How to Tell When It Is Time To Harvest Gourds Video

(by Rebecca Simpson) Nov 13 2018

Gourds Have Been Growing All Summer – Now What? Your gourd vines are looking a little wimpy, but you can’t quite tell if it is time to harvest them yet.  You want to wait a long as you can so the shell reaches its maximum thickness.  But how do you know when the time is […]

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Tomato Cage Tip – Safer | Easier Storage Video

(by Rebecca Simpson) Nov 05 2018


Tomato Cages Can Be Difficult and Dangerous to Store – Until Now!

Tomato cages are easy to forget about when they are filled with lovely, ripe tomatoes.  But when the growing season is over, dealing with these wire monstrosities can be a hassle.  Fed up with being cut, poked, and annoyed by these cages, I found a way to make them safer and much more efficient to store.

How Do you Store Your Tomato Cages?

Have you struggled with the same issues when it comes time to store your tomato cages?  How did you conquer the beast?  Share your wisdom and leave a comment below!

Video Transcript

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When to Harvest Your Pomegranates (Video)

(by Rebecca Simpson) Oct 22 2018


Video Transcript

hello everyone and welcome to suburban Stone Age Rebecca here and today we’re gonna talk about when to pick your pomegranates! So I’m up in the pomegranate tree in my front yard as you know we have an edible food forest here at our house and you can see it’s mid-october and you can see the pomegranates are nice beautiful and ripe but how do you know when they are ready to pick because they stop ripening when you pick them you want to try to find the balance between being perfectly ripe but not overripe so that they begin to split like this guy so what you’re gonna look for is on this flower part and this is a wonderful variety of pomegranates step back here’s obviously yucky but this is a wonderful pomegranate and see how the flower tips have started to get brown and dry and are hard this one has just recently split so that’s you want to catch it when they’re both brown and dry but before they crack so a good candidate for that would be like this guy you see it where it’s got great color it’s really big the flower tips are dry and brown but it hasn’t yet split so I will probably come out here you use the Clippers to harvest them you clip the hard stem off um this one’s a double and then they’re ready to go here’s another big one that’s that’s in good shape and ready to go see how it’s it’s brown that would be a good one to pick right now too big it is it’s bigger the hand that one’s gonna be phenomenal now one that you might consider leaving for a little bit longer say like this guy here the flower tips it just doesn’t look quite right it’s not as big as it could be the flowers are still kind of plump they haven’t shoveled and started to die back so I’m going to leave this one and let it go a little bit bigger same with this guy it’s it’s not ready yet I’m gonna leave that one and this is what happens when you wait too long they will split open and then the birds the pups will love them so they will come in and start to eat the fruits another one that was just at the splitting phase and the little flower parts have fallen off but that one got raided by critters so I’ll leave that one here too so here we have our lovely ripe pomegranate that was harvested off the tree and it’s plump it’s heavy for its weight or for its size its skin looks thin and and and full like it’s it’s about ready to to burst these are all good signs that the pomegranate is ripe I’m gonna cut one open now that we’ve harvested it we’ll look inside and we’ll see what we find if we cut that be very careful see you should see all these beautiful beautiful red arrows all the seeds come out nice and juicy and this juice will stain see how that lovely pomegranate juice so good there’s lots of techniques tips and tricks on how to cut a pomegranate that’s a different video but this is what you’re gonna find when you pick them when they’re perfectly ripe so I hope you enjoy your delicious sweet beautiful fresh pomegranates so let me know if you have any tips to share on how you harvest your pomegranates if you enjoyed this video give me a thumbs up and please subscribe to my channel there’s gonna be a lot happening this fall and we’d love to see you join the adventure and as always if you want to know more about the fruits that we grow or our edible landscaping just leave a comment for us and we’ll start a conversation thanks again and we’ll talk soon

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Suburban Stone Age 2018-10-15 16:19:23

(by Rebecca Simpson) Oct 15 2018


Hello everyone and welcome to Suburban Stone Age! I wanted to introduce you to my channel and tell you a little bit about myself, and what the channel is all about.
 
My name is Rebecca. I started Suburban Stone Age in 2011, and basically my idea was that I wanted to try a little bit of everything to try to relearn a sustainable way of life in these modern times. Whether it was using really old technology, or maybe technology that was only a hundred years old, or even cutting edge technology – by just looking through what we had available and trying to recombine things we can use creative ideas to live a more sustainable life. The goal is to leave this world better than we found it.
 
I hope you’ll join me on our journey as we explore all the amazing things the world has to offer, and see if we can find a way to live a better life, live more sustainably, and leave things better than we found it for future generations.

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Gigantic Scorpion! In my Campsite! Woman vs. Desert ep. 2

(by Rebecca Simpson) Oct 02 2018


Video Transcript

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Woman vs. Desert – Adventure Calls ep. 1

(by Rebecca Simpson) Sep 27 2018

Mojave Desert CanyonHello Fellow Adventurers!  You are about to see the conception, execution, and conclusion of a real life solo adventure in the desert.  Welcome to Woman vs. Desert.

I’ll bet you have questions up to and including:  Is it safe?  Why are you doing this?  The desert?!?  Won’t you be bored? And hot? And dirty?  What is there to do?  The reasons to follow along with me on this are simple.  You may get answers, and have your point of view shift a little bit. That is the goal.

Here’s what to expect.  I’m blogging to keep track of my details, like a to-do list I’m sharing with you.  Also, to leave a record for the future, because this is the beginning of a teaching series and I want the knowledge archived for myself and others for future reference.  And because I don’t know what is going to happen.  Which is scary and cool. In short, expect the expected, but also expect the unexpected.

Let’s get started.  Time to plan.

Step 1:  Safety First and Always

Get a plan, stick to it.  Spread the word about where you’ll be going and what you’ll be doing.  I’ve told family, alerted friends, requested information from experts and received it, put my intentions on my blog – basically I have left a big, fat electronic footprint about this so as to minimize the guesswork if I need help.  Trusted loved ones will have the exact details. Everyone else will have an idea.  I’m building a safety net I hope not to need.

Step 2:  Get Prepared

I’ll list what I’m bringing and post pics, but I also love the intangible wisdom I learn as I follow the process.  I’ll post that as well in the edits. See below for things as they stand at the moment.

  • Lead Time – I need at least 48 hours lead time to prepare to my satisfaction.  Although impulses to adventure are spontaneous, follow through should never be.  This is serious business and has its risks.  Give it the respect it deserves and prepare well. This falls into the wisdom category.
  • High Tech Prep – Assemble cameras and accessories.  Make sure to have backup batteries, and that all batteries are fully charged.  Make sure all SD Cards wiped and ready, have backups if you can. GPS, phone and charger, headphones.  Know where you have phone coverage and where you do not.
  • Low Tech Prep – I can be an old-fashioned kind of girl.  Like 10,000 BCE old fashioned.  So I love to take my low-tech survival gear with me and use it.  Such as my rabbit skin blanket, several types of fire-starting tools, homemade water containers, leather moccasins and halfchaps, etc.  Details to follow in later posts, but I’ll know I’ll always bring along some kind of primitive gear to test and use.
  • Mechanical Prep – Gas in car, tires inflated and inspected, spare located and in good condition, brakes in good shape – car in overall good working order.  For the record, I will not be going off road on this trip, so I will not be preparing to that level at this time. AAA card is in my wallet, just in case.
  • Biological Prep – This includes first aid supplies, hygiene (and water budgeted for that), food, water, clothing, sun protection, and medications (this means coffee, folks.  Caffeine withdrawals will ruin a trip. Avoid.) Wallet, ID, etc.
  • Entertainment – This whole adventure is entertainment for me, but I’ll always bring along pencil and paper, or book, or craft, just in case I’m stuck in the car in a downpour or some such.
  • Personal Safety – Pepper spray, heavy staff, whistle, situational awareness and common sense.

That about sums up the plan for preparation at the moment. I’m going to finish working on it now, and I’ll post edits as I go. Stay tuned for further episodes as we haul off into the wild on our high desert adventure.

Got Ideas? Leave a Comment.

Did I miss something?  Got an idea or concern?  Leave me a comment, let’s talk about it.  It’s all a part of the process, and I want to know what you think.

More to follow!

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How Easy Is It To Plant Garlic? Video

(by Rebecca Simpson) Sep 19 2018


How Easy Is It To Plant Garlic?

Turns out, really easy!  This video explains how to plant garlic quickly and easily.  Use extra cloves from your store bought garlic to get garlic planted in your garden fast and cheap!  Leave us a comment if you have any tips to share on easy ways to plant garlic!

Video Transcript

good morning everyone and welcome to suburban stone-age and today we’re going to talk about how easy it is to plant garlic if you’re like me fall is a really busy time of year and it’s easy to let the fall gardening get away from us but fortunately garlic is super fast and easy to plant and today we’re gonna show you how to do it so you can get your fall garden started as soon as possible before you get started planning just make sure that your bed is prepared so debris is have been removed and your soil is ready to receive the garlic it’s been moistened and turned and easy to plant and once you’ve got that going you’re ready to actually plant your gloves the garlic we’ll be using today is from the grocery store it’s left over from cloves I used for cooking I’ll always set aside just a couple use them use some in my recipe and then set a couple aside to plant and the one that I choose are healthy and big with no soft spots or discolorations so they just sit there dry and wait for me to plant and I’ve been collecting them over the summer and that’s what I’m going to use to plant the garden so the spacing for planting garlic is pretty easy the idea is is that lets say this protective garlic you want to leave one heads worth on one side one heads worth on the other side and basically in all directions so there’s a couple easy ways to measure that out you can either use your hand to space it so it’s about a hand width apart in either direction or I use my garden trowel so I can tell it’s it’s I already have it in my hands and I just put the next one over here this is where I got to put the next clove and I do that in all directions so that’s one way to test far as planting depth is concerned the rule of thumb is that you want to plant it as deep as the clove is tall so that’s about a thumb in depth or you can also use your garden trowel again and as a planting guide so it’s also a convenient way to poke a hole in the soil so you poke it and just kind of jam it down to the right depth you got a nice hole there take the garlic pop it in you cover it up and you’re good to go you can move on use space off to the next one another tip when planting garlic is to make sure that you put the root side down so you can see the little root node here that’s the blunt side and then you point it with the pointy end which is where it will sprout you point that up so that’s the direction that the garlic will go into the ground here’s a quick tip if you have garlic cloves that are too small to be used for cooking or to plant in your main garden don’t throw them away just tuck them in the roots of your fruit cheese and that will help to deter insects and rats once the garlic’s been planted cover everything up smooth off the soil and it’s time to give it a good watering protect your bed with mulch to help conserve moisture and you’re on your way and that’s all there is to it it’s so easy to plant garlic just takes a few minutes and it’s very fast and very simple if you enjoyed this video please give the video a thumbs up subscribe to our channel if you haven’t already and feel free to like this video and leave a comment if you have any tips to share on planting garlic in your garden and how fast and easy it can be for you thanks again for watching and we look forward to seeing you next time

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Top 3 Worm Farm Lessons!

(by Rebecca Simpson) Sep 12 2018


This video describes the top 3 lessons I’ve learned in keeping a successful worm bin over the years.  If you want to know how to make it in vermicomposting in the long run, these words of wisdom may be helpful!

Video Transcript

hello everyone and welcome to suburban stone-age and today we’re going to talk about lessons I’ve learned about worm farming I’d like to introduce you to my worm farm this is built in an old tumbling composter and in it are all my worms and i compost vegetable scraps and all my coffee grounds every morning worm farms are wonderful to have they make a great fertilizer for your soil that you can make yourself for free and you can also do things like make worm tea which is great to feed your plants it’s a wonderful way to turn scraps from the kitchen into something useful so that you recycle and you add nutrition to your soil and that in turn grows better vegetables for you and your family look inside my worm bin it’s been going for about three years now and the secret to my success basically boils down to three quick tips first of all let’s talk about simplicity when it comes to worm farms less is more in my opinion I’ve had other farms that have the stackable trays I’ve done DIY worm farms buckets drilled with holes and all those methods work and they work great but for me they worked for a little while but then the constant having to change the trays add water sift just the extra bit of manual labor that went into it overtime made it harder and harder and harder to deal with so the more simple your setup the the more likely the chance you’ll stick with it in the long run and eventually I came to the point where I just have this pile and my worms grow in it and I love them and they love it too and every morning I come out and I give them coffee and coffee grounds and it that’s it it’s a pile there’s no trays I don’t even turn it so it’s a very simple system but with that simplicity comes longevity so over the years I’ve been able to keep up with that very minimal level of complexity and the worms dude great tip number two about things I’ve learned about a worm farm is to be consistent and consistency in the long run can be really hard unless it’s a good match with your lifestyle so I’ve basically gotten to the point where my worms eat a scoop of coffee grounds and what I rinse out of my French press and that’s the food and the water that they get daily and then two to three times a week whatever kitchen scraps and vegetables I have for them get put into the pile and they digest that and it’s been going all year-round for three years and they do fine but because it’s tied in with something that I’m doing every day religiously anyway which is making my coffee it’s been able to sustain and I haven’t missed a beat it’s a part of my morning habit so I consistently feed them consistently water them and consistently add little extras throughout the year and they’ve just grown and become a stable population without any additional effort from me the third lesson I’ve learned about worm farming is that stability is also important stability in their temperature so you don’t want them in a place where they will freeze or fry although it does get very hot here in Southern California in the summer and they’re in an all black container that has a lid on it they do okay because I think they have time to slowly adapt but it’s also a seasonal change so they warm up slowly and they cool off slowly and they never freeze so some fluctuations okay but avoiding the extremes and having as stable a temperature as possible is very helpful also their location they have become acclimatized to this one particular place generations have grown and died in this one little compost pile so whoever lives here is successful at living here and has grown to get used to it I do try to move them around too much if I’m going to use their byproducts I will take it from the compost pile instead of trying to move my worms because I feel if I move my worms and change their environment too much it could upset the system and I could have a die-off so I recommend you pick a good spot that’s going to last a long time and that stability will be really helpful so in conclusion when it comes to worm farming the things I’ve learned is that basically less is more if you can get your system down to something that you can sustained through major life changes such as gaining or losing a job demands a family leaving for a vacation if you can keep it simple enough so that your worms can do just fine as real life happens all around you that’s what’s going to keep you going year after year and keep your worms happy year after year and it will be a sustainable long term project so I like a lot of the fancier worm bins and stuff they’re really fun but over the long run they just got too labor-intensive for me and this is where I finally settled down is just a pile with my worms in it that I feed with things from my daily life routines anyway on a consistent basis I try to keep them in the same spot all the time year-round in a protected environment where they are sheltered and have a cover and then when it’s time I will come harvest the worm castings I will feed my garden and the cycle will continue so thanks for watching if you enjoyed this video please click the subscribe button and the little bell icon to get notifications also give us a thumbs up if you liked this video and if you’re thinking about having a worm farm for yourself or if you already have one leave a comment we would love to know what you think thanks again you have a great day and we’ll talk to you soon

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Fall Garden Harvest – Today is Squash Soup!

(by Rebecca Simpson) Aug 31 2018

Squash figs onions garden harvest

Today we are eating our hard-won  harvest from the garden.  This year has been quite a challenge.  We have barely been able to gather anything from the garden due mainly to a population explosion of rats.
I’ll be making soup from the squash and onions, with fresh figs on the side.  I am looking forward to it.
Do you have a favorite squash soup recipe?  Let me know, I’d love to hear about it!

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Rain Barrels and Harvesting Rain Water – Rain Water Solutions Micro-Documentary

(by Rebecca Simpson) Aug 28 2018


Rain Water Solutions partnered with Suburban Stone Age to film this micro-documentary on the impact rain barrels can have towards making sustainable changes at Home. We have had rain barrels for three years now, and they have been the instrumental in helping us survive the historic California drought. Enjoy this video and please leave us questions in the comments if you’d like to know more about harvesting rain water with rain barrels.

Video Transcript

[Music] sustainable living to me is leaving the earth better than it was when you came here we raise our own chickens we grow our own vegetables we use rainwater to irrigate as much as we can any little way that we can keep the resources from our home within our home and continue to use it to benefit ourselves he is something that’s more sustainable I [Music] first got my rainwater barrels when I was notified in my water bill that the county was sponsoring a rainwater barrel rebate program all I had to do is participate the county helped me step up and do something that was good for the whole community by recycling a resource that may otherwise just go straight to the sewer what I loved about them is that they did all the thinking for me anything that I thought I needed was already thought about in that rain barrel I went inside opened up the little accessory package set it up and I just modified my rain gutters to now shunt into the top of the barrel I did use a little hose so that when the barrel is full I can drain it where I want it also I have a hose for the overflow so that I can collect a barrels worth of water to use at my discretion when it isn’t raining [Music] we get most of our rain during the winter I stopped counting at five thousand seven thousand gallons right in there it’s astonishing how much water you can collect my kids grew up seeing that all the little changes you can make add up to making a pretty big difference making these improvements is really an accumulation of little baby steps as you go a rain barrel is perfect way to start because you can take something that was formerly wasted and you can use it to grow herbs for your salad or a favorite tree that you like or even flowers that are beautiful and make you happy rain barrels make a big difference and it’s something small you can do right away [Music]

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