Pasadena Learning Gardens

Resourcing communities to create a healthier more sustainable future


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Permaculture Principles – thinking tools for an era of change

This is a website built around the work of one of the original Permaculture founders David Holmgren.    I think this provides a lot of good pointers, but I’ll admit I find most of permaculture to be more about self promotion than about getting us to live more in tune with our world.  Appreciating nature in it’s undisturbed glory is incredibly valuable, and once we, or those before us, stick our hands into it we are on a journey, and I don’t imagine a way back.  But that’s ok,  I can minimize the use of chemicals and the waste my family generates, I can rebuild soil for particular needs, I can even build habitat that supports a whole neighborhood…  In the end, we must develop practices that reflects our location in time and space…

Permaculture Principles – thinking tools for an era of change.


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Food is medicine, even medical schools get it

Listening to NPR this morning and I heard these people sounding like me…

“I think it’s forward thinking to view food as medicine,” he says. “That’s not something that’s really on our radar in medical education. But with the burden of disease in the United States being so heavily weighted with lifestyle disease, I think it’s a very, very logical next step.”

 

So-called lifestyle diseases mainly spring from bad habits, particularly bad eating habits. Think obesity or diabetes. Piper says the goal of this partnership between New Orleans, Louisiana-based Tulane and Johnson & Wales is to change the way doctors think about food. As far as the program’s creators know, it’s the first time a culinary school and a medical school have partnered like this.

See the rest of the transcript or listen to the story at:

Just What The Doctor Ordered: Med Students Team With Chefs : The Salt : NPR.


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the Grow Biointensive System of growing food

John Jeavons has carried on the French biointensive system of agriculture that we love. I came across an expert trainer from Willits back in 2008 who gave me two of his books and a dvd that shaped how I look at growing food. I am not as big a proponent of double digging – it’s hard and disruptive to the soil biology, but if you need some food fast it may be a great first pass.  Here are 13 great videos from the man himself.

When I was starting I wish someone had pointed me to Jeavons free text [here] and pointers to his videos:  Have fun

Session 1: GROW BIOINTENSIVE: A Beginner’s Guide — Introduction – YouTube.

2. Growing Seedlings

3. Bed prep part 1

4. Bed prep 2

5. Transplanting

6. Composting part 1

7. Composting part 2

8. Harvesting part 1

9. Harvesting part 2

10. Saving Seeds

11. Choosing your crops part 1

12. Choosing your crops part 2

13. Maintaining your garden


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Thinking Globally about Food

It is often challenging enough to think about our local food systems.  Unfortunately, Globalization has occurred.  Our food system is a web of connections that have provided lots of unhealthy food being pushed on everyone from poor children to rich sports fans.  While any meaningful analysis of this situation is beyond the scope of our project it is still important that we become aware of food issues on the national and international level.  Fortunately we have many great digital storytellers out there.  A good place to start is with the BBC documentary on the Future of Food.  [Part 1]  [Part 2]  [Part 3

In the future we’ll provide links to other vaulable resources (films, books, articles, and websites). 

Examples:

Food Inc.

Botany of Desire

The Economics of Happiness

Please contribute your favorites which we may share with the community.


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New tool developed by UCLA to track urban agriculture

UCLA presented their report and an on-line tool at the August 2013 LA Food Policy meeting.  The report tacks regulations across the 82 cities in LA County.  Their on-line tool allows us to track School and Community Gardens, Farms and Nurseries in town.

The really cool thing about this is that the client is the UC Cooperative Extension, which includes us Master Gardeners, and we can distribute the burden of fleshing out the database and finding ways to plug this  tool into the exciting and essential discussion of Urban Ag in Los Angeles County.

UCLA Press release

UC Berkeley’s Edible Education Lecture Series


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We are not alone – getting to know your inner Microbiome

As everyone who has attended one of my soil classes knows, I am enchanted by microorganisms and through understanding the relationship between them and plants I’ve reexamined my thoughts about them and me… Then comes my guy Michael Pollan ready to share the model that we are not alone. We are superorganisms…  Here’s his article from the New York Times Magazine…

Say Hello to the 100 Trillion Bacteria That Make Up Your Microbiome – NYTimes.com.


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Creating a Neighborhood Garden

In my studies of sustainable agriculture and food forests I’ve come to own the importance of a little wildness in the garden.  We create room for plants and critters to work out who is doing what.  It seems the same can be said about our communities.  Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and so together we can emphysize our strengths and overcome our weaknesses.  So we love the idea of Neighborhood Gardens where the land, labor, expertise, and money can flow into a process that creates community, connection with nature, and a lot of great local seasonal healthy food.

Here is a site in Sonoma that sees things a little differently but are mostly aligned with how we see this evolving.

Creating a Neighborhood Garden Wheel | iGROW Sonoma.

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