Around the Homestead Spring Early 2014

Other homestead stuff: Cracks in the Asphalt is an inspiring book that I recommend to people living in any city. It puts together a bunch of the thriving gardens in San Francisco; I didn’t know there were so many and that they were so well developed:…The new catalogue from the North House Folk School has just arrived with its listing of summer classes on building, wood carving, boat building, fiber arts, basketry, clothing, outdoor skills, etc. It’s at a beautiful location on the shores of Lake Superior and would be a great place to send one’s kids for acquiring skills that will be useful for a lifetime:…The new Lehman’s catalog is also in, with its unparalleled mix of tools for people of our ilk; trust me, send away for the catalog at: As they say: “Simple Products for a Simpler Life.” Yeah!…

Termites: I’ve dealt with a couple of termite eradicators over the years. I’ve never had the house tarped for Vikane gas; excuse me, but if it can kill termites 2-3″ inside a wood rafter, what kind of residue is it going to leave behind for people re-entering their houses? The last treatment I had them use was an electro-gun, but in a few years the termites came back. Always seemed to cost $2,000 — ouch! I’ve come upon a much simpler low-cost solution and I don’t guarantee or necessarily recommend it, but it seems to work for me: the product is Greenbug (click here), which is composed of mainly cedar oil. Whenever I see termite frass (the pellets), I sweep them up and spray the wood with the oil (I’ve never injected and used tape as they recommend) and by golly, it does seem to work, at least for a while, plus I love the smell of the cedar oil

Greenhouse glazing: I’ve finally given upon fiberglass (even the “greenhouse”grade). We have a lot of dust on the roads here, so I have to pressure wash the roof every year or two, but it starts picking up dust (and growing moss) on the fibreglass fibers and plants inside tend to be leggy. So I just bought some 4’x12′ sheets of 8mm double wall polycarbonate and going to install soon. I really like polycarbonate; in the plastics department, it’s at the other end of the spectrum from say, vinyl. Like nylon is to polyester, if you get the connection. I bought them from Farmtek (here), a great farm/garden/poultry etc. supplies company. V. good customer support.…Our well was installed in 1980, about 15′ deep, a big pit filled with gravel, 8″ pipe with saw kerfs in center, the 1-1/4″ pipe inside the big pipe finally clogged, I’m about to replace…Gee, I really went on here, gotta get back to book promo work…

Hammer Of The Honky Tonk Gods by Bill Kirchen on Grooveshark

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

One Response to Around the Homestead Spring Early 2014

  1. On the termite thing: some years ago I received newsletters from the Bio-Integral Resource Center in Berkley and they had one newsletter devoted to termites- their habits, how to treat, etc. It was really good stuff and I highly recommend them. Go to for more.
    I have worked with the double wall poly for trombe walls and it is great stuff. When installing be sure to use the aluminum foil duct tape to seal the ends so dust and bugs don't get in and pin prick holes in the tape to let condensation out.

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