Saturday Tweets: Beet Raisins, Seed Libraries and a Pepperoni Disaster

Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop in Silver Lake this Weekend

Our neighbor Lora is putting on a fruit tree pruning workshop on Sunday. Here’s the 411:

I’m an arborist and I’m doing a charity bike ride to raise money for tree research and education. Rather than bother my friends and family for donations I thought I would use my actual skills and knowledge to raise money for this great cause. I need to prune my own fruit trees this weekend, so why not make it a workshop?!

This Sunday, April 8th from 1pm-3:00 pm in HaFo SaFo (Echo Park/Silver Lake) I have taught fruit tree pruning classes at botanical gardens including The Huntington and I will adapt the same handouts I’ve used for this workshop. We will prune 1 peach, 1 apple and 1 lemon tree so that we can discuss the three most common types of fruit tree pruning for Southern Californians. I’m asking for a $40 donation per person to attend (though you are welcome to donate more!) Once you donate I will reply with the exact address. Here is the link for more info. Thanks!—the-britton-fund-ride-2018/lorahall1

Soap as a Furniture and Floor Finish

An old idea still practiced in some northern European countries, dissolved soap flakes can be used as a furniture and floor finish. Soap is non-toxic and, as Christopher Schwarz points out in this video, your clothes get cleaner when you take on this annual chore. And that’s the only catch: like wax, you have to re-apply at least once a year as part of a household wide soapy cleaning ritual.

More detailed info on soap finishes here.

News From Around the Root Simple Compound

This week a crew will descend on our backyard to begin phase one of a backyard landscaping reboot. First they will break out the word’s ugliest concrete patio and remove the infamous grape arbor, a.k.a. rat canopy. Then they will dig down to adjust the grading at the back of the house so that water flows away not towards the house.

I struggle for words to fully describe the ugliness of this concrete patio. It’s a cracked abomination made of red tinted concrete with a layer of flaking gray paint. It’s the first thing you see when you exit the back door and it’s driven me nuts for years. Our contractor likes to reuse concrete but but I doubt this stuff is savable. He plans to replace it with a new patio made of broken concrete. Then he’ll replace the arbor with a more carefully constructed one minus the grapes.

Meanwhile, in the workshop, I’ve had a kind of awakening to the use of hand planes. They’ve been in use for thousands of years and don’t send you push notifications or collect your most private thoughts or “likes.” In addition to using those hand planes to finish a new kitchen table, I’ve been experimenting with the oddball practice of fuming oak. Full report when the projects are finished.

And, yes, we’re really late with the next episode of the podcast. I’m on it.

Saturday Tweets: Passover/Holy Saturday Edition