Organic pest control

 Bugs in your garden are an indicator, not a “problem” to be fixed. They’re an indicator of an imbalance in your overall garden system.

It’s kind of like the indicator light on the dashboard of your car — when the red light flashes, it’s not the lightbulb that needs to be fixed, instead you need to fix the underlying problem that the light is telling you about.

For 11 years we ran the Community Garden at Holy Nativity organically. We didn’t use pesticides or pest treatments, we didn’t reach for sprays — whether purchased or homemade, organic or not. Instead we took a holistic approach.

Gardening on Crutches

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already heard that Summer 2019 is the year of gardening on crutches.

In early June, I fell and fractured 3 bones in my ankle (if you’re gonna do it, do it right!), and I’ll be on crutches well into August.

Which posed some interesting questions: How would I water and harvest my garden? And what am I learning through this experience?

Which milkweed should I plant in Southern California?

I’ve caught the milkweed bug. It all started with an accidental visit to a City of Santa Monica building near Santa Monica airport. They had planted milkweed outside the building, 18+ plants by my count, and there were TONS of monarch larvae, with lines of chrysalises along the building’s siding. A few adult monarchs fluttered about, checking the place out. I wanted a milkweed patch at my place!

I’d heard some controversy about milkweeds, that we shouldn’t be planting Tropical Milkweed, but I wasn’t sure.

The catch was, what kind of milkweed should I plant?

About Mycorrhizal fungus

I’ve been reading more about mycorrhizal fungus and how incredibly beneficial it is to our gardens — indeed to our long-term future.

If you don’t know much about this beneficial soil organism, grab a copy of Lowenfels and Lewis’ Teaming with Microbes, and prepare to be completely amazed.

If you’ve been to my garden classes, and heard me talking about “live soil,” this is what I’ve been talking about. As gardeners, we need to make a shift from “taking care of our plants” to being awesome caretakers of the live elements within our soil.  If we become awesome Worm Farmers, we’ll have a gorgeous and productive garden.

Breathe in the gap (ClimateSolvr #9)

There’s a significant gap between the direction of contemporary society, and ecologically-sound lifestyle habits. Take a deep breath and begin to reconnect with true reality.

Why this is important

The mainstream consumerist world zooms along in its frenzied more-more-more track, churning more-more-more environmental devastation. Meanwhile, some people label earth-wiser lifestyles as “out of touch with reality.”

A Review of the book Drawdown, edited by Paul Hawken

The concept of the book Drawdown (2017) is a fascinating one. Paul Hawken and his specially selected team set out not only to list many potential global warming solutions, but also to analyze the amount of potential that each of those solutions had to offer. They employed a team of scientists and high-level thinkers to analyze CO2 reduction, net cost and net economic savings for each of the solutions posed. That in itself was a unique and monumental effort.

Drawdown lists many solutions in categories such as energy, food, buildings and cities, land use, and of course transport and materials. But it also has some unexpected items such as “marine permaculture,” “perennial crops,” and the reversal of desertification. I was excited when Drawdown came out, and I couldn’t wait to see what solutions they might suggest.