Pedestrians from many cultures stop to ask about plants and talk about the gardens they have or used to have in their native countries. Along the fence I like to plant crops – like these peas – plus herbs and flowers that they can harvest from the sidewalk.
In the courtyard
Draught tolerant plants added to “small fruit” garden. Experimenting with clover as a living mulch
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
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.
Episode 3 of the Sohana web series focuses on Eco-Villages. In this episode they visit the Los Angeles Eco-Village and the Avalon Organic Gardens and Eco Village in Tumacácori, Arizona.
Last Summer (2016), L.A. Eco-Village hosted a fascinating public talk with Professor Christian Arnsperger of the Faculty of Geosciences, University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Christian has an endearing love for Los Angeles, always intriguing to hear about from Europeans who are not here just for the “Disneyland” type attractions.
Rather he, like many of us who live and thrive here, Christian has a vision and a plan for transforming Los Angeles in the next 50 years, utilizing permaculture principles, into what he is calling a Perm-Circular Economy. Why not? we ask. Many know that passion, combined with vision, planning, commitment and perseverance can make anything happen! Right?
So, here’s how Christian starts out his blog on this inspiring topic:
“It’s kind of a dream idea. A bit crazy, in fact — the stuff utopian ideas and innovations are made of. You might call it a thought experiment. On a massive scale.
I want to call it Ecovillage L.A. 2066.
The question: What if, 50 years from now, Los Angeles were organized and inhabited as an ecovillage, or – more to the point – a federation of ecovillages?”
Read on about Christian’s vision and plan for our future here.
And read his other fascinating blog posts on Permacircular Horizons
If you’re an LA visionary who wants to join with others to move forward on this new way of living in Los Angeles, let me know! And be sure to add your thinking on this topic to Christian’s blog.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: BARE WITH ME WHILE I GET SOMEONE TO HELP ME GET BETTER AT FORMATTING THESE BLOGS. IF YOU’RE THE ONE, I’M READY FOR YOU. LOIS
KCRW’s “Press Play with Madeleine Brand” gave L.A. Eco-Village a nice plug in this fascinating article by Bonnie Johnson about the history of these SoCal utopian communities. Thanks to our long time CRSP Board President and architect Ian McIlvaine. for catching it. Read the article or listen to the 12 minute magazine piece here.
I was delighted to be interviewed by KPCC’s Al Martinez on “Take Two” last week. You can hear the seven minute piece here:
Let us know what you think. Thanks for listening. Lois
attending : shaila, sarah, samantha, carrie, dani, yolanda, bambi, jocelyn, lara, carol jessica, ely; cameo: bruce
succulent garden : samantha researched plants that might be suitable for the dry area next to loquat tree in front and possibly in the bulb-out raised bed. Contestants were: yucca, ornamental grass, indian mallow. we choose mallow which is perennial, blooms year round and has orange flowers. as a member of mallow family, may also be medicinal. samantha will check for sources.
clean chicken coop & prune adjacent lamb’s quarters & lemon verbena bambi & jocelyn overcame anxiety about not knowing what to do by expertly hauling bedding from chicken coop to compost and pruning around the coop entry path.
transplant goji berry from sandbox dani and yolanda located a good site for the goji berry & dug & prepared a hole for it’s new digs. Unfortunately, the goji berry had been cut down, but it’s roots were still in the sandbox, so they have been re-located to the bed with banana & papaya trees fed by greywater.
prune apple, pomegranate trees & wooly aphids shaila, sarah & carol pruned & carol and yolanda continued on sunday. Jessica researched the wooly white growths on the trees & diagnosed “wooly aphids”.
carol’s wooly aphids control plan spray with 1 TBSP dish soap dissolved in hot water. 
Pruning-at-large lara pruned plants surrounding entry to her apartment. Carrie pruned where needed.
After party sweet & juicy pomegranates from our pruning, and cold, sweet watermelon brought by bambi were our rewards while we chatted in the courtyard after working. Many of us went from there to sea dragon for supper & more lively conversations.
Next garden group planned for Sept. 17
I know there’s 5 more days until the new moon, but it’s really raining today, so i plugged some sweet peas & austrian field peas in the ground. (probably should NOT have soaked them overnight, but when rain is predicted here, the drops can usually be counted, so i hope pre-soaking wasn’t overkill for today’s conditions. ) Will keep you posted in 2-4 weeks.
Meanwhile, Angelinos, enjoy the moisture. on your dry skin.
- 2 lbs sweet potatoes
all from a plot that gets no direct sun between Nov to Feb! I harvested about 15 lbs of sweet potatoes from 3 plants. I’m amazed that they grow in the shade and seem to mature in cool temperatures. They don’t seem to need much water.
In this Los Angeles Magazine interview Laura Allen from greywateraction.org answers some common questions about using and installing gray water systems in Southern California. Reading this will give a better understanding of some of the systems we have currently installed at the L.A Eco-Village and the systems you could use on your own home.
Clear skies from early morning inspired me to see how much food i could cook in the 2 sun-ovens today. 1. Heated 2 qts milk to make yogurt; 2. roasted 3 1/2 lb chicken stuffed with yard-long beans, oregano & lemon grass, resting on bed of lemon verbena & zucchini from garden ; 3. baked rice pudding (rice left-over from Chinese supper); 4. baked zucchini cornmeal “breads” wrapped in banana leaf from jimmy’s tree; 5. roasted taro roots. Between 9:30 – 4 pm.
zucchini batter: flour, cornmeal, raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, zucchini, bp, bs, milk, ground flax seeds blended w/ water for egg sub.
by Rebecca L.
New species found in L.A. Eco-Village
What is the Bioscan project?
The Bioscan project is an outgrowth of looking in my backyard and seeing what I found there that was so interesting and unexpectedly diverse, and we started looking at other people’s backyards and finding things that were crazy and diverse, species from different continents such as Africa, Europe and species that were new to science, that had never been described before. We say the need to survey, the need to record what’s in LA related to the density of housing, income level of an area, types of plants and whether or not there is watering, location, how close to other natural areas. We call these the variables of urbanization and these things effect the biodiversity that surrounds us. So as an outgrowth of looking into my backyard we decided to look into 30 backyards across a wide swath of Los Angeles from the Natural History Museum (NHM) north to the Verdugo Mountains and record plant life, hard scape, etc.
This article written by Alex Brook Lynn and titled “A Stay At This Sun-Drenched, Eco Oasis In LA Is Cheaper Than A Hostel And More Peaceful, Too” features some beautiful photographs (also by her) and a very good description of todays Los Angeles Eco-Village. It’s really nice to get these snapshots that capture brief moments in time, moments that will pass as our project evolves. Thank you Alex!
A short video featuring L.A. Eco-Village member and Pacific Electric Worker Co-op founder Somerset Waters.