Last Whole Earth Catalog items. : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I still have a copy of the Last Whole Earth Catalog. Lots of nice ideas. Couldn't possibly buy all the books they talked about then but the reviews tell a lot all by themselves.

Here are a few of the items. No telling what's interesting to others but we'll try a few at least.

Build a hot box for winter sprouts or early spring planting.

Make a compost pile in 1999. Produce rich dirt, full of nutrients, for your y2k garden.

Buy lots of black plastic for your y2k gardens. Black plastic conserves moisture, controls weeds, warms the soil and hastens maturity of a number of vegetable crops.

Dandelions. One of the best plants for compost, producing a fine natural humus and encourages earth worms. Young leaves delicious in salads. Roots may be dried, chopped and used like coffee. Wine is made from blossoms. The roots can be brought indoors in late fall like endive, the leaves cut off to the crown and new ones grown for winter greens.

Methane gas is produced by putting as little as 3 buckets of chicken manure in a sealed 55 gallon drum and heating it to 80 degrees. The sun can do that. Take the gas out through a line with a valve to a burner. The gas keeps coming until the two microbes in the manure finish eating each other up. Get rid of garden slugs by attracting them with beer. Unwanted pigeons or food birds can be caught by providing rum soaked cracked corn. When they're drunk, just go pick them up for disposal. Debug your y2k garden. Plant things like garlic, onion and chili pepper along the border of your garden and through the middle if its wide. Bugs don't like these plants and will avoid them. You can also crush a chili carefully into about a quart of water, add a crushed clove of garlic and sprinkle or spray the stuff on your plants. The bugs will get heartburn and vow never to return. Toads are also good at keeping the garden free of bugs.

Make soap by rendering fat into lard. Fill a pail with ashes and water. After a few minutes, drain the water (potash) into about twice as much lard and boil until hard. Cut it up into cakes. You can also use lye with the lard.

Potato candy. Peal and boil one large white potato. When done, mash up with a fork, add a little salt and pour in a box of confectionate sugar. This makes a stiff dough. Roll out on a dough board that has been well floured to about 1/4 inch thick. Spread peanut butter all over and roll up like a jelly roll. Keep cold.

Apple Cider. Apples from trees that were not sprayed. You can't wash or peal apples if you want good cider. You wouldn't want cider from sprayed apples anyway. The little dirt you will have on "natural" apples assures that the cider will become tart. That's the first sign you can have the hard cider that made Thanksgiving in the Virginia mountains more than a pious holiday.

Choose Jonathans, Virginia Beauties or other tart and not-so-large apples. Grind them up or chop them finely. Arrange to squash them in some way. Wrap them up in a sheet and sqeeze them with a 2x4 lever action press or something similar. Strain the juice with a seive or milk strainer. Do not collect it in galvanized pails. You may be poisoned if you do. Glass jugs are best. Do not bother to drink it yet. It's still just juice. Aging, which takes from a couple of days to a week or more, makes the juice into cider. As the juice ages, a sediment forms near the bottom. Don't drink the sediment, but don't filter the next batch to eliminate it, either, because its necessary for the hardening process. Even if you don't take alcohol, you probably will like the bite cider made this way has when it has begun to age. Keep check on the aging. when the cider is as strong as you like it, you may strain if through a cheesecloth and serve. Cider CAN age too long to be palatable. Straining stops the fermentation.

If you now freeze this cider, you will get a liquid center which is rather pure alcohol and goes by the name of apple jack.

Yeast recipe. 2 oz hops 4 qts water 1/2 cup salt 6 med potatoes 1 qt flour 1/2 cup sugar. Takes 4 days. Boil hops in the water for 1/2 hour. Strain & cool to lukewarm. Place in earthen bowl, add salt and brown sugar. Mix flour with part of the liquor then add the remainder. Let this stand until 3rd day. Then add potatoes which have been boiled and mashed fine. Let stand a day, strain & bottle. The mixture should be stirred frequently & kept warm throughout this process. After the fermented mix has been tightly bottled, stored in cool place, it will keep about 2 months. Shake mix before using and allow 1/2 cup of mix to equal one commercial cake or pkg of yeast.

One day method. Add 1 qt water to 1 pt hops. Simmer 20 min. Add cornmeal until of thick mush texture. When cool, work more corn meal in & pat into cakes. Dry and store.

Want more or not worth it?


-- Floyd Baker (, October 30, 1998


Thanks I thought they were good. Was there instructions given for the hot box?

-- Sandra P (, October 30, 1998.

Reminds me of my younger days. My favorite was the hippie who made a greenhouse out of a Volkswagon. Just took out the seats and put in planter boxes. Cracked the windows when it was a warm day, closed em for cold days.

-- Paul Davis (, October 30, 1998.

HotBox - back issue (can't say which) of Organic Gardening will have instructions. As would various gardening books. Basically it is a cold frame (low box on ground with glass cover forming low tech greenhouse), built over a soil covered manure/compost pit. The composting process produces heat that rises and prevents freezing when the sun isn't shining. If I recall correctly, the techinique was supposedly use by Thomas Jefferson (or was it George Washington)to grow fresh veggies year round.

May want to consider insulating your frame - straw bales pushed tight against the box give quadruple duty - 1. insulate the sides of box, 2. insulate the ground helping to keep frost a foot or so from your composting heat source, 3. Subsequent growing season can use as mulch to keep weeds down and conserve soil moisture, 4. Turned under in fall 2000 will decompose and improve the soil.

Good Luck jh

-- john hebert (, October 30, 1998.

The hot box I already seem to have is a solor collector that I was building/experimenting with. The main item different from the above posted descriptions is using half a french door set. Two pane insulated glass, about 3 by 7 ft. and the size I built the box, which I wanted to give additional heat retention on cold days and at night. You might also cover the entire glass surface with more insulation at night.

-- Floyd Baker (, October 30, 1998.

Here's a few more things from The Last Whole Earth Catalog. Some hopefully helpful. Others humorous, etc. I proofed this pretty good but let me know if there are parts that don't make sense in case I typed them wrong.

Yogurt. (this continues an existing supply). 1 large heatproof mixing bowl. Measuring cups, spoons. Jars to store the yogurt in. Oven. Ingredients: 3 cups instant powdered milk. 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin. 1 tbsp sugar (optional). 1 large can evaporated milk. 3 tbsp yogurt. Water. Instructions: Soften the tsp. unflavored gelatin then add boiling water to make 1 cup. Add 1 tbsp sugar (this takes the edge off) and let the mixture cool a bit. Preheat the oven to about 250 to 300 degrees. Mix 3 cups instant powdered milk with 3 cups water. Add 1 large can evaporated milk, 2 more cups tepid water, and the gelatin mixture. Add 3 tbsp yogurt and stir thoroughly. Cover the bowl, put it in the oven, and turn the over off. Leave it overnight or about 8-10 hours. Makes about 2 qts and is "foolproof".

Arm & Hammer Baking Soda. Good for toothpaste when mixed with salt. Puts out fires. Sooths acid indigestion taken with water. Use it for scouring powder. Its a sunburn ointment and it removes odors if placed in the fridge, ashtray and elsewhere. It can even be used for baking.

Granola: MIX: 4 Cup rolled oats. 1-1/2 shredded unsweetened coconut. 1 C wheat germ. 1 C chopped nuts. 1 C hulled sunflower seeds. 1/2 C sesame seeds. 1/2 C flax seed. 1/2 C gran. 1 C ground roasted soybeans. HEAT: 1/2 C oil (soy, sesame or corn). 1/2 C honey. 1/2 t Vanilla. ADD: Honey-oil mixture to dry ingredients and mix. (mixture will be very dry.) SPREAD: mixture on oiled cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. (cookie sheet with sides) & bake at 325 degs about 15 minutes until light brown.

It says: All measurements are approximate and its nice to improvise with ingredients too. However you make it, it will be much, much better than any commericial varieties.

A comment from user. We will be making 75 lbs in the next batch. The hardest part is cooking because you have to turn it over every 3- 5 minutes. Important! turning granola on the cookie sheets (same as you'd turn earth) is most important near the end of the 15 minute cooking period. So you may wait 5 minutes from when you first put it in the oven, then 4 then 3 then 3 again then maybe 1 or 2.

If one needs directions: During sunshine, put a stick in the ground so that it casts a well defined shadow. Mark the spot on the ground at the top of the shadow. Wait 15 minutes and repeat the operation. Then draw a line from the 1st mark to the 2nd mark. The line will point in generally easterly direction. For more accuracy, mark the ground before and after noon with equal times in each period. If the sun is directly overhead, slant the stick to make more of a shadow.

Predictions from "The Year 2000" published in 1967.

The Postindustrial (or Post-Mass Consumption) Society.

1. Per capita income about fifty times the preindustrial. 2. most "economic" activities are tertiary and quaternary (service oriented), rather than primary or secondary (production oriented). 3. Business firms no longer the major source of innovation. 4. There may be more "consentives" (vs. marketives"). 5. Effective floor on income and welfare. 6. Efficiency no longer primary. 7. Market plays diminished role compared to public sector and "social accounts". 8. Widespread "cybernation". 9. "Small world". 10. Typical "doubling time" between three and thirty years. 11. Learning society. 12. Rapid improvement in educational instituions and techniques. 13. Erosion (in middle class) of work-oriented, achievement-oriented, advancement-oriented values. 14. Erosion of "national interest" values. 15. Sensate, secular, humanists, perhaps self-indulgent criteria becomes central.

Basic Book of Organic Gardening. Rules for planting.

1. Perennial crops such as asparagus, strawberries and rhubarb should be located at one side of the garden. 2. Tall growing crops, such as corn, must be kept away from small crops like beets and carrots to avoid shading. 3. Provide for succession crops. A fall garden, small fruits, and overwintered crops to mature early in the spring. In this way, space for spring crops which will be harvested early, may be used again for later crops. Examples: tomatoes after radishes; cucumbers after spinach. 4. Early planted, fast growing, quick maturing crops should be grouped together. Examples: radishes, letuce, early cabbage, scallions, etc. 5. Provide plenty of vegetables for canning, freezing and storing. 6. Do no overplant new varieties, vegetables which the familiy does not like, or too much of any one vegetable at one time. 7. Rows should follow across the slope (on the contour) in hilly areas. 8. Makre sure plan provides the best spacing between rows for the method of cultivation that you intend to use (hand,tractor, horse). 9. Run rows north and south if possible to prevent plants from shading one another. 10 Long rows save time in care and cultivation. Several crops may be plqanted in the same row if the distance between rows is the same.

HINTS: Make a washing machine from a bucket and a toilet plunger. Oil spills clean up with kitty litter. Ants won't cross a chalk line. Flies won't visit a garbage can with crank case oil in the bottom. Epsom salts in beer will frost a window.

If you have a hand ringer you can shell frozen peas very quickly. The peas pop out of the shell before going through the rollers. They roll off into a container on one end and the shells get pulled through the rollers.

An old food mill is a pretty good substitute for a flour mill.

Improved candles. Make the wick about half the usual size & wet them with sprits of turpentine; dry them, before dipping, in the sun & the candles will be more durable, emit a steadier & clearer flame.

Honey as many virtues. Essentially a concentrated extract from the plant kingdom. I contains numerous minor components which contribute in some degree to man's nutrition. It will come as a surprise to many to learn that a tablespoonful of honey contains as much vitamin c as a medium sized apple, and that this same quantity has three times as much iron as the apple. It also possesses the same quantity of protein and nicotinic acid as the apple and a somewhat higher content of riboflavin.

Their estimate of a one months food supply for one person. Contained in a five gallon bucket. 27 lbs of wheat, 5 lbs of powdered skim milk, 3 lbs of honey and up to 1 lb of salt.

A smaller survival package. Doesn't spoil and keeps forever. 2 tblsp wild honey. (Tame will do.) 2 cups oatmeal (or bran or wheat germ). 2-1/2 cups powdered milk 1 cup sugar 3 tblsp water 1 pkg jello in favorite flavour.

Boil the water and honey together, then add jello. Mix dry stuff together, stir in water mixture. Mix well. Probably with your hands. You might need a drop more water but don't add too much... It has to be dehydrated. You might like to add a little grated orange or lemon peel. Now spread the stuff into a 9 x 13 cake pan and put it in an oven at about 200 degs. Leave the door ajar and let it "cook" for about six hours. Be sure to cook it that long or it won't keep. When done, let it cool and then cut it into 2" bars. Wrap them in foil and they will keep for years. Each is packed with energy. Really one makes a meal. On a camping or back packing trip you can crumble one and add boiling water and have a hot meal.

Fire without matches. Ordinary household steel wool, of the kind available in any grocery store, is the best tinder ever invented (if you really want to go first class, get the extra fine kind that cabinetmakers use). Scratch a spark into a small glob of steel wool and watch it glow. Wrap the steel wool in a fist-sized glob of dried grass (say), blow on it for ten seconds, and presto! Instant fire.

So where do you get the spark? From a cigarette lighter, man! A cigarette lighter without fuel still produces sparks. Fuel in the lighter takes all the fun out of it.

Now; a real survival method. The reflector in a flashlight, headlight, etc. can start a fire for you on a sunny day. Take the flashlight apart, aim the reflector toward the sun and poke a bit of tinder up through the hole where the bulb fits (a cigarette works fine), extending it no more than half-an-inch (less may work better) and presto again. You don't actually get fire by this method but its a start.

That's enuf for now. :-)


-- Floyd Baker (, October 30, 1998.

A reading glass (magnifying glass) will concentrate the sun's bean into a very very hot point, which will start a nice fire when pointed onto some tinder of any sort.

-- Bob (, October 31, 1998.

1 cup of powder laundry detergent sprinkled into your garbage can will keep flies away.

-- bardou (, October 31, 1998.

Here are easily scaleable construction details for building a cheap, efficient compost bin. The section "Materials for the Compost Bin" lists many available compostable materials, with informative comments on each. Also lists links to many other web sites on composting.

Site 1 and Site 2. (These sites are identical.)

-- Tom Carey (, November 03, 1998.

To the top for the Newbies.


-- sweetolebob (, June 19, 1999.

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