Dec 7, 2013 from 7pm to 11pm: Come celebrate our 20th Anniversary with Us!

We’d love to see you.

You are cordially invited to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Los Angeles Eco-Village on Saturday evening, December 7, 2013 from 7pm to 11pm. We are honoring our former school board member and former city council member Jackie Goldberg, and acknowledging the many people who have contributed to our community.

Wine, food, music, fun, silent auction, raffle, schmoozing, networking, hanging out with old friends, making new friends.  Your donation supports new demonstration eco-technologies for our Urban Soil-Tierra Urbana limited equity housing cooperative.
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It’s a fun raiser and a fund raiser.
Make your reservation by donating here:
Donation: $25 – $100 (or more if you’re able and up for it)*.
Timebankers:  $20 plus 5 Time Dollars to Urban Soil-Tierra Urbana
or RSVP here:  crsp@igc.org or 213/738-1254

*Donations above $25 are tax deductive
as CRSP (the fiscal sponsor for this event)
is a 501.c.3 tax exempt corporation.
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For a colorful electronic flyer to pass along to others, go to our website:
www.laecovillage.org

For newbies to our blog:
Los Angeles Eco-Village – Since 1993, LAEV members have been demonstrating how to reinvent urban life by integrating the social, economic and ecological systems of our neighborhood. We work at raising the quality of life while lowering our environmental impacts.

Examples include getting rid of many cars, walking and biking more, growing organic food, participating in our local Time Bank, removing land and housing from the speculative real estate market, home based livelihoods, regular community dinners and meetings, sponsoring public events on urban sustainability, engaging in the visual and performing arts, engaging with neighborhood kids and organizations, and more.

Julio Buddy August 07

Long time L.A. Eco-Villager Julio Santizo reads Diana Leafe Christian’s book Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools for Creating Ecovillages and Intentional Communities.  His pet bird “Buddy” (now gone) sits atop his head.

Large Apartment available in L.A. Eco-Village

Recent mulch delivery at 4-plex

Recent mulch delivery at 4-plex

This is a great opportunity for a household ready to take the big leap to live its dream for participating in the creation of a more sustainable city by example.  Take a look and see if your household qualifies:

Large two bedroom available in transit rich/bicycle friendly permaculture oriented neighborhood (about 3 miles west of downtown and 4 miles south of the Observatory as the crow flies).

The Beverly-Vermont Community Land Trust (BVCLT), a non-profit organization committed to securing permanently affordable, environmentally sensitive housing for low to moderate income households, owns a 4-plex in the L.A Eco-Village that it intends to convert from rental units to affordable condominiums in the next 3 years.  BVCLT is currently taking applications for a one-year lease with an option to purchase if the renter’s household meets purchaser qualifications and demonstrates timely rent payments. The building is located on the southeast corner of Bimini and White House Place. Opportunity to become a member of the LAEV Intentional Community. Approximately 1000 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, dining room, living room, kitchen, laundry room, shared front and back yards, extra closets.  Rent: $1200 per month plus gas and electric.  No parking. Car-free household or “on your way to car-free.”  Minimum of 2 people, not more than 4 people; families with children encouraged to apply. Length of lease: one year.  No pets. No smokers (residents or guests). Must be aligned with LA Eco-Village core values and BVCLT tenant guidelines

Move-in costs:  $3,000.  Includes 1st and last of  $1200 plus $600 cleaning deposit.

If you are interested, please email Kris Benjamin (140Bimini@gmail.com) to set up a time to view the unit and go over the application. Applications are due as soon as possible, and candidate selection will occur sometime in April.

Income restrictions:
Combined annual income of all people in the household
-Not less than $29,000
and
-Not more than $39,780 for a family of 2
-Not more than $44,760 for a family of 3
-Not more than $49,680 for a family of 4

Credit check and rental application fee:  $25. -4-year rental history check (provide addresses and contact information of previous residences)-Verification of employment and 2 months of pay stubs or comparable

Trampoline talk

When I zipped myself  into the safety-net of the trampoline, my body memories catapulted me 37 years into my past:

  • visiting a friend in Toronto;
  • pregnant with the 2nd;
  • exhausted by the 1st son’s frenetic attempts to leap tall buildings at a single bound.  (Did he emerge from my womb, or a telephone booth?);
  • sitting on bleachers that surrounded the sand-filled arena of parent-kid heaven: every imaginable climbing devise, swings, tunnels – and no way to escape, because we were all surrounded by a gigantic net.

Releasing the burden of vigilance, I was able to have a real conversation with my friend.

Living adjacent to the trampoline at LAEV, I’ve noticed that it seems to be a conversation magnet.  Now, sitting on it, entertained by the staggering toddler who bounced, rolled and fell safely against the net, I could, again, release the burden of vigilance and enjoy an adult conversation with the child’s mom.

Secrets of Seed Saving Workshop

On Saturday, fellow Eco-Villager Nichole and I trekked over to Whittier for the Secrets of Seed Saving workshop. It was held at the Strub Avenue Farm and Garden, a wonderful backyard farm which is part of a network of urban backyard farms called Whittier Backyard Farms.

We were lucky to have horticulturalist David King instruct the workshop (left). He is the garden master of The Learning Garden in Venice, CA, author of the LA Garden Blog, and chair of the Seed Library of Los Angeles, and gave a fun and informative workshop on how to save seeds and the importance of doing so.

David explained the nuts and bolts of how to save seeds for a variety of vegetables. This included how to allow plants to go to seed, and drying, harvesting and storing seeds. He also covered ways to minimize cross pollination between different species of  the same genus by practices such as hand pollination and covering crops with fabric.

The most compelling part of the workshop for me was the why. Why save seeds?

Traditionally, farmers and gardeners would harvest and save seeds for future growing. In the past several decades, there has been a major shift to purchasing seed annually from commercial seed suppliers, and seeds are commonly developed so that the plants you grow from them do not produce seed that will reproduce the same plant. This has dramatically increased the dependency on commercial seed companies.


There has also been a sharp decrease in the variety of seeds over the past century. This handout (right) David gave us shows that there were 408 varieties of tomato seeds available in 1903, and only 79 available in 1983. This is a pattern across many vegetables.  The reason this is dangerous, David explains, is that if we are commercially growing only a few varieties on a large scale, and a pest or disease attacks one variety, then we could  risk major food shortages. He gave the example of the Irish Potato Famine where there were only 2 varieties of potatoes being grown. A wider variety means more diverse traits, such as different vulnerabilities and strengths to different conditions.

After the workshop, the hosts provided a delicious lunch featuring food from the garden. The meal was followed by a seed swap where people shared seeds they either bought or saved. I happily came home with arugula, kale, poppy, calendula, dill and okra seeds.

I am newly inspired to continue to grow food, save seeds and share seeds. Thanks to Megan from Strub Family Farm and Garden for organizing the workshop.

Within Reach Movie Screens Tomorrow at LAEV

Within Reach L.A. Premiere – Tomorrow at LAEV

Come on over to L.A. Eco-Village tomorrow night – Tuesday July 24th 2012 – and watch the new documentary Within Reach. It’s the story of a couple bike touring around the United States – in search of community – with stops at various intentional communities, including Los Angeles Eco-Village.  Continue reading

Let’s Have An s4p Plaza Right Quick!

More Streets for People Coming to Los Angeles Soon:
Great Opportunity for Neighborhoods Councils

Stephanie Speights is in the Masters Program in Urban Sustainability at Antioch University  in Culver City. She’s doing an internship with CRSP here in L.A. Eco-Village and has a passion for transportation issues.  She’ll be working with our community and neighborhood on the process and a plan for transforming our alleyway and a portion of Bimini Place into a mini park, thereby radically reducing traffic in LAEV and generating a variety of other benefits for the neighborhood.

Architect & President, L.A. City Planning Commission Bill Roschen with L.A. Eco-Village Transportation Intern Stephanie Speights at s4p meeting.

On Wednesday, May 16th, Stephanie and I attended a meeting at the LA office of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) where Architect and president of the L.A. City Planning Commission, Bill Roschen, gave a presentation on the City’s s4p program, along with Public Health Policy Analyst Margot Ocañas.

By now, most of you have heard about the City’s first s4p project, the Sunset Plaza triangle (at Griffith Park Blvd. and Sunset in the Silverlake area), or if you haven’t, check it out here: http://flyingpigeon-la.com/2012/03/a-place-in-the-sun/

What most of us probably hadn’t heard is that the 11,000 square foot plaza was accomplished by the City in partnership with local community groups in an unprecedented four months and for under $30,000! (Of course, the community groups worked and advocated for this many years before the City actually got involved).

Planning Commissioner Roschen is passionate about  pedestrianizing our city.  Inspired by New York City’s transformation of Broadway Continue reading