Friday, December 13, 2013


The pessimist resembles a man who observes with fear and sadness that his wall calendar, from which he daily tears a sheet, grows thinner with each passing day. On the other hand, the person who attacks the problems of life actively is like a man who removes each successive leaf from his calendar and files it neatly and carefully away with its predecessors, after first having jotted down a few diary notes on the back. He can reflect with pride and joy on all the richness set down in these notes, on all the life he has already lived to the fullest. What will it matter to him if he notices that he is growing old? Has he any reason to envy the young people whom he sees, or wax nostalgic over his own lost youth? What reasons has he to envy a young person? For the possibilities that a young person has, the future which is in store for him?
No, thank you, he will think. Instead of possibilities, I have realities in my past, not only the reality of work done and of love loved, but of sufferings bravely suffered. These sufferings are even the things of which I am most proud, although these are things which cannot inspire envy.

Thanks to our friends at Root Simple for the quote.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Nelson Mandela – Prisoner, Rooftop Food Gardener

“A garden was one of the few things in prison that one could control. To plant a seed, watch it grow, to tend it and then harvest it, offered a simple but enduring satisfaction. The sense of being the custodian of this small patch of earth offered a taste of freedom..."

Via City Farmer.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Friday, December 6, 2013

How to Raise Chickens Without Buying Grain

I've had chickens for 3 years and have always fed them "chicken" feed, which isn't all that cheap, or practical.

I like the solution in the video but wonder how I could adapt it to my urban setting.

Friday, November 29, 2013


I saw this post on Hoshigaki by our friends at Root Simple and knew what I wanted to do when I found persimmons at our local veg market -- I bought 6 and started making it (them?).

The left and right ones in the top row are a little mushy. Not sure if they're going to dry properly.

This Instructable has even more detailed, well, instructions.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Friday, October 4, 2013

Making End of Season Fermented Vegetables

Using basil and tiny eggplants from my rooftop, along with green plum tomatoes and grape leaves from the community garden, I'm trying Sandy Katz's recipe from his book "Wild Fermentation".

Clockwise, starting from the upper left corner: Dill seeds and black pepper, green plum tomatoes and baby Green Thai and Little Fingers eggplant. Garlic, grape leaves, basil and one little hot pepper.

All packed in a plastic container. Not having a glass, or ceramic, crock, Katz's advice was to use a "food grade" plastic container.

The brine poured in and the veggies held under with a plate. I'll check for mold, skimming it off the surface if present, and wait 1-4 weeks for them to cure at room temperature.