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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Bean Fest, Episode 6: Walton’s Serbian Lima Beans

...ns in oil stirring frequently til very limp/well cooked (think near mush)     * add spices to onions, mix thoroughly. Taste and adjust according to taste.     * add well drained lima beans to onion mix (reserve some lima bean water)     * pour into 9 x 13 baking dish; you want there to be some fluid (to bake in); if dry add some reserved lima bean water     * insert bay leaves into beans in dish     * bake, covered, at 375 for 30 minutes     * ba...

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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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Sourdough Recipe #1 The Not Very Whole Wheat Loaf

...le over 3/4 cups)13 oz unbleached white bread flour (about 2 3/4 cups)3 oz whole wheat flour (3/4 cups)2 tablespoon wheat bran1/2 tablespoon barley malt syrup (optional–makes a darker crust and boosts the rise)8 oz cool water (about 1 cup)1/2 tablespoon sea salt1. Mix the starter, flours, wheat bran, barley malt syrup and water. Throw it all in a mixer fitted with a dough hook if you’ve got one, or knead by hand like hell for 4 minute...

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Emergency Supplies: It’s all about the lids

...e on composting toilets, see this post of ours  or go straight to the source, The Humanure Handbook.) The green bucket holds enough preservative-filled, ready-to-eat food to hold her for a day or two without access to cooking water or a stove. I deliberately chose foods that she wouldn’t be tempted to eat prior to the natural disaster/zombie attack. Not gross things–you don’t want to be challenging your stomach in an emergency&#...

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How to Make Amazake

...r local Japanese supermarket. Koji can also be found at some health food stores or you can mail order it from G.E.M cultures. We used a brand called Cold Mountain. 2. Bring 1 cup of white or brown rice to a boil in 2 cups of water. Turn down the heat and simmer for 50 minutes. We used sweet rice, but any kind of rice and if fact almost any grain will work. 3. Cool the rice down to 140º F (60º C). Mix in 2 cups of koji and put it in a sterili...

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Behold the Glassy Winged Sharpshooter (Homalodisca coagulata)

...he GWS’s built-in hypodermic syringe! The discovery of a GWS in our yard has solved a mystery that has puzzled us for years. When sitting under the grape vine covering our arbor we’ve often felt little droplets of water, highly unusual in a place where it never rains past April. Turns out it was sharpshooter pee. Sharpshooters feed on the xylem, the water bearing veins of plants. As the xylem contains mostly water, the sharpshooter mu...

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Straw Bale Garden Part II: Watering the Bales

In case you just joined us, we’re starting up a straw bale garden. I’ve decided to go with instructions provided by Washington State University. The first step is to wet the bales. Here’s what WSU suggests: To start the process, keep the straw bales wet for three to four weeks before planting. If you would like to speed up the process, here is a recipe that works well. Days 1 to 3: Water the bales thoroughly and keep them damp...

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Interview With Apartment Gardener Helen Kim

...ection except north). It takes a little doing, and I’ve lost a few here and there. I started years ago with French breakfast radish seeds, which didn’t go so well–they needed too much attention and too much water–and the few small radishes I ended up with a few months later were eaten and gone in a few seconds! Then I planted mint because I felt increasingly silly buying plastic packets of it in the supermarket, only to...

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Greywater Guerrillas in LA this Weekend

...he construction of a greywater system from the washing machine to ornamental of plants. Activities will involve digging, measuring, cutting pipes, observing, and more! Sunday July 20th: Presentation: How to Disengage from the Water Grid: With Greywater, Rainwater, and Composting Toilets. Time: 7:30- 9:00Location: LA Ecovillage 117 Bimini Place, Los Angeles, 90004Cost: $10 (no one turned away)For more info contact Lois at the LA Ecovillage 213/738...

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