Category Archives: Uncategorized
Landscaping & Pools | Pasadena Water and Power
Lots of ideas and rebates for local residents.
Pasadena Water and Power takes pride in providing safe, reliable, environmentally responsible water and power service at competitive rates. As a community-owned utility, PWP’s first priority is to serve our customers.
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…
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.
Processed Food Health Claims – BEWARE
As Michael Pollan mentions in Food Rules: Avoid food products that make health claims. This is great advice because health claims made by processed food manufacturers are rarely what they seem. In reality, what we find is: (1) The claims often have minimal scientific basis or are grossly exaggerated; (2) The claims are often justified not because the actual primary product has the healthy nutrients but instead because nutrients are added during processing, which can mean the nutrients are not absorbed by your body as effectively as if those same nutrients are delivered from fresh fruits/vegetables in their natural state; and (3) The claims fail to mention that while the product may have some sort of healthy vitamins or antioxidants, any benefit is usually outweighed by the fact that the same product is also loaded with unhealthy amounts of sugar, fat and/or salt. The best course for your health is to simply eat an apple or some broccoli rather than relying on some sugary cereal or fat-laden salty snack that claims to deliver the same nutrients. The LA Times recently ran an interesting editorial regarding this situation and two very common products, Frosted Mini Wheats and Pom Wonderful. Check it out here and get the real story.
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).
Botany of Desire
The Economics of Happiness
Please contribute your favorites which we may share with the community.
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.
Parkway Edibles in LA? Will it ever happen?
It seems like this keeps going on forever. While some City Council members say they support parkway vegetable gardens, an actual ordinance change continues to elude us for two years now. And all the while city workers are going after those who plant edibles in their parkways with cease and desist orders and fines. Check out the July 30 LA Times story by Steve Lopez.
Leasing Abandoned City Lots, Six Young Farmers Cobble Together a Sustainable Urban Farming Enterprise
OK, so our amazing insight into distributed neighborhood farms is not exactly unique. It’s good to know we’re all pushing for a solution – hope you enjoy this story…
Leasing Abandoned City Lots, Six Young Farmers Cobble Together a Sustainable Urban Farming Enterprise.
UC Berkeley’s Edible Education Lecture Series
I found this info on the resources page at EdibleSchoolyard.org – a site, a garden, a community that is very cool. I just wanted to share this to get everyone going…
This album contains lectures from the UC Berkeley Fall 2012 course Edible Education 103: Telling Stories About Food and Agriculture and Fall 2011 course Edible Education 101: The Rise and Future of the Food Movement, co-sponsored by the Edible Schoolyard Project.
The lecture series were held at UC Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism and College of Letters and Science in the Fall of 2011 and 2012.
The Fall 2011 course was co-instructed by Nikki Henderson, Executive Director, People’s Grocery, and Michael Pollan, Knight Journalism Professor, UC Berkeley. The 2012 course was instructed by Michael Pollan.
Lectures were led by experts in their field, who relate their discipline to the food system movement from a variety of perspectives.