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Monday, December 15, 2014

Warm Season Veggies for SoCal

Fried Green Tomatoes anyone? Tomatoes
are the star of most summer gardens
and the varieties to choose from!  
Lettuce Leaf, Genovese,
Beans - drying
Black Turtle, Cannellini
Beans – Lima
Beans- snap
Roc d’Or, Romano, Royal Burgundy
Sweet Corn
Golden Bantam, Country Gentleman
Lemon, Mideast Prolific, Armenian
Diamond, Rosa Bianca
Clemson's Spineless, Red Burgandy
Peppers (Sweet)
Banana, Corno di Toro,
Peppers (Hot)
Ancho, Jalapeňo,
Sugar Pie,
Squash (Summer)
Black Beauty, Lebanese White, Yellow Crookneck,
Squash (Winter)
Acorn, Chiriman, Queensland Blue,
Brandywine, Golden Jubilee, Italian Gold, Orange Sungold, Northern Delight, Stupice, Sweet 100’s, Garden Peach, Persimmon and about a thousand others!

Plant from seed or buy transplants at a nursery of fun warm-season annual flowers like marigolds, cleome (watch the stickers!), cosmos, sunflowers and zinnias. These warm season flowers make cheerful bouquets. You can also grow everlasting flowers like statice and gomphrena. The widest selection of flowers and vegetables is available to those who start their own from seed and order by mail from the catalogs above and many, many others.   

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Notes for Bees

1:00 Learning Garden – intro lecture
2:00 Bee Field trip
3:00 Snack time
3:20 Gardening
5:00 Dismissed  

Why are bees important to us?
Pollination – 3 out of every 5 bites
Honey bees are not native to the Americas
Mason Orchard bee

Africanized Bees – African genes are spread throughout the population of all wild bees in the warmer portions of the US – however, these genes are not all bad... they can be more aggressive, but they are also harder workers and more productive – all bees can be aggressive

Colony Collapse Disorder - since at least 2006Why?
Varroa mite
Industrial beekeeping
Shipping bees for pollinators
Or we just don't know...

Bee Losses from CCD
Future of the honey bee
Urban beekeeping

Introduction to practical beekeeping:

Equipment you need:
        Bee suit - covers your entire body except your hands
        Gloves - vented with sealable gauntlets 
        Veil - some have helmet inside; others you need a helmet with
I suggest purchasing these at LA Honey where you can try them on and get items that fit you. If I had purchased these items online, I would not have gotten the correct size.
Hive tool
Rags (some wet) (honey is sticky!)
Epi pen
Hive box(es) and frames
Couple of good books and a mentor


Los Angeles Honey Co
Address: 1559 Fishburn Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90063
Phone:(323) 264-2383

Saturday, October 18, 2014

How To Take A Soil Sample and Read The Soil Triangle

Taking soil samples for any kind of garden analysis should be done in a manner that will net you the results you need to make your garden more congenial to that part of the plant that lives in the soil – the roots. Roots for most of the plants in our gardens, live about 4 to 18 inches beneath the surface of the soil. Exceptions to this include most drought resistant plants (with roots that range some distance out and down) and other notoriously strong rooted plant – mention just about any weed and it will fall into that category. You want to take your sample around nine inches down. This method of taking a soil sample is effective for the soil triangle tests and is the preferred technique for soil samples sent to labs for testing.

  • Remove as much surface organic matter as possible before taking your soil sample.
  • Put approximately one cup of soil into a straight-sided quart jar with lid.
  • Add approximately one tablespoon of alum or Calgon bath beads – this is a surfactant to help the particles separate from one another.
  • Fill the jar with water almost to the top.
  • Shake vigorously for several minutes to get all the soil moistened. 
  • Let the jar stand undisturbed for at least one hour, separation continues for as long as 24 hours with some soils.
  • The soil mix will separate into layers. The longer it sits, the more distinct the layers will appear.
    Figure out the percentages of sand, silt, clay, and organic matter in the water – do not measure the water itself. The sand will be the bottom layer. Silt will be the next layer, followed by clay; the combination of these three should add up to 100%. Organic matter will float on top of the water and does not figure in the total of percentages..  
    Determine soil type by comparing percentages with soil triangle.
    Understanding soil type will help you know how to properly amend, fertilize, water, and plant so that you will have healthy, disease-resistant, and pest-resistant plants.

    What to do and How to do it

    Follow these steps to determine the name of your soil texture:

    1.Place the edge of a ruler at the point along the base of the triangle that represents the percent of sand in your sample. Position the ruler on or parallel to the lines which slant toward the base of the triangle.

    2.Place the edge of a second ruler at the point along the right side of the triangle that represents the percent of silt in your sample. Position the ruler on or parallel to the lines which slant toward the base of the triangle.

    3.Place the point of a pencil or water soluble marker at the point where the two rulers meet. Place the top edge of one of the rulers on the mark, and hold the ruler parallel to the horizontal lines. The number on the left should be the percent of clay in the sample.

    4.The descriptive name of the soil sample is written in the shaded area where the mark is located. If the mark should fall directly on a line between two descriptions, record both names.

    Feel the texture of a moist soil sample between your fingers.
    Sand will feel "gritty", while silt will feel like powder or flour.
    Clay will feel "sticky" and hard to squeeze, and will probably stick to your hand.
    Looking at the textural triangle, try to estimate how much sand, silt, or clay is in the sample.
    Find the name of the texture to which this soil corresponds; that will be the descriptive name of your soil.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Modern Backyard Food Production, Syllabus Fall 2014

Course Number: Biology X 489.6  

Instructor: David King

>>> Phone number and email address redacted. <<<

There are no prerequisites for this course, although some experience with gardening will prove useful.

All classes meet at The Learning Garden on the Venice High School campus where it can be hot and cold by turns – but reliably MUCH COOLER than other parts of Los Angeles. For your own comfort, please bring a sweater or coat to every class meeting. We will have access to a classroom for really rainy days; class will meet regardless of the weather. Expect to get wet or cold as we will be outside whenever possible.

The production, packaging, and transportation of food are large contributors to our global carbon emissions. Throughout the Los Angeles Basin, food gardens have sprung up to produce local healthy and nutritious fruits and vegetables while contributing energy and financial savings in difficult economic times. Using the history of growing food in the city in times of need as a template, this course explores how homegrown food can reduce your food budget and address environmental concerns. Participants each have a small plot for growing food where they can experiment with new ideas and enjoy their harvest. Topics include fruit trees, vegetables, and berries that do well in our climate as well as often overlooked food-producing perennials and how to grow food in modern city lots where the "back forty" describes square feet and not acres.

Textbooks Required:

Title Sunset Western Garden Book
Author Brenzel, Kathleen Norris (Editor)
Edition Feb. 2007
Publisher Sunset Books
ISBN 978-0376039170

There will be no assigned reading from the book, but it really is essential if you are gardening in Southern California. The most recent edition is not really necessary, it does have more data in it and with each edition, Sunset pays more respect to food gardening.

This will be supplemented by liberal postings on my Garden Notes blog, . I hope to post most of the material in the days prior to the class when it will be used.

Textbooks, Recommended:

Title:  The Kitchen Garden
Author Thompson, Sylvia
Edition First
Publisher Bantam Books
ISBN 0-553-08138-1
*(She has a companion cookbook that is worth investigation too!)
Title:  Heirloom Vegetable Gardening
Author Weaver, William Woys
Edition First
Publisher Henry Holt
ISBN 0-8050-4025-0
Impossible to find – out of print
Title:  Pests of the Garden and Small Farm
Author Flint, Mary Louise
Edition 2nd
Publisher Univ of California Agriculture & Natural Resources
ISBN 978- 0520218108
Title:  The Resilient Gardener

Author Deppe, Carol
Edition First
Publisher Chelsea Green
ISBN 978-1603580311

There will be no assigned reading from these books. The rest of the literature, as references, will prove invaluable to any serious student in this field. There will be bibliographies describing other books as the quarter progresses, I am a ferocious reader and not at all shy about suggesting books I like.

Course Schedule:

05 October
Introduction/Seed Starting/
12 October
Plot Assignment/SLOLA/Soils/Water/Light in Urban Gardens
19 October
12 Points to a Better Garden/Garden Tour/Tools/Varietals/ Soils concluded
26 October
Planting/Sheet composting Timing and Design/
02 November
09 November
Sustainability and Food Issues in Modern America/Supplies/Sources/Annuals/
16 November
Planting/Companions/Crop Rotation in a Small Garden/ Chicken Raising Sherilyn Powell-Wolf
23 November
Perennials/Bulbs as a part of your food supply/Beekeeping
07 December
Home orchard/Vines
14 December
Planning for Continuous Harvests/Potluck

(Syllabus may be changed as needed to reflect reality.)

Please note that November has a few holidays – we will need to ensure that watering happens to keep the plants alive while we all enjoy the celebrations. Remember, plants do not take a holiday. We will make a schedule for watering.

Point Assignment Structure
Class participation (and cooperation)

A grade of A
> 90%
Garden Journal

1 page write-up*

Planting Project

D and F

  • A sample one-page write up is the final page of this syllabus.
Please note, I try to grade you on your personal improvement. Cooperation is counted more than competition in my classes.

Office hours are by appointment only – please call or email me. I am willing to meet with you; I want you to learn; I do not want you to struggle. Please do not hesitate to call me, rather than try to talk to me in class when I can't really give you undivided attention. Extra points are available if you need to earn more credit.

Every week, we will prepare some seasonal food to eat. There are no places to buy food while in class and we are here for four hours. Students are encouraged to bring in food to share with the class at all meetings. Students should bring in their own plate and eating utensils so we can have a minimum waste event. The last class meeting will be a potluck where we will all share local and fresh food! (That's the point, right?)

The Learning Garden is open daily, 10 to 5:00 PM, every day except Monday and Tuesday. You are welcome to come here and work on your plot or just come and hang out. It's always best to call ahead to make sure I'm here as sometimes I have errands or meetings off campus.

Criteria for your garden plot grade:
  1. You should experiment and try something you have never done – explore!
  2. Your plot and adjacent pathways should be cleared of weeds.
  3. Your plot and adjacent pathways should be well mulched.
  4. Your plot should be attractive and be growing some food.
  5. Your journal should indicate you learned something from the plot.

The person who starts from seed vs. bringing in growing plants, will have plants not nearly as far along as the others – but stands to make a better grade if they have experimented with growing from seed – I am more interested that you LEARN in this class – just doing what you already have done doesn't teach you anything. We are all gardeners here, if we don't have patience yet, we soon will. Cultivate patience with your plants while in The Learning Garden.

All handouts (including this syllabus) will be available on the blog site:

BEETS Beta vulgaris
Botanical Information:
Chenopodiaceae, Goosefoot family
4 to 8” tall
Growing Season:
Spring, Fall and Winter
Seed to Harvest:
8 weeks or more
Spacing: 3” on a side
Seeds store: ~4

Choice Varieties: Chioggia, Burpee's Golden,

The sweet roots of beets are often over- looked because of their 'earthy' taste. The problem with most beets on dinner tables these days is that they've been out of the ground for a very long time – the earthiness overtakes the sweetness. These two beets, the Italian Chioggia and the Golden Beet from W. Atlee Burpee Co. breeding program in the late 1800's, are among the sweetest vegetables in any garden!

Starting the seeds: Direct sow in the garden, a short row every week or so all through the cool season

Growing: Keep the moisture as even as possible. Mulch the beets as soon as possible – don't cover their leaves, but bring the compost as close to the plants as you can without covering the leaves. Cut off the leaves of any that are too close together – throw the baby leaves in salads. Do try to give them enough space to make an edible root, an inch or so for those who want baby beets, two or more for larger roots.

Harvesting: Pull roots as you need them. Beets do not have to be pulled all at once and will hold in the garden for a few weeks – longer if it's cool out.

Preparation and Using: Beet greens can be used just the same as chard – they are, in fact, the same species, one bred for a root and the other for its leaves. They taste pretty much the same and can be cooked the same or used raw in salads.
Today, most folks don't realize that American sugar was beet sugar until the mid 1900's when we switched to 'pure cane sugar.' The roots, though, should be just par-boiled enough to get the skins to slip off. Slice them into convenient slices and sauté in orange juice until slightly al denté. This is a wonderfully sweet side dish. Cut red beets into heart shapes before sautéing and serve on Valentine's Day or another significant holiday for your love.

Problems: Not much in our climate, although snails and rodents will eat the baby leaves as they emerge.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fall 2014 Class Schedule

I have the class schedule completed and will post our syllabus sometime tomorrow.  

Course Schedule:

05 October
Introduction/Seed Starting
12 October
Plot Assignment/SLOLA/Soils/Water/Light in Urban Gardens
19 October
12 Points to a Better Garden/Garden Tour/Tools/Varietals
26 October
Planting/Sheet composting Timing and Design/
02 November
09 November
Sustainability and Food Issues in Modern America/Supplies/Sources/Annuals/
16 November
Planting/Companions/Crop Rotation in a Small Garden/ Chicken Raising Sherilyn Powell-Wolf
23 November
Perennials/Bulbs as a part of your food supply/Beekeeping
07 December
Home orchard/Vines
14 December

Planning for Continuous Harvests/Potluck

Monday, June 2, 2014

Data From The City of Los Angeles

You want data from the city of Los Angeles?  You can get it!  

Here's an interesting set of figures from the city website, I discovered from a friend on Facebook (it is not all the evil empire....)  

Both these screen shots are from Fiscal Year (FY) 2012-2013.  The figures below show the gallons of water consumed in zip codes 90063 and 90212. Zip code 90063 can be characterized as an East Los Angeles economically depressed area.  

Zip code 90212 can be characterized as Beverly Hills. The disparity in water consumption is, for all practical purposes, seven fold!   

So this web site can be a potent resource for gathering important data like water use by zip code - not a precise tool, but a valuable one none-the-less from which data can be extrapolated.    

Give it a try if you want to learn some things about the LA area... 


Sunday, May 25, 2014


We all got this notice from Extension Friday...

Dear Greener Gardens class,

This notice is to remind you that there will be no class next Monday, May 26th, due to the Memorial Day holiday.

Your next class will be June 2nd.

Thank you,

Amanda Wesley, Program Manager

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Documentary Movie Event: Growing Cities

I am privileged to serve on a panel after the viewing of this documentary along with Alexa Delwiche and Teague Weybright, two folks I've had the chance to work with in these past few years. Both are profoundly knowledgeable and I'm sure this will be a marvelous evening of provocative thinking and vision.

The Los Angeles Community Garden Council presents…

Sunday  June 1, 2014

3:45 to 6:00PM 

Park La Brea Movie Theater
475 S. Curson Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036

3:45PM – Arrive and enjoy healthy snacks.
4:00PM – The 60 minute movie starts.
5:00-6:00PM – Refreshments & discussion with local urban agriculture experts:
> Teague Weybright, Board President, LACGC
> Alexa Delwiche, Managing Dtr, LA Food Policy Council
> David King. Inaugural Chair, Seed Library of LA.

Adults: $14.00
Under 18: $10.00

To purchase tickets and get more information, go to:

Sponsored by:  LACGC & the Park La Brea Residents Association


Monday, May 12, 2014

Notes for 12 May Lecture....

There is no way to present this lecture in notes with any kind of depth - I've tried it several ways. This has some of the high points.

Month By Month Guide for Southern California: A 'Cheat Sheet'

These generalizations are for The Learning Garden, located in Sunset Zone 24, less than 3 miles from the Pacific Ocean in an alluvial plain that is just above sea level. Cold air from the surrounding hills drains into our area and we are reliably cooler than much of the surrounding areas. If you are growing inland from us, your temperatures fluctuate more than ours. As one gardens further from the ocean, the temperatures are less moderate and the effects of heat and cold are more pronounced. While we can grow some cool season crops year round (kale and chard come to mind first), this becomes more difficult without the ocean's pronounced influence. (Photo:  Bundles of fresh food are being sorted into individual packages for distribution with the Westside Produce Exchange for redistribution.)

Plant in the ground: lettuce, carrots, beets, parsnips, potatoes, celeriac, radishes, spinach
Harvest for lettuce @ 30 day+s; carrots 90 days; beets 75 days; parsnips 90+, potatoes 90 to 120 days, celeriac @ 100 days, radishes 40, spinach 40+

Harvest Production begins to pick up again later in the month – especially with rain, harvest root crops, peas, fava beans (you can use fava leaves for a pesto), chard and kale cabbages, broccoli, etc.

Plant in containers in a sheltered location: lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, kale, chard, (these last two can be started now, but they would have been better started earlier – their production will be reduced by the coming warmer weather), peas, fava beans, lentils, garbanzo beans

Plant in the ground: lettuce (and other salad greens), carrots, beets parsnips, radishes, spinach, purple beans

Harvest: late in the month, lettuce, radishes, spinach, thin beets and have baby beet leaves in your salad,

Plant in containers: early tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, summer squash

Plant in the ground: purple beans, lettuce, radishes, purple beans, beets, radishes, spinach, set out plants of basil, early tomatoes, later in the month, sow early sweet corn

Harvest more lettuce, beets, carrots, celeriac etc

Plant in containers: tomatoes, basil, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, melons, all squash

Plant in the ground: beans of all colors, lettuce, radishes, beets, spinach, set out plants of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, basil, you can start planting all corn now

Harvest purple beans, most of the winter crops

Plant in containers: tomatoes, basil, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, melons & squash, okra

Plant in the ground: all basil, eggplant, all melons and all squash (including cucumbers, set out plants of same and all tomatoes, eggplants and peppers) green and yellow beans and all the dried beans; corn too, if you have room

Harvest first of the zucchini and summer squashes, purple beans winter crops, garlic, leeks and onions

Plant in containers: As in April, but it's getting late – peppers, eggplants and basil are still OK to start, but it's getting late, did I say it was getting late?

Plant in the ground: all the above, but it's getting late... you can still get a crop, but it will be cut shorter by any early cool weather; the last of the corn can go in early in the month

Harvest first of the tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, beans, early sweet corn, the end of winter crops (in a normal year)

Plant in containers: pumpkin seeds, then take a nap

Plant in the ground only out of necessity any of the June plants, but they will have a hard time

Harvest EVERYTHING – this along with weeding and watering is your focus at this time of year.

Plant in containers: continue napping

Plant in the ground: nothing if you can avoid it


Plant in containers: towards the end of the month, in a shaded location, the first of the winter veggies can be started, cabbage, broccoli, kale, chard, fava beans, leeks, shallots, onions...

Plant in the ground: nothing, until mid-month, start sowing turnips, parsnips, radishes, beets and carrots – keep seeds moist! Peas, lentils and garbanzo beans can be sown...

Harvest last of the eggplants, peppers, basil, cucumbers, winter squash and beans. Tomatoes will hand on until October in most years.

Plant in containers: Cabbage, broccoli, kale, chard, favas, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts

Plant in the ground: set out some of your cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, chard and so on. Continue with seeds as above... you can also direct sow favas if you want. Potatoes can usually be found about now as well as sets or seed bubls of onions, garlic and shallots and they all should be planted from now until late November.

Harvest The first of the turnips and beets will be edible, you'll have carrots soon, might still have some basil and tomatoes,

Plant in containers: More Cruciferae and favas, celery and celeriac

Plant in the ground: More of September's plants can be sown – you still have time for all of them except onions, this will be the last month to plant peas, lentils, garbanzos, shallots, garlic and fava beans. Their growing season is too long to get the harvest you would want. Although the legumes can be planted if you are willing to take a lesser harvest or are using them as a cover (green manure) crop.

Harvest lettuce, early cabbage, some kale and chard leaves, radishes, turnips, carrots, beets,

Plant in containers: I'm still sowing cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower, but Brussels sprouts are a longer season item so they're not a part of my efforts until next season's planting begins.

Plant in the ground: Too little light and too many parties make it difficult to find garden time – but if you have some things left over from November, try to get that done.

Harvest a lot of veggies slow way down you will probably have leftovers from November, but not a lot of production. You'll find the chard and kale really begin to pump out while everything else slows down.

Plant in containers: Pretty much the same story, if you have time, do more of all that's listed from November.

There are two big shifts in Southern Californian gardening: At the end of September, beginning of October it's all about the winter crops. At the end of February, beginning of March, the focus all shifts to summer and the heat lovers. Seeds get started slightly before then (if you have the right conditions, up to six weeks before then!).


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Three Is A Charm - Our Field Trip to The LA River

A morning, 9 to noon, field trip visiting the Los Angeles River.  For Orchid and I, this is a favorite.  Our destination is the North Atwater Park.

View North Atwater Creek Restoration in a larger map

Chevy Chase Drive, once it makes that final right hand swoop, dead ends.  As that right hand swoop begins, the park itself is on the left.  On this map, almost exactly in the blue pin there is a parking lot where we will meet at 9:00 AM.  

This is a good field trip for a camera, and as usual plenty of water and layers of clothing. Wear walking shoes and we'll proceed south from the parking lot along the North Atwater Creek on down to the river proper and back again.  Not far and we will amble along without urgency.  

Some background data on the site is available online, here.
And some photos from the day it opened for a little prespective.  

We meet next on Monday the 12th be ready to take notes.  I have not found a satisfactory way of putting the data into a format that I can easily reproduce, so your notes are all you'll have.

Hope you will enjoy this trip and hope you're enjoying the class.


Friday, May 2, 2014

Field Trip to Garden/Garden and The Learning Garden Meets at 2:00 At Garden/Garden

This Saturday, May 3 will be our second field trip - this one is in the afternoon.  

For those of you wanting to be a part of Orchid's volunteer opportunity, please meet with her at Pasadena High School, 2925 E Sierra Madre Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107 at 8:00 AM.  

View Larger Map

Come dressed to get dirty, bring gloves, a shovel (if you have one), a hat, water, and protection from the sun.  You will not be graded on whether or not you come to this volunteer event.  It is completely voluntary!  

At 2:00 PM, we will start the field trip at Garden/Garden 1718 and 1724 Pearl Street in Santa Monica, across the street from the Main Campus on the backside.  (Bring quarters to feed the meter!) 

View Larger Map

The gardens are easy to find.  This will be decidedly cooler than Pasadena, but do plan on shielding yourself from the sun and have plenty of fluids on hand to stay hydrated. 

Approximately at 3:30, we will leave Garden/Garden driving east bound on Pearl to 23rd Street, turning right and staying on it as makes a curve near the Santa Monica Airport and changes its name to Walgrove Avenue.  

View Larger Map

Further south a number of blocks, just past Venice Blvd the first gate on your left is the entrance to The Learning Garden (what I call 'work').  Please find parking on Walgrove Avenue and walk into the garden.  We will be on campus till about 5:00.  

Hope to see you all there - this is a very informative field trip and then see you on Monday again!


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Shown In Class Last Night

After watching this film, how do you feel about the "low hanging fruit" of conservation? 

Everyone, remember this Saturday at 2:00PM (not time change from our syllabus!) we will meet at Garden Garden  - details and probably a map coming in the next couple of days... 


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Greener Gardens: Can We Grow Enough Food to Avoid a Planetary Dieback? - Link

Can we grow enough food to avoid a planetary dieback? - Lambert Strether says we can  on Naked Capitalism

Quoting from the post above:

"And we three are not alone. David Blume writes:
On approximately two acres— half of which was on a terraced 35 degree slope—I produced enough food to feed more than 300 people (with a peak of 450 people at one point), 49 weeks a year in my fully organic CSA on the edge of Silicon Valley . If I could do it there you can do it anywhere.
My point is not that everybody gets yields like this, but that yields like this are not exceptional. Do they take place on a larger, continental scale? Yes. Sharashkin, Gold, and Barham, “Sustainable Growing Practices in Russia,” University of Missouri – Columbia:
In Russia, microscale ecofarming is an extremely widespread, time – tested practice. Despite the minuscule size (600 m 2 ) of individual plots and absence of machinery, cultivators have demonstrated exceptional productivity, producing more potatoes, vegetables, berries, fruit, milk, and meat than commercial agriculture’s output of these products. Currently, with 35 million families (70% of Russia’s population) working 8 million [hectares] of land and producing more than 40% of Russia’s agricultural output, this is in all likelihood the most extensive microscale food production practice in any industrially developed nation.
So, 35 million into 8 million hectares is a bit less than a quarter hectare per patch, or an eighth of an acre (my size). And they get very good yield. (These numbers also suggest that my friend, David Bruce, and I are in no way exceptionally skilled.)
So, do these numbers scale up globally? On the back of the envelope, they do. From Prairie Soils & Crops Journal [PDF]:
In July 2009, the world population reached 6.790 billion and the global arable land area is estimated as 1.351 billion hectares (3.339 billion acres). This implies that arable land per capita on a global basis is 0.20 hectares per person (0.49 acres per person).
So, if Big Oil and Big Ag vanished from the face of the earth tomorrow — as perhaps, for the sake of mitigating climate change, they should do — we at least have the arable land to support 6.790 billion of us, on the back of the envelope; and if we consider I could support myself on 0.125 acres, and the Russian yields come with a growing season of around three months, we could have considerable margin. (See also here, here, and here.)"

I suggest reading the whole post for those in class interested in this issue as this small portion doesn't do justice to it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Greener Gardens: Site Analysis Homework

On your selected site, find at least the following: 

Distance to Geographic Features - Use Google Maps, Google Earth, or a map and a ruler.  
Plant Community
Soil Type
Water Source 
You may add any of the other constraints listed in class. 

Watershed - can be found here: 
Plant Community - can be found here: 
Slope  - Slope can be expressed in either in degrees, percentage or ratio. If in degrees, horizontal is 0 degrees, vertical is 90 degrees. Percentage is accomplished by measuring inches of fall in 100 inches. 2 inches of fall (measured downward from a level string) in 100 inches is 2% fall (or 2 cm of fall in 1 meter). Ratio is generally expressed in rise:run, so a 1:1 slope is one foot of rise to one foot of run. Rise is height, run is distance. A 1:1 slope is 45 degrees. Percentage is easiest for gentle slopes. 
Aspect - Which way does the slope face? If no slope, which way does the lot face?

Orchid Black

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

About Our Field Trip to the Lyle Center This Saturday

  • John T. Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies
  • Address: 4105 S University Dr, Pomona, CA 91768

  • Phone:(909) 869-5188

  • Go West on I10 to US 57 South; Exit at West Temple Drive, turn Right.  Pass the light at Campus Drive South, the next light will be your left turn to the Lyle Center.  Make a left and follow the winding road to the end, park and you will meet all of us just above the parking area. 

    You have my phone number if you need it.    

    4105 S University Dr
    Pomona, CA 91768
    View Larger Map

    Contents of this site, text and photography, are copyrighted 2009 through 2017 by David King - permission to use must be requested and given in writing.