What Preparedness Lessons Did You Learn From Hurricane Sandy?

...power/gas/water for a few days to see what we can improve. Update. On the Root Simple Facebook page reader Josh Barton left the following account: I’m in the St.George area of Staten Island, about a 7 minute walk to the water. I live at the top of a hill, so I wasn’t worried about flooding, but I think I should buy a raft just in case it doors ever flood in the lower parts (Esp if I move somewhere else. So it’d be good to resear...

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Showers to Flowers

Here’s the truth, I’m lazy. So when it comes to the aforementioned greywater strategies such as bucket flushing and siphoning, while we might try them for a while we’ll most likely quickly tire of all the repetitive effort barring some apocalyptic water shortage. SurviveLA agrees with Art Ludwig, author of Create an Oasis with Greywater that the best greywater systems are the simplest, and involve the least amount of effort and...

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Chop and Drop: Leaving Plant Residues in the Garden

...il-June 2012 issue of California Agriculture, In two field studies comparing no-tillage with standard tillage operations (following wheat silage harvest and before corn seeding), we estimated that 0.89 and 0.97 inches more water was retained in the no-tillage soil than in the tilled soil. In three field studies on residue coverage, we recorded that about 0.56, 0.58 and 0.42 inches more water was retained in residue-covered soil than in bare...

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Moonshine

...de 020001″, ship it “Bulk, Truck, Bulk Rail, or Tank” and as Journal reporter Eric Felten concluded, “Cut it with water — preferably from a source that will lend itself to a pretty picture on the label — bottle it, and you’re in the vodka business.” As it turns out there is an art to good homemade moonshine — a far cry from the soulless mouthwash Archer-Daniels-Midlands turns out. Here’s...

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In the Gutter

...tion for the wealthy, but at present are still rare in the US. Most of us will still be dealing with conventional roofs. Now assuming you’ve got a roof we will hope that you have gutters. Gutters have two purposes, to channel water away from your fragile and very expensive to repair foundation, and to channel it to where that water can be useful, to your edible landscaping. As much as we support self-sufficiency, putting on gutters is a job we th...

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Rainfall Harvesting Math

Our next step in designing a rainwater harvesting system is to figure out how much water your rooftop will provide. To do this measure the outside perimeter of your roof–you need not take into account the pitch or slant of the roof, since this does not affect the amount of water collected. Next, use the following formula: collection area (square feet) x 0.6 x collection efficiency factor x rainfall (inches) = gallons per year The collecti...

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Siphon Your Bathwater

So it’s back to greywater today with a tip on siphoning your bathtub water. The concept goes like this. When you take a shower keep the plug in. Yes it’s a bit gross at first, but you get used to it. When you are finished, submerge a length of tubing in the bath water. Hold your finger over one end and pass it to an accomplice waiting outside in the garden. As long as your bathtub is higher than the part of your garden being watered,...

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Slaughtering Turkeys for Thanksgiving

...ade. I’m afraid of screwing up the cuts, and making the bird suffer. I’ve never been a fan of dilettante slaughtering. But next time we help Steve, I think I will try.   The next step is to immerse the bird in hot water to loosen the feathers. When Steve slaughters, he’s got a big pot heating on a propane burner standing by, heated to 158F.  The bird soaks for just a minute or two.  Here Erik is using a stick to hold the carcass...

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Our favorite way to cook zucchini

...s not.” All you’ve got to do is shred your zucchini up on the large holes of your kitchen grater. Saute the shreds in an uncovered skillet with lots of olive oil and some chopped up garlic, until there’s no water in the pan, and the volume of the zucchini is reduced by about half. This transforms the zukes into a savory, glossy, succulent mush. Maybe that’s not the most elegant way to phrase it, but it’s the best I...

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