035 Local Flowers with Tara Kolla of Silver Lake Farms

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On the Valentines day episode of the Root Simple podcast, Tara Kolla, owner of Silver Lake Farms discusses why you should care where your flowers come from. Tara grows and sells flowers right in the heart of Los Angeles. You can find her flowers at the Hollywood Farmers Market and at a pop-up that will take place at Valerie in Echo Park on February 13th and 14th. During the podcast we discuss:

If you want 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. The theme music is by Dr. Frankenstein. Additional music by Rho. A downloadable version of this podcast is here.

Earth Building Classes!

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Root Simple received the following announcement from the fine folks at Adobe is Not Software, providers of amazing earth building classes:

Upcoming Classes

  • March 27-29 – Joshua Tree Earthen Finishes Class: We have a great Earthen Finishes Workshop coming up just in Pioneertown, California not far from Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park.  Taught by Kurt Gardella. the class is will teach clay paints, interior and exterior earthen plasters, stabilizers and clay-based techniques for improving the thermal performance of conventional frame buildings and cabins. Register before March 1st for a $30 discount!
  • Various Dates & Locations, Some Real, Some Virtual: The great folks at Adobe in Action more great online classes this spring!  For folks whose lives and locations make on-site learning difficult, Adobe in Action’s online classes are an incredible resource.  For those in New Mexico, head up there and take a live class on adobe conservation and restoration.
  • More Classes: Stay tuned for additional classes coming up in the fall – we’re looking to reprise our popular adobe basics class which will cover brick making, codes and basic adobe wall masonry.  We are also looking at having an horno workshop in Los Angeles sometime this summer.

Events

  • October 2-4 – EarthUSA 2015, Santa Fe, NM: A reminder that EarthUSA, the premier North American earthbuilding community event is coming up this October. The event brings together expert practitioners, historians and conservation specialists from all over the world for lectures, classes, and field trips in the center of American adobe culture. Interested in presenting?  A call for papers is out… submissions due on April 10th.

Elsewhere in California:

  • Buying Adobes in California: As a reminder, San Tan Adobe and New Mexico Earth are both shipping bricks to California. If you need adobe bricks and can’t make your own, both adobe yards will be happy to help!  San Tan’s adobe are also available in some San Diego area masonry yards.  We are also hearing tell of a new possible source near Joshua Tree – stay tuned!

Stuff we’ve recently gotten done:

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  • Waverly School Oven: Last summer, we finished a very handsome adobe and earthen horno with Pasadena’s Waverly School at their Farm.  All of the adobes were made on site by students using native soil, and they’ve been baking bread and making pizza with ingredients grown on-site!  It was great to work with such an enthusiastic group – cooking with dirt is more than mud pies!

Got something going on?:
Drop us a line!  We’re anxious to hear about new projects, preservation efforts, classes and folks doing recreational or professional adobe work in California.  There’s a lot of people in our community that we have yet to meet!
-AiNS

Submit your questions for the Cat Doctor!

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Go ahead, tap on the bright box. It’s all you do anyway.

At the end of this week we will be interviewing Dr. Tracy McFarland  for our podcast, and we are absolutely thrilled.

Dr. Tracy is an top-notch vet who specializes in the care of felines. She’s also our very own vet. We’re going to talk about all things cats, and hear her advice on cat care, including feeding, vacinations and the perennial indoor or outdoor question. At the end of the conversation, if there’s time, we’ll pass on a few questions from our reader/listeners.

So please leave your cat-related questions here. We can’t guarantee they’ll be answered, but we’ll try. It’s best not to leave questions about specific cases (e.g. “My cat Mr.Muffinpuff has a purple spot on his ear…”) because this simply isn’t the correct forum for such things. Keep it general.

Cats!

FlicFloc Flak

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My review of the KoMo FlicFloc grain flaker was featured on Cool Tools and, in the comments, got some push back on the price. At $169 USD (from Pleasant Hill Grain or The King’s Roost), it’s a fair objection.

A number of commenters pointed out that you can buy grain crackers such as the one on the right for around $20 to $30 USD. I had one of these crackers for years (it’s headed to the thrift store on account of our recent decluttering). I’ve never liked it. It’s poorly made. The hopper never fit onto the rest of the unit. It must be disassembled to clean.

Most importantly, here’s the difference when flaking oats between my inexpensive grain cracker and the FlicFloc:

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On the left are some oats run through the cracker versus oats, on the right, run through the FlicFloc. A cheap cracker is fine for cracking corn for chicken feed or making a course grind of rye for a Scandinavian style bread, but it does not make either flour or truly flaked grains. The FlicFloc flakes oats and cracks wheat and rye and it’s easy to clean.

I’ve never regretted paying more for a tool that will last a lifetime. I have regretted, many times, buying cheap tools. The FlicFloc broke my Grape Nuts addiction. It will pay for itself.