Category Archives: commentary

A Solidarity Statement

The following is a statement expressing solidarity with the current targets of FBI repression:

On Wednesday July 25th, the FBI conducted a series of coordinated raids against activists in Portland, Olympia, and Seattle. They subpoenaed several people to a special federal grand jury, and seized computers, black clothing and anarchist literature. This comes after similar raids in Seattle in July and earlier raids of squats in Portland.

Though the FBI has said that the raids are part of a violent crime investigation, the truth is that the federal authorities are conducting a political witch-hunt against anarchists and others working toward a more just, free, and equal society. The warrants served specifically listed anarchist literature as evidence to be seized pointing to the fact that the FBI and police are targeting this group of people because of their political ideas. Pure and simple, these raids and the grand jury hearings are being used to intimidate people whose politics oppose the state’s agenda. During a time of growing economic and ecological crises that are broadly affecting people across the world, it is an attempt to push back any movement towards creating a world that is humane, one that meets every person’s needs rather than serving only the interests of the rich.

This attack does not occur in a vacuum. Around the country and around the world, people have been rising up and resisting an economic system that puts the endless pursuit of profit ahead of the basic needs of humanity and the Earth. From the Arab Spring to the Occupy movement to now Anaheim, people are taking to the streets. In each of these cases, the state has responded with brutal political repression. This is not a coincidence. It is a long-term strategy by state agencies to stop legitimate political challenges to a status quo that exploits most of the world’s people.

Pickles Not Pipe Bombs condemn this and all other political repression. While we may have differences in ideology or chose to use different tactics, we understand that we are in a shared struggle to create a just, free, and liberated world, and that we can only do this if we stand together. We will not let scare tactics or smear campaigns divide us, intimidate us, or stop us from organizing and working for a better world.

No more witch-hunts! An injury to one is an injury to all.

More Kraut!

I really like making – and eating – sauerkraut. Thursday night I started fermenting   a head of Nappa cabbage. Today I added shredded purple cabbage. The result was a beautiful work of art:

A new post with some exciting new pickles will be up in the next day or two. Enjoy the painting until then!

RECIPE: Chia Seed Drink

Yesterday I made an extremely rare visit to a leading big box “health” food store. While there I quickly starting scoping the various aisles for new product ideas. Looking at the refrigerated beverage section I saw a bottled chia seed beverage. For those that don’t know, chia seeds are being pushed as a sort of super food. I’m not sure if they are a super food, but their nutritional profile is pretty good.

While I’m glad that different kinds of food and beverage are getting some recognition, I am amazed at how pricey these things are. I support cottage industry and I definitely support small-scale producers. What I don’t support, however, are a few brands taking over a “niche” market. For example, I have been told that my pickled okra is too expensive at $5.00 a pint. That’s because people can find mass-produced “pickles” at the locally grocery store for half the price. I would argue that local, small-scale producers use superior ingredients and also support other local producers and markets. Now with people accustomed to paying $2.50 a pint for pickled okra, there is a barrier to entry for small-scale producers. Consumers are left with supporting the large-scale producers or search for competing markets. (This leads to a different topic for a different article.)

Back to chia seed drinks!

While seeing chia seeds floating in a glass bottle brought a smile to my face, I was saddened at the reputation that this sort of drink would now get. Just like kombucha has been solidified as a health food or bourgeois novelty, the delightful chia seed elixir will be as well.

Instead of sitting idly by, I would like to a share a basic adaptation of a Chia Seed drink that I started making after I read Thrive Nutrition by Brendan Brazier. I also suggest picking up Pinole Recipes by Matt Frazier. This book has a number of recipes using chia seeds.

Basic Chia Seed Elixir

Soak one teaspoon of chia seeds in  ten ounces of water. Let sit for ten minutes and then add the juice of one lime. Sweeten with agave, stevia, or honey to taste. The last step is optional as I generally skip the sweetener.

I use this recipe more as a guide. I have used many other juices and have even left the juice out. Experiment to your palate’s content.

Please note that the links in this post are affiliate links.

Urban Homestead Day or I Love the Dervaes Family

In honor of Urban Homestead day, I have decided to post a few links. The first two deal with the root of the “Dervaes Problem.” The problem, as I see it, is not a power hungry family or a lunatic patriarch. The problem is a system that enables someone to own common terminology. The problem is intellectual property. Of course there is something to be said for the maniacs that would start a program called the Path to Freedom and then threaten people for using a generic term such as Urban Homestead.

For more on Intellectual Property, I suggest the following two papers:

Against Intellectual Property by Stephan Kinsella. Also see his Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom at

Intellectual Property: A Libertarian Critique by Kevin Carson.

The next source is something that I just came across. Actually, it was brought to my attention by the website Save Our Skills. This morning SOS linked to a section on the Hardcore Preppers website that hosts a series of links for free ebooks. That link is available here. These books look amazing. They deal with all aspects of life including urban homesteading. They are truly a good resource if you are on a path to freedom. I’m interested in this book on building a DIY generator.

I didn’t want to make this post too much about the Dervaes family for a couple of reasons. First is that I don’t really care about them. They have done some amazing things and they have done some boneheaded things. There are two root issues involved here. First issue is the insanity of the US intellectual property regime. Second, and more importantly, is the resiliency involved in the urban homesteading movement. No IP ruling can stop me from gardening or preserving food. I’m assuming the same is true for everyone else.

In addition to this post, I will also be buying some additional copies of the great Urban Homestead by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen.

Urban Homestead by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen (Expanded and Revised)