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

Please put your hands together and welcome Homegrown Evolution guest blogger Lora Hall. Lora is a neighbor, owns Los Angeles’ largest hen, Southern California’s largest rhubarb plant and is currently finishing a graduate degree at Cal Poly Pomona. Her master’s work involves the use of vermicomposting to break down a variety of materials (maybe we can get her to explain this!). You can meet Lora in person and pick up some seed...

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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

...8211; Los Angeles Times http://www. latimes.com/la-heb-fencing -cogitive-improvement-20111230,0,1166016.story  … Gardening Garden planter turns out to be Roman antique: http:// boingboing.net/2012/10/12/gar den-planter-turns-out-to-be.html  …  Best Reporting on the Space Shuttle Tree Debacle Science Center Given Approval to Remove Nearly 400 Trees to Make Way for Shuttle http:// la.streetsblog.org/2012/09/18/sci ence-center-given-approval-to-remo...

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Let’s Democratize Permaculture

...culture save us from this petrochemical fueled Miley Cyrus soundtracked nightmare? Don’t hold your breath. It might be awhile before everyone’s front yard is full of perennial vegetables and Merle Haggard is back on FM radio. Over at Club Orlov some controversy over permaculture has broken out in the comments. One poster, Morgan Emrich says, “Thank you, thank you, thank you, for at least hinting that there might be a problem wit...

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Erik’s 2012 New Year’s Resolutions in Review

...own plans including a destructive series of skunk attacks. I’ve switched to a hands-off approach to veggie gardening inspired by Masanobu Fukuoka. Start a podcast (decided to make it a video podcast). You can subscribe in the iTunes store here (it’s freeeeee!). Clean up the graphic design on the blog and organize information better: Thank you to our book designer Roman Jaster for doing this for us! Return to the fencing strip (I’...

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