Pictures from the National Heirloom Expo

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Via Root Simple in Instagram, some pics from the 7th Annual National Heirloom Exposition in Santa Rosa. I’ll do some more in-depth posting later in the week, but a few short takeaways from my sixth trip to the expo: yes, you can grow paw paws and chestnuts in California, dahlias are amazing and we sure need more biodiversity in our supermarkets. And, to Kelly’s dismay, I came back with a cutting from one of Luther Burbank’s spineless prickly pear cactus varieties (that aren’t really spineless and caused a scandal in 1907).

#lutherburbank #pricklypear and spineless!

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#bittermelon

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Who knew that you can grow paw paws in California?

A post shared by Erik Knutzen (@rootsimple) on

A post shared by Erik Knutzen (@rootsimple) on

A post shared by Erik Knutzen (@rootsimple) on

A post shared by Erik Knutzen (@rootsimple) on

109 Doubt is Our Product: Bees, Chemicals and Academia

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How do chemical companies influence university scientists? Who pays for research? Why did the California State Beekeeping Association oppose legislation that would have required labeling neonicotinoid treated nursery plants? These are just a few of the controversial questions covered in this week’s episode of the podcast. My guests are Stacy Malkan co-director of US Right to Know and beekeeper Terry Oxford of Urban Bee San Francisco. Links:

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

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National Heirloom Exposition!

Heirloom-Expo-2017

Blog posting will be lighter than usual around the Root Simple compound this week as I’ll be at the National Heirloom Exposition in Santa Rosa, California. I’ll be collecting stories for the blog and podcast. If you’re planning on coming to the expo drop me a line at [email protected] or @rootsimple on Twitter–I’d love to meet you!

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Saturday Tweets: Bird Eyesight, Making and Marginalia

The Return of the Ceiling Bed?

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The irony of using an iPad to access 19th and early 20th century literature is not lost on me, but I’m really enjoying reading original source material from the Arts and Crafts and bungalow movement. Deep in the pages of Bungalow Magazine I found an ad for the Murphy bed’s forgotten competitor, the Sorlien ceiling bed.

US1065740-1The Sorlien company’s contraption hides the bed in the ceiling rafters. As you can see in Sorlien’s 1913 patent, you lower the bed via a crank in the wall. Weights, also hidden in the wall, counterbalance the bed. Folding legs on the bottom of the bed deploy like landing gear on a UFO so that you’re not swinging from a chain all night (although that sounds kinda fun).

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Wait, they did that in the 1970s. But I digress.

Sorlien’s invention never caught on and the company diversified into tent trailers. But it appears that the tiny house folks have revived the ceiling bed idea.

Sears Modern Home blog has more information on the Sorlien bed.