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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Seed Mania

...t! Perpetual Spinach Chard, also from Bountiful Gardens. From their catalog description, “Rare, fine old European strain of Swiss Chard. Smaller smooth dark-green leaves, small mid-ribs. Frost and bolt resistant, needs water in a dry spell.” Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) from Bountiful Gardens. The fruit of this berry producing shrub can be found in Armenian and Russian markets here in LA. I was introduced to it by my friends...

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Questions about cats

...room matters, will the flushing toilet always be a source of wonderment, or will she grow out of it? 6) Would it be a very bad idea to push the kitty into the bathtub? She’s always balancing on the sides, looking at the water. It’s very tempting to give her a closer acquaintance with wetness. 7) What is it with cats and bags??? Don’t kittens know that kittens and sacks have a very dark history? Ours not only loves a bag, she lik...

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The grape that ate the world

...ear our north side fence maybe five years ago now. While the rest of our grapes wilt and struggle, this one is completely the opposite. It is monstrously huge, cheerfully indestructible, and absolutely out of control. Without water or any encouragement whatsoever it has grown all along the side of the house, from the back yard to the front yard–some 50 feet. It long ago swamped the 6′ chain link fence and now entertains itself by maki...

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Sonora Wheat at the Huasna Valley Farm

...wheat to create Sonora 64, an early green revolution wheat. Ironically, as we face an uncertain energy future, we may have to go back to the original Sonora wheat as it performs better in organic circumstances and needs less water than modern wheat varieties. Ron shows off the combine. One of the challenges the Skinners faced in farming just a few acres of wheat was figuring out how to harvest it. Large industrial farms use enormous and...

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Broom Corn–or is it Broomcorn?

...can grow sweet corn you can grow it, but it’s less fussy than sweet corn, being tolerant of both drought and poor soil. However, the best broom material comes from big healthy plants raised on good soil with plenty of water and sunshine. The midwest used to be broom country. You definitely want to plant your broom corn in blocks instead of long rows, so you get good pollination rates. It’s really tall stuff (up to 15 feet), a...

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Edible Landscaping and Gardening Classes With Darren Butler

...;t been satisfied with their garden yields. Expected topics include seed starting, seasonality and what to do when, building raised beds, choosing containers, plant selection, transplanting, soil preparation, irrigation, wise water use, pest management (weeds, diseases, insects), beneficial insects, composting, harvesting, and seed saving. INTERMEDIATE ORGANIC GARDENING FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Hosted by Root Simple in Silver LakeTuesday and Thurs...

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Building With Adobe

Architect and Root Simple friend Ben Loescher, along with Kurt Gardella, is teaching a class on adobe construction. I’m going to attend the second day, November 6th, and hope to see some of you there. Adobe has a storied past and a promising future in the Southwest U.S., in my opinion. Here’s the info on the class: adobeisnotsoftware is pleased to host Kurt Gardella for the first in a series of classes on adobe construction within C...

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Urine as a Fertilizer

concentrations in urine samples were low compared with other organic fertilizers, but copper, mercury, nickel and zinc were 10–500 times higher in urine than in precipitation and surface waters. In a pot experiment with15N labelled human urine, higher gaseous losses and lower crop uptake (barley) of urine N than of labelled ammonium nitrate were found. Phosphorus present in urine was utilized at a higher rate than soluble phosphate, showing...

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Upcoming Classes: Edible Gardening and Vermicomposting

...;t been satisfied with their garden yields. Expected topics include seed starting, seasonality and what to do when, building raised beds, choosing containers, plant selection, transplanting, soil preparation, irrigation, wise water use, pest management (weeds, diseases, insects), beneficial insects, composting, harvesting, and seed saving. INTERMEDIATE ORGANIC GARDENING FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Hosted by Root Simple in Silver LakeTuesday and Thurs...

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