Of Dead Heroes and Roast Chickens

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Judy Rodgers died Monday. Unless you are a chef, or a follower of the food world, or live in San Francisco, this probably means nothing to you. Why should it? People die every day. If we mourned for every person we’ve never known we would be paralyzed. But Chef Rodger’s passing means something to me. [Continue Reading...]

Giveaway: Honeybee Democracy – For Beekeepers And More

Honeybee Democracy

Thomas Seeley’s fascinating Honeybee Democracy has received press in some unusual circles for a book about insect behavior. Everyone from homemade mead-makers to The New Republic has weighed in with glowing reviews on this study of honeybee swarms. The reason for this broad appeal is simple: Seeley does an excellent job describing the how and why of honeybee group decision-making, [Continue Reading...]

Giveaway: Lard: The Lost Art of Cooking with Your Grandmother’s Secret Ingredient

Lard: The Lost Art of Cooking with your Grandmother's Secret Ingredient

Update: This Giveaway is now closed. Congrats to Jill! Jill, please check your email for information on how to claim your prize. Just a warning, friends: expect a lot of giveaways in the next several weeks. I spent last weekend at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup and was more than happy to bring [Continue Reading...]

Urban Farm Magazine Seed Starting Challenge Winners

Urban Farm Magazine

Big Congrats to Marie, the winner of our seed starting challenge! Marie is growing strawberries and artichokes from seed for the first time. Great job! Check your email for info on how to get your certificate for a year’s subscription to Urban Farm Magazine. Also congrats to At Home On Paradise Cove, who is the [Continue Reading...]

Giveaway: Free Range Chicken Gardens and The Fresh Egg Cookbook

Free Range Chicken Gardens - Jessi Bloom

Edible gardeners want to eat what they grow. Chicken owners want happy egg-laying helpers. But happy, free-ranging chickens will mess up a veggie patch faster than you can say cotyledon. And that is the conflict garden-growing chicken-owners face. Thankfully, Free-Range Chicken Gardens, the new book by landscape designer and chicken expert Jessi Bloom, tells you how [Continue Reading...]

Win One Of My Five Favorite Gardening Books

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of milestones here on the blog. First, I launched my first ever sale-able product, The 2012 Garden Journal. The feedback on the Garden Journal has been fantastic. Thank you guys so much for your purchases. They directly support this blog, and – I hope – directly support [Continue Reading...]

How To Plan Your Harvest Based On What You Eat (Plus The Winner of The Urban Farm Handbook!)

Annual Produce Harvest Planner

One you you awesome readers has won The Urban Farm Handbook. But before you shoot right to the bottom of this post to find out if it’s you, read on to discover a great way to plan your harvest from the plate backwards. This is a technique straight out of The Urban Farm Handbook, so [Continue Reading...]

"Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer" Owes Me Sleep

I was at the library a few days ago and saw Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter on the shelf. Novella was all over the urban homesteading blog world this spring when the City of Oakland kicked her in the proverbial nuts over her garden/mini-farm/oasis in the ghetto. She got [Continue Reading...]

Of Watts and Watt-Hours

This post has nothing to do with gardening – but it does have a great deal to do with sustainability and environmental awareness. It follows up to Erica’s experimentation with the Kill-A-Watt with a (brief) engineering lesson. Please, don’t be scared. I studied engineering for three years before realizing I hated it switching to English [Continue Reading...]

Eat Fish, Save Planet

You want to eat fish. It’s delicious, versatile, good for you, and not-at-all cute. Fish scores a 10 out of 10 on the “animals to eat” scale. But it’s not all shiny scales and clear eyes. It turns out there can be some downsides to fish consumption. Some fish shouldn’t be eaten due to contaminents, [Continue Reading...]

Weekend Inspiration: Global Gotcha Down? Look Local.

Well, I think I speak for just about the whole world when I say this week has sucked. The triumvirate of devastation that has hit Japan is horrific and mesmerizing and terrifying. The cries for democracy around the Middle East are being met with brutal repression. My state’s government just announced we are $80 million more in the [Continue Reading...]