Archive for October, 2009

A Tree hugger at Tree People

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Last year, I was so thrilled to be invited to the opening ceremony of the newly redone Tree People public use area located in Los Anegles. What got the most attention was the large catch basin they built, for saving and then reusing rainwater, a vital infrastructure improvement for the parched Los Angeles area. The trees in the Tree People trails that so many of us enjoy walking by, are therefore kept happy and healthy from this saved water, which is trickled down to these trees as needed.

Recently, I was there hiking with my dog Leroy, and we came upon the remains of a party/event that had taken place there the night before. As all the tables and chairs were being folded and carried away, what had not been dismantled yet, were some clever “Repurposed installations”, using found objects or recycling others for a useful purpose. Shovels were lined up, to create a temporary fence and in another spot,  pvc type pipes were cut and made into a chandelier, hung artfully overhead with LED fairy lights, which must have been a lovely at night.

Repurposed plastic piping as lamp

Repurposed shovels as fence

San Francisco makes composting the law

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009
Valentina Composter

Valentina Composter

So much is about timing in our lives and mine seems to be right on target today in the composting department. This week, with much joy, I finally put Valentina on my site, my first composter I designed from scratch.

Even though I have only been composting for 4 years, I am so hooked and can’t imagine ever not composting, as it’s such a natural thing to do. When I see what comes of all the rotten banana’s I never ate or the egg shells, coffee grinds and mushy cucumbers, that I have thrown into my composter and what they all produce together over the next few months, is just so amazing. I throw out less trash, and at the other end, my garden benefits.

Most of our soil is severely depleted of nutrients, so therefore are our trees, plants, flowers and vegetables can’t grow as well. I am thrilled that San Francisco has made it mandatory for everyone to compost. For anyone who lives in an apartment, that has a terrace, my Valentina is so perfect. Or, if you live instead on your own, or with one another person, in a single family home, then Valentina is also very suitable. More people than that, you will need at least 2 or more Valentina’s.

See the Mother Nature Network’s article on San Francisco Composting.

Vegetable wish list for my mounded garden

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009
Seeds for a Mounded Garden

Seeds for a Mounded Garden

October is a great time in Southern California to plant Arugula, Beets, Broccoli, Carrots, Lettuce, Peas, Radishes and Spinach. There are several others as well, but I just listed the ones I like. You can also plant Chives, Cilantro, Dill, Mint, Parsley and Thyme.

I wouldn’t mind buying seedlings for Arugula, Peas, Broccoli and Lettuces. These have pretty shallow roots, so are easy to plant. The others really need time to push themselves underground, so do best grown from seed, and best are the organic seeds, from Botanical Interests, a certified Organic grower

A mounded vegetable garden

Monday, October 12th, 2009
A Mounded Garden

A Mounded Vegetable Garden

Yesterday, I labored happily in my vegetable garden, one of my most favorite places to be. There are no vegetables to speak of at this moment, but there will be someday. I prepared the 4 beds, and they turned out looking like I just buried 4 people. See for yourself from the photo I took.

This week, I will continue my search for a local organic grower of vegetable seedlings. I would love to get a few starter ones, and plant the seeds of that same vegetable at the same time. It’s my little trick. I did that last May, with the tomatoes and had them for months. As the starter plants grew, matured and slowly died back, the seeds I planted came up, with brand new plants. I had bushels of tomatoes and they were absolutely delicious. The cherry tomatoes tasted as sweet as candy.

The Goose Pimpling Book

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009
We Are All Born Free

We Are All Born Free

We are all born free is an extraordinary book and I am proud to carry it in my store. It’s aimed at kids but can be enjoyed by grown ups as well. Actually that is a rule for me with children’s illustrated books: I have to like them as well, if I will read them to my children with aunthentic enthusiasm.

We are born free depicts the 30 articles from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and each one is illustrated by well known international children’s books illustrators.

This amazing book is published in association with Amnesty International, an organization made up of ordinary people from across the world standing up for humanity and human rights. Their purpose is to protect individuals wherever justice, fairness, freedom and truth are denied.

This book should be read by everyone, young and old.

Found: A Moth Trap that Works

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Moth TrapMoth TrapI was at a dinner last month, when I overheard someone talking about “moth traps.” It seems that an ingenious person has come up with the perfect moth trap: non toxic, doesn’t smell and traps the moths. I bought one and tested it out, as I do for all the products before they go in my store. This one is in my closet and as you can see from the rather awkward photo I took of it, that I now have 4 moths in the trap. I wrote the copy for the Moth Trap for my site a half hour ago, and there were only 3 moths in the trap then… Ha! Knowing that my beloved sweaters and scarves are safe at last is a beautiful thing.