted to the use of wild or semi-wild plants. This summer I grew one of these semi-cultivated Italian vegetables, Buckhorn plantain (Plantago coronopus) also known as Erba Stella and Barba di frat...

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Rooftop Garden Classes

...d to hold snow, meaning that our roofs usually can’t hold much weight. So rooftop gardens are rare. But on the border of Little Tokyo, skid row, and a warehouse district, an old seafood warehouse rooftop has been turned into a gourmet garden atop the home of artisan food purveyor Cube Marketplace. Full disclosure: I’m the lucky gardener. And this weekend I’ll be teaching a Fall Gardening Class and a class on new ways to use comm...

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U-Dig-It Folding Shovel

I came across this nice little folding hand shovel called the “U-Dig-it” at a surplus store. It measures 5 3/4 inches when folded and weighs six ounces with the convenient belt holster. I used it this morning to transplant some okra seedlings and I can also see taking this tool camping. I dig the U-Dig-It design, and I already prefer it to the hand shovel that got buried in the yard somewhere a few months ago. I can see this tool b...

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Eat Your Pests

Grubs anyone? Responding to our anti-squirrel post a few days ago Root Simple reader Chile pointed to a post on the her blog “Pests . . . and how to eat them“. She makes the excellent point that most of our dreaded garden pests, including insects are edible. Now if I could only overcome my squeamishness about eating insects. I had to deal with lots of wax moth larvae this week and remembered that in parts of Asia they are s...

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Watering 101

This is watering 101. Those of you who have been gardening for a while have probably learned this the hard way. Those of you just starting out may find it helpful. Soil lies. It looks wet, but it’s bone dry a fraction of an inch beneath. Or it looks dry on the surface, but it’s actually quite wet below. Or it’s wet, but only for one inch down. The only way to find out if you’ve watered your garden enou...

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Saturday Linkages: Sink Urinals!

.../07/because-guys-need-better-ways-to-piss-sink-urinal-saves-water-encourages-men-to-wash-hands/ … Adding fuel to the fire The Exaggerated Benefits of Electric Cars http://dc.streetsblog.org/2013/07/01/the-exaggerated-benefits-of-electric-cars/#.UdyjXdg39C8.twitter … Car Ownership May Be Down in the U.S., But It’s Soaring Globally http://dc.streetsblog.org/2013/07/05/car-ownership-may-be-down-in-the-u-s-but-its-soaring-globally/#.Udyi4jX2O2g.twit...

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Saturday Linkages: $1 Homes, Compost Heated Showers and Potty Talk

...c.streetsblog.org/2013/05/31/ford-keeps-trying-to-get-millennials-to-like-them/#.Ua0wFau-q3s.twitter … Attacking the Language Bias in Transportation Engineering http://dc.streetsblog.org/2013/06/03/attacking-the-language-bias-in-transportation-engineering/#.Ua0vPVM6-Ps.twitter … Potty Talk Dollar Shave Club Bets on a Stealth Craze: Wipes for Men http://adage.com/u/HSacEb Is this the world’s smallest bathroom? http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-...

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Saturday Linkages: Tall Bikes, Za’atar and So Much More

...ells 5 Kinds of Apples http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/04/heritage-apples-john-bunker-maine … Taming the Wild Thyme: A Visit to a Za’atar Farm in Lebanon http://ow.ly/kqeoi  New Farmer’s Almanac for 2013: http://boingboing.net/2013/04/21/new-farmers-almanac-for-2013.html … Plants as Education: Kit Brings Gardening Back to the Masses http://dornob.com/37885/  Fortrait #4 “Subterranean Breakfast Nook” http://lloy...

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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...

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