Posts filed under ‘DIY’

Photos from Beach Flats Garden

A couple weeks ago my friend asked me to take some photos of the Beach Flats Community Garden in Santa Cruz which they can use for their upcoming blog. Some of them turned out pretty good.


From my Santa Cruz Indymedia post:

The weather is warming and this years summer crops at the Beach Flats Community Garden are coming up. It’s been over a year since the Garden was first threatened with closure by the overburdened and resource-strapped Community Center which oversees it. Since, members of the community have banded together not only that once, but again last December, to make sure the garden stays open, the second time in the face of city budget cuts. Despite the threats, gardeners continue to plant, tend and harvest.


June 5, 2009 at 2:48 pm Leave a comment

Turkey Hatching Time!


My friend David and his girlfriend have been turning turkey eggs for the past several weeks in an incubator at their house. Finally, the turkeys have arrived! The turkeys will be going back to live on the farm soon after their incubation and hatching in Santa Cruz. Click on the picture to get a close up view. They are so cute!

May 5, 2009 at 10:27 am Leave a comment

State of the Garden

Strawberries. Right after taking the shot, I ate them!

Strawberries. Right after taking the shot, I ate them!

I’m by no means an expert gardener. In fact, this is really only the third season I’ve been growing food. But I have to say this is my favorite batch of plants yet. I dug up a patch of the lawn outside my apartment and took care to only carve out enough space that I could manage on my own. The first round of plants included four tomatoes (two in pots), two zucchini, four butter lettuce, a row of baby spinach, a row of spring mix, three broccoli, one green bell pepper, an eggplant, several basil plants, cilantro, parsley and a couple strawberries. I was worried when the lettuce started disappearing due to a hungry gopher, but fortunately for me, the neighbor cats took care of him before he did too much damage. However, I soon discovered the cats love to sleep and dig in the garden. A tomato and a zucchini start suffered broken stems due to cat nap. They have since recovered and since the cats saved me from doing the dirty gopher removal work, I am happy to have them nearby. (Though I do think they dug around newly planted seeds where I haven’t seen one sprout in over two weeks.)

Black Crim Ripening

Black Crim Ripening

By now, mid-August, the first rounds of greens are long gone. I have had zucchini coming out of my ears now for almost two months and the long-awaited tomatoes are finally stating to redden. In Santa Cruz this year everyone has been waiting and waiting for the tomatoes and they are finally upon us! See more garden photos on my flickr page.

Zucchini, zucchini, zucchini

Zucchini, zucchini, zucchini

The passionflower is going off! A few fruits are appearing and the monarch butterflies can't get enough.

The passionflower is going off! A few fruits are appearing and the monarch butterflies can't get enough.

August 16, 2008 at 9:22 pm Leave a comment

Three Women Document their Bike Adventure of Sustainable Ag Projects

Liz, Kat and Lara, three women from Washington, D.C. biked 2,000 miles last year to tour community agricultural projects from Washington, D.C. to Montreal, Canada. They carried video equipment with them and the footage has turned into a low budget documentary. Here’s a preview:

An article in the Washington Post today reported on their journey and upcoming film release:

In the course of their three-month odyssey, the women found a community garden in the gutted ghettos of Baltimore, were run off the road by a truck in New Jersey, abandoned efforts to cycle across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York and got hopelessly lost in New England towns. They slept in the gardens of strangers, discovered new ethnic food and recipes and cemented their desire to change the world by growing vegetables.

Yay for bike adventure! Yay for community garden projects!

July 24, 2008 at 3:18 pm 3 comments

DIY Tempeh – Try This at Home

inner-tempeh homemade by Renae

inner-tempeh homemade by Renae

I was making a tempeh stir-fry with some garden veggies and wondering if I could make my own homemade tempeh to compliment my home-grown veggies and herbs. After a few Google searches, I came across this great step-by-step “Making Tempeh” published by Renae on her blog, i eat food. Making tempeh at home seems like quite an involved process where you will have to get creative to make some steps happen correctly. One step in the tempeh-making process requires the soybeans to be kept at 88 degrees Fahrenheit for about 24 hours. Renae says after failing with a food dehydrator she found success using a homemade yogurt machine:

What finally worked for me was putting the soy beans on a wok steamer nestled into a yogurt maker, the lid of which I kept partially on for the first 12 hours then removed. After 12 hours, the tempeh will begin generating its own heat, which you’ll want to compensate for.

I’m not sure how I can accomplish this in my own kitchen as I don’t have a yogurt machine but if i get any good ideas, I’ll be sure to try it out. If you take up the challenge, be sure to leave a comment and let me know how it goes!

July 13, 2008 at 5:35 pm 1 comment

The Onion is So Wonderful

This is awesome, from The Onion archives:
Small, Dedicated Group Of Concerned Citizens Fails To Change World

In early October, Zuboff will step down as director of CCW to take a post as assistant regional director of The Sierra Club. Replacing him will be Jessica Stotts, a University of Minnesota-Duluth senior who wants CCW to adopt a more politicized stance than it has under Zuboff.

“CCW has failed to change the world because Brian’s bourgeois liberal approach was ineffective and compromised,” Stotts said. “How can we just target Chisholm-area environmental concerns when even our most successful efforts wouldn’t put so much as a dent in the oppressive capitalist global paradigm? Insufferable as they are, it’s not the complacent suburbanites who are the problem: It’s the giant, poison c*** of materialism that is spewing its diseased smegma into Mother Earth’s once-fertile womb.”

June 30, 2008 at 11:40 am Leave a comment

Food Not Lawns House in Santa Cruz

Food Not Lawns House Santa CruzI finally took a couple shots (with my camera phone, sorry for the quality) of the Food Not Lawns house in Santa Cruz. Over a year ago, maybe two years ago, the front lawn of this house was dug up and replaced with a space for growing food. Well-kept and gorgeous, the crops are always rotating with a mix of veggies and flowers. There is a drip watering system, too. Had I more gumption, I would have stopped by to talk to the residents of the house, but alas, I was hungry and on my way to eat Indian food. Anyway, back when it was first set up, this project was the first I’d heard of or seen of Food Not Lawns and prompted me to go to a session on it at the Eco Farm conference in January. It’s just the inspiration I needed to rip up my own (very small) patch of lawn behind my apartment and plant food there. The book, written by Heather Flores, is full of tips not just for gardening, but all kinds of permaculture projects. A friend of mine used the instructions in the book to set up a water system that takes gray water from the house and cycles it though the yard.

June 26, 2008 at 2:03 pm 9 comments

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