Who’s Gonna Care?


In lieu of a Root Simple podcast today (it’s just too hot in our editing room) I’m going to point you to Douglas Rushkoff’s always engaging Team Human Podcast. You should listen to them all but I want to especially commend an episode featuring Palak Shah, Social Innovations Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA). At some point in all of our lives we will probably need someone to either help care for children, an elderly relative or take care of us when we get old. Unfortunately we don’t appreciate domestic work for the highly skilled labor that it actually is. Palak Shah has some innovative ideas for how we can take better care of domestic workers.

122 Artist, Gardener and Activist Renee Garner

Image: Renee Garner.

There’s a struggle in cities, around the world, to make streets safer for everyone, especially our children and elders. One hundred years of car-centric planning has created cities and suburbs that are ugly and dangerous. Renee Garner is fighting a plan to turn the road in front of her home in Matthews, North Carolina into what would be, in effect, a multi-lane freeway. During our conversation we talk about her activism and what happened when a local reporter uncovered a trove of mean spirited text messages about her from the (now former) mayor. In addition to her efforts to stop the John Street widening project, Renee is an artist, illustrator and avid permaculturalist. You can find Renee’s website at renee-garner.com. Check out her amazing illustrations here.

If you’d like to leave a question for the Root Simple Podcast please call (213) 537-2591 or send an email to [email protected] You can subscribe to our podcast in the iTunes store and on Stitcher. Closing theme music by Dr. Frankenstein. A downloadable version of this podcast is here.

121 Beekeeping, Fireworks, Solar Power and Extending Wi-Fi with Will of the Weekend Homestead

Will of the Weekend Homestead returns to the Root Simple podcast to talk about how to get into beekeeping without busting the bank, fireworks, rigging up a simple solar power system and extending your wi-fi. During the podcast we discuss:

If you’d like to leave a question for the Root Simple Podcast please call (213) 537-2591 or send an email to [email protected] You can subscribe to our podcast in the iTunes store and on Stitcher. Closing theme music by Dr. Frankenstein. A downloadable version of this podcast is here.

120 Inhabiting Suburbia with Johnny Sanphillippo

On this episode of the root simple podcast I speak with Johnny Sanphillippo about the opportunities and challenges of inhabiting suburbia. Johnny asks some provocative questions in our discussion and on his blog Granola Shotgun. Can we make old communities better? How do we deal with the housing affordability crisis? What does the future hold for suburbia?

Johnny describes himself as an amateur architecture buff with a passionate interest in where and how we all live and occupy the landscape, from small rural towns to skyscrapers and everything in between. During the podcast we mention:

How do you inhabit suburbia? Join the discussion by leaving a voice mail at (213) 537-2591. We’ll play your comments on the next podcast.

If you’d like to leave a question for the Root Simple Podcast please call (213) 537-2591 or send an email to [email protected] You can subscribe to our podcast in the iTunes store and on Stitcher. Closing theme music by Dr. Frankenstein. A downloadable version of this podcast is here.

How to Put Together a Small Scale Solar System

How can you use solar panels to power a few lights, run a fountain or charge some tools? It seems like a simple question, and yet I can’t tell you how many books/magazines/websites I’ve combed through in search of a basic tutorial for anything less than wiring up a whole house. Now I know how thanks to a podcast conversation between Eric of Garden Fork and Will of the Weekend Homestead. Will describes how he rigged up a few panels and batteries to power lights and charge tools in his off-grid barn. Check out the show notes for the specific parts Will used to put together his system.