Remember to Label Those Jars!

Label, label, label!” This was one of the most important lessons I learned in my Master Food Preserver training. You’ll note, from the jars above, that I’m not very good about this. When were those jars canned and what’s in them? I have no idea. They were probably the result of some late night canning frenzy two years ago. At the time I probably thought to myself, “I’ll label them in the morning.”...

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Summer 2010 Tomato Report

...neighbors Anne and Bill’s dehydrator and dried them. Sun Gold. Mrs. Homegrown stuck a Sun Gold tomato in the backyard which I failed to care for properly. Nevertheless, it still produced a decent crop.Very sweet and prolific. Failures. I had three vines fail on me due to a combination of not transplanting soon enough and not paying attention to them–mainly, I think they got root bound in their pots. Lessons This year I took the wa...

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Dry Farming

Jethro Tull–the agriculturalist not the rock flutist According to a 2010 report by Ceres “Water Risk in the Municipal Bond Market,” Los Angeles ranks number one in water supply risk. But we’re not alone. Many other US cities including Atlanta, Phoenix and Dallas also face a future of water insecurity. Due to these water risks we’d all do well to consider ways to grow edibles without supplemental irrigation....

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No-Knead Artisinal Bread Part I

You can make a decent loaf of bread with one of the many popular no-knead recipes on the interwebs. With just a little bit more effort you can make a much better loaf of bread with a “levain” (or “sourdough starter” in less yuppiefied parlance). For about ten years, I used to bake the loaf I blogged about here and put in our first book The Urban Homestead. Lately, however, I’ve completely changed the way I bake th...

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Urban Chicken Enthusiasts Unite!

Creating community is a vital part of the urban homesteading movement. For why should one make jam or grow zucchini without people to share it with? In a big, crazy city like L.A. there are lots of interesting people doing inspiring things, you just have to find them. I’m always excited to meet new people who are interested in all the things we write about here at Homegrown Evolution. I was lucky to move a block away from Mr. and Mrs. Home...

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Failed Experiment: Bermuda Buttercup or Sour Grass (Oxalis pes-caprae) as Dye

...and will probably try onion skin next. Read on if you dare. A kitty reward for those who made the jump. Kitties like sour grass. The first step is to weigh the dry fabric and the plant matter. You are supposed to use equal measurements of each (e.g. 6 oz of t-shirt/6 oz. plants).  The second step is to steep the plants in water. This is where I made my first half-assed mistake. I threw the plants into the pot whole, instead of...

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More Washing Machine Greywater Fun

...un pipe up, down and up again. Having sections of pipe where water will stagnate, however, runs a slight risk of the aforementioned stinkiness, and burst pipe in places where it freezes. 6. Installing a swing check valve close to the washing machine will prevent water from flowing back into the machine should you be moving a flexible hose around and lift that hose above the level of the machine. 7. Rig up a bypass to somewhere the water can flow...

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Build a Washing Machine Greywater Surge Tank

...Also, don’t make this connection airtight–the washing machine needs an air gap, normally provided by the loose connection to the standpipe to prevent waste water from siphoning back into the machine. 5. For a deluxe installation, use a three way valve so that waste water can be easily shifted back to the sewer line should the need arise. 6. Place the tank on bricks to increase water pressure. 7. Remember not to use washing machine...

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Homegrown Evolution in Chicago

...ut of two buckets. As a bonus, meet Homegrown Evolution blogger and author Erik Knutzen, who will be co-teaching the class and signing copies of his book The Urban Homestead. Bring some gloves and learn how to make and plant your own SIP. Leave with everything you need for a summer of fresh heirloom tomatoes–all you add is about 6 hours of good sun per day in your yard, balcony, or roof and enough water to keep the reservoir full. No weeding, no...

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Urban Farm Magazine

We have a article on urban farmers across America in the premiere issue of a magazine bound to appeal to readers of this blog, Urban Farm. Our article, Where Urban Meets Farm, profiles the efforts of our friends the Green Roof Growers of Chicago, Em Jacoby of Detroit and Kelly Yrarrazaval of Orange County. All of these fine folks have repurposed urban and suburban spaces to grow impressive amounts of food, a common sense trend popular enough to...

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