Category: Food & Shelter

Chicken-Keeping Workshop and Pot Luck, Sat July 20 2013, 1-4 pm

Chicken-Keeping Workshop

A busy afternoon

 

Experience the joys of Backyard Chicken-keeping!

Come hang out @ the Little Blue House for a fun and interactive chicken-keeping teach-in! Meet the chickens, see the henhouse and chicken run. Learn how raising chickens and veggies can be complementary activities. Featuring guest speakers the Gardenerd & HoneyLove! We’ll wrap up the afternoon with a potluck feast.

CHICKEN-KEEPING WORKSHOP
& POTLUCK PARTY

Little Blue House—Culver City 90230
For specific address, RSVP
TransitionCulverCity@gmail.com
or text or call 310-780-1051
(please RSVP for a head count)

Workshop is free—
Donations are welcome (helps support future events).

Please bring a potluck dish for 8-10 people.

About Our Guest Presenters:

Christy WilhelmiChristy Wilhelmi will talk to us about chickens as gardening companions and the “workhorses” of a healthy garden ecosystem plus other kernals of wisdom from her new book Gardening for Geeks which she’ll have on hand for purchase. ” REVIEW: “Gardening for Geeks is written in easy to understand language that will be useful for both the beginner and advanced gardener. There are loads of photographs, drawings and charts to help you see exactly what the author is covering in each chapter. If you pick up one gardening book this season, this needs to be it.” – Confessions of an Overworked Mom

HoneyLove Urban Bee KeepingHoneyLove’s Chelsea McFarland will pop by to speak for the bees! A local nonprofit conservation organization, HoneyLove’s mission is to protect the honeybees and inspire and educate new urban beekeepers. Why urban beekeeping? HoneyLove believes that the city is the last refuge of the honeybee. Our home gardens are free of pesticides, and in cities like Los Angeles, there is year-round availability of pollen and nectar.

The Parkway Landscaping Report: YES, the Public WILL be Heard!

Drought Tolerant Parkway Curb

 

Will Culver City residents be allowed to put veggies on the parkways abutting their homes?

Can property owners place benches and community library boxes on the parkways without getting fined? 

In these economically challenging times, would a permit fee of $151.50 for installing drought tolerant perennials and succulents in one’s parkway promote or prevent people from removing their thirsty lawn strips? 

How can our city ordinances support best-use of abundant residential parkway public land?

Continue reading

Residential Parkway Regulations to be Discussed at City Hall – TUESDAY May 28, 2013

Out with lawn grass strips, in with drought tolerant plantings and food gardens!

 

Parkway Regulations

 

Many Southern California cities are re-writing their residential parkway ordinances to be more in alignment with the environmental need for drought tolerance while creating a framework for aesthetics and ease of use. Now Culver City governance has Parkways on the agenda this coming TUESDAY, MAY 28, 2013 and you — yes you! — can be part of the conversation.

CULVER CITY PUBLIC MEETING TO DISCUSS
ADOPTION of a RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING
RESIDENTIAL PARKWAY STANDARDS
When:

TUESDAY, May 28th, 2013, 7pm

Where:
Culver City Council Chambers
9770 Culver Blvd., Culver City, 90232

From Culver City’s Official Public Notice of Meeting :

On Tuesday, May 28, 2013, the City Council is scheduled to consider the 1) Introduction of an ordinance related to the process for tree removals and the requirements for making modifications to parkways; and (2) Adoption of a resolution establishing Residential Parkway Standards. All members of the public are welcome to attend and participate in the discussion.

If you live locally and are reading this website, it is most likely you’ve already converted your parkway to something more environmentally friendly with an array of luxurious drought-happy plants and bushes. And perhaps you’re growing a patch of veggies there, or put a park bench and a winding path in your parkway to help build community in your neighborhood like City Repair has encouraged throughout Portland, Oregon. Or maybe you’ve even installed a Little Free Library to promote literacy & solidarity in your neighborhood! Well, it looks like all of this and more will be out-of-compliance and incurring permit fees and possible fines if the new regulations go through unchallenged.

SEE CULVER CITY’s new proposed ordinance here >>
(scroll to Agenda Item A-1)
NOTE: There’s also information on tree removal in the ordinance,
but the focus of this blogpost is on parkway landscaping.

Come deliver your 3 minutes of opinion in person to the council,
or if you can’t attend but wish to express your views,
write an email to the council
Please familiarize yourself with the actual 5/28 agenda item report
(just posted 5/22) so you’ll be up to date with the facts.

When you come to City Hall chambers, fill out a speaker’s card—ask for assistance if it’s your first time.

IN A NUTSHELL: The report drafted by staff is an amendment to a chapter of city municipal code pertinent to Parkway Planting Standards and Tree Removal Regulations & Ordinances. Exhibit C&D of the report includes a list of recommended plantings: 20 lawn alternatives (EXHIBIT C, no permit required) and 64 drought tolerant perennials & low bushes (EXHIBIT D, permit required)—nothing over 30 inches allowed. No edibles, no garden veggies, no fruit trees. And there’s hardscaping limitations too.  TO VIEW THE LIST of recommended plants which includes helpful color reference pictures, go to the 5/28/13 Agenda report, scroll to Item A-1, click on the underlined description, then click on the PDF of “Attachments” on the right, then scroll to “Exhibit D”… whew!

Too much work? Here’s some excerpts from the proposed ordinance:

§ 9.08.210—PLANTINGS, LANDSCAPING, HARDSCAPES OR OTHER ITEMS IN PARKWAYS: PERMIT REQUIRED

A.   No person shall plant any tree, plant, shrub, flower, vine, vegetable, grain, or other vegetation in or on any Parkway in the City without first obtaining a permit from the Public Works Director. Such permit shall state the variety, location and size of trees, plants and shrubs to be planted.

B.  No person shall install, construct, deposit, or maintain any stepping stones, pavers, brick, rock, concrete structure or any other item or obstacle in or on any Parkway within the City without first obtaining a permit from the Public Works Director. Such permit shall state the type and location of materials to be installed, constructed, deposited or maintained…

If we’ve read the report correctly, it says that, pending passage of this proposed ordinance and Standards, a processing application & inspection fee for a basic parkway permit (other than walkable plantings selected from the recommended list) of $151.50 will be enacted. We’re hoping for some clarification on this point.

Here’s more from the proposed Ordinance about code violations:

§ 9.08.230 — VIOLATIONS UNLAWFUL; PENALTIES; ADMINISTRATIVE COST RECOVERY

C.   A violation of any provision of this Subchapter is subject to a civil action brought by the City Attorney, punishable by a civil fine not less than one hundred dollars ($100) and not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) per violation for each day, or part thereof, such violation occurs.
D.  A violation of any provision of this Subchapter may, at the discretion of the City Attorney, be prosecuted as an infraction or misdemeanor and subject to the criminal penalties provided in Sections 1.01.040 and 1.01.045 of this Code…
F.  It is the intent of the City Council to recover the costs incurred by the City from: (1) enforcing and obtaining compliance with the provisions of this Subchapter and (2) damage to City property resulting from violations of the Subchapter.

Continuing on to page 7, concerning EXISTING NON-CONFORMING PARKWAYS, the report says:

There are currently a significant number of unpermitted alterations to parkways that will be out-of-compliance with these proposed Residential Parkway Standards (and with the existing CCMC and Proposed Ordinance, if adopted, which require a permit). Code Enforcement has not been aggressively pursuing these violations due to the lack of clear Standards and a designated permit process. With the adoption of the proposed Residential Parkway Standards,  the Code Enforcement Division has indicated that it intends to prioritize enforcement based on complaints received and the severity of the violations, consistent with the current Council-approved approach.

And here’s some illustrations from Exhibit B of the Report’s Attachments:

CC Parkway Agenda ItemA1-Dos&Donts

 

Can Culver City create customized regulations to suit the needs of our residents? Can we plan ahead as an entire community to become more resilient and food-growing-friendly in the face of challenging times or have a conversation about appropriate use of public space for the public good? Come let Culver City governance know your opinion!

If you’d like to learn more about this issue from the Los Angeles perspective, here’s some interesting stories:

“Taking Back the Streets through Urban Agriculture” from ROOTS OF CHANGE >>

An opinion about the L.A. Parkway Planting Rules from our friends the urban D.I.Y. homestead folks at ROOT SIMPLE >>

SUCCESSFUL CHALLENGE of L.A. MUNICIPAL CODE  § 56.08: Support Growing Edibles on the Parkway in L.A. >>

The inspirational story of LA’s Urban Garden Guerrilla Ron Finley on TED TALKS, Long Beach, Feb 2013:

(over a million views!)

If embedded video not visible above, click here to view:
 http://on.ted.com/Finley

Hope to see you at City Hall on Tuesday, May 28th!

——————-
POST-MEETING ADDENDUM:

Read about how the vote went  >>>
(spoiler alert: happy beginning, much more story to unfold!)

NEWS FLASH: Arborist to Speak at House #5F at Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase

 

Arborist Pieter Severynan at a recent fruit tree pruning seminar in Culver City. He has generously offered to speak at the upcoming Green Garden Showcase

 

Saturday, April 20, 2013
Showcase hours: 10 am – 4 pm

TREE TALKS with PIETER SEVERYNEN:
10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

WHERE:
House #5F
11375 Matteson Ave, LA 90066

Transition Culver City is proud to announce that popular westside arborist and landscape architect Pieter Severynen will be offering three short presentations at the upcoming Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase!

The author of the LA Times’ popular “Tree of the Week” series, Pieter will be sharing his wisdom with Showcase visitors as well as providing helpful hand-outs. Anyone who pops by during this window of time is in for a treat! Here’s the schedule:

10:30 – 10:45 am
Care of Southern California Fruit Trees:
Selection, Planting, Pruning and Maintenance

11:00 – 11:15 am
Recommended Low Chill Fruit Trees for Southern California

11:30 – 11:45 am
A Silent Jungle:
The Soil Under Our Feet

Come learn from an authentic master tree whisperer! Pieter has 35+ years experience as a Licensed California Landscape Architect and 20 years as a certified arborist. He speaks to civic groups on a variety of environment-related subjects including water in the world & global warming. His independent LA consulting firm is known for creating integrated, low resource consuming, emotionally appealing, environmentally sensitive, ecologically sustainable green space designs that emphasize character revealing trees and shrubs, low maintenance and long term viability.

This showcase garden, one of 100 gardens open to self-guided tours on the Showcase day, is also the Guest Booth for our local Transition Towns movement. Read more on TCC>>

Go to MAR VISTA GREEN GARDEN SHOWCASE website homepage >>

Transition Guest Booth at 2013 Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase

11375 Matteson Ave. — Showcase Garden #5F — Transition Town Guest Booth

Saturday, April 20, 2013
10 am – 4 pm
SELF-GUIDED TOUR of 100 RESIDENTIAL GARDENS
Throughout our Community!

Tour Maps available at:
Showcase Central — House #4H >>
-or-
Transition Town Guest Booth — House #5F >>
11375 Matteson Avenue, L.A. 90066 

This annual Earth Day event in Mar Vista offers self-guided tours of 100 home gardens that exemplify environmentally friendly alternatives to the classic lawn. These local homeowners, renters, schools and churches have all taken the leap and converted their thirsty green expanses into drought-tolerant landscapes and edible gardens. The tour covers the spectrum from homespun do-it-yourself projects to professionally landscaped environments—including urban farms, sleek architectural hardscapes, composting & vermiculture, rain harvesting, aquaponics, chicken coops, sculpture gardens, hummingbird gardens… you name it! This year’s tour places special emphasis on the critical need for ocean friendly gardens and California native gardens that support much needed pollinators such as honey bees and monarch butterflies. It’s a great day to gather ideas and inspiration for your own future lawn conversion!

The International TRANSITION TOWNS movement will be represented at the special guest booth at house #5F, 11375 Matteson Ave., Los Angeles CA 90066It’s a collaboration between two local chapters: TCC (of course) and our neighbors, Transition Mar Vista/Venice. So if you’re not in a hurry to see the other 99 showcase gardens, there’s plenty of al fresco patio areas here to sit down, pour a lemonade, and hang out to chat with like-minded people about community resilience, food security solutions, permaculture, alternative building, water harvesting, food forests, and much more.

Learn about Transition Mar Vista/Venice’s pay-it-forward Good Karma Gardens work parties—they’re a great way to get started if you want to learn how to grow your own food! And if you need even more motivation to drop by, come by to meet seedling master Matt Van Diepen (of Mar Vista Farmers’ Market fame!) who will be on hand with FREE veggie seedling giveaways and advice on how to include more home-grown edibles in your life.  Owner of Home Grown Gardens L.A., Matt is one of GKG’s skilled project coordinators.

This year, House #5F features dwarf fruit trees and berry bushes, a brilliant display of spring wildflowers, stealth veggies interspersed with drought tolerant natives, meandering flagstone pathways and do-it-yourself bistro-style hardscaping all done under strict budgetary parameters—everything cheap, recycled, scavenged and free!  For helpful Do-It-Yourself tips, read the event report and access the resource links from last year’s Showcase workshop D.I.Y.: Yes You Can!: Creative Lawn Conversions on a Budget.

Rainwater Capture

RAINWATER CAPTURE
(SEE VIDEO!)

Another feature at this location is an unusual “hybrid” active and passive urban rainwater harvesting system.  Last winter the homeowners hosted a barn-raising-style Work Party to install the system. (SEE VIDEO HERE!) The volunteer crew, wrangled by Transition-friendly landscape architect John Tikotsky, created a passive diversion “reservoir” to help recharge the aquifer, helped install unique vertical tanks (an alternative to conventional rain barrels) for active catchment, and positioned a subsurface diverter pipe to feed the percolation area. The reservoir berms were planted with California native currants (ribes family) and shade happy leafy greens as the beginnings of an edible food forest understory. All this, in one day—a true demonstration of the power of community!

PEDAL-POWER! FREE BICYCLE PARKING
In efforts to support our community’s shift to a fossil-free future, TCC and our friends at the Culver City Bicycle Coalition are co-hosting a “pop-up” bike corral at House # 5F. Celebrate Earth Day in style: Visitors are invited to lower their carbon footprint by cruising the garden tour by bike!

Showcase maps are available at the Transition Guest Booth or Showcase Central at House #4F at 3635 Grandview Blvd.

2012 Showcase Bike Corral

Movie Night: Alternative Building! — Sat. March 16, 6:45 pm

Quick on the heels of our inspiring fieldtrip to Nader Khalili’s earth-building paradise Cal-Earth, TCC has decided to add an extra movie night to our March events:

GarbageWarrior Poster

TCC Eco-Movie Night:
GARBAGE WARRIOR
Saturday, March 16, 2013  •  6:45 pm – 9:30 pm
WHERE: The Little Blue House
(RSVP TCC for location)
FREE EVENT
BYO drinks, FREE Popcorn!
Stay after for lively discussion.

Garbage Warrior is a feature-length documentary film telling the epic story of maverick US architect Michael Reynolds and his fight to introduce radically sustainable housing to the public. An extraordinary tale of triumph over bureaucracy, Garbage Warrior is above all an intimate portrait of an extraordinary individual and his dream of changing the world.

EarthShip greywater purification system

Imagine a home that heats itself, provides its own water, and grows its own food. Imagine that it needs no expensive technology, that it recycles its own waste, and has its own power source. And now imagine that it can be built anywhere, by anyone, out of the things society throws away…

Thirty years ago, architect Michael Reynolds imagined just such a home—then set out to build it. A visionary in the classic American mode, Reynolds has been fighting ever since to bring his concept to the public. He believes that in an age of ecological instability and impending natural disaster, his buildings can—and will—change the way we live. Shot over three years in the USA, India and Mexico, Garbage Warrior is a snapshot of contemporary geo-politics and an inspirational tale of triumph over bureaucracy, as well as an intimate portrait of an extraordinary individual and his dream of changing the world. (from IMDb)

Michael Reynolds BioTecture

Michael Reynolds: another innovative architect offering solutions for a more resilient future. Image courtesy of: http://earthship.net/

 

 

Upcoming Baking 101 Workshop: Homemade Sourdough Starter

2nd in a series of TCC baking workshops at “the little blue house”!

Sour Dough Bread

ummm-ummmm good! Transition RE-SKILLING never tasted so delicious!


BAKING 101: HOMEMADE SOURDOUGH STARTER
RE-SKILLING WORKSHOP 

Sunday, February 17, 2013
1 pm – 4:30 pm
at “The Little Blue House”
(RSVP for location)

This time, we’ll be sharing the basics of bread baking from yeast to feast ! We’ll have all the bread-baking phases ready to demo this afternoon so attendees can experience the entire process of making sourdough loaves from scratch. We’ll finish up with bread tasting & community tea. Bring an apron if you have one. This event great for beginners! 

Each attendee will receive a portion of sourdough starter to take home.

$10 materials fee.

RSVP for Address:  email TCC.

Check out the report of our previous Baking 101 event >>

Garden Showcase D.I.Y. Talk — Helpful & Inspiring!

A short report on TCC’s participation in Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase which occurred on Earth Day—April 21st, 2012:

The Bike Corral came in handy as the TCC Bike Tour of the Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase  arrived en masse at the first garden on their itinerary.

We made it! Michelle leads the TCC Bike Caravan to House #1 on the Green Garden Showcase Tour

 

After lemonade and snacks, the group settled in for TCC’s presentation, “D.I.Y.: Yes You Can! Creative Lawn Conversions on a Budget.”   Attendees picked up some helpful tips for finding inexpensive and creative ways to convert a conventional lawn into a drought-tolerant landscape.

This Showcase location exemplifies the D.I.Y. philosophy:  it features a bistro-style patio hardscape, “urbanite” terraces, meandering flagstone walkways and a homemade park bench, dwarf fruit trees & stealth edibles mixed in with drought tolerant natives, plus two methods of rainwater capture—all accomplished D.I.Y. and under strict budgetary parameters (everything cheap, recycled, or free!).

The TCC bike caravan then rode five blocks west to the next Showcase garden on their itinerary, Yuling’s fabulous Chinese herbal garden, before heading to points beyond. Perhaps a full report of the Bike Tour will appear here soon…

Below is some information from the hand-out from D.I.Y. presentation,  including resource links… Enjoy!

• • •
D.I.Y.: Yes You Can! Creative Lawn Conversions On a Budget
(Recycled • Used • Repurposed • Unwanted & Abandoned: It’s All Good!)

Presented by Transition Culver City
Saturday, April 21, 2012 • 11:30 a.m.

Design:

•1st Step is Observation: How does nature function on your property thru the seasons? (sun, wind, water).
• Identify your Zones around your home & personal usage patterns
• Will the project be gradual, step-wise, or a grand transformation?

Gathering Materials:

SOIL, COMPOST, MULCH, & OTHER HARDSCAPING MATERIALS:
• Neighbors, Noticing Your Environment, Word of Mouth in the Community
Freecycle, Craig’s List, Free Green Exchange, etc.
Our Time Bank: Sharing Economy (from materials urbanite to tool borrowing)
Free Mulch & Compost from LA City
• Mulch: Ask local tree trimming companies working in your neighborhood
• Soil: look for local remodel activity
• Venice Learning Garden (donations appreciated) — mulch & compost

THE PLANTS:
• Sharing clippings & seeds with neighbors
Venice Learning Garden — just ask what needs cleaning up… and reap the benefits by leaving with clippings & rootballs
Seed Library of Los Angeles (SLOLA) — non-GMO, heirloom seed — come swap & learn about seed saving!
• Unlabeled plants at the gardening shops— deep discounts
• Once again, Freecycle, Craig’s List, Free Green Exchange, etc.

Repurposed & Make It Yourself Items:

“Stacking Functions” = many yields from a single element
Examples: Benches, bistro planters, pavers, bamboo trellises and gates, “hugelkultur,” greenhouse.

Getting The Work Done:

Work parties — Barn Raising Style
Our Time Bank — work trade
• Teen or college-student labor from the neighborhood or recommended by friends

 

 

Bike Tour of the M.V. Green Garden Showcase + D.I.Y.: Yes You Can! Presentation

E A R T H   D A Y   2 0 1 2
Saturday, April 21

10 am – 4 pm

Join us on a bike tour of the Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase on Saturday, April 21st, 2012, including a FREE D.I.Y. presentation!

TCC Bicycle Meet-Up:
11:00 a.m.
The fountain in front of Vet’s Park
(corner of Culver & Overland)

Our first stop on the Tour is House #5H (see description), for refreshments & a presentation by TCC:

 D.I.Y.: Yes You Can!
Creative Lawn Conversions on a Budget
11:30 a.m.
11375 Matteson Ave., LA 90066 

TCC's D.I.Y. Presentation @ the 2011 MV Green Garden Showcase

Bike Parking provided for the TCC Bike Tour!

This year’s D.I.Y. presentation by members of TCC will include creative ideas, resources & encouragement for converting a conventional lawn to a drought-tolerant landscape without breaking your budget. This location exemplifies the D.I.Y. philosophy: it features a bistro-style patio hardscape, “urbanite” terraces, meandering flagstone walkways & a homemade park bench, dwarf fruit trees & stealth edibles mixed in with drought tolerant natives, plus two methods of rainwater capture—all done D.I.Y. & under strict budgetary parameters (everything cheap, recycled, or free!).

 After the presentation we will make our way to several other Showcase homes  (we’ll post the TCC bike tour route map soon). The plan is to cycle back to Vet’s Park sometime in the mid- to late-afternoon.
Remember to pack fluids & snacks or a light lunch (since we’ll be out mid-day).
RSVP Michelle: 310-780-1051

 

100 Mile Community Meal

100 Mile Meal

Our Transition neighbors in Mar Vista/Venice are hosting this wonderful community event in honor of the Mayor’s Day of Service to celebrate together while raising awareness around food localization.

100-MILE MEALCommunity Potluck
March 31, 2012
12:30 pm – 2:30 pm
The Learning Garden @ Venice High 

Did you know? The average American meal travels 1,500 miles from the farm to your table? Not only does local produce taste better, it’s better for you too! and it saves wear-and-tear on the planet. Positive initiatives to localize our communiy food resources are happening right now on the westside. Come find out what’s going on while sharing a feast with friends old and new.

The 100-Mile Meal gives us the opportunity to stop and ask where each ingredient that we take for granted comes from. We will gather in the beautiful Venice Learning Garden to share our recipes and resources to build a new world, one meal at a time. Think Global. Buy Local!

Your Challenge: Prepare a dish with the intent of using all or most  of the ingredients grown from within 100 miles of your home. Homegrown counts double! See how much you can minimize the carbon footprint of your potluck offering, and be ready to share the tale! —Include a label detailing the source of your ingredients and the recipe.

Note: 100-mile radius spans from Bakersfield to San Diego.

What to Bring

• potluck item to serve 8 (main dish, side dish, vegetable, salad, bread, drink, or dessert)
• comprehensive label detailing the source of your ingredients
• a copy of your recipe to share
• your own dishes and cutlery (encouraged)
• reusable water bottle
• sunscreen

Getting There
The Learning Garden at Venice High School is located at Venice Blvd and Walgrove Ave. Enter the garden from Walgrove, through the chain link gate located between Venice and Zanja.

Please consider walking, biking, taking the 33 or 733 Metro bus on Venice Boulevard, or carpooling to the event. (If you do bring a car, there is street parking on Walgrove and Zanja).

L E A R N  •  S H A R E  •  C O N N E C T