Author Archives: Mark Rice
Landscaping & Pools | Pasadena Water and Power
Lots of ideas and rebates for local residents.
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Military families bolster the case that obesity is indeed contagious
Members of the military serve their country in myriad ways. That includes helping researchers figure out whether obesity is a contagious disease. A new study involving thousands of military families suggests that the answer is yes.
Source: Military families bolster the case that obesity is indeed contagious
Foods that are both fatty and sweet can hijack the part of the brain that regulates food consumption
More evidence that we are being manipulated into eating the wrong thing. “What do we do when the products of our genius and our industry short-circuit our evolved traits and lead us down a path of destruction?”
Human ingenuity has combined fats and carbohydrates to produce such crowning culinary glories as the doughnut, fettuccine Alfredo, nachos and chocolate cake with buttercream frosting. These delectables do not exist in nature. Nor does the human capacity to intuit their calorie content.
Source: Foods that are both fatty and sweet can hijack the part of the brain that regulates food consumption
The Herbal Sinus Rinse – Using Herbs With Your Neti Pot | Iowa Herbalist
I’ve been a fan of Neti Pot’s for some time. Being a Master Gardener I’m exposed to a lot of pollen, dust, etc. and was taking an antihistamine daily when a friend recommended a neti pot. Amazing. So I love this article.
Using herbs with your neti pot is great for those funky, dry late-winter months, a time when cold and flu season seems to be over, and yet you find yourself still blowing your nose, over and over. You might be a bit unsure about whether you are dealing with allergies, or the last cold of the season to kick your butt.
Source: The Herbal Sinus Rinse – Using Herbs With Your Neti Pot | Iowa Herbalist
Trees in So Cal, threats and new varieties…
We love trees here at Pasadena Learning Gardens and aspire to help the amazing urban forest we reside in. Stress from drought has weakened many trees making them more vulnerable to disease and insects. Here is a wonderful summary of the issues and it would be great if people replied with stories of both the victims and trees that are thriving in this situation.
LA Times story on local trees and threat presented by insects and disease
The Mother Plant Collection
I don’t think it will come as a surprise to hear that our landscapes, especially here in Southern California, need to change. We’ve offered some guidance on our Sustainability page, but this project is about identifying the best drought tolerant plants for these future landscapes. Best is always a tricky word. I’m looking for attractive, easy to grow and propagate, drought tolerant plants that may even offer some medicinal benefits and / or have a great story attached. After identifying these 6-12 plants, I intend to put in a collection from which cuttings can be taken at the Altadena Community Garden, the La Casita community center, and the Hathaway Sycamores Learning Garden, and get this propagation going along with classes on how to do it yourself. Let me know what your candidates are.
I love White Sage and need to have it but have not be great at propagating it, so here…
Mindfulness and Love in Education
For years now I often find myself quoting David Brooks book The Social Animal where he summarizes the argument that we are profoundly interconnected as “We learn best from those we love” It seems more and more clear that we can impart emotional intelligence into our youth when we need it as much as ever… As a meditating Buddhist-Christian-Gardener, I’ve witnessed peoples healing and transformation when connected to nature and one another. I’ve danced around this fire for many years and now we are coming at this from so many angles. I am so excited by what I’ve learned from Daniel Siegel who runs the center for mindfulness studies at UCLA Medical School. He has profound data showing that we can transform our youth through a simple mindfulness exercise. Here is a great intro to his thought.
TEDxBlue – Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. – 10/18/09
Mindfulness in Schools: Richard Burnett at TEDxWhitechapel
David Brooks: The social animal
Soil – the key to it all…
Mother Jones’ model for eating well
A fun, helpful article with links to some great Michael Pollan podcasts.
Michael Pollan Explains What’s Wrong With the Paleo Diet | Mother Jones.
I’m dealing with Gophers at one my my teaching gardens so I’ll be delving into this issue. I remember lamenting an earlier encounter with a biodynamic farmer in Germany who wanted to know what my issue was. This article provides some interesting insights into letting them be, most interesting to me is the point that their population will stabilize and more food will not cause more gophers – this is not how it has appeared to me…
The Dry Garden: Détente with the gopher | L.A. at Home | Los Angeles Times.
Post-Harvest Handling Decision Tool | Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture
I was recently reminded of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and thought I’d poke around and I love this resource about large scale harvest handling techniques. Time to get a tool bank root veggie pressure washer…
Post-Harvest Handling Decision Tool | Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.
7 Golden Steps to Creating an Effective Email Newsletter
All of us need to communicate more effectively and here are some cool tips.
Great article on our food system from The Nation magazine
Frances Moore Lappé’s essay below kicks off our forum on the food movement. Raj Patel, Vandana Shiva, Eric Schlosser, and Michael Pollan have contributed replies.
Coral Learning Garden
Coral Learning Garden, a set on Flickr.
This is an experiment on posting flickr slideshows.
Cooking Bread in a Dutch Oven and Alternative Steaming Techniques | Root Simple
Ok, It’s time to get hip to cooking my own bread. There was a great event at Grist and Toll here in Pasadena, and so here is an appropriate blog post from my friend Erik – Mr. Homegrown.
Cooking Bread in a Dutch Oven and Alternative Steaming Techniques | Root Simple.
The Three Sisters: Exploring an Iroquois Garden | Cornell Garden-Based Learning
For those of you thinking of a three sisters project this year…
The Three Sisters: Exploring an Iroquois Garden | Cornell Garden-Based Learning.
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.
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.
15 brain foods to get your kid ready to study
This is short helpful list of healthy ideas for busy families… And it’s from Organic Authority so it’s always nice to poke around their site…
I also just found another site that has a number of great pieces of info including a great bit on “eat a rainbow” which is one of my current mantras…