• My Pet Worms: How to Make Your Own Worm Bin

    “It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world, as have these lowly organized creatures.” Charles Darwin made this observation about earthworms in his 1883 book, The Formation of Vegetable Mould Through the Action of Worms With Observations of Their Habits. […]

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  • never out of season

    What I’m Reading: Never Out of Season

    By the 1800’s the hills of Ireland were covered in the green foliage of potato plants. More than 3 million (or ⅖) Irish peasants subsisted almost solely on the potato, namely the lumper potato. Then, in 1846, the fungus-like late blight (Phytophthora infestans), arrived. It spread by air-borne spores from field to field. The potatoes […]

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  • History of Amaranth

    The Conquest of a Plant: A Brief History of Amaranth

    Colonization raises many weapons at the targeted. First, there are swords and guns, weapons that kill. Then, there are more insidious slower working weapons. Weapons that alienate people from skills that their ancestors have passed down for centuries. Weapons that make people forget what plants provide medicine and which ones poison. These weapons aim to […]

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  • Wild Foraging: Cooking With Wild Mustard

    Wild mustard is despised among native plant activist. It smothers native plants and flowers transforming the landscape of the United States. Each plant can produce up to 500 seeds allowing it to spread rapidly. It is also allelopathic meaning its leaves and roots exude compounds that inhibit other plants from growing. When it dries up […]

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  • Urban Foraging: Connecting With Our Cities in a New Way

    Before it was subdivisions and Home Depots, the San Fernando Valley was citrus orchards. Little of this history remains; an orange grove at California State University Northridge and at Orcutt Ranch, scattered streets with names like ‘Satsuma.’ But, a second look reveals more of this history. Lemon trees dangling fruit in front of apartment buildings, […]

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  • What I’m Reading: The Urban Homestead

    There is a movement happening in America’s cities. A movement of people who map edible trees in their neighborhoods and eat weeds growing from cracks in the sidewalk. These people can be heard in the tap rooms of microbreweries using words like ‘Araucana’ and ‘Rhode Island Red.’ There are sourdough starters in fridges and worm […]

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  • The Tools of Permaculture: A Guide to Permaculture Techniques

    This is the third part in my permaculture series. Check out Part I: The Permaculture Principles and Part II: A History of Permaculture and its Movers and Shakers. Permaculture is a thought process. There are many methods employed by permaculturist but these methods do not make the movement. My teacher, Larry Santoyo, likes to say that […]

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