Michael Tortorello on Urban Homesteading

Michael Tortorello, who wrote that nice piece about us a few months ago, “Living Large, Off the Land,” is one of my favorite writers on gardening and “urban homesteady” topics. He’s critical without being curmudgeonly and manages to separate the truth from the hype (and there’s an awful lot of hype in this movement!). Plus he managed to get an entire paragraph about my thyrsus into the New York Times. Thyrsus hype?

Since he’s far too busy writing kick ass columns to have a website, I’ve collected a few of his articles here in one place for your reading pleasure:

Heirloom Seeds or Flinty Hybrids?
Yes, hybrid seeds are o.k. and I agree.

The Permaculture Movement Grows From Underground
The wonders of permaculture plus a jab at aerated compost tea.

Finding the Potential in Vacant Lots
Recent boom and bust cycles have left us with a lot of room to grow stuff.

Food Storage as Grandma Knew It
Tortorello actually tracked down some folks who have functioning root cellars.

The Spotless Garden
On aquaponics. Don’t name those fish!

Making Flowers Into Perfume
 Build that still!

Seeds Straight From Your Fridge
On planting seeds from the pantry.

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  1. I enjoyed looking up all of the links for this article – lots of interesting, thoughtful ideas.
    I came across this article about the hybrid/heirloom seed debate on Grist just this morning and there’s an aspect of the issue that I had never considered, to wit: there has been a measurable decline in the nutrition of vegetables and hybrids, bred for productivity and (sometimes) compact size may be one of the culprits. Take a look:


    P.S. I’m definitely in the open-pollinated camp because I’m cheap.

  2. Donna nuttin wrong with being cheap I also happen to agree with that article about a decline in vit value.

    Erik, thanks for the links I’ve only read just two of his works.

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