Is This Egg Good?

From left: Very Fresh • Pretty Fresh • Bad • Cat When you’re wondering about the age of an egg, put it in glass of water. Really fresh eggs lie on the bottom the glass, flat. These are the eggs you want for poaching and other dishes where the egg is the star. If one end bobs up a bit, as does the middle egg above, the egg is older, but still good. The upward tilt can be more extreme than it is in this picture. In fact, the egg can...

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Greeks Go Back to the Land

In today’s New York Times there’s an article about Greeks returning to the land and reclaiming practical skills in the wake of their financial crisis. Well worth a read: With Work Scarce in Athens, Greeks Go Back to the Land “I will take the rock in my hand and squeeze it, and with the water that comes out of it, I’ll make pilaf to feed my daughter. We’ll manage.”...

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How To Design a Garden Step II: Using Google Earth to Draw Up a Plan

So you’ve set the goals for your garden, as we outlined in a post earlier this week, and you’re ready to start putting pen to paper. Google Earth makes it easy to quickly create a plan to scale. Zoom in on the space you want to garden and print out an image. Next, take separate sheets of tracing paper and use them to map out: your goals existing conditions such as trees and buildings future plantings where water flows when it rain...

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USDA Releases New Hardiness Zone Map

The United States Department of Agriculture has just released a new zone hardiness map that reflects both a warming climate and new algorithms that take into account things like terrain, and proximity to bodies of water.  The map is also now searchable by zip code. You can access the new map here: http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb . For the background on how this map is different from the previous (1990) version, the USDA has a press...

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A Rocket Stove Made From a Five Gallon Metal Bucket

...also have worked. Using the vent pipe as a guide again, I cut out a 4″ hole near the bottom of the bucket. I used one part clay (harvested from the yard) to six parts vermiculite as my insulation material. Mixed with water, the clay holds the vermiculite together. I could also have used dry wood ash, but I had the vermiculite and clay on hand so that’s what I went with. With the vent pipe in place, I packed the insulation into th...

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Finding an Urban Homestead on Craigslist

...-fryer (one of us is a southerner). We are not a co-op – we cook our own meals and live our own busy lives, but we all pitch in to maintain our little homestead. If you don’t mind occasionally turning the garden water on, feeding the chickens, and turning the compost, then this could be beautiful. If you like to drink Budweiser and watch teevee at 3 a.m., well, you can do that in the comfort of your room. Your roommates will be a...

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Cooking With Heritage Grains: Sonora Wheat Pasta

...Yesterday I made pasta with Sonora wheat using a recipe by Whole Grain Connection founder Monica Spiller. You can find the recipe and others on sustainablegrains.org. To make this eggless pasta, all you do is combine heated water, Sonora wheat and salt and run it through a pasta maker. The result? A pasta with a pleasing nutty flavor and a beautiful light brown color....

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How to Plan a Vegetable Garden

...Action is in cooler Northern California) I decided to treat the late summer/early fall as our “winter”. Growing vegetables in the hot, dry late summer here in Southern California is, frankly, a pain in the ass and water intensive. It’s a time when I’d rather just take a break from vegetable gardening and just grow a bunch of drought tolerant sunflowers, amaranth, cowpeas etc. On the other hand, winter here is the best time...

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Only at Home: Huntington Ranch Symposium Nov. 18

...ions, and Botanical GardensSan Marino, CA Marking the second year of Ranch operations, this one-day symposium focuses on aspects of urban agriculture that can’t be duplicated in commercial settings. From the use of gray water irrigation systems to growing offbeat edibles, learn how to harvest the unique potential from your home garden. From 8:30am to 5:00pm. Featuring: Master gardener Yvonne Savio, native plant specialist Lili Singer, the g...

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