City Repair LA

...rojects. Lakeman himself acknowledged that a lot of people ask him why everything has to look like hippies built it. Here in Los Angeles and elsewhere we’re going to have to devise different city repair strategies and aesthetics. It’s easy to get hung up on street murals and cob benches. Like Lakeman says, we’ve got to look to nature and at each other to devise the form of our cities. The form these villager led interventions ta...

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Steve Solomon’s Soil and Health e-Library

I’m really enjoying the incredible variety of obscure old books being scanned and put up on the interwebs. Of interest to readers of this blog will be the archive of free e-books maintained by gardening author Steve Solomon. His Soil and Health e-library contains books on “holistic agriculture, holistic health and self-sufficient homestead living” You can download the books for free, but Solomon requests a modest $13 donation....

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Hops in Southern California

...op of the tiny vine while undertaking the heinous task of scraping and painting the front of the house. Planting it in terrible soil doomed it to failure anyways. We’re experimenting with growing both Cascade and Nugget hops in a big self irrigating planter with the hope that we can transfer them to the ground next year or the year after. In the meantime we’ll improve our soil with another application of “craptonite“. Some...

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Introducing Lora Hall

...es at the Highland Park farmer’s market (map) where she runs a booth with Trisha Mazure every Tuesday from 3 to 8 pm. When we visited her at the market last week Lora had a bunch of interesting plants including purslane, tomatoes, tomatillos as well as a selection of fruit trees appropriate for our warm climate. In the LA area and want some fruit trees for your backyard? Some gardening advice? Contact Lora at fullcirclegardening@gmail.com....

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Native Plant Workshop

...t novice gardeners about native plants: 1. If you use native plants the whole garden has to be natives. In fact, it’s great to mix natives with non-native plants. The natives bring in beneficial wildlife, are hardy and are efficient in terms of water use. Flexibility is key here–go ahead and mix natives with vegetables, fruit trees and other climate-appropriate plantings. 2. Natives aren’t edible. Many natives yield edible and m...

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Spreadin’ Seed

...countless other untranslatable plants, and packed them up for us in blue medicine bottles. We’ve grown his vegetables before and, while we can’t vouch for the aphrodisiac qualities and don’t stoop to Viagra jokes, they taste really great. Seed Savers Exchange Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit member supported organization that maintains a seed bank of over 25,000 varieties of vegetables. You can order seeds from them at www.s...

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Shiitake Happens

...I kept coming across books on growing the sort of mushrooms that cause visions of plant gods and lizard people. It’s proof that good ideas often come from the combination of improvisation and subterfuge. Just take a look at prison improvised weapons and booze to see what resourceful folks with time on their hands can come up with. We certainly don’t grow anything illegal here, but we like to keep an open mind when it comes to our so...

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Least Favorite Plant: Asparagus Fern (Asparagus setaceus)

...17;ll focus our horticultural wrath elsewhere. Asparagus Fern (Asparagus setaceus) is the scourge of my backyard gardening existence and a plant many will recognize from floral arrangements. The bozos who owned our house before us planted one of these nasty things underneath the avocado tree. It entangles itself through the branches of the tree, winding it’s way upwards as much as ten feet in a season. It’s impossible to pull out of t...

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Saturday Linkages: Don’t seek the truth – just drop your opinions

DIY Rear-cycling: Minimalist Stool Grows With Old Magazines | Designs & Ideas on Dornob http:// dornob.com/rear-cycling-m inimalist-stool-grows-with-old-magazines/  … Bastard chairs of China: http:// boingboing.net/2012/10/15/bas tard-chairs-of-china.html  … Tiny Home With Metal Siding in Texas http:// lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/2012/10/tiny-h ome-with-metal-siding-in-texas.html#.UIBNRCkp2Ys.twitter  … Life is swell in a fallout shelt...

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Author and Urban Farmer Novella Carpenter Rocks Los Angeles

...g pigs, goats, chickens, turkeys, rabbits and more on squatted land next to her apartment in Oakland. As she put it, “I don’t like to sugarcoat things.” As owners of a garden that is often a little rough around the edges, we were inspired by this photo of her squated garden that she showed during her lecture. We could have listened for hours to her stories of dumpster diving for pig feed, gardening in a neighborhood where “...

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