The Real Know How

How-Tos, Videos, Tutorials — Ramping Up for the 21st Century

Archive for the tag “california”

Antelope Valley Inexpensive BoxBike Build

A boxbike (bakfiets) is a kind of cargo bike popularized in the Netherlands. They can be a really useful way to get around — and to move your stuff around – but they are also very expensive to buy (prices are in the thousands).

Here’s an inexpensive boxbike build tutorial by a member of the High Desert Cyclists Club of Antelope Valley, California:

S/he writes “I started this over two weeks ago and spent $50 total [my emphasis]. It took 2 complete bikes and one old long-john project bike to complete it. Many parts were re-purposed. Cantilever brake bosses were used for the steering linkage along with go-kart heim joints.”

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Homemade Sour Cream! How to Make Creme Fraiche

Chef John (in San Francisco) of foodwishes shows us how he makes sour cream/creme fraiche.

Very straightforward – The ingredients are cream and cultured buttermilk at room temperature (no heating necessary, though the culturing will go faster the hotter the environment).

Beekeeping in Berkeley, California

Mateo Rutherford of the Green Faerie Farm talks about his bees and beekeeping.

Her Majesty’s Secret Beekeeper and Urban Beekeeping

“Bryon Waibel runs what he believes is the world’s only urban beekeeping store [in San Francisco]. It’s called Her Majesty’s Secret Beekeeper and Waibel, who uses the handle 006, does seem to believe that he/ the store/ urban beekeepers are serving a cause.”

Growing Rice

A look at the Lundberg Family Farms’ rice growing operation in California. I had no idea that they sow rice from the air.

On the Isbell Family Rice Farm in Arkansas they grow a Japanese variety of rice called Koshihikari for export to that country.

Christian Richard, a rice farmer in Louisiana balances growing rice and raising crayfish.

Seaweed Harvesters

“Meet John and Barbara Stephens-Lewallen: They harvest seaweed. Operators of the Mendocino Sea Vegetable Company in Philo, California, the Stephens-Lewallens are farmers/fishermen of another stripe. Their catch includes bladderwrack, sea lettuce, kombu, and nori.”

Taking Action – A Greywater Install

Taking Action: A Greywater Install from Luke Brummer on Vimeo.

Graywater Systems for Your Garden

This is a great talk by Laura Allen (here walking us through her home humanure system) and Gregory Bullock about setting up a home graywater system.

“Greywater (water that comes from sinks, showers, and washing machines) turns wasterwater and its nutrients into irrigation water, saving time, money, and fresh drinking water. Whats more plants love it, especially fruit trees, berries and vines. Last year California rewrote its greywater code, making simple greywater reuse legal and affordable. Learn the why and hows of greywater reuse, and how to transform your household plumbing into a greywater irrigation system.”

They are in California so some of the impacts, positive and negative, that they talk about here focus on that state, but the issues are similar everywhere.

The talk covers really important Dos and Don’ts. Some topics mulch and mulch basins as filters, choosing good soaps and cleaners to use in your home if you are going to set up a graywater system, how to set up plumbing for the system (they look at a system that uses the pump on the washing machine as its driver), costs, types of crops it is suitable to irrigate (apparently root crops are out but it’s fine for “fruit” and leaf crops.

“People can really take care of themselves if they are willing to do the work”

California seniors Myrna and Earl Fincher are organic market gardeners who dug themselves out of financial hardship through farming.

In the video Earl and Myrna show us around their farm operation: Earl’s unique electrical germination set-up, the seed sowing boards he built out of plywood and wine corks, the bird and bathouses he uses and sells (the couple try to attract birds and bats to eat insects, since they don’t use pesticides on their crops). Myrna also shows us her preserve storeroom. She cans and freezes a wide variety of foods. Earl and Myrna also keep chickens.

Myrna says “People can really take care of themselves if they are willing to do the work.”

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