Pasadena Learning Gardens

Resourcing communities to create a healthier more sustainable future

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Seed saving





I attended a great class on seed saving and again found the key to doing anything / everything in gardening is to plan well.  The key is to keep the seed true to the original variety, so we have to avoid cross polination within a family (e.g. no chard within a half mile of beets – unless you time shift  or bag them).


Amazing Seed Pictures From National Geographic Magazine.


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Compost Tea

Thriving soil is one of the goals of any edible and/or sustainable gardener. A key part is to feed the organisms in the soil with vast numbers of microorganisms.

Hundreds of years ago, and still today farmers use Manure Tea – manure submerged in water and left to distribute the nutrients and multiply the various microorganisms in the manure.

Today organic farmers use Compost Tea with a more sophisticated blend of ingredients (e.g. compost and worm castings) in de-chlorinated water that is being oxidized (an pump pushing air out a bubbler at bottom of bucket) and appropriate food (e.g. molasses and kelp) to create a rapid growth of the microbial life contained in your “compost”. I use compost, comfrey leaves, stinging nettles, worm castings and occasionally well composted manure as inputs and am in the process of refining my formula… Check out the slide show below.

Compost Tea

Harvard University is evaluated Compost Tea and is now using it widely to maintain their grounds…

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Plug into the new sustainable / local economy in Altadena / Pasadena

Altadena / Pasadena is pursuing a more sustainable, local existence.  As a member of the 30+ year old Altadena Community Garden, and Ripe food exchange, with my wife  registered with the Arroyo Time Bank, it has been wonderful to witness the evolution of a new economic model.  While still in its infancy, it is experiencing a serious growth spurt.

Other Local Activists:

NELA Transition Conscientious Projector a great local progressive film series

Other Resouces

Here is a great article about Urban Homesteading:
Urban homesteading: Altadena a natural for urban homesteaders –

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Food Justice

There are so many issues when it comes to food production that it is difficult to know where to start.  I always start with obesity and diabetes, the direct result of an industry based on plentiful water and cheap oil…   This page will evolve to always present our spin…  Remember, there is a solution – go local and sustainable and that’s what we’re doing…



Michael Pollan is my guy.  He finds the right information and presents it compellingly, in either spoken [LA Library, Feb. 2008 – the first time I heard him] or written [his web site] or filmed [botany of desire documentary].
Here is a great ted talk I just saw it starts with a recap of the story of bees and our (bees and us) delusion that we are in charge, and then ends with a description of Joel Salatin and his permaculture based farm…

Local opportunities to get involved

FoodJusticeLA, TreePeople. FallenFruit, NELATransitions fruit pickers, Center for Food & Justice


Global food pricing

Genetically Modified Crops

Here is a great comparison of GMO vs the Classical Breeding of plants.

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Local Learning Opportunities

The California Native Plants Society has a great growing natives section on their we site, and has a knowledgeable and committed local chapter,  the San Gabriel Mountains Chapter.  Their events include lectures and field trips.

The California Rare Fruit Growers Society has a knowledgeable and committed local chapter,  the San Gabriel Mountains Chapter.

Here is a link to their upcoming Events that include lectures and field trips.