Designing a “Perma-Circular” Economy in the City of Los Angeles

christian-arnspergerLast 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

Garden Group Meeting and Work party, Aug 20

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. [1]

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

Yay Rain!

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.

look what the garden gave me for supper Jan 1!

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes
  • collardsIMG_5176
  • chayote
  • oregano

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.

IMG_5072Their flowers were blooming Oct – Dec.

Check out the personality of this 4 pounder!  You can see that gramma is happy about it too!
IMG_5107

no fossil fuels were harmed preparing this meal

chicken stuffed w/ lemon grass & yard long beeans, taro roots, rice pudding, zuccini bread in bana leaf wrap

chicken stuffed w/ lemon grass & yard long beeans, taro roots, rice pudding, zuccini bread in banana leaf wrapbaby zuccini "bread" yard long beansyard long beans

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.

The Bioscan Project: An Interview with Brian Brown from the Natural History Museum

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.

Continue reading

A sun-drenched moment in time

Lois Arkin - Photo by Alex Brook Lynn

Lois Arkin – Photo by Alex Brook Lynn

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!

Water Wise Home Book Event This Friday!

Eco-Villager Laura Allen signs her new book, The Water Wise Home: How to Conserve, Capture, and  Reuse Water in Your Home and Landscape. Details below!

New book! The Water-Wise Home by Laura Allen

New book! The Water-Wise Home by Laura Allen

Create Your Own Water-Wise Home and Landscape (book release event and presentation)

With simple plumbing alterations and smart landscape changes, every home has the potential to create a sustainable water supply with an ecologically productive landscape. From reusing greywater, to collecting rainwater, to installing waterless composting toilets, our collective efforts can transform our home water systems. Learn how you can transform your own home so it conserves and reuses our precious water resources, while growing a bountiful garden. This presentation will teach you how. It will also include national trends, codes and regulations, costs, health and safety considerations, and system examples.

Date: Friday, April 3rd

Time: 7:30pm book signing. You can bring or buy The Water-Wise Home: How to Conserve, Capture, and Reuse Water in Your Home and Landscape (Storey Press, 2015) $25 cash or check.

8:00pm Presentation
This event is free.

Venue: Los Angeles EcoVillage, 117 Bimini Place, Los Angeles, CA 90004

Being ruthless

I was letting these plants grow under the courtyard fig tree.  They had interesting foliage & tiny daisy type flowers – until – the flowers turned into a burr that disperses it’s seed on a sharp barb – porcupine style.  Now I’m encouraging everyone to pull it out & dispose of it in the green bin.IMG_4614IMG_4615IMG_4617  Anyone know it’s name?