Drop Yer Bloomers

Lately I’ve been growing impatient with impatiens. Petunias, snapdragons, bouganvilla, ficus, bird-of-paradise: our Southern California cities luxuriate in year-round ornamental gardens. Pretty bloomers, yes. But truly, a mix of non-functional tropical plants slurping water in what is really a desert climate, usurping land use where urban space is now so precious. Lawns and nonfunctional landscapes

Going Organic

Going organic is much more than just switching from Monsanto-manufactured chemical warfare, to herbal sprays and less-toxic powders. Going organic is an opportunity to rethink. It is a journey of rebuilding with different, yet similar, basic components. When we build our garden organically, we must leave behind the grow-what-I-wish-and-spray-the-bad-bugs domination mentality. There is a whole

The Lost Art

“Can she bake a cherry pie?” chants the American folk song. That didn’t mean opening a can of goo from the supermarket and dumping it into a frozen pie shell. It mean knowing when the cherries were sweet and ripe, harvesting and pitting them, creating the pie shell from scratch (perhaps hand-churning the butter), and

Places to learn about seed saving

An online booklet to get you started http://www.seedalliance.org/download-form-1/ (more cool stuff from them http://www.seedalliance.org/Publications/ ) A beautiful YouTube about seeds and genetic heritage http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9K0cZGQgHA A graphic that explains F1 hybrids and why so few will breed true. http://scienceforhumans.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/punnet-square-mendel-results.jpg At my seed class they quoted 8% as the amount that breed true, and they did not

Watering the Garden

In the Community Garden at 83rd & Dunbarton, we use what we call “the one finger test.” That means you take your finger and stick it into the garden soil – about one inch down into the soil. The soil down there should feel moist, like a wrung-out sponge. If the soil feels moist, your