HOT compost system – now what?

Let’s resume  this cliff hanger from the previous post

Words can’t begin to praise Kurt and Nils for how skillfully and amicably they work together. Their creation is so beautiful I don’t want to get it dirty!

Soak the earth-floor of each bin.

Finished compost left in the old hot compost system was spread on the bottom of each section and soaked to create moist conditions for composting critters.

Sort garden waste into green and brown piles, max. 1/4″ diameter & 18″ long.

Let greens dry before adding to compost because there’s enough green from kitchen scraps to make a 2:1 ratio of green to brown.

Add a layer of reedy stems – breathing tubes – if you have them.

Layer dry – brown – leaves & stems

Collect vegetarian food scraps

Add food scraps & spread them out.

Cover with another brown layer, rinse out the food bucket & add water around the pile.

If you made a mess when you added garden waste, please sweep it.

Now you have composting bragging rights.  When we left off composting last year, we were processing at least 2000 lbs – 1 ton – of food scraps per year.   We have more people living here now, so I bet our numbers increase.

I had the privilege of meeting with Mayor Garcetti this week

I was honored and delighted to have a personal meeting with the Mayor this week. The Mayor goes way back with LAEV to before he became our Councilman, and we only owned one property instead of four.  So it’s always a delight to see how far both he and LAEV have come in the past dozen years or so.  I asked if we could take a photo, so I could have bragging rights when he’s our President some day.

Here a few of the topics we got to talk about, each of which the Mayor was supportive of.  Still a ways to go on advocacy work.  But with the help of the “less cars” folks, the permaculture folks, Teresa  Baker and her LATCH Collective, Hans Johnson leading the Styrofoam ban, and LAUSD Superintendent Michelle King, and, of course, the passionate folks who live in/at the Los Angeles Eco-Village, it’s all within reach!

  • Return the original intent of AB 744 for car-free affordable housing
    Mayor Garcetti and Lois

    Mayor Garcetti and Lois

    developments near transit.   The City watered this bill down so that developers couldn’t go less than 0.5 spaces per unit.  LAEV could demonstrate this for our future developments.

  • Tiny House Villages, legalize them, even on wheels.
  • Hillside terracing, using permaculture techniques for catching rainwater.
  • Joint City/LAUSD use of playgrounds during off-school hours
  • Styrofoam ban.  Let’s do it.
  • Vision Zero.  A few additional ideas.
  • Potholes and buses.  Best cost/benefits.

Let me know if you want a copy of what I recommended about these items.



Kick off party for Pacific Electric, a worker owned co-op

Pacific Electric LogoPacific Electric is a full service electrical and solar contracting firm and a worker owned coop.  They are having a kick off party at the L.A. Eco Village on Friday, April 25 at 6pm and you are invited.

Make sure to check out their website to get an idea of the range of services they can provide and some cool pictures of their portfolio:

More info on the event:

What: Pacific electric coop kick off party.  Enjoy some homemade food, locally brewed beer and cider.  Music by DJ Nova Jade.  Live music by Pawing at the Ceiling.  Featuring locally crafted pendant lights by Melba Thorne.

When: Friday, April 25, 2014.  6pm

where: L.A Eco-Village, 117 Bimini PL, LA 90004.  map



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 ( 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
-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

Oppose Unsafe Restart of San Onofre 12/14/12 in City Hall

LA City Council To Vote Tomorrow, Friday December 14 
On Resolution To Oppose Unsafe Restart of San Onofre

This is an issue that is near and dear to the hearts of many of us who have followed the events and on-going disasters at Fukushima.

1. Please call your Los Angeles City Councilmember and tell them you support the Koretz/Rosendahl resolution on San Onofre safety!
To find out who your Councilmember is, go to this link:  Go to the bottom right hand side of the page where it says “Neighborhood Resources” and type in your address.
2. Please show up at the meeting tomorrow. It is enough to stand up and be counted, when one of the speakers tells everyone in support of the resolution to stand up. If you want to speak, you will have about a minute. The most important message you can give is that you are an LA resident, you are concerned about safety, and you support the resolution. If you are not from LA, it would be most helpful to stand up and be counted, since the Councilmembers will prioritize LA constituents.
WHEN: The council meets tomorrow, Friday, December 14 at 10 a.m. at City Hall, 200 North Spring Street. Please arrive at 9:30 to have time to go through security.

L.A. Free Market to Open June 21st 2012 in Northridge

The new Free Store in Los Angeles has been renamed (twice!!) to the “Los Angeles Free Market.” They has found a home and will be opening next week, here are the details from Laura Smith: (post updated 17+18 June 2012)

The new home of L.A.’s newest Free Store: Robert M. Wilkinson Senior Center in Northridge – photo via Google street view

Mark your calendars! The grand opening of the Los Angeles Free Market  will be on Thursday, June 21st 2012 from 5:30-9:30pm! Location? The Robert M. Wilkinson Multipurpose Senior Citizen Center in Vanalden Park. It’s on Vanalden Avenue at Nordhoff Street, adjacent to the Northridge Metrolink Station, Aliso Canyon Creek, and just west of Cal State Northridge. The address is 8956 Vanalden Ave., Northridge, CA 91324. Following the opening, weekly hours will be Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays from 5:30-9:30pm.  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:

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

L.A. Free Store Searching For Home

Laura Smith is setting up a Free Store in Los Angeles next month! It sounds like a great idea, so I am passing her query along to potential L.A. collaborators via the Eco-Village blog:

Free L.A.’s free store will be somewhat similar to this Fo’ Real Free Market from Richmond, Virginia

Vassar College student and L.A.-native Laura Smith is dedicating her summer to establishing a free store in Los Angeles.

Set to launch in June 2012, Free L.A. will seek to divert waste and promote reuse while spreading awareness and engaging the community in dialogue about environmental and social issues. All items in the store will be free — it will operate on donations, namely clothing, books, and CDs — and it will incorporate a time-share and skill-exchange component. It will be a space in which community organizations and individuals can host free events for the public, including themed discussions and workshops, even events ranging from knitting lessons to yoga classes to open mics.  Continue reading

Lesser-known Mayor Villaraigosa Open Letters

The better-known mayoral letter to Occupy L.A. - click for pdf

I was forwarded Mayor Villaraigosa’s open letter to Occupy L.A., which is all over, including at the mayor’s facebook page. It was forwarded to the Eco-Village listserve by Eco-Village’s founder.

Today, reclusive Eco-Village resident Greenbelly Chan forwarded me these two additional letters from the mayor. One is addressed to Bank of America, the other to the American Medical Association. I can’t verify that these are actually from the mayor, but they appear to be written in a similar style to the mayoral Occupy L.A. letter.

I present them here unconfirmed and unabridged – can anyone verify if these were actually sent? Are they for real? Is the rumor true that LAPD will be raiding and shutting down these menaces soon?

Unconfirmed Letter from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to Bank of America:

November 25, 2011

To Bank of America and the Greater Corporate Banking Industry:

This summer our national political conversation was consumed by debt ceilings and deficit reduction. Our national leaders were single-mindedly focused on cutting spending and cutting services. Issues of social justice and economic equality sat neglected and ignored on the political sidelines.

You have changed that. In a few short years, your greedy misdeeds have awakened the country’s conscience.  Your foreclosures have activated voices not often heard. You’ve sent piles of past due notices to the middle class families who wonder how they will get by. You’ve been instrumental on piling debt onto the students who made the grades and have graduated into a job market woefully short on prospects and possibility. You’ve systematically screwed over homeowners who, through no fault of their own, have fallen on hard times and have lost their homes and life’s saving. You bankers have gotten so rich on the misery of the people who face the bitter prospect of an American Dream that grows more and more elusive every day.  Continue reading

Music Event/Food Sat Night 5/7 from 6 to midnight

Sat., May 7, 2011 from 6 pm to midnight at L.A. Eco-Village

Music! Music! Music! Different kinds. Some loud! Some soft!
Bands Single performers Duos
Electronic. Amplified. Acoustic
Some you’ve heard of; some not.

Fundraiser for L.A. Eco-Villagers’ and Friends’ Burning Man Cafe
$5 to $20 sliding scale.

Cafe Negro at Burning Man provides FREE Cafecito Organico coffee and musical entertainment to Burning Man attendees.

Please help us do it again this year, and support local businesses and fair trade organic coffee!

6 to 9 pm:  BBQ
8 pm to midnight: Music:
The Atomic Bomb Audition, The Shirley Rolls, fitter, Thiago Winterstein, Dust4ngel, Astronovazz, Telematique and more

Dunkelbunt Brewery Beer available by donation.

No reservations required.

Eco-Village Hosts Streetsblog Fundraiser Tonight – Friday April 15th 2011

You’re invited to Fun-Fun-Fundraiser for L.A. Streetsblog
 at L.A. Eco-Village on Friday April 15th!

Help L.A. Streetsblog Thrive

Host Committee

Joe Anthony (Bike Commuter News)
Lois Arkin (L.A. Eco-Village)
Bobby Gadda (CicLAvia, L.A. County Bicycle Coalition,
Bicycle Kitchen, L.A. Eco-Village)
Herbie Huff (L.A. County Bicycle Coalition, Meek Adjustments)
Jimmy Lizama (L.A. Eco-Village)
Kelly Martin (Bicycle Kitchen)
Eric Metz (CicLAvia, L.A. Streetcar)
Aurisha Smolarski (former Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition,
L.A. Eco-Village)
Elson Trinidad (East Hollywood Neighborhood Council)
Stephen Villavaso (CicLAvia, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition)
Don “Roadblock” Ward (Midnight Ridazz, Safe Streets Northridge)
[ afiliations shown for purposes of identification –
does not  imply organizational endorsement ]

  and the L.A. Streetsblog Board will also be pitching in: Joel Epstein, Dana Gabbard, Joe Linton, Jessica Meaney, Deborah Murphy, James Rojas, Carter Rubin and Jocelyn Vivar.

Come on down and show your support!

There will be yummy vittles and New Belgium brews. Delicious snacks, entres and desserts. Plus the world premiere of a new CicLAvia 4.10.2011 Streetfilm! And it’s a great opportunity to support L.A. Streetsblog – a great source for the latest information on transportation and livability issues.

It’s 6pm tonight. RSVP via facebook event – or just show up. Suggested $20 donation at the door – though pay as much or as little as you can.

6pm-8pm tonight Friday April 15th 2011 at the Los Angeles Eco-Village, 117 Bimini Place, L.A. 90004 – one block east of Vermont Avenue at First Street. Easy access from the Metro Red Line Beverly/Vermont station – just walk two blocks south, then one block east.

Anti-Gentrification Rally at the Rayfield

Watch this video, by Jerold Kress of the Bresee Foundation, to see the recent protest at the Rayfield building, located at the northwest corner of Bimini and 2nd Street. According to Bresee Community News:

…protesters gathered in our park to mount a protest against gentrification they claim is happening at the [Rayfield].  The protesters are upset that Latinos are being targeted for eviction and replaced by more affluent renters.  Continue reading

Diana Leafe Christian Ecovillage Talk Feb. 22

If you haven’t heard Diana’s talk before, don’t miss this one.  OR if you have heard it, you won’t want to miss this one either, because it’s new and better than ever!

Ecovillages: Where They Are, What They’re Doing, Why They’re Important
Diana Leafe Christian (in person)

Diana Leafe Christian

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 7:30 pm
at L.A. Eco-Village
117 Bimini Pl, LA 90004  directions

Fee: $10 to $5 (sliding scale)
Reservations required: or 213/738-1254

With over 400 photos, this slide show demonstrates how ecovillages worldwide integrate ecological, economic, and social/cultural/spiritual sustainability, through:

• Permaculture design
• International peace activism
• Natural building
• Service to populations in need
• Renewable energy/off-grid power
• Local currencies
• Alternative technology
• On-site cottage industries
• Sustainable agriculture
• Participatory decision-making
• Earth-restoraton projects
• Conflict resolution & communication skills

WHY people are devoted to developing ecological settlements.
HOW ecovillages are beneficially influencing the wider culture.
HOW ecovillages will probably affect patterns of human settlement in the near future.

Continue reading

Loan Your Dollars for Local Ecological Good

Eco-Village is looking for some investors. Eco-Village’s non-profit parent, the Cooperative Resources and Services ProjectCRSP,” has utilized an innovative Ecological Revolving Loan FundELF” to crowd-source purchasing property for permanent ecological and affordability benefits.

Help crowdsource Eco-Village's purchase of additional housing!

In 1996, CRSP purchased our initial 40-unit apartment building at 117 Bimini Place. In 1999, we expanded by purchasing the adjacent 8-unit Bimini Terrace. These two apartment buildings have been instrumental to the success of the eco-village project. They’re where we live, gardengatherdine, host, even give birth. They’re where we’ve planted fruit trees, spread compost and mulch, harvested rain, installed solar and greywater, where we steward bees and chickens, where we helped incubate the Bicycle Kitchen, Cafecito Organico and CicLAvia.

Both of these buildings were purchased with no bank loans. Really. No bank loans. Through the Ecological Revolving Loan Fund, eco-village borrowed money from from friends and supporters. By cobbling together more than 20 loans from $3000 to about $100,000, CRSP was able to purchase Los Angeles real estate. Using rental income, these loans were all paid back, with modest interest. I can vouch for this. In 1998-99, I loaned the eco-village ELF $3000 at 3% interest per year. I received semi-annual interest checks, and the principal was repaid in 2002-03.

Los Angeles Eco-Village and CRSP, working through the Beverly Vermont Community Land Trust are working on another property purchase in the eco-village neighborhood. We’re looking for some investors to loan money to the CRSP ELF. Here’s a message from eco-village founder and CRSP executive director Lois Arkin: 

January 12, 2011

Dear Neighbors and Friends of L.A. Eco-Village,

A Happy and Healthy New Year to all. Of course, never before in the history of our species have so many bad things been happening so fast. But it is also the case that never before have so many good things been happening so fast.  You are all among those whom I know to be making a difference on the good side of this challenging equation.

So here is another opportunity, a rare one that doesn’t crop up often for us.  We here in L.A. Eco-Village–specifically CRSP and the Beverly-Vermont Community Land Trust–are in escrow on our third building in LA Eco-Village. Continue reading

Support CicLAvia

CicLAvia is a car-free streets festival coming to Los Angeles on September 12th 2010! There’s lots of walking and bicycling and Angelenos getting to know their place in public space.

Click to the watch the CicLAvia video at Kickstarter - featuring eco-village's Adonia Lugo (speaking from the LAEV bike room) and Joe Linton

Eco-Villagers Bobby Gadda, Adonia Lugo, and Joe Linton (yours truly) have been working hard to make this happen. Click on the image above to watch a video about CicLAvia – and you feel moved, please make a contribution larger or small to make it happen here!

To learn more about CicLAvia, to volunteer, discuss, debate, explore, etc. go to

Ecovillager Opens New Coffee Shop, Local Caffeine Addicts Rejoice

The heights of local commerce

Ecovillager Angel Orozco and his partners in Cafecito Orgánico have opened a new storefront at Hoover and Bellevue, just under the 101 freeway from LAEV. It’s about a 20 minute walk from here, and a 5-8 minute bike ride.

With ample patio seating and a simple operation indoors, this new coffee shop really adds to the neighborhood. I visited twice last Friday, once to meet with other ecovillagers and talk policy, and once to meet with activist friends and work on a bike project. Each time I noticed plenty of traffic through the shop, with stroller-pushing families, dogwalkers, and scruffy Silverlake dwellers all feeding their need for organic, LA-roasted coffee.

Our own Dr. Feelgood

There are tasty pastries too.


534 N. Hoover St.,
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Mon – Fri 6 am to 6 pm
Sat & Sun 7 am to 6 pm

Looking for Bike Parking at L.A. Live

Los Angeles Eco-Village has a whole room set aside for residents’ bikes, and we’re looking at doing additional visitor bike parking out front. This post isn’t so much about eco-village’s bikes, but about the lack of accomodations for Los Angeles’ bicyclists in our public and private spaces. This, of course, is not really news. L.A. bicyclists know that our streets and our destinations rarely are designed and built with us in mind. Various other spaces in L.A., from our new police headquarters to our concert hall have huge accomodations for car parking, but little to nothing for bicycles.

I found myself downtown last week, after a Green L.A. Transportation Working Group meeting with Mayor Villaraigosa’s  environmental and transportation deputies. I decided to chill by watching a movie. I used to frequent the old Laemmle Theaters in the basement of the Marriott Hotel, but they closed last year, due to low attendance and competition from new theaters at L.A. Live – a new upscale mega-redevelopment ajacent to L.A.’s sports and convention centers. LAL just opened up a year or two ago, so you might think that they would be up-to-the-moment on trendy new things like bike parking.

Continue reading