Countless workshops,  classes, and more!

We're finally installed in our new roost on Sunset Blvd, near Sunset Junction  in the heart of Silver Lake. It's a terrific spot-- a  warm and welcoming  environment with a teaching kitchen and creative workshop space.  Please come visit! We stock homesteading supplies  and the inspiration for D.I.Y. adventures of all sorts; plus we're thrilled to announce a mouth-watering schedule of new classes and workshops.
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Ever get the urge to make your own candles, soap, lip balm, body butter, or bath bombs ? How about ferment your own root beer, cider, ginger ale, kombucha, yogurt, vinegar, kefir, or home-brewed beer? Grow your own sprouts or mushrooms or sourdough starter? Pickle stuff? Make cheese? Tofu? Truffles? Keep bees, aquaponic gardens, or chickens in your yard? Mill, bake, and cook with whole grains? Design with succulent plants?  Concoct fancy cocktails? Upcycle old junk in creative ways?

We're now offering classes in all these luscious subjects... and more!  
Classes for adults meet on weekends and sometimes evenings during the week. 
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Our kids' workshop calendar has greatly expanded, as well!  We now provide after-school classes every week on a rotating schedule to make time for each kid's  busy schedule. Young folks can learn to cook (including lots of no-bake recipes), garden, and  recycle things to make cool new stuff and  creative gifts. Most classes are for children aged 6 and up, and parents are encouraged to drop off their kids, although sticking around to watch is always fine, too.

Visit our shop to pick up a calendar, or check out the listings  here.  We're always adding more, so check back regularly to see what's new.

We encourage pre-registration, as some classes fill up fast. Pop into the Roost to register. Tickets to all events and full course descriptions are also available in our online store  right here.

Don't forget! The gift of DIY makes a terrific present! We offer gift certificates for single workshops, series of classes, any item in our store, or  cash-value in any amount.

Thanks for your continued support, and see you soon at The Roost!
 
 
As they say, it's the thought that counts. So who are you thinking about this Valentine's Day? When looking for thoughtful ideas for your sweetheart, look no further than the Roost. We have unique, creative gifts at every price range.  Below are five of our favorites to get you thinking of ideas. Need more inspiration? Come in and check out the shop!
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# 1:  AQUADORABLE 
MINI-AQUAPONIC SYSTEM

 With a tiny footprint and no need for a power supply, this super sweet little symbiotic fish-and-plant set-up can go anyplace. You can grow herbs, flowers, even lettuce in it. A cute little betta or goldfish  feeds the plants; the plants pull nitrates and ammonia out of the water, reducing water changes and eliminating the need for a traditional filter. We have a variety of colors, designs, and sizes  to choose from, starting at $39.95.

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#2: HOMEMADE 
ORGANIC SOAP

We have tons of flavors of our own, handmade soap. We use only the purest natural ingredients. Buy a sweet-smelling bar for your honeypie. Or create a sampler pack of your favorite flavors. Or grab our recipe and supplies to make your own from scratch! $4.75 per bar.

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#3: SPROUT GARDEN

This complete sprout starter kit comes with everything you need to grow a three-tiered sprout garden in less than a week. In a few days, you'll have a bumper crop  variety of fresh, organic sprouts, and all you need to do is add water and follow the directions. You can use and re-use it over and over-- grow sprouted grains, wheat grass, seeds, and beans like lentils, mung and adzuki!  $27.95

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#4: MUSHROOM FARM

Honestly, what could be more romantic than the gift of homegrown pink oyster mushrooms? This little kit  says "I LOVE YOU" in its own unique way, with a bamboo roll of toilet paper and a sexy pack of mushroom spawn to grow your own little mushroom garden. Other mushroom varieties (even glow in the dark ones) and farms also available!  $24.95

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#5: SUCCULENT PLANTER

Why give flowers when you can give a stunning living plant that  will last for years? We have countless varieties of succulent plants, artfully arranged in one-of-a-kind pots, bowls and planters. No plastic nursery cups here-- every plant is in a beautiful container. These guys are easy to grow and maintain. Even if your love has a black thumb, he can keep one of these alive. If not, we'll replace it for free! Starting at $4 each.

No matter how you celebrate this Valentine's Day, hope it's full of love and laughs.  And check out our  blog and youtube channel on DIY Tuesday this week for even MORE gift ideas you can create yourself. 
 
 
Got a fish tank at home? If your house is anything like ours, the job of changing water and cleaning filters can be a drag. Plus, if you stop to think about it, you're tossing a lot of prime fertilizer down the drain. Fish poop is full of good stuff plants love. Why not feed it to them and let nature clean up your fish's mess for you?

Plants thrive on the nitrates, ammonia, and micronutrients in fish waste. By cycling your tank's water through plant roots, you can pull out the waste, while nourishing plants at the same time. You get fewer water changes, no messy filter to clean, and a bonus house plant (even herbs or leafy greens!) that never requires feeding or watering. Just imagine-- filter your fish tank with aquaponics today, and you could be eating a delicious salad made from fish poop tomorrow.

It's a symbiotic win-win for everyone. And if you already have a tank of fish in your home, you're 90% of the way there. Watch this week's video... in under 3 minutes, you'll learn everything you need to take the next step and become AQUAPONIC !
 
 
If you have a cast-iron skillet, you probably adore it. If not, consider getting one-- it will quickly become your best friend in the kitchen. Affordable, durable, and versatile, a cast-iron pan lasts forever and goes from frying chicken on the stovetop to baking cornbread in the oven without missing a beat.

Taking good care of your cast-iron is simple and easy, but proper maintenance is critical... and a bit different from your other pots and pans.

In this week's video, Roe gives you a four-minute lesson in all things cast-iron. He even weighs in on the great debates about cooking tomato sauce, washing with soap, and using metal utensils with your pan. Enjoy!

(And yes, of course, we sell a bunch of terrific, budget-friendly pots and pans at the King's Roost!)
 
 
I started my first batch of homebrew at boarding school in England around 25 years ago. I brewed 5-gallon batches in plastic barrels using assorted beer kits sold at the local village pharmacy. Teachers and fellow students alike sat around my dorm room, drinking hard cider and ale from plastic cups swiped from the refectory downstairs.

After moving back home to the States, where those kits were not readily available, I took the next logical step and bought all the equipment needed to to brew craft-style beers from scratch, using steeped whole grains, hops, and specialty malts and yeasts. Each batch was boiled in my huge lobster pot and fermented in a heavy 6-gallon bottle, then transferred to a 5-gallon keg and stored in a special beer fridge in the garage where it was tapped with a restaurant-style carbonator and CO2 tank. It was a big deal.

And while NOTHING beats a fresh glass of homebrew, I never looked forward to spending the vigilant four hours it required to sterilize all the equipment, boil gallons of water, soak grains, avoid messy boil-overs, time the hops in the wort, siphon sticky wort (unfermented beer) from one vessel to another, carry the insanely heavy and fragile glass fermenter across the house. UGH.

Rather than becoming more and more excited about brewing beer, I began to dread the process. Plus, I don't have the room to store more than five gallons of beer at one time, so we found ourselves drinking the same beer for so long we got sick of it.

I missed that old British-style kit method that was so simple and easy. You avoid all the preservatives, artificial colors and flavors, additives, chemicals, and weird ingredients (like caramel coloring, propylene glycol and fish bladder, to name a few) and you  still get the freshness and taste of homebrew without all the mess and hassle. These types of kits are more readily available in England and Canada, reason being that their liquor taxes are so high-- people just want good beer without a big fuss and without breaking the bank. For them, it's sensible to make your own, fast and cheap. Here in the US, beer's so inexpensive, most people don't bother.

So I did some research and found a terrific self-contained system that uses far less equipment, brews two gallons at a time, takes less than half an hour to get started (compared to 3-4 hours the old way), and best of all, can be used again and again with different recipes, reusing the same bottles and fermenter. How's that for efficient and eco-friendly? Instead of recycling your old beer bottles, just fill them up with your next batch of homemade beer!

Needless to say, I sell the system at the King's Roost now. And the refill recipes I carry are created by master brewers  in two different breweries in New Zealand and Australia. You can make American ales, IPAs, amber ales, wheat beers, ESBs, winter ales, spiced ales, pilsners, lagers, Mexican-style cervezas, porters, seasonal brews, regional brews, countless hard fruit ciders (apple, pear, cherry, boysenberry!).... the list is endless. You can even use your fermenter to make wine or kombucha.

So the next time you buy cheap beer, just think: you could be paying the same kind of money for fresh, craft homebrew made in a fermenter whose footprint is no bigger than a dinner plate, with no artificial ingredients, while drastically reducing your recycling waste. Look how simple, fast, and fun it is-- in the video below, I walk you through the entire process in fifteen minutes!

 
 
Making my own flour from whole wheat berries was an eye-opener for me about seven years ago. I had been bitten by the bread-baking bug, and was using high-quality store bought whole wheat flour in my recipes. When some friends turned me on to the idea of grinding my own grains, it took me a few minutes to get over the fact that they sounded like fringe health-nut purists at first. But as the idea sank in, the whole thing began to make a lot of sense. 

The taste and nutritional value of whole grains is indescribably superior to stale, processed, store-bought grain products. Even the "100% whole wheat flour" you see in stores has had much of the oil and germ removed to preserve shelf life, since grains begin to oxidize and go bad the minute you open them. Many people find their food sensitivities go away when they stop using prepared flour and instead mill their own whole, live grains. Plus, whole grains are affordable, they stay fresh indefinitely, and there is virtually no maintenance or clean-up with a grain mill. It's even easier and less messy than grinding your own coffee beans.

Can you tell I'm a zealot about this? My grain mill has been my constant companion for seven years now. It's paved the way to a whole new way of thinking about food, cooking, and the adventurous world of DIY. Our family uses our mill on a daily basis for everything from oatmeal to cornbread to tortillas to granola bars to birthday cakes. Want to see one in action? Come get a demo at the shop!

Meantime, here's a look at how to grind grains, and why you should consider doing it in the first place:

 
 
Now that the store is open, we're working our way through the shop and demonstrating how each and every project works. THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD! Eventually, we'll have instructional videos for each item in the store.

Every Tuesday, we'll present a featured project, starting with this aquaponic fountain. Roe shows you how to assemble it in under 15 minutes.
 
 
The only thing that rivals baby chicks in terms of a good time, is shopping for items to sell in the King's Roost retail store. It's a fantasy. You're in for a treat when you visit the shop and see all the amazing things you can make and do. Today's favorite finds: 

A tiny butter churn for turning your milk into fresh homemade butter. Imagine the possibilities for flavored butters! Savory garlic, chive, tarragon, sage or rosemary butter.... Or sweet honey butter... maple butter... fig or cinnamon or strawberry butter. THE MOUTH WATERS JUST THINKING OF IT.

Also on today's list of extra-special items, a countertop compost bin to fall in love with. Small, compact, very cute and stylish, with a carbon filter to trap odors. In the past, we've had trouble finding a kitchen compost bucket that works well and isn't butt ugly. The search is over-- we found it!

Can't wait to show you these and other treats. 
 

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