Archive for the ‘Food Sovereignty’ Category

Garden Firsts: Columbine, Iris, Sea Kale, Rhododendron, Roses, and the Portable 2017 Garden

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Stunning columbines this year! It is crazy windy today, so some of these photos aren’t as clear as I’d like. Too pretty to keep to myself, though. 🙂

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Flowering sea kale, is an edible perennial that looks good all season. Even better, you can eat every single part from roots to shoots to leaves to buds to flowers:

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The first of many varieties of irises bloomed today:

This scabrosa rose makes huge hips, but the bees and I love the flowers, too:

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Ever since I was a child, rhododendrons have bloomed on my birthday. This one came a few days early, right behind a pink geranium I’ve overwintered since our time in Madison:

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I’m loving this rag tag, makeshift backdoor planter. I just stuck these pots outside to get them out of the way while moving plants as I made way for those from the blue house. This pineapple sage, red geranium, mystery plant, and ivy seem so happy and spontaneously coordinated, though, that I left them on concrete blocks I needed to move out of the garage anyway:

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Speaking of rag tag, this year’s annuals are very portable. Here’s my non-perennial and perennial cuttings garden, potted up and ready for a late June transplant to our new location:

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So far so good. I needed to empty our Garden Tower for easier moving, and I didn’t want to waste the soil. Ideally, containers begin with fresh soil, but I mixed in Epsom salts and worm castings to add nutrients. Once we arrive at the new spot, I’ll transplant these into 20 gallon fabric bags I bought for tender fruit and berry bushes. It will be a gradual shift to the permanent raised beds, but I got these huge, handled garden bags on a super discount. They and a strawberry filled Garden Tower will allow me to have a productive garden even as I observe the yard for more permanent hardscaping and planting.

At first, I thought I might skip gardening altogether this year, but I just can’t bring myself to do that! I’ve got big plans for edible perennials in our new front yard, and the backyard will have raised beds and container fruit trees and berry bushes. Rather than rush something permanent, I decided to compromise — give myself a fully productive garden in a very small space while I allow the land, shadows and microclimates to inform what happens longer term.

Updates to come …

Incremental and Lasting Change: Create New Systems and Safety Nets Before Summoning Destruction

Today’s post is actually a comment I left when Ines, the writer of the blog post “Starving the War Machine ~ Let’s Try This Again,” privately emailed me to challenge me to advise people to crash the financial system en masse. Her post throws down the gauntlet to “Hundreds and thousands of people in the Alternative Media and the great researchers, truthseekers, wanna be gurus and Cult leaders that come from all walks of life [and] pride themselves for the knowledge/information/intel they acquired” who continue to operate in the financial system. Apparently, one of my readers, Anthony, suggested in the comments section that Ines contact me, which she did. You can read her post by clicking through the above link. Here are my own thoughts on her ideas:

Thank you for emailing me Ines, and Anthony, thanks for the suggestion. While I personally spent many, many years starving the war machine and then later trying to get our community set up so that it could survive the kind of financial chaos Ines is championing, I have found that a) most people are not interested in self-sufficiency or even resilience; b) this sort of widespread chaos is exactly what the PTB are hoping for; and c) it takes money to get things in place as a safety net.

This is not an excuse. I have poured thousands of dollars into rehabbing land and creating a food forest, which I’m turning over to 5 other people when we move. I also use these gardens to make bumper crop food donations to local food banks, feed neighbors, friends and impoverished people I encounter. I address the issues in the most practical ways I find, which includes doing my best to get local communities to do what you, Ines, and I and others are personally doing: taking responsibility for ourselves, growing our own foods, using plants to heal, focusing on energetic as well as community resilience.

In America, we are nowhere near the level of resilience where I could in good conscience recommend people try to crash the financial system in a week. Right now there are not enough safety nets in place. We are moving to a city that has many more of these nets in place — several public food forests, many, many community gardens, an ethic of “Community Capitalism,” where those who do have money voluntarily funnel it back into local projects that support people and the earth. I forget where you live Continue reading

Victory for Ron Finley ~ The Gangsta Gardener Redefines the Victory Garden

Great news for anyone who has followed The Ron Finley Project on my blog or elsewhere: despite the big bank shenanigans that threatened to evict Ron and his beautiful community garden, Ron Finley fought wrongful eviction and won. This is a huge victory for communities and social justice. As Ron says, ““This is bigger than my garden. This is bigger than me, period.”

Back in World War 2, people planted victory gardens, turning lawns into food production and increasing self-sufficiency and healthy, fresh foods. Ron’s been fighting his own war in South Central Los Angeles — but his revolution is quite literally “radical,” from the roots. His garden teaches youth where their food comes from, how to grow it, and serves as a fresh source of nutrients and beauty in an otherwise food desert.

Thank you to all who donated money, time, Reiki, sharing and/or positive intentions and energy to help save the Ron Finley Project. You can read the details of this community triumph by clicking here. Victory is sweet!

Garden Update ~ Tulips, Trillium, Trout Lilies, and Trees

More blooms from the ever evolving yard! Today’s flowers celebrate the letter “T,” and represent just a small smattering of bee and butterfly delight. Yes, some hungry pollinators have already found our yard. In addition to the wild trillium I saved from a destroyed woods a few years ago, we’ve also got trout lilies from the same woods, along with still massive amounts of dandelions, plantain and wild violet, courtesy of Nature herself. I thought I’d share some of today’s more stunning displays:

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Behind those peachy beauties, you can see the later blooming magenta yarrow, which has become its own tough competitor in the colorful riot to dominate this permaculture haven. Continue reading

Garden Update: Wild Edibles and Spring Flowers

It felt so good to get out in the yard for an hour of work yesterday, before and after visiting with yet another friend harvesting our massive supply of miner’s lettuce. I cannot believe I’ve been futzing and fretting over my extremely poor luck at growing lettuce when we have such wild abundance. I might even call some farmers market vendors to see if they’d like to bring a few bags to market. This beautiful patch was hidden under a row cover, while silly me has been buying organic mixed greens on our trips to various co-ops and natural food stores:

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Miner’s lettuce, also called “claytonia,” “winter purslane,” or “Indian lettuce,” loves, cool, moist weather. A “foodie” green and wild edible, this patch has reseeded itself each year after a few scattered seeds in 2014. Usually a spring crop, Continue reading

Saving Ron Finley’s Gangsta Garden

I’ve previously posted about Ron Finley, aka “the Gangsta Gardener,” the world’s most famous “guerrilla gardener,” but I wanted to make a special post today as Ron and his team fight to save the beloved South Central Los Angeles community garden that has inspired so many people worldwide. Not only has Ron kept urban youth out of gangs and helped turn around health issues that directly stem from poverty — by  addressing the problem of food deserts in his area, he also started a movement with supporters and activists all around the world.

Here’s the TED talk that put Ron on the radar of so many movers, shakers, social justice warriors, and innovators:

Ron Finley’s ripple effect is huge! Along with Colette at Bealtaine Cottage, Ron was a key inspiration for me to accept the 2012 challenge of this crazy, horribly broken and ugly yard in Goshen. As David and I prepare voluntarily to transition elsewhere, Ron faces unwelcome and massive pressure from Strategic Acquisitions, Inc., who have threatened to evict him and destroy the entire Gangsta Garden if they don’t pay $500,000 by the end of this week. I’ve already signed the petition, donated, sent Reiki and also wrote a letter on their behalf to Strategic Acquisitions. Amazingly, they have raised over $318,000 from gardeners, fans, and high profile supporters like Bette Midler and Jason Mraz.

But they need more. If you click through to the latest update, you’ll find quotes from inspired people from around the world, including part of my letter urging Strategic Acquisitions to consider the opportunity for modeling community capitalism. It turns out that Maureen (“Mo”), the campaign manager knows Goshen well! Small world, but she visited here many years ago and wrote to personally thank me not only for my letter but also because she knows that Goshen “needs the love” I’ve poured into it these past 4.5 years.

Ron and his community have poured love into the Gangsta Garden for longer than that, and they’ve built a network of kindness, support and empowerment. This is much more than a garden. It’s a movement, and I hate to see some rapacious corporation devour all that love, nature, better health, and effort. If you feel so moved, please consider signing their petition, donating and/or sending a whole lotta love and Reiki their way. They’ve done a beautiful thing in South Central L.A. and touched hearts around the world.

I find myself crying as I type this, wanting so much to see humanity rise beyond those who would control our food, bodies, minds, hearts and souls. People like Ron and his Gangsta Garden crew have overcome so much and been the change they wish to see in the world. May they find whatever they need and receive fourfold blessings from this ordeal.

Heartfelt thanks and blessings to anyone who feels led to offer your support.

Garden Update: Bursting Forth and Bittersweet

I’ve been so busy with sessions and house hunting, which makes this season’s Dance of Spring a little bittersweet. The literally thousands of bulbs I’ve planted as recently as last Autumn have begun their smiling jigs and Sufi swirls. I still contend that this circle of miniature daffodils I planted around our North Star Cherry tree, visible from the stairwell’s window, was one of the very best gifts I’ve ever given myself:

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You can also see the chives poking through as they prepare to bloom in the season of alliums, while the Elfin Thyme ground cover awaits warmer weather.

As David and I view property after property, Continue reading