Radical Beekeeper Michael Thiele Ventures Into New Territory

...chance to try this technique just after the lecture. I walked over to a display by the local county beekeeping association (that Thiele would probably be horrified by) that included a hive in Langstroth boxes being fed sugar water and kept within a mosquito netted tent. Somehow there must have been a gap in the tent and a very pissed off bee landed in my hair. I did exactly as Thiele said–I relaxed and imagined the bien. The bee crawled ou...

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Fermenting culture wih Sandor Katz

...but which I think we’ll have to blog on soon. Thank god someone is studying this stuff!  He said they’re really bringing to the fore our deep and intimate relationship with bacteria. • Because we drink chlorinated water and antibiotics are so grievously overused, we need to consciously replenish and diversify the bacteria in our guts by eating living foods like fermented vegetables and yogurt. • Lacto-fermenting vegetables is a very s...

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Tips on Composting from Will Bakx of Sonoma Compost

Sonoma Compost’s composting operation. On Thursday at the National Heirloom Exposition, Will Bakx, soil scientist and operations manager of Sonoma Compost, gave a rapid fire lecture on the nitty gritty details of composting. Here’s some of his useful tips: Temperature and Turning Compost should stay above 131ºF for 15 days to kill pathogens. Bakx recommended getting a thermometer to check the temperature every day during the...

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The Good Stuff at Dwell on Design

...orks. Joey Roth has a very clever take on a very old idea: a pot with a built in olla he calls simply Planter which is avaliable on his website for $45. Ollas are ceramic jars buried in the ground to deliver a slow drip of water to plants. Roth’s design is elegant, simple and effective–take an olla and make it integral with a pot. Particularly on a hot day, conventional ceramic pots dry out quickly and Roth’s planter would be...

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Mitchell Joachim’s Techno-Utopian Future

...r future and explore design work that lives within the resource limits of this planet. Like Greer, I believe it’s time to return to what came to be called, in the 1960s and 70s, appropriate technology, things like solar water heaters, rocket stoves and permaculture. Designers have an important role to play in the coming years, but that role may be more about working on the ideal pit toilet rather than foam electric cars or in-vitro meat hou...

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Avoiding Hyperthermia

When spending a day baking pizzas at a public event in front of a 1000º F oven in the full Southern California sun remember to drink water and take breaks. Otherwise you will spend the next day in bed with a splitting headache, unable to eat, barely able to drink anything and at the mercy of two young cats. The first time I pulled off a case of hyperthermia was after a long bike ride. I would not call it fun, nor would I like this to happen whe...

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3 things to do with citrus peels

...all. An oddity of living where we do is that it is much easier to come by citrus than apples. At least for now. On a related note, we also know that you can make clear, citrus flavored jelly by boiling organic citrus rinds in water, then straining off the solids. The resulting liquid is citrus-flavored and pectin-rich. Add sugar and you have citrus flavored jelly. It’s tasty, we’ve tried it. But unfortunately, we don’t have a re...

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Mellow Yellow: How to Make Dandelion Wine

...oraging blossoms on your hands and knees. Note: collect blossoms (without the stem) that have just opened and are out of the path of insecticides and pesticides. So here’s how I make dandelion wine… I pour one gallon boiling water over one gallon dandelion flowers in a large bowl. When the blossoms rise (wait about twenty-four to forty-eight hours), I strain the yellow liquid out, squeezing the remaining liquid out of the flowers, into a larger...

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Everlasting Flower for Colds

...and try it out and let me know what you think. How to make the tea: Add as many dried flower heads as will fill the hollow of your palm (7 or so? A very modest amount–Cecelia was adamant about that) to 1 cup of boiling water. Cover the cup and let it sit for 10 minutes or so–a good long steep.  It doesn’t taste bad. It does have the curious effect of sort of drying out the back of my throat–but not so much that it’s...

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