Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Another Amazing Happening At The Garden Tour This Weekend!

I met Laura a few months ago at a quarterly meeting of a progressive entrepreneurial group I am a part of. I love her organization, and we are so excited that she has agreed to come to the Garden Tour this Saturday, April 30, to speak about her work with creating edible schoolyard gardens in LA. She will be in our yard at 1pm to answer all of your questions and queries and let you know about her amazing work!

Los Angeles Garden Project was created in Autumn 2010 and our mission is to unite, inspire and empower Angelenos to build and nurture edible gardens in our schools and communities. Through our membership and volunteer program we will come together to teach and learn from each other in the garden. How to construct our gardens properly; how to grow our fruits, vegetables and herbs correctly; how to prepare our harvests deliciously; how to teach our children and community in these gardens, and to share in all the other inspirations the garden provides.

We will host monthly meetings in gardens throughout the city to come together to exchange ideas and effectively address recurring issues that the community may face as they start, revive, nurture and/or run an edible garden. We will have an online calendar that will be constantly updated with volunteer opportunities, workshops and meetings for members to attend. We will host a daily blog that will share events, photos, gardening tips, recipes and any other related material. We will produce a quarterly newsletter that will feature articles that are relevant, interesting and entertaining for our members. We aim to foster relationships with local and national corporate entities to partner on providing product and funds needed for our edible gardens.

Please visit our website for more information or contact Laura Villasenor at We look forward to coming together for each other as we teach and learn just how easy, fun, delicious, cost-effective and healthy it is to grow and eat our own fresh, locally grown, sustainable fruits, vegetables and herbs!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Garden Tour Raffle!!!

I just got some great news from Timber Press, who has published Ivette Soler's new book, The Edible Front Yard (I have to say that despite the fact that our garden is featured in the book, and I am obviously VERY excited and admittedly biased, it is a really really really great read, with beautiful images to boot)...

We get to raffle TWO copies of the book at the Garden Tour! Yep, all you have to do is stop by and put your name/info in the bowl, and, if you are picked, a book will be shipped to you straight from the publisher next week!!! How cool is that? I love the folks at Timber Press - they have been so supportive of this blog, and of all of our efforts, and on top of that were so excited to participate in this very special garden tour. My hat is off to you, with an extra special thanks to Emma Alpaugh, who is so lovely that her smile came all the way through the phone this morning!

I will see you on April 30...GOOD LUCK!!!


Monday, April 25, 2011

Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase #3...

Happy Monday!!!

We are so proud to have our garden featured in The 2011 Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase, on Saturday April 30th from 11:00 AM to 4 PM.

We will have a very special guest at the garden...Tom Folan from Solar City, the company we lease our panels from, will be onsite to answer all things sun-power! We will also have a copy of Ivette Soler's, amazing new book The Edible Front Yard (we are so lucky to be a featured garden in this book! So exciting!), for you to peruse...

About The Tour:
Think of it as a giant eco festival comprised of block parties throughout Mar Vista. With most people making it a walking or bike tour, there is a tremendous sense of community as residents throughout Southern California come to Mar Vista to celebrate our shared vision for a greener life.

This year the Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase expands to include tours within the tour to address even more aspects of sustainability. We will showcase drought resistant landscaping, edible gardens, composting techniques, water capture and even chickens!

To further our goal of achieving 100% clean electricity by 2018, the tour will host the American Solar Energy Society’s National Solar Tour and showcase Mar Vista locations that have gone solar. See those gardens here.

You can find the mapped walking tours
and a little history of Mar Vista here.
Click here to download the pdf of maps for
tours 1 - 4 and tours 5 & 6.

Read this article by Emily Green in the LA Times "The Dry Garden"
for tips on how to take the tour.
Preview garden 5N in this LA Times feature by Lisa Boone
Visit Fresh Dirt on Sunset Magazine to see the previews
on gardens 5F, and 5B and 5M, by Sharon Cohoon

We hope to see you there!!!!!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day...

When, really, are we going to start, as a society, taking responsibility for our stewardship? When will the planet that we live on become a priority over profits and convenience? When will we decide to turn the light of when we leave the room? Or to put solar panels on the roof instead of buying that new SUV? When will we decide that we cannot allow more nuclear power plants to be built, and be outraged that it is still even a conversation? When will we stop dumping our crap into the ocean? When will we commit to going without, even just a little bit, to facilitate all of this? When will we? I'm waiting with baited breath...suffocating.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Bouquets Fit For A Foodie!

You may or may not know this, but I am a photographer...and, among other things, I photograph many, many weddings. I just did my daily check-out of my friend Jen Campbell's gorgeous blog Green Wedding Shoes, and found this fabulous post, which I think that all my gardener/foodie/gardener-bride/foodie-bride pals can't help but swoon over! Jen created and photographed these amazing bouquets herself.

I think I better get married again just to have one of these. Maybe I can just carry one around with me anyway? Is that too much?

Please go to her blog to see more!

Holy crap, Jen, I am in LOVE.


PS. All Photos Courtesy Of Jen Campbell!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Seed Library At Venice High School!

When we first moved to the west side of Los Angeles about 15 years ago, Venice High School looked like a prison. The whole place was run down and falling apart - in the front of the school, there was a wrought iron cage surrounding a statue of alumni Myrna Loy to keep her from being vandalized, and there were bars on all the windows. The tennis courts had giant cracks in the asphalt. God knows what the classrooms were like inside.

But our story begins with the 60,000 square foot, fallow, weedy, filled-with-trash area on the western edge of the school, where, in March of 2001, a group of amazing people had had enough, and The Learning Garden was established. It has since become one of the country's largest and most successful school gardens. The Learning Garden boasts organic produce grown by students, a culinary program, tai chi and quigong classes, a large medicinal plant section in conjunction with Yo San University of Chinese Medicine, a California Native Plant and Cacti garden, and a community garden. Last December, they embarked on a very exciting project - The Seed Library of Los Angeles. For a $10 membership fee, gardeners can "borrow" the seeds of specific edibles. Each borrower commits that part of the resulting crop be allowed to go to flower and seed, allowing the borrower to return the seed stock to the library. There are occasional seed saving workshops, open to the public, which you can find out about by going to their blog (HERE).

Also, be sure and visit The Learning Garden on April 30, when Mar Vista hosts it's annual Green Garden Showcase.

I have to say that in recent years, the school has flourished. The cage around Myrna has been removed, everything is freshly painted, and albeit there is a definite police presence that remains due to gangs, it is a wholly different place. Perhaps it was something to do with the garden. Perhaps not. Either way, songbirds and bees and growing things can't hurt, can it?