Climate solutions

“Buy Local.”  Why do we keep saying that? Why is it important? What does it accomplish?

How: Buy your food from the most local producers you can find.  For instance my farmers’ market often features vendors as close to L.A. as Moorpark, Lompoc, and Tehachapi.  Try to shop first at the most-local vendors.

Shift your consciousness to view chain stores as a “last resort,” where you fill in a few remaining ingredients that the local farmers might not have.

Environmental benefits: When you buy from local farmers you reduce your food miles -the transportation (and greenhouse gas emissions) of your food.

Your financial support helps assure that local farmers stay in business – close to the cities, where we need them as the Age of Fossil Fuels necessarily drifts into the sunset. Continue Reading

Community events in Westchester

plumsArborist Pieter Severynen has a wealth of wisdom to share.
In this 3-part workshop series you’ll learn how to make each pruning cut count – you’ll be able to tell the reason you made that particular cut!

You’ll learn how to adapt your pruning decisions or different types of trees. You’ll learn about good cuts and bad cuts, as well as how to select and maintain good tools. You’ll learn about planting trees, and how to have a lifetime relationship with them. Continue Reading

Community events in Westchester

The Westchester Community Oven, completed summer 2015
The Westchester Community Oven, completed summer 2015

Dana Morgan and Linda Preuss (of L.A. Bread Bakers) will be offering three sourdough bread baking classes this autumn for beginners and intermediate bakers.  Come join the fun!

These will be hands-on, get flour everywhere kind of workshops!

Oct 22: Tartine-Style Sourdough – 30% Whole Grain

Nov 12: 100% Whole Grain Breads – Blending Varietal Grains

Dec 10: Baking with Spelt – 100% Spelt Breads Continue Reading

Abundant Harvests - garden info

Many popular garden books promote methods such as the “Lasagna method”: You layer materials such as cardboard, black plastic, compost, mulch, etc., on top of grass and create a garden. In Southern California we must evaluate such recommendations carefully:

  • Does the person who is telling of great Lasagna success live in a year-round growing season, or do they have the benefit of a frost to help eradicate weeds and pests?

  • Does the storyteller have Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon)?

  • Are they speaking of long-term success: Have their observations endured beyond Bermuda’s regrowth timespan or were those Lasagna layers very recently applied?

Here in Southern California, without frost of any significance and with nearly every backyard being populated with Bermuda grass, in my experience there is only one long-term viable solution: Continue Reading

Cityscape Seeds

aldermanIf the only peas you’ve ever tasted are those chalky greyish marbles from the grocery store’s freezr section, you’re really missing out!

Alderman peas are sweet, tender, and delicious.  They’ve got a depth of flavor, a “greenness,” that gives them flavor dimension.  Your body aches for something that tastes this fresh and healthy and good. Continue Reading

Community events in Westchester

lemontreenote: if you missed this workshop (or if you attended and enjoyed it) we are working out the details to have Pieter teach a 3-part series in January 2017.  stay tuned!

A late summer pruning can really help shape your fruit trees.  That’s why we’re inviting veteran arborist Peiter Severynen to the Community Garden.  Pieter is a font of wisdom, so if you have a fruit tree, you won’t want to miss this!

You’ll learn that different kinds of fruit trees need different types of shaping to encourage production.  You’ll learn how to make decisions about what to cut, and how to make the cuts themselves. Continue Reading

Community events in Westchester

sunflowerseedharvestDo you want to join the efforts to conserve heirloom vegetable seeds?  Do you want to create your own vegetable varieties?

This hands-on workshop covers plant reproduction for the major vegetable plant families, cross-pollination, preserving varietal purity, seed storage, and cleaning seed … and how to maximize the benefits of our urban conditions to get the very best seeds.

Presenters include David King (Seed Library of Los Angeles, UCLA Extension, and The Learning Garden), Azita Jolei (Seed Library of Los Angeles and Homegrown Gardens), and Joanne Poyourow (Environmental Change-Makers, Community Garden at Holy Nativity, and Cityscape Seeds).

Plus … for lunch you can bake your own pizza in the wood-fired Westchester Community Oven (bring pizza dough and toppings to share potluck-style) or bring a salad to share.

Urban Seed Saving
Saturday October 8, 2016
8:00am arrival and sign-in; 8:30am start time
Completion at 5:00pm
Community Garden at Holy Nativity, 6700 West 83rd, LA 90045
Early-bird Tuition $85 basic tution, $160 couple, $70 student/senior discounted price
pre-registration is necessary at

Prices increase on Sept 30th, so save your spot today!

Offered in conjunction with the Seed Library of Los Angeles (SLOLA).