Resources for my Permaculture Observation class

Permaculture is a design system that begins with “what is” and launches from that starting point into “what will become.” Rather than making a strict decision about the final outcome from the very start, the designer begins with what is already on the site.

We learn to work with Nature as our partner. We learn how to work with — rather than against — the influences to the site. How do people/animals already use this space? How do wind/sun/heat/weather affect it? What thrives here, and what isn’t thriving?

In this class, we practiced training our eyes to see — what is needed, what do we need to do next in this space. What do we need to shore up, and what should be re-worked? What is the garden asking for?

Here are some resources we mentioned during class:

Planting Your Cool Season Garden – Sep 21

The cool season can be some of the most productive months in our Southern California Gardens, and the Brassica family is the star of the show.

Brassicas include kale, collards, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, cabbages, turnips, radishes, arugula, and more!

On Saturday Sept 21, Joanne will speak at the Seed Library of Los Angeles meeting about how to plan your cool season garden for seedsaving as well as yummy vegetables for your table. She’ll show you how to plan a garden to minimize varietal crossing.

Sea level rise in California

In case you missed it, there was a well-written article in the LA Times about sea level rise and the California coastline. According to the article, the sea is now rising here on the west coast faster than anywhere in the world.

Sea level rise threatens not only ocean-front mansions and popular beachside restaurants. It will lead to erosion of ocean-facing cliffs, such as killed 3 people in Encinitas this month.

Air Conditioning and Global Warming

Are you old enough to remember when George H W Bush’s snarky response to global warming was that we should get more air conditioners? Nothing could be further from the truth.

A recent Guardian article shows us how air conditioning is a uniquely American response. It’s denying our bodies’ natural ability to acclimate, and it’s adding to the problem.

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?

Yes! I want to be a change-maker!

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