Monday, January 14, 2008

looking forward / looking back (for the week)

A Meeting about Collaborative Technology such as this blog

Most important regarding the existence of this blog is the upcoming tech meeting on Sunday, the 20th. This meeting was made possible by collaborators at the SD Food Not Lawns Meeting this past Wednesday.

If you are interested in this blog or in similar technology that could help residents of SD/TJ who are dedicated to caring for the commons to collaborate, please be there.

We'll probably have another meeting to help people learn how to contribute to the maps, calendars, and blog later on, depending on what we discuss at the meeting.

In other news, activities related to "design, plant, harvest" have blossomed for me since the last post. In addition, I'm aware I need to be getting on to planting the real garden, not the Internet garden, so this site could be left somewhat fallow for a while--and I hope the seeds I've planted here may lead to some growth (contribute! post! volunteer to be an editor!) until I can tend to it again.

A visitor from Idaho

Don, a guy who has (in the past) grown all his food for one year and who has 1200 lbs of squash he grew (and gallons and gallons of dried fruit, and all sorts of other stored crops) in storage on his property in Idaho has come to visit. I wander around with him and we collect fruit and greens and I get to learn a bit from his curiosity about the plants that grow here--many unfamiliar to him.

A Popping Calendar

If you haven't taken a look at the event calendar for a while, do--see how overfull it has suddenly become. I think this is mostly due to Mariah's work on the SDFNL event calendar and, but it has also been dependent on Marc with the SD Sustainability Meetup, and JoAnn with the SD Community Farms and Gardens Meetup, and many others adding their various events.

Film Screenings

JoAnn Cofrancesco
figured out how to be able to show films at the San Diego Public Libraries. I hope to get some films screened at the College/Rolando library soon. See Hopedance if you need ideas of films to screen.

Native Gardens

Saturday there was a class on growing native plant gardens. This was put on by Alrie Middlebrook of the California Native Garden Foundation. She gave a powerpoint lecture for the first half of the day and in the afternoon guided a tour around the North Park neighborhood. We visited a few houses with native plant gardens and a neglected native garden in Balboa Park at Albany and Morley Field Drive.

I wanted to attend this because of a video I hope to screen that was created by Joshua Byrne and Gardening Australia. Josh converts a suburban home in a climate somewhat similar to ours into a permaculture homestead. Among the elements he adds is a "native verge"-- he plants the strip between the sidewalk and the streets with plants native to Perth, Australia.

Adding to my interest, Don and I found a verge we can plant that is not far from City Farmer's Nursery. We may get to planting it on Friday. The woman whose verge it is was at City Farmer's asking about astroturf. . .

Tree Pruning

And on Sunday, Paul and Matt of SD Food Not Lawns led a tree pruning workshop at Candy Vanderhoff's house. Trees in this case were limited to stonefruit type trees: primarily peach, plum, apple--all trees that are dormant at this time of year.

Here's the finished product:

It was great fun! (we spent almost the whole time on one tree and had great food to eat.) I hope someone else who was there might want to write more.

Mission Trails and the Garden Plan

So, I've left Don at Mission Trails for the day and I'm headed home to meditate on the garden plan for the future.

City Repair

and Candy and Julia D. and others are bringing City Repair to San Diego. This is wonderful. The first meeting is tomorrow evening. Tuesday, 1/15.

Where this may be headed

I want to reinvigorate the College/Rolando/El Cerrito-Area Gardeners, a group I helped start early last year. I hope to use what I learn at the workshops I have to travel to to share what I learn with the people in my neighborhood. Maybe I'll eventually work as a sort of ecological landscaper in the neighborhood.

Don and I have been doing a lot of biking around the past few days. It's time to stay put for a while.

Garden Goals

Don's arrival and his bringing of great food (squash he grew, onions he grew, cooked, and dried, grape juice concentrate--a paste--from grapes he grew--a tingly taste of vitality--, bread we baked, jujube's we found. . .) and Mariah's great mix of CSA vegetables she cooked up for the FNL meeting reminded me of how good it is to . . .

I'm not sure what I'm getting at. Something about good food and squash.

The goal is to grow 365 squashes. So I don't run out.

And to get some perennial pepper plants growing.

And to begin the planning from the in-your-dreams perspective of having total control and unlimited resources to modify the property. Then to scale it down. And to attempt to integrate more of the permaculture-type systems: rainwater collection, for one. I'm off to do that now!

Yes! Magazine

Don brought with him a copy of the most recent Yes! Magazine.

It is a wonderful thing.

(Maybe the kind of randomness that follows isn't good for this kind of blog--if we ever get some editors, we can re-consider this)

Here are some notes I took from that issue:

The Commons Rising -- Tomales Bay Institute (google) (

p 19. "The best antidote to the fear, helplessness, and isolation that drives people into apathy is community and joy." Gelder, Pibel.

"The leadership of ordinary people" is what is needed now.

The Start Now Farm in Bremerton, Washington. (google) (they grow food on their roof and city lot--enough for themselves and to sell at a farmers' market)

The Church of Stop Shopping (google)

squatting: & & &

"walk-out challenge" (google)

Pete Seeger, Clearwater (wikipedia)

and I've updated my links page.

If I run out of non-computer things to do, I'll come back here and look at them.

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