Thursday, April 30, 2009


We won the War of the Aphids.

We lost many skirmishes, the most significant defeat being the Battle of the Ladybugs, during which we thought our entire army defected. Some accidental observation told a different story. Our Ladybug army didn't AWOL, they were eaten by sparrows. I was so charmed with the flock of sparrows that kept coming to our yard in the afternoon, hopping all over the place amongst the plants. I love having birds in the yard more than anything. I love watching them and listening to them. I try to always keep the bird feeder filled to attract them. Apparently, they like ladybugs better than birdseed. They devoured what seems to be every last one of them.

After doing some MORE research, I went back to the old reliable Diatomaceous Earth. I sprinkled it all over the Brussels Sprouts, and within three days, the aphids were gone. Gone, Gone, Gone. That was it. Finished. Kaput. Over.

Onto new bugs.


PS. Sparrow Illustration From This Website!!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Don't Forget!

The Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase Tour is tomorrow...please come by if you can!

We made the cover of the Argonaut!!

Sorry for the short post, but I'm crazy busy getting ready!


PS. The tour is made up of four quadrants, and there are downloadable maps for each. We are on Tour 4!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Freedom Seeds

Freedom Seeds is Path To Freedom's newest venture. Their tiny family farm is in Pasadena, California, and yields about 6,000 pounds of produce a year on 1/5 of an acre. AND the property is gorgeous. I plan to shop with them to help support their incredible project, as well as insure the purity of the seeds we plant in the garden!

Here is info about their mission, and their products:

“We have neglected to preserve the diversity of our food. Today, we have more brands of shoes than we have of carrots or broccoli.”
—Jules Dervaes

There’s no question that the diversity of our food sources has suffered a drastic reduction that is unprecedented in human history. As consumers are losing the freedom to choose what they will buy and grow, thousands of varieties of garden seed are walking the plank, straight into the abyss of extinction.

In 1981 there were approximately 5,000 vegetable seed varieties available in U.S. catalogs. Today there are less than 500, a 90 percent reduction.

Freedom Seeds is on the front lines of the battle to preserve open pollinated seeds. With an initial launch of 75 vegetable seeds from arugula and beans to kale, peas, turnips and much more, gardeners can be confident that the seeds they buy from Freedom Seeds have been carefully screened for genetic manipulation. The worth of these seeds has been proven by compatibility with their environment, instead of being made tougher and more durable by genetic engineering. They possess the nutritive properties of old and locally developed strains, based on eatability instead of portability.

Food You Can Depend On—Right Outside Your Door.

With this access to unaltered, unpatented seeds, Freedom Seeds gives you the power to create your own gardens—and research the crops that will grow in your specific environments. With different terrains come different abilities, regional tendencies, local food, and local challenges. In partnership with, Freedom Seeds points you towards the information, resources, and research access you need to plan your gardens. It empowers you to research your options, and shows you the way to make the most of your growing season.

The Latest Information On The State Of Our Seeds

By following our Blog and Campaign links on the Freedom Seeds site, you’ll have access to the latest information the “Gene Giant” seed industries such as Monsanto, their influence in political lobbies, on scientific research, and on the food you eat. You’ll also get information on safe seeds, healthy food, and resources you can trust in the fight for sustainable, healthful, and real food.

To all of you, from all of us at Freedom Seeds. Happy planting!

Jules Dervaes & Family


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

Bug On Bug

Losing the Battle of the Aphids. They are infesting all of the brassicas in the garden, especially the brussels sprouts. My Dr. Bronners soap mixture works for a day or so, and then a new mass appears from nowhere. We bought some ladybugs, hoping that they'll do the trick. We released them at night, after watering the area, and by morning, they were gorging themselves and mating. Three or four days of free meals and lodging later, all of those little moochers are gone, except for a few stragglers, leaving behind a billion uneaten aphids.

The thing is, I don't even LIKE brussels sprouts all that much...they're good enough, but what a bunch of work.

I am going to figure this out. I read that Diatomaceous Earth works in severe cases. I'm off to the front yard to try worked so well in controlling the Sow Bug Infestation last winter, so we'll see what happens with the aphids.


PS. Bitchin' Ladybug photo by Antje Schulte