Archive for August, 2012

Creative Activist

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

A Creative Activist is defined as an individual who is inspired to use media and the arts to create awareness of crucial issues and ignite positive action. I am definitely a Creative Activist and I have written this blog about why I feel it’s vitally important that we all get out and vote in November, and vote yes on Prop 37. I usually like to stay out of anything politically related, but in this case, I am making an exception. Voting is one of the few ways we actually can make a difference in this beautiful country of ours-the others being when we do jury duty and also, what you spend your money on.

Did you know… that Corn and Soy are the most GMO grown foods in the United States? I am including an informative link about GMO sweet corn that is enlightening :


Please join me in supporting Prop 37 and our right to know what’s in our food:

No matter what side of the fence you are on, I feel that we all should have the right to choose the food we buy for our families and know what’s in it.



Check out this list of all the companies that have donated towards defeating Prop 37. I can’t believe that some of the ones I have been buying from for years are on the list…So disappointing.


Labeling will not increase the price of food:

Quoting the Huffington Post: “To fight the initiative, seed giant Monsanto Co, soda and snack seller PepsiCo Inc and other opponents of the labeling measure have put up $25 million already and could raise up to $50 million.

Foodmakers, like carmakers, know that what starts in California has a fair chance of becoming the national law, or at least the national norm.

Unbeknownst to many Americans, some of the most popular U.S. GMO crops — corn, soybeans and canola — have been staple ingredients for years in virtually every type of packaged food, from soup and tofu to breakfast cereals and chips.

Supporters of the ballot initiative, who include food and environmental activists as well as organic growers, say consumers have the right to know what’s in the food they eat and want GMO products cut from the food chain.

A “yes” vote from the Golden State – home to about 10 percent of Americans – could upend the U.S. food business from farm to fork if it prompts makers of popular foods to dump GMO ingredients.”

read the whole piece:


Did you notice what I have had posted on my facebook page from years ago when I first joined?

Each of us have the power to change the world by what we buy.

I still believe that.


RePurposing Knee High Stockings

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012


For years, I’ve been tying back my gorgeous climbing wisteria on my pergolas with all manner of string, but recently, I found a much better way of securing those same vines: old knee high stockings. Cleaning out my sock drawer recently, I came across these sad socks with runs in them, which turns out make the best ties for the wisteria, which have tender vines to start when they first start growing. The sock does for the plant what string cannot-it not only doesn’t cut into the bark but it also stretches allowing the vine to grow.

Not throwing the socks into the trash, does make a difference in reducing the monumental amount of waste in our dumps as these socks aren’t remotely biodegradable and will be around forever. Rather good for garden ties, because those knee highs will be used over and over again.

2 of my stash of old knee high’s


All tied up


The socks may be permanent fixtures, if the wisteria needs ongoing support…



Harvesting Flower and Vegetable Seeds

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012


I’ve been collecting flower seeds since I was little, during my summers spent in Maine. I loved walking through my grandmothers rock gardens, and snapping off the dried pods from Lupines, Columbines and Coreopsis and shaking the seeds into a paper bag. When I became a mother, I would take my daughters Arielle and Lucie through the gardens and they helped me harvest those same seeds and we dropped them all through my family’s place, anticipating lots of flowers the following summer. We wanted flowers everywhere!

Harvesting flower seeds is one of my favorite garden tasks. I love collecting the dried pods, spreading the seed out on newspaper to dry and putting them in a labeled glass jar, with a silica gel packet to soak up any bits of moisture. I store them in my fridge until I’m ready to plant them again or in a cool, dry place.

How to collect seeds:

1-With garden sheers, cut and collect seed pods from your flowers, herbs and vegetables into a bucket, paper bag or whatever is handy. I love aprons because it’s so easy to stuff the pockets full of pods as you wander through the garden.

2-Try and keep the seed pods separate. Open up the pods and dry the seeds separately as well on newspaper in a cool/shade spot indoors or in a ventilated box outside. Make sure to keep the lid on, to discourage birds and rodents from serving themselves.

3-When the seeds feel dry, which can take a few days, I either put them into paper envelopes, labeling each one or I store them in re-purposed glass jars. I have loads of mustard and jam jars, which are perfect for seed storage. Drop a silica gel packet inside the jar-I save those packets whenever I find one in a parcel or in something I bought.

For beginners, this is my list of the easiest  seeds to harvest, dry and replant: Sunflower, Lupine, Columbine, Coreopsis, Cosmos, Marigold, Zinnia, Lettuce, all Beans, all Peas, Sorrel  and Cilantro.

It’s more important than ever that we all save seeds from our organic gardens, especially the herbs and vegetables and share those with our friends. Being able to grow your own food, year after year, using seeds from plants that you have grown is very satisfying, and feels fantastic being so self-sufficient. With GM seeds, you can’t do that. Long live organic seeds!

Just harvested Cosmos from my garden-A fun and  easy seed to collect

Cosmos seeds drying, with a few Mexican Sunflower seeds mixed in

Sunflower seeds are easy to harvest, just don’t let them dry out too much

Lovely dried Zinnia seeds

Herb and flower seeds in jars, ready to be given to some of my friends for Christmas

Mexican Sunflower seeds from my garden given to a fantastic gardener, my friend and film director Robert Dornhelm

My purple string beans growing from last years harvest. Just gorgeous!


For more info about seed collecting and buying:

The Seed Library of Los Angeles:

Seed Savers Exchange:

The Organic Seed Alliance: