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Category: My home garden

Why do I care about seeds?

Why do I care about seeds?

A fascination with little tiny objects – that’s probably how it started. I remember collecting seeds in my mother’s garden as a child. I’d gather minuscule flat honey-tan alyssum seeds. In my pocket linings I’d hoard round red-brown glossy seeds from a special heirloom flower. Vegetables came from seeds in those days. If nursery 6-packs existed, I didn’t know about them. The next-door neighbor would gift an occasional veggie start, but for the most part we sprouted everything ourselves.

Drought-ready gardens

Drought-ready gardens

We know already that it’s gonna be a long hot summer.  And (despite LA Times misleading headlines) Southern California is STILL in extreme drought conditions.  That means we’ve got to adapt our gardens. Here’s what I’m doing at mine:

Build your own solar cooker

Build your own solar cooker

Amid a record-breaking heat wave, I’m making tonight’s dinner in my solar cooker. It saves energy (LADWP is sending out energy conservation warning emails).  And it avoids heating up my kitchen. We made these easy solar cookers years back as an Environmental Change-Makers group project.  

Some of my favorite books

Some of my favorite books

Q: Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you? A: One of the first books I remember loving was Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. My forever take-away was that there are many things going on around us that people just walk by without noticing.  They’re not aware of what’s going on. That thread continues in my work today. A high-school favorite was Frank Herbert’s Dune. Right now in the worst California drought…

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Make your own flowerpot ollas

Make your own flowerpot ollas

Ollas are old-tech made new.  They are a GREAT tool for watering your garden during drought-stricken summers. And you can make your own — quickly and easily, for very little money — with parts from the warehouse home supply store.

Crop rotations in So. Calif: When to change seasons

Crop rotations in So. Calif: When to change seasons

It’s autumn in Southern California.  Or is it?  The weather has changed.  Wait, it’s changed back again… Contrary to what East Coast people say, Southern California does have its seasons.  But there’s rarely a clear “cutoff” date.  Add climate-change-driven Weather Weirdness to the mix and it can be totally confusing, even for veteran gardeners. How do you tell when it’s time to change crops in your rotation?