Disconnect to Reconnect: Ditching the “Flushie” for a Composting Toilet

...le system. And, when I sat with cup of tea to write this, I had just snaked the toilet for the 6th time in three days. Sure I was glad to learn a new tool and this skill, as well as earn some more insight into the workings of water toilets and yet, snaking a toilet is one of the more compelling arguments for why I ‘go dry’. Considerations for abandoning your flushie (and switching over to the bucket): Your body’s nutrient should be returned to t...

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Saturday Linkages: Tiny Houses, Human Cheese, Doomsday Condos and Speakin’ Squirrel

Tiny Cabin in Scottish Countryside http://bit.ly/ItD5XQ And . . . Anderson Cooper tackles tiny houses http://www.mnn.com/your-home/remodeling-design/blogs/watch-anderson-cooper-tackles-tiny-houses Cat needs to learn water conservation: http://boingboing.net/2012/04/12/cat-needs-to-learn-water-conse.html No it’s not one of our April Fools day jokes: Breast Milk Ice Cream, Human Cheese http://aol.it/In5zBn Doomsday condos in old missile...

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Greywater Precautions

Before we continue our greywater series, we have a few precautions to lay down. The dangers of greywater have been exaggerated in the past and it’s important to remember that nobody in the US has ever gotten sick from exposure to greywater. The plumbing codes in this country are overly cautious in their restrictions on greywater use, as the Man, quite simply, wants you to throw perfectly good water down the sewer. On the other hand, a lot...

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Make a Rain Barrel

...of a threaded 3″ waste pipe fitting: The last step is to prop the barrel up on some wood or concrete blocks to give some clearance for your hose connection and some extra elevation for a gravity assist to help push the water through a garden hose. The overflow connection is another reason I like Chenkin’s design. It’s important to keep rainwater away from your foundation especially when, like us, you live on a hill. The picture...

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Capparis spinosa – Capers

...than against her, or as we prefer to say–don’t fuck with nature. For those of you who live where it gets cold, fucking with nature means trying to grow a fig tree. For us it meant trying to grow a lawn, a foolish water-wasting mistake we made in our pre-SurviveLA days. Working with nature means finding plants that belong in a climate similar to your part of the world. We’re not native plant fascists and will gladly source plant...

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Weeds into Fertilizer

...it ferments to share with you. Supposedly this will not only add nitrogen but also valuable trace minerals to my soil. While the stirring adds oxygen, overall this is an anaerobic process. The plants are sitting in stagnant water most of the time and apparently get quite stinky. But I have learned that stinky things, when applied in the garden, are often very good things. Cleaning the chicken coop always produces a good product for the garden....

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Summer of Solar Cookin’

...oday: Solar Powered Navy Beans 2 cups navy beans a handful of celery leaves 5 garlic cloves, whole 1/4 cup pickled red onion (just sliced red onion soaked overnight in white wine vinegar- delicious with everything) Lots of water- maybe 4-5 cups You want to make sure to use plenty of water. Beans absorb a lot of water as they rehydrate and the solar cooker looses some moisture as it cooks. So err on the side of extra water. I’m not muc...

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Bean Fest, Episode 3: Bastardized Puerto Rican Beans

...dinner. Slow is the only way…. Everything tastes better with a heavy dose of expectation…. The bean does not humor any shortcuts. Soak (at least) overnight. Start cooking pre-soaked beans in lightly salted water (or broth, if you’ve got it lying around and feel decadent). Give them a bit of a head start before you start the rest of the dish. • I made this with black beans (though later he says he usually uses pintos o...

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Scarlet Runner Bean Stew

...en it comes to dried beans I almost always do the overnight soak method. To soak beans overnight, simply place your beans in a large pot. Rinse them and pick out any stones or broken beans. Fill the pot up 3/4 of the way with water and let soak overnight or for at least five hours. After their soak you may need to add more water. The beans can soak up a lot. Then cook on medium to high heat for about an hour. Test a bean. How done you want your b...

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Self-Irrigating Gutter Update

...irrigating gutter (SIG) using two gutters based on a video by Larry Hall. You can see my original post about this project here. Essentially, it is a gutter filled with potting mix, sitting on top of another gutter filled with water. Every eight inches there is a 3 inch perforated pot filled with potting mix that hangs down into the water filled gutter. For mulch I used re-purposed billboard vinyl scavenged from a dumpster by my neighbor Ray. The...

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