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!
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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.
•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?
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
• 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
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:
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
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
Please join us and learn while you pitch in!
How to make a Rain Barrel Overflow Rain Garden
Saturday, Jan 28, 2012
9 am – 3 pm
11375 Matteson Ave. LA 90066
Come join local Transition groups and friends for this barn-raising-style garden work party!
Rain gardens provide no-cost irrigation to the homeowner while helping replenish our local aquifer. You can learn on-the-job how to install a simple passive, hidden “reservoir” for rain water collection to transform a patch of residential dirt yard into a garden of edible CA native currants & gooseberries.
Landscape architect John Tikotsky will be on hand to lead the troops as well as give short teach-ins on how to calculate your roof’s water catching capacity and other basic water catchment strategies for people thinking about including rain harvesting in their garden plan.
Depending on number of volunteers, we will have fun while we:
1. Dig the pits & sculpt berms to create our reservoir,
2. Install subsurface pipes from the rainwater tanks,
3. Fill the reservoir with mulch,
4. Plant trellised Ribes: best edible CA native for this shady understory
region under parkway trees
Bring gardening gloves and sturdy shoes. Some tools will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own. The day includes lunch and other refreshments, some music and lots of good cheer. Volunteers of every level of expertise are welcome!
Please RSVP: TransitionCulverCity@gmail.com
Co-hosted by Transition Culver City and Transition Mar Vista/Venice.
This family-friendly evening will include a screening of the documentary The Economics of Happiness while children are invited to make art out of recycled materials and/or watch the animated short film, Simon Says, ‘Let’s Stop Climate Change!‘
Refreshments will be served, $5 suggested donation (to pay for the screening rights)
Co-sponsored by Transition Mar Vista and Transition Culver City
The Economics of Happiness features a chorus of voices from six continents, including Vandana Shiva, Bill McKibben, David Korten, Samdhong Rinpoche, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Michael Shuman, Zac Goldsmith and Keibo Oiwa. They tell us that climate change and peak oil give us little choice: we need to localize, to bring the economy home. The good news is that as we move in this direction we will begin not only to heal the earth but also to restore our own sense of well-being. The Economics of Happiness challenges us to restore our faith in humanity, challenges us to believe that it is possible to build a better world.
By by Helena Norberg-Hodge, Steven Gorelick & John Page
Simon Says, ‘Let’s Stop Climate Change!‘ is a 28 minute animated film recommended for children ages 4 and up. With humor and song, the film teaches kids about global warming, the food chain, carbon footprints, composting, carbon offsetting and eco habits like the “three r’s” (reducing, reusing and recycling).
By Denis Thomopoulos
About the space:
ReDiscover promotes creativity in early childhood and elementary education while encouraging environmental responsibility. ReDiscover recycles everyday discards donated by business and gives them new purpose as hands-on learning materials. ReDiscover is a community art center, reuse warehouse, gallery and event space.
The 2011 Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase will be held on Saturday April 30th from 11:00 AM to 4 PM.
TCC core member Ginny LeRossignol Blades, whose house is on one of the gerrymandered corners of Culver City in the 90066 area code west of Sawtelle is participating. Her initial inspiration came from the FREE drought tolerant gardening classes offered at Vets Auditorium in 2007-2008 sponsored by West Basin under the encouragement of Ed Little — back when CC residents were first being notifed of impending lawn watering restrictions.
11375 Matteson Avenue
This is how she describes the conversion from grass to “green” (reposted from the Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase website):
Starting with zero knowledge in gardening, in 2008 this family stopped their battle with a monoculture lawn and began learning how to cooperate with nature on their learn-as-you-go journey of drought tolerant landscaping and urban gardening.
Their hope is to model creative self-reliance and to encourage growing food and community in a frontyard display that is friendly and inviting and not too “farm-y.” This entire DIY project has had strict budgetary parameters (everything cheap, recycled or free) as the homeowners slowly converted their post-lawn moonscape into a creative garden hodge podge complete with stealth edibles mixed in with drought tolerant natives and succulents, small “urbanite” terraces and swales, planter boxes crafted from unusual recycled materials, and a bistro-style hardscaped frontyard room with homemade concrete planters and pavers. The L-shaped corner lot features a spectrum of microclimate sectors from sunbaked to mossy deep shade which has provided a steep learning curve for these beginning permaculture enthusiasts. Some areas are handwatered, others left to the seasons. The front entry of river rock, DG & flagstone is wide & inviting as well as easy to maintain. In efforts to fuzz the boundary between public and private, the family placed a bench next to the sidewalk and enjoys growing a few edibles in the parkway with signs inviting passersby to pick & enjoy. Some areas are still unresolved (blank canvasses!). On the learning curve has been resculpting the berm with mini-swales and a keyhole feature to help prevent mulch and water runoff and learning about soil pH and the impact of excess lime from concrete leaching.
“Our reason for participating: We have had such fun with the project so far — we really want to encourage others to be brave and take up their lawns. Now that the biggest physical part of the work is done, we are discovering the many joys of puttering in the garden and growing some of our own food. Plus since we’re out front for all to see, a side benefit has been connecting with neighbors and building community!”
They will also share information and materials about the local chapter of the Transition movement.
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TCC will organize a bike tour to this year’s Garden Showcase >> join us! firstname.lastname@example.org