Saturday, October 20, 2007

Planting Day~

Maui Onions

Nootka Rose, Inchelium Red, And Elephant Garlic

Persian Star Garlic

Plain Old Celery

XXO Yvette

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Celeste's Tomatillo Sauce

Celeste and I found these beautiful tomatillos at the Farmer's Market. Here is her amazing tomatillo sauce recipe. I used about 30-35 tomatillos (one basket) to make it.

tomatillos, peeled and cut in half
one brown onion, cut into quarters
a couple whole cloves of garlic, peeled
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
olive oil
1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped

Preheat oven to 375. Toss cut vegetables with salt, pepper, and olive oil and put into a roasting pan.
Roast for about 30-40 minutes until done.
Put roasted vegetables and cilantro leaves into a food processor (use the blade fitting), and process until veggies have a chunky sauce texture.

This is great as a dip with tortilla chips, and amazing in quesadillas and in scrambled eggs!


Monday, October 8, 2007

Another Reason To Grow Your Own

The Environmental Protection Agency gave the go-ahead for one-year use of a new agricultural pesticide Friday, saying its own scientific review overrides health concerns expressed by more than 50 chemists and other scientists.

Methyl iodide, also known as iodomethane, will be allowed to control soil pests "under highly restrictive provisions governing its use," the EPA said in a statement.

Because it's a fumagant, we can expect both air and groundwater poisoning, not to mention that they're using this crap on strawberry fields. The strawberry is one of nature's most porous fruits (this is why it is one of the most important foods to buy Organic Only. You can't wash the stuff off if it's inside.

For more info on this brilliant act by our amazing and gifted EPA, who always puts the environment and it's living creatures first, go to:

Please Poison Me!!!


Saturday, September 29, 2007

Cradle To Cradle

Here is what happened to Councilman Rosendahl's Eggs:

Breakfast For Madi And Nader (Obviously We Ate The Green Ones - Brown And White Eggs Are Just Not Fun):

Then The Shells Went Into The To-Be-Composted Container On Our Kitchen Counter, Along With Some Coffee Grounds And Carrot Tops:

And Into The Compost Bin That Fred Made:

Along With Grass Clippings, Leaves, And Other Garden And Kitchen Waste (NO MEAT OR MAMMAL POO, PLEASE, Also, Do Not Put Nut Grass, Garlic Mustard, Or Tomatoes In Your Compost. The Seeds Will Withstand The Heat And You'll Have An Invasion!)

Eventually, You'll Have This For Your Garden (The Wire Mesh Funnel Is To Aerate The Compost):

Here is a great set of plans for a home-built compost bin. The wood we used for ours is certified sustainably farmed cedar, which holds up well to moisture. Fred built ours in a day:

If you live in Los Angeles, as we do, here is a city resource that does composting classes and sells inexpensive bins:

This link explains the composting process:

Now that we're composting, we only put our city green can out about once a month, and we have more compost than we know what to do with. Also, we feel better knowing exactly what went into the compost that is going into our garden. Cradle to cradle - grow it, eat it, compost the leftovers to make ammendment to grow more food. It couldn't be more elegant.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Otis Home Tour!

Last weekend, the garden was featured in a home tour sponsored by the Do It Now: Live Green design show at Otis. It was incredibly fun, and many neighbors and friends showed up, including members of the wonderful Mar Vista Neighborhood Association (MVNA), and our amazing City Councilman Bill Rosendahl. He gave an inspired talk about each of our personal responsibilities to live lighter, use less, and was incredibly supportive of our project. He spoke about the importance of doing both large and small things, and the cumululative effect of participation. Afterwards, I got invited back to his house and got beautiful brown, white, and green eggs from his hens. Guess we're not the only urban farmers in Mar Vista!

Our friend Donna who owns the fabulous Surfing Cowboys store on Abbott Kinney talked about how much the garden has become a social center of our street. Everyone stops by to say hi, as we are constantly in the front has changed the way we live in our neighborhood. I haven't had so many friends on my block since I was 10 years old.

This garden has completely changed my life, and I am so grateful for it, and for my husband Fred, who was behind me all the way with his support and sweat and commitment to rid the world of nut grass.

Meg Linton Of Otis College Of Art And Design, Councilman Bill Rosendahl, Me, And Fred
(Photo by Susan Black-Feinstein, Treasurer, MVNA, THANK YOU!)

Donna Speaking At The Garden:

Councilman Bill Rosendahl Speaks:


Fred's Panoramas...

Councilman Bill's Arucana Eggs


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Do It Now: Live Green

I had the honor of co-curating the Do It Now: Live Green show with the indomitable Meg Linton of Otis College of Art and Design, and my incredible friend, Colette Brooks, of Big Imagination Group.
Do It Now: Live Green features household products and services made from renewable, recycled, and repurposed sources by individuals and companies who are manufacturing and distributing with environmental integrity (Beyond The Lawn is featured). It celebrates today's evolving consciousness and innovation in green technology.
Please come and visit!

Here we are on You Tube:



Saturday, September 8, 2007

Eggsperiment Of The Week!

Eggs with Tomatoes, not just for breakfast anymore! According to Tony Kienitz (If you haven't read his book "The Year I Ate My Yard", do it NOW!):
"When transplanting tomatoes I like to provide a slow-release fertilizer that can be found and purchased quite conveniently. I buy chicken eggs in twelve packs - you're probably familiar with them. Into each freshly dug transplant hole, I put a raw egg right beside the tomato rootball. I bury the tomato all the way up the stem, leaving two or three baby leaves exposed, and then I water gently, and then I go throw rocks at the pigeons on my house.
Lots of people complain that they grow huge tomato plants but get few fruit. Why? Too much nitrogen. Everybody gets all worked up about gettin' the plants enough nitrogen, and consequently they apply way too much to the soil. Operating under the dellusion that "Everything Grows Better With Crap!" we throw bags of poop at every poor defenseless seedling. it isn't necessary. Bigger is not better.
An egg, unbroken, will slowly decompose beside the tomato. As it breaks down it will provide sulphur, which will help the plant fend off disease. finally, when the plant is well into its cycle of producing fruit, the egg will supply nitrogen, which will then be utilized to create grande tomatoes not much leaves and branches. An egg is cheap, low-tech, in the fridge, and fun."

Ok Tony. Here we go. One Tomato Siberia (yep, that's a cold season plant, just right to plant in LA in September!), One ORGANIC, FREE RANGE, HORMONE FREE Egg, and Viola, either a stinking mess, or great tomatoes. Results will be recorded here along the way! Eggseptional.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

Beyond The Lawn

As an important addition to the overall idea of green living, the conversation of home grown food seems to be barely above a whisper. So many of us have lawns we don’t use and continue the endless watering and fertilizing processes that inevitably lead to both waste and terrible runoff issues. Rarely if ever in the United States does one hear about the idea of using our own land as a tiny farm. Growing food for the household has its obvious benefits: we know with certainty where the food comes from, what it was fed, and how it was grown, but other, more subtle reaches of that process lie reducing the use of oil products for shipping; the use of electricity for cooling, and the general reduction of the carbon footprints with every new tomato grown at home.

This project was a top 25 finalist in the Sundance Channel's "What's The Big Idea?" Contest. Here is the film we made to enter:

XXO Yvette