Our New Straw Bale Garden–Part I

...attractive straw bale garden in Arizona. It will be a garden that changes over time. I like the idea of watching the bales turn into compost and their gradual replacement with more permanent structures. I’m hoping that the view from the two Adirondack chairs that face the bales will be like a botanical Robert Smithson piece–a front seat on nature’s balance of entropy and creation. The next step is to add fertilizer and water. We...

Continue reading…

New Phoebe Update/Question

...brightly lit, vet office with a barking Yorkie as a roommate. We’ve been keeping her in our room, so that the other two cats can’t harass her. I figure she feels threatened when her strength is down. I thought that maybe a long sleep would put her to rights, but she’s acting just the same this morning.   She’s moving slow, staring into space, doing odd things like hunkering down with her head over her water dish and just...

Continue reading…

Can Whole Wheat Solve the Wheat Allergy Problem?

...e kernel. Ponsford claims that many people who have wheat allergies have been able to eat his baked goods due to the use of whole wheat flours. Ponsford, through his bakery and his classes for amateur bakers, is showing how tasty baked goods can be that are made from real whole wheat flour. But it’s tricky. High extraction whole wheat flours are a lot less uniform than white flours. And they suck up a lot of water when you use them for maki...

Continue reading…

Worth Doing From Scratch: Corn Tortillas

...re at Root Simple Labs. Some things work out and others fail miserably. I thought I’d periodically look at the projects that have worked in the long term, specifically from scratch. Call this the first blog post in a sporadic series about stuff that’s easy and economical. Now you should be suspicious of any tortilla making advice dispensed by a gabacho. Let’s just say it’s easy and the results are way better than those dry...

Continue reading…

Adopt an Indigo Plant in Los Angeles

...ts in your hometowns. Here’s the 411 from his website, grahamkeegan.com: Indigo pigment grows naturally in the leaves of a large number of plant species from around the world. This plant, Persecaria Tinctoria, also know as Polygonum Tinctorum, has been a staple source of blue in East Asia for millennia. It is known for being relatively easy to grow. All it needs is lots of sunshine, plenty of water, and some food. As an...

Continue reading…

Josey Baker’s Awesome Adventure Bread (gluten free!)

...g gesture after Erik’s gluten post of last Friday. We love our gluten intolerant friends, and want to feed them well. We are also continuing our love affair with Josey Baker’s new book, Josey Baker Bread. While Erik is the Bread Master in our house, I step up to the oven sometimes, when I really want to try something. One thing I really wanted out of this book was a loaf of what Baker calls “Adventure Bread” which by the p...

Continue reading…

Making Tofu From Scratch at the Institute of Domestic Technology

...u from scratch. Nguyen is the author of a couple of cookbooks including Asian Tofu: Discover the Best, Make Your Own, and Cook It at Home and a new book, The Banh Mi Handbook: Recipes for Crazy-Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches . She began the tofu class with with some soy beans that were soaked the night before. The pre-soaked  beans were ground up in a blender and the slurry was boiled in a pot with some water....

Continue reading…

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...

Continue reading…

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/...

Continue reading…

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...

Continue reading…