Creating social change, Environmental Change-Makers community

It’s a new year. But even moreso, it’s a completely new era. The ground rules have all changed – from what is fact, to what is science, to what is news – to the point that many of us hardly know which way is up.

In the midst of all this turmoil, there have been a few articles which really helped me solidify my own direction.

One of these is a thoughtful, well-considered post by Ijeoma Oluo, “7 Ways you can keep fighting for justice in 2017.” And the things it recommends are both healing and calculated to gain long-term action.

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Community events in Westchester

Arborist Pieter Severynen has a wealth of wisdom to share.
In the 3-part workshop series on January 7, 14, 21, 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

Environmental Change-Makers community

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  1. Events and Classes. Join the Environmental Change-Makers email list to get news of events, classes, and gatherings at the Community Garden at Holy Nativity in Westchester/Los Angeles. The topics run the gamut from organic gardening to Permaculture and Transition Movement to activism and sustainable lifestyles. subscribe here.
  2. Change-Making News. Joanne’s newsletter is more chatty than the “events and classes” list. Change-Making news includes events plus notifications about Joanne’s latest publications, blog posts, and other happenings in the wider community. subscribe here.
  3. Twitter. Joanne is active on Twitter and tweets about a wide range of topics. follow @ecmJoanne here.
  4. Facebook. The Environmental Change-Makers Facebook page includes ECM events as well as positive environmental news. Like the Environmental Change-Makers page here.
  5. Instagram. Get photos from the Community Garden at Holy Nativity and Joanne’s personal garden. follow @ecmJoanne here.
  6. Political action. ECM has never before been involved in much political action, however times have changed. If you wish to be notified of political things you can do pertaining to climate change and the environment (examples: contacting congressional representatives, rallies around L.A., etc.), subscribe here.
Community events in Westchester

Need a place to diffuse some of the tensions of this past week? Come join like-minded others as we gather in solidarity with Standing Rock and the urgent need for CLIMATE ACTION.

We will create a public prayer flag (like a Tibetan prayer flag) with messages of hope, solidarity, and support, to be displayed on a public street corner here in Westchester. Continue Reading

Community events in Westchester, Creating social change

What next? Certainly we are all watching national headlines in shock and horror. Most of the things that matter to us most – from climate action to human rights to the sanctity of the U.S. Constitution itself – are in serious jeopardy at this moment.

I remember back in 2000 when dismaying election results began rolling in. A dear friend pointed out to me that when the going gets tough, activists get tougher. We get moving. We take action. Continue Reading

Abundant Harvests - garden info, Climate solutions

garden by mconnors via MorguefileHere’s how our gardens can become part of solving some of the world’s greatest problems.

LIVING ECOSYSTEMS.  Humanity is part of  a vast network of life on this tiny planet. The planet’s ecosystems operate as intricate interconnected and interdependent systems, so vast that scientists are only beginning to glimpse their magnitude and complexity. “The environment” is a life-support system – for us as well as for all living beings. Without functional ecosystems, we have no life.

As we, humanity, become more conscious, it is becoming increasingly apprarent that all design must support ecosystems. From pollinator populations to soil organisms, Nature needs our help.   Continue Reading

Climate solutions

Living more sustainably doesn’t necessarily have to mean going meatless.

I just finished reading the beautifully written Gaining Ground by market farmer Forrest Pritchard.  It is a lovely story about rebuilding local foodsheds and knowing the people who produce your food.

Inspired by Joel Saletin, Pritchard’s focus is on rebuilding soil, reversing the effects of chem agriculture, and cleaning up waterways.

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My home garden

heirloom bean seedsA 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. Continue Reading

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