Plastic or Wood?

...s has yet to come out with an iBook made from bamboo and corn husks. That being said, this haunting video about the impact of plastic on the ocean drives home the point that we need to drastically cut back our consumption of plastics and only use them for essentials] Okay, these are the new rules. We are going to phase as many plastics out of the homestead as we can. We won’t toss what we have in the landfill right now, but when it is ti...

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Security

...style freakout here, it’s important to note that Los Angeles’ crime rate is down significantly since the early 90s and is much lower than many other large cities in America. In fact the crime rate in LA is on a par with Denver and nowhere near the high rates of cities like Detroit and Washington D.C. But while we ain’t the gun-toting survivalist types here at the Homegrown Evolution homestead, we do have a security system. It&#...

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009 Artificial Turf Wars and Fashion Disasters

...cipal and private property. As examples of parks that are either turf-free or use turf strategically, we mention the High Line in New York City and Playa Vista Park in West Los Angeles. Fashion on the Homestead In the second part of the podcast we discuss the homesteading fashion conundrum inspired by a quote from dapper film director (and cat lover) Alexandro Jodorowsky. Kelly talks about her strange unifo...

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Foreclosure Garden Foreclosed

Neighbor, artist and master gardener Anne Hars took over the front yard of a foreclosed triplex earlier this year and planted a vegetable garden. The triplex had fallen in to disrepair and had become notorious for housing a bunch of gang members.  The police evicted the gangsters and the building fell into disrepair. The garden Anne planted in the spring had just begun to bring forth its bounty. Then, this past week, an unpleasant man showe...

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Tomato Report II: Franchi Red Pear

...to is a beefsteak variety we’ve grown for several years. It tastes phenomenal either fresh or cooked. From the Seeds from Italy website: This is an old North Italian variety specially selected by Franchi Sementi. It is an indeterminate red, pear-shaped beefsteak. An outstanding producer of huge (as in 8-18 ounce) very tasty fruit. Great fresh eating. Early for such a large plant (70-75 days).  This is not the small pear shaped tomato...

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Essential System #8 – Nutrition (Extra Food)

...backpacking food to MREs. They taste better and have an astonishing shelf life. You will, however, need to heat them up with something and they are also expensive. Our favorite brand is Mary Jane’s Farm, though someone should tell her about the implications of her name (read our review of Mary Jane’s Organic Buttery Herb Pasta). We also keep the SurviveLA pantry well stocked with canned items and we always maintain a vegetable garde...

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Rats

...tree in addition to the foundation work we’re having done (thanks again to those realtors we want to sick the rats on). Other deterrents include not leaving food around and getting rid of wood piles. Rats are also one of the reasons not to put meat in the compost pile, though I’ve found them in our compost pile in spite of the fact that we only put vegetable material in it. It helps to turn the pile frequently and not add too many ki...

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The Cat Poop Portal: Litter Box Composting, Installment #1

...cat box cleanings just this occasion. Waste not want not!) See my thoughts below regarding types of cat litter. Then we wet down the litter really well, and covered it with a topping of clean straw, and topped the drum with a piece of wood. Let the decomposition begin! Note:  Never place a place a poop-filled compost bin near vegetable beds, due to the possibility of bad bacteria leaching through the soil. Ours is remote from anything edible....

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Mutant Squash

...compound has wild cherry tomatoes that have self-seeded for years with excellent results–producing some of the best tomatoes we’ve ever eaten, with no work whatsoever on our part. But this summer they seem to have hybridized again and now yield less flavorful fruit. More information on the botany of pollination and advice on saving vegetable seeds can be found in this excellent article. Also of note, the new issue of Make Magazine,...

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Water Conservation

...merican Water Works Association Research Foundation) and consider how to conserve: 58.7% Outdoor Water Clearly, the place to start with water conservation is outdoors, in designing a landscape that doesn’t need supplemental irrigation. Our rule around the SurviveLA compound is, once again, if you gotta water it you gotta be able to eat it. The vegetables that we grow are irrigated with a water-saving drip irrigation system that we’ll...

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