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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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

...hly. 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     * bake uncovered, at 350 for 15-20 minutes til golden brown (take care not to burn) Walton’s Notes: I would...

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Slaughtering Turkeys for Thanksgiving

...nte 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 beneath the water. The smell of wet, dead poultry is…uh…distinct. Next, plucking begins. The bi...

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Sourdough Recipe #1 The Not Very Whole Wheat Loaf

...on 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 minutes. 2. Let the dough rest under a cloth for 20 minutes 3. Mix in the salt and knead for another for another 6 m...

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Emergency Supplies: It’s all about the lids

Above you see one five gallon bucket transformed into a toilet, and another into a food storage container, by virtue of specialty lids. The toilet seat lid I have here is called Luggable Loo Seat Cover and, miraculously, it is made in Canada. I bought it at REI. The other lid is called a Gamma Seal, and it is USA made. Do I see a trend, here? Anyway, this I found at an Army surplus store. The Gamma Seal is a two part lid that fits most 3-7 gall...

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How to Make Amazake

...1; 140º F (55º C – 60º C). We accomplished the incubation by placing the jar in a small cooler filled with water heated to 140º. Every few hours we checked the temperature and added a little more hot water as needed. 5. After 10 hours check for sweetness. If it’s not sweet enough continue the incubation process for a few more hours. 6. Once you’ve reached the desired level of sweetness you must stop the fermentation process...

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Behold the Glassy Winged Sharpshooter (Homalodisca coagulata)

...led 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 must process large quantities of material in order to survive. Excess water is puffed out their rear ends, a fascin...

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Straw Bale Garden Part II: Watering the Bales

...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. Days 4 to 6: Sprinkle each bale with ½ cup urea (46-0-0) and water well into bales. You can substitute bone meal, fish meal, or compost for a more organic approach. Days 7 to 9: Cut back to ¼ cup urea or substitute per bale per day and continue to water well. Day 10: No more fertilizer is...

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Interview With Apartment Gardener Helen Kim

...e even smaller when I noticed many of the buildings had windows that swung outwards (impossible if you intend to water your plants). There was only this one building that fit the bill, so I moved in. On the first day, I realized the screens were impossible to remove (to water, etc…) without mangling. The building manager at the time told me that the screens were non-removable (what?!). So I measured all the windows, went to the hardware...

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