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Thursday, July 21, 2011

River Field Trip This Saturday

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We will be meeting at the intersection of Laurelgrove Avenue and Valleyheart Drive, at 10 AM. In the book, Down by The Los Angeles River by Joe Linton, it is supposedly found on Thomas Guide page 562 in the F5 grid – if you are still using a Thomas Guide. For more modern folks, the Google map will be more helpful.  (You can search on Google or MapQuest by intersection, you don't need a street number.)

Dress according to the weather, which by all I hear, will be stinking hot and bring enough water.  

The river channel here is concrete, this is a great place to walk and see native plants. It is popular with pedestrians, joggers, and dogwalkers.

For those of you interested in the Los Angeles River, this guide by Joe Linton is a fantastic resource for field trips all along the length of LA River and tributaries. It's really a tour guide to our own river with suggestions for hikes, walks and bike rides. Interesting art and watering holes nearby are frequently mentioned. I have found a lot of wonderful 'things to do' in this book and my copy is well worn.

We will probably be finished by noon.

There is a secondary tour later in the day for those who can't make the instructor sponsored tour at 10. I'm sure Roger, with the signs and his familiarity of the river's ecology, will do a marvelous job. 


Friday, July 15, 2011

Bibliography for Sustainability

Deep Economy, The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future, McKibben, Bill, ©2007 Times Books Want a dose of hope? Here. McKibben has delved into a variety of alternative choices to find examples of human civilizations that actually approach creating a viable economy and lifestyle that considerably reduce man’s impact on the world
Easy Green Living, Loux, RenĂ©e ©2008, Rodale Inc. Breeziness belying a difficult resource book that will help you shop through the sustainable hype. A compendium of little helpful hints (the Heloise of our time?) and deciphering clues of labels and claims. She covers everything from the bathroom to light bulbs and beyond, helping delineate what the labels mean with all those fifteen syllable words on them.
In Defense of Food, An Eaters’ Manifesto, Pollan, Michael, ©2008, Penguin Press; This is the ‘sequel’ to The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. Both of these books, with Pollan’s inimitable style present the way our current food production damages our ecosystem and our health! ‘Dilemma’ bares the scars on our earth and ‘Defense’ reveals how our personal health has been compromised by the promise of ‘cheap food.’ It aint cheap and it aint food.

Kitchen Literacy, Vileisis, Ann, ©2008 Island Press, Along the lines of the Pollan books, Vileisis brings us back to the knowledge every cook had in days before we let the ‘experts’ and the government tell us what to eat and why. Turns out it was better for us and for the earth.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle Kingsolver, Barbara et al © 2007 Harper Collins, When less is really more. Kingsolver and her family agree to eat only foods produced within 100 miles of their West Virginia home (everyone was allowed one exception and her husband chose coffee marking him as a sensible man) for one year. The story of how they did it and the results they achieved makes delightful reading and food for thought.
The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook, De Rothschild, David, ©2007, Rodale Inc. A lot of statistics that just overwhelm a person, but a viable list of Things To Do Today and beyond. Probably one of the more easily digested books of this contemporary genre.
The Lost Language of Plants, Buhner, Stephen Harrod, ©2002 Chelsea Green Publishing Getting well should not get the earth sick. This is the ecological ‘why’ of alternative medicine, but be warned, you will never look as a fashionable layer of mascara the same way again either!


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Garden/Garden Field Trip

garden/garden on a Google map
A show of hands tonight in class made it obvious that moving the field trip to the afternoon impacted fewer folks than holding it in the morning; hence the field trip time is officially 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM - covering the three hours of instruction you have paid for.  We will begin with Orchid telling us about the plants at garden/garden, 1724 & 1718 Pearl St. Santa Monica, CA 90405.  Before the visit, a perusal of the website about garden/garden might prove instructive.

We will be there for approximately an hour and a half and then move down to The Learning Garden at the intersection of Walgrove Avenue and Venice Blvd.  The entrance to the Garden is the first gate on your left off Walgrove, south of Venice Blvd.  It is but a few minutes drive from garden/garden.  

At The Learning Garden Orchid and I will have a question and answer session. I will introduce everyone to drip irrigation - we will see one drip installation and talk about the pro's and con's of drip irrigation and actually work with parts of a system to get a feel for it; we will also discuss other watering strategies.  Those who want to may take a tour of The Learning Garden and learn more about what we do there.  

I hope to see everyone there who can make it - those who can't should get in contact with me at your earliest convenience to set up times to do at least some of the field trip at The Learning Garden.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Field Trip This Saturday - Scheduling Conflicts?

Greener Gardeners:  

It has been pointed out to me that two other Extension Horticulture classes with some of our students have field trips this Saturday as well.  Because field trips are considered part of your instruction hours and you are expected to be there, this puts you in a bind - which instructor do you snub or what information do you dare miss?  

Orchid and I would like to do our best to ameliorate the situation and so tomorrow evening, I will present an option to the class that we do an afternoon field trip - from 1 to 3:00 PM.  If we can't agree on that, we'll revert to the original plan - BUT those of you having conflicts with our future field trips need to let us know as soon as possible so we can immediately look for solutions.  

I don't know that we CAN, but we will try.  One fine sunshiney day, Extension will require all instructors to submit their syllabus in advance so this can be done before the quarter starts, but until that glorious day, we muddle through as best we can.  

See you tomorrow night!

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