January 14, 2013 |
What do you get when you drop a bunch of D-list celebrities on a farm? Farm animals and a little you-know-what on your shoe. On Sunday night's episode of "Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off," the remaining seven contestants were tasked with preparing a farm-to-table meal. The celebrities picked their own vegetables and used a grill to prepare a main dish and side dish for 25 farm workers. Apparently, gardening is scary for some people, but if you're a celebrity, it's really scary.
January 3, 2013 |
Another classic Southern California theme park attraction is undergoing a major overhaul. Knott's Berry Farm's Timber Mountain Log Ride will close for five months, starting this month, for a renovation of the ride's automated figures and sets and to add new scenes and characters. The log ride, which opened in 1969, is housed in an eight-story building. Riders on log vehicles float in 24,000 gallons of water and glide past mechanical figures and taxidermied animals before dropping down a 42-foot free fall.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 23, 2012 |
State scientists, grappling with an explosion of marijuana growing on the North Coast, recently studied aerial imagery of a small tributary of the Eel River, spawning grounds for endangered coho salmon and other threatened fish. In the remote, 37-square-mile patch of forest, they counted 281 outdoor pot farms and 286 greenhouses, containing an estimated 20,000 plants -- mostly fed by water diverted from creeks or a fork of the Eel. The scientists determined the farms were siphoning roughly 18 million gallons from the watershed every year, largely at the time when the salmon most need it. "That is just one small watershed," said Scott Bauer, the state scientist in charge of the coho recovery on the North Coast for the Department of Fish and Game.
December 19, 2012 |
Holiday traffic, gift shopping, partying…. It's a relief to slow down with a good cookbook that reflects an idyllic life on a farm in northern Japan , where the cooking revolves around food that's grown at home and prepared simply. “ Japanese Farm Food ” by Nancy Singleton Hachishu, who moved from California to Japan and ended up marrying a farmer and living in his ancestral home two hours from Tokyo, is a transporting respite. The book opens with a description of her Japanese farmhouse kitchen, a place of wood posts and beams, filled with her collection of 100-year-old baskets and bowls.
December 7, 2012 |
Steven Wynbrandt sticks his hand deep beneath the layers of straw that blanket his enormous compost heap and pulls out a fistful of black gold, sweet and earthy. “Look at this soil,” Wynbrandt says with excitement as his fingers open, revealing his secret recipe for compost: decomposed dairy cow manure, alfalfa, yarrow, camomile, stinging nettle, oak bark, dandelion and valerian flowers. “I'm an alchemist.” PHOTOS: The Wynbrandt backyard As further proof that compost is to gardening these days what grass-fed beef and gluten-free gourmet foods are to the world of food, the Wynbrandt compost heap photographed by the Los Angeles Times would later sell through word of mouth for $1 a pound.
December 5, 2012 |
It's not easy creating mythical creatures on an indie-movie budget. But if you're a savvy director, there's always a way. Benh Zeitlin, the New Orleans-based filmmaker behind “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” was facing just that problem for his Bayou-set drama. He needed to create the aurochs, ancient beats that exist in the mind of the 6-year-old protagonist. But he didn't have the money to construct them digitally. How did he get around it? “We raised five potbelly pigs and taught them how to wear costumes,” Zeitlin told the audience at the Envelope Screening Series.
November 30, 2012 |
NAQI KHAIL, Afghanistan - The minivan taxi crossed a river, then jostled and bumped on an unpaved road. The border policeman sat with the ordinary passengers; his buddy lay in a coffin fastened to the roof, "Praised be God for Zabiulla" written on the wood. The others got off at a bus station, and the taxi, the policeman and the coffin continued along the main road in northeastern Afghanistan's Kapisa province. In each village they stopped at, nobody knew the dead man. It was 4 p.m. when the taxi pulled up next to the Naqi Khail primary school and a store with a rusty metal machine that churned out vanilla soft-serve ice cream.
November 30, 2012 |
Restaurants, seafood bars and even other shellfish providers are bemoaning the imminent demise of Drakes Bay Oyster Co., a Northern California business said to be responsible for nearly 40% of the state's oyster production. With “demand for good quality shellfish just going through the roof,” the company's shutdown “is going to squeeze some pricing up,” said John Finger, co-owner of nearby Hog Island Oyster Farm in Tomales Bay. “They were a big chunk of the local market for sure,” Finger said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 29, 2012 |
The federal government cleared the way Thursday for waters off the Northern California coast to become the first marine wilderness in the continental United States, ending a contentious political battle that pitted a powerful U.S. senator against the National Park Service. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar settled the dispute by refusing to extend a permit for a commercial oyster farm operating in Point Reyes National Seashore. Congress designated the area as potential wilderness in 1976 but put that on hold until the farm's 40-year federal permit ended.
November 21, 2012 |
Tara Kolla was born in Inglewood but grew up in Europe. She came back to Los Angeles, to a half-acre Silver Lake plot, where she decided to try her hand at "urban farming. " Her neighbors objected, so now she mostly works other people's land, and works to further the cause. We met in Hidden Canyon, the aptly named acres in Glassell Park whose owners invited Kolla to cultivate and grow market flowers. Here are rows and beds of hyssop, black-eyed Susans, honeywort, zinnias, mums and ornamental cotton flowers.