Make: Talk #008 show notes & next episode, today at 12-noon PDT

Energy & Sustainability

Last week, our guests on Make: Talk were Erik Knutzen and Kelly Coyne of Homegrown Evolution. We talked to them about their book, Urban Homestead (Process Media), their blog, and their urban farming efforts. A couple of good points were made: that you don’t have to do urban “homesteading” with any sort of crunchy-granola political agenda. They do it because they enjoy it and they enjoy the results: having great, fresh food available. The process and the results are their own rewards. And, it happens to be good for you, a great way to get outside, get exercise, it’s good for the environment, it can save you money, etc, etc.

The other thing we talked about was using social networking, and sites like VeggieTrader, to coordinate gardening efforts and to swap produce. We all laughed about the fact that everyone wanders around the neighborhood in the summertime with bags of tomatoes and basil, trying to give them away to neighbors already up to their eyeballs in tomatoes and basil. There’s gotta be a better way! One other resource they also mentioned was DigitalSeed, a southern California gardening site.

[Our thanks to Process Media for giving us copies of Kelly and Erik’s book to give away to callers.]

Host Picks
As always, we talked about some of our favorite MAKE activities, posts, and news on the week.

Mark recommended a DVD he’d recently gotten, Belly Jelly’s “How To Build A Guitar : The String, Stick, Box Method,” where Bill Jehle shows you how to make your own cigar box guitars and is clear and inspiring enough about it that Mark is encouraged to take his cigar box projects to the next level, adding things like metal frets to the neck, which he says the instructions make it look relatively easy.

Dale updated us on goings on with Maker Faire prep. They’ve been working on the speaker roster and it’s an amazing line-up. Just the speakers presenting alone is worth the price of admission. I’ve seen the list and I thought I might never leave the stage area.

I talked about recent items on the sit: the story of the open-formula 3D printing media that University of Washington researchers have developed and the story of Doctor Fzz’s Easter Challenge and hydrogen balloon camera rig.

This Week, Friday, May 8, 12-noon PDT, 3pm EDT
Our guest this week on Make: Talk will be tech writer Bob Parks. He’ll be talking about his Home Energy Dashboard article from MAKE, Volume 18. I will be “away on assignment” (gawd, I always wanted to say that!), so John Edgar Park will be filling in for me. As usual, they’ll be taking your calls live. The number is (646) 915-8698.

Make: Talk on BlogTalkRadio

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn


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