Is Purslane the New Kale?

...lot of salads this week. Purslane is a common weed in North America. We’d love to be able to forage it in the neighborhood but, for some reason, it only tends to appear in unappetizing locations: usually the gutter (I think it needs a bit more water than what falls naturally from the sky here). You can eat the whole plant: stems and leaves. It has a salty and slightly lemony flavor reminiscent of New Zealand spinach. There’s always a...

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Saturday Linkages: Invaders, Sick Chickens and Adaptive Reuse

Armadillo invaders! More Foreign Invaders: Possums on the Half Shell | Garden Rant http://gardenrant.com/2014/07/more-foreign-invaders-possums-on-the-half-shell.html … Water rationing for farmers? It’s on the horizon http://garynabhan.com/i/archives/2494  When To Isolate A Sick Chicken | HenCam http://hencam.com/henblog/2014/08/when-to-isolate-a-sick-chicken/ … via @terrygolson Can Edible Gardening Reduce Deforestation? – http://go.shr.lc/...

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Creating a Moon Garden

...t well at night. Include a contrasting background. Light colored flowers and plants stand out better at night if they are in front of a dark background–a dark green bush or the shade of a large tree. It’s not all about plants. Including light colored rocks, gravel, decomposed granite, stepping stones, water features and white walls can also create interest in a moon garden. Creating an interesting nocturnal landscape means less relian...

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005 Amy and Vince of Tenth Acre Farm

...of the Root Simple Podcast we talk to Amy and Vince Stross of Tenth Acre Farm in Cincinnati, Ohio. We begin with the story of why Amy quit her job and how she began to radically transform their yard. Some of the first work they did involved constructing berms and swales in the front yard, the only part of their property that gets enough sun to grow edibles. Amy and Vince describe the trial and error process they went through to perfect this water...

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Pakistan Mulberry Fever

...e.  I have to top back huge vertical branches every year after harvest season and tie limbs down laterally. And the harvest goes on and on and is not easy, you cannot shake the tree without bringing down loads of green fruit and stubborn ripe berries won’t fall.  You have to hand pick and it takes about 2-3 hours of combing over the tree from all the different angles with the orchard ladder. Then I soak ‘em in a vinegar water soluti...

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Easter Lessons

...espied a charming post on naturally dyed Easter eggs, I decided to have a go at dyeing eggs on Saturday night.  The eggs our ladies deliver are all shades of beige to brown, so I worried that they’d not take dye as well as white eggs, but the post promised good results with brown eggs, and the dyes were deep and earthy enough that it seemed it would not matter. The technique was simple–a one to one ratio of organic matter to water, b...

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A viewing suggestion from the media arm of Root Simple

.... Instead, it’s just full of juicy nuggets for the appropriate tech geek. The series is on YouTube. I pray the BBC doesn’t take it down before I get to finish it. In the first episode alone, they cover goodies like: Coppicing How to make two type of fences: a hazel wattle fence and a dead hedge fence, both of which can be made with a machete and a club Treadwheels: Giant human powered hamster wheels which, along with water wheels, we...

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Recipe for the World’s Best Whole Wheat Pancake

...217;s a soft, winter wheat traditionally used for tortillas. Recipe (based on Nancy Silverton’s pancakes) 210 grams starter 2 tablespoons maple syrup 3 tablespoons safflower or corn oil 2 eggs 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder The night before making these pancakes I take a tablespoon of mature starter and add it to 100 grams of freshly milled Sonora wheat flour and 110 grams of water. This mixture wil...

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New Project: Making Bitters

Our friend Emily Ho over at The Kitchn recently posted a good set of instructions on how to make homemade bitters. Bitters are made up of various aromatic substances tinctured in alcohol. These flavorings can be used to concoct fancy artisanal cocktails. True bitters are made with sharp, bitter herbs, like wormwood and dandelion–their original purpose was to stimulate digestion, and you’ll find them used often in...

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The tale of the tub scrubber

...bing. Good times.) I received this puff has part of a gift set of bath items. I don’t enjoy using puffs in the bath, personally, so decided to try it out on the shower scum instead, and found it worked amazingly well in conjunction with the vinegar, soapy water and baking soda I use to clean the bathroom. It didn’t hold dirt or get grungy. Only now, after all this time, has it started to deteriorate and leave little purple bits of its...

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