• Shade tolerant fruit trees

    Q. I would like to plant a perennial edible fruit tree that can tolerate shade (am I asking too much)?  The climate here (Bakersfield, Ca.) is dry.  Hot in summer, cool in winter. A. We, too, have come across that problem in our yard.   You may want to look into different types of guavas and […]

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  • Electricity usage reduction

    Q. What did you do to help drastically reduce your electricity usage? A. We purchased a energy efficient Kenmore model from Sears back in 2003. The City of Pasadena offered(s) money back incentives to buy Energy Star appliances, and we got a considerable rebate! A friend of ours posted on her blog of the drastic […]

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  • Saving seeds in small gardens

    Q. Do you save your own seeds? A. We try to save as much seed as possible; however, with our limited space some things just can’t be saved. Instead, we buy bulk seeds. That’s one of the “disadvantages” of small farming; however, it is possible, although it requires a bit of work and certain techniques. […]

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  • Low-chill blueberries; goats

    Q. Thank you for your wonderful brochures. What you are doing inspires me so much that I dug our first garden bed today and planted peas, and kale! I have wanted to live a more simple, natural life for some time, and have finally decided to just do it here and now. ( instead of […]

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  • Partial shade vine

    Q. I am working to establish my own homestead here in Altadena.   My biggest motivation is a love for gardening and nature but more importantly to feed my daughter well.  In the process of setting up growing space I am trying to maximize it.  I have a west facing wall that receives sunlight from early […]

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  • Tomato plants’ support

    Q. What sort of structure supports the plants in Tomato Tunnel? Sarah in Northwest Florida A. For the sides, we used 8′ metal chain link fence pipe to support a cross bar pipe and then for each tomato plant we used bamboo stakes/poles stuck in the ground and tied to the cross bar.  On the […]

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  • Tomato plants’ support

    Q. What sort of structure supports the plants in Tomato Tunnel? Sarah in Northwest Florida A. For the sides, we used 8′ metal chain link fence pipe to support a cross bar pipe and then for each tomato plant we used bamboo stakes/poles stuck in the ground and tied to the cross bar.  On the […]

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  • Produce customers; storage facilities

    Q. My question is, since you do support yourselves with your property, where did you find your clients?  To whom do you sell your produce? Also, how do you keep your property attractive?  I have a very small space (as do you), and I don’t have any outdoor storage, because the building restrictions are so […]

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  • PTF online biodiesel information

    Q. I just visited your website and I was impressed with your urban homestead. For years I’ve been wanting to learn how to produce biodiesel. How do I go about setting up an appointment to attend one of your biodiesel workshops? Are there any fees for your time? I’ve read about how to make it […]

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  • Growing and threshing wheat

    Q. *HOW DO YOU THRESH AND WINNOW WHEAT*???? (and other such grains, like oats, quinoa, amaranth, etc.) I know there are various small-scale *milling* appliances available, once you’ve gotten the wheat berries, but, what is a *practical*, non-stone-age method of winnowing and threshing wheat? A. The heirloom wheat we grow in the yard is primarily […]

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