Weed Eating Italian Style

Here at Homegrown Revolution we’re big proponents of eatin’ your weeds, which is why we were delighted to stumble upon an article on virtualitalia.com that contains a couple of weed recipes including dandelion egg salad and stinging nettle lasagna. As the article points points out Italians are one of only a few Western cultures that still actively forage. Spring approaches and with it a free salad bar and produce section just waiting...

Continue reading…

Tree Spinach – Chenopodium giganteum

For most of the country planting time is far off but for us, here in the Homegrown Revolution compound in Mediterranean Los Angeles, it’s time to start the winter garden. The billowing clouds of apocalyptic smoke from the fires ravaging the suburban fringes of our disaster prone megalopolis are the only thing that keeps us inside today, giving us time to contemplate one of the seed packets that has crossed our desk, Chenopodium giganteum a...

Continue reading…

Supper for a buck?

...nd I surely don’t have the patience to figure out the cost of the salad from our garden (do I have to figure in the mortgage?), but I do know that around this time of year I could forage a salad for free from the spring weeds. But for the sake of a sensationalist headline, I’m ballparking our supper for two at about a dollar. It may have been more than a dollar when all the little things are added up–but I honestly think two dol...

Continue reading…

LA’s Parkway Garden Dilemma: Not Fixed Yet

A parkway vegetable garden on Sunset Blvd.. The City of Los Angeles’ crackdown on parkway vegetable gardens made international news thanks to an article by LA Times columnist Steve Lopez. Lopez was reporting on two parkway gardens that were issued citations by the LA Bureau of Street Services. This crackdown came two years after Ron Finley was busted for being a vegetable gardening outlaw. Over the weekend I started seeing articles, Tweets...

Continue reading…

Decomposed Granite as Mulch: A very bad idea

...it’s got to be compacted and soil compaction is really bad for plants, including hardy natives and succulents. It stifles the life of the soil, and does not build new soil. And eventually, the plastic will fail, and the weeds will come through (some come through even when the plastic is new), and whoever is left holding the bag a couple of years down the road will be pulling decaying bits of plastic out of their garden for evermore. What...

Continue reading…

Chicken Coop Deconstructed

...amese pot bellied pig, dozens of rabbits and two hens. As can be expected, the program hasn’t gotten the respect and resources it deserves in the last few years. Things look a little scraggly, the orchard is filled with weeds and most of the barns haven’t been touched in thirty years, now housing only spiders. This program is special of course because it allows city kids to have access to green space, get outside and get close to a po...

Continue reading…

Piet Oudolf’s Enhanced Nature

...of the flowers Native Californians encouraged have edible bulbs or foliage. Criticisms Oudolf’s work is cutting edge and by his own admission there are problems–such as maintenance workers confusing plantings for weeds. Kelly and I also debated how much this book can be used to understand small residential spaces–I found the ideas helpful, but most of the photographs are of large public gardens. And the plant lists are of no he...

Continue reading…

What To Do With Old Vegetable Seeds

...p. Fukuoka has some tips in his book The Natural Way of Farming for creating a semi-wild vegetable garden: Include nitrogen fixers (in my case some clover seeds) Use daikon and other radishes to break up hard soil Sow before weeds emerge Scott Kleinrock has used the same strategy at the Huntington Gardens. Here’s what his semi-wild vegetable garden, growing in the understory of some small fruit trees, looked like in January of this year:...

Continue reading…

The Strange World of Artificial Plants

...ke zucchini: But I think my favorite fake plants come from a company called New Image Plants, providers of  “The World’s Best Artificial Marijuana.” Customers? Marijuana dispensaries, the set decorator for Weeds and law enforcement! From their website: Across the world law enforcement finds itself with the continuous dilemma of having to train new recruits to identify and find illegal marijuana plants . . . Our plants are used...

Continue reading…