Like so many urban farmer/gardeners, we are aware and talk about the weather a lot comparing each season with the last. Driving around town the other day Jules commented that the Jacaranda’s are late this year as with other strange inconsistency mentioned in the last post. In the Sunday paper the LA Times wrote a piece regarding our unusual weather this year and the “no-show” lotus for the annual Lotus Festival stating “all that mill be missing from this weekend’s Lotus Festival are the lotus blossoms.”
The article then goes on to say that:

“Last year, we had a bumper crop — the lotus were 5 feet high and spilling out of the lake onto the shore. But they didn’t make it this year. Everybody’s asking, ‘What happened?’ I tell them that nature just took a rest this year.”Actually, according to JPL climatologist William Patzert, nature’s “biological clocks are out of whack” this year.Unusually chilly temperatures in March and April and an unseasonably warm June has had an effect on more plants than just the lotus, he said.March was nearly 5 1/2 degrees cooler than normal, and April was 3 degrees cooler.June was the second-warmest on record in Los Angeles.”Things that bloom in early summer definitely had a cool, late winter, and they’re blooming later. The jacarandas bloomed late for that reason. Crape myrtles that always bloom in late August started blooming in June,” Patzert said.”We essentially went straight from winter to summer” and skipped spring, he said. “Everything is out of whack.”
read more

Now our sneaking (and nagging) suspicions have now been confirmed by a JPL climatologist.  

The heat is on

The Great Warming

We are living at the dawn of a new epoch. Year by year, degree by degree, Earth is growing warmer… a legacy of the Industrial Revolution, population growth, and our addiction to technology, speed and power. Just as other generations spoke of a Great Plague and a Great Depression, our children will be compelled to endure The Great Warming – and find a way to conquer its consequences.

We recently watched a film that we’ll be screening on August 13th calledThe Great Warming (Directed by Vermont-based producer Michael Taylor, “The Great Warming” is this summer’s OTHER global warming film, overshadowed, at least for the moment, by Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.”)   In one scene two researchers interviewed a farmer at a local farmer’s market on the East Coast and asked him about what the effect the weather is having on his farm and crops. I can’t remember his exact words but he said something to the effect that in his area the weather goes from one extreme to the other — one year extremely dry the other extremely wet.

Global warming is a frightening scenario, more so than peak oil. Preparing for peak oil you can do tangible things that possibly can make a difference – grow your own food, buy/support local, bike/walk and implement other sustainable and low tech solutions.   Having been toNew Orleans and witness first hand the power of nature and man’s ineptitude   – that mixture is a dangerous combination.

Killing us slowly

Film screening: Blue Vinyl ( at PTF this coming Sunday)

Exposure to vinyl chloride is an extremely underrated hazard. Research has shown for years (and Helfand makes a strong case for this in her movie) that vinyl chloride is a carcinogen, and that the production & disposal of vinyl is a serious environmental and health risk. Vinyl (or PVC) is the “most environmentally hazardous consumer product in the world.” The chemical released in its creation and disposal (and likely gradually emitted, at eeenie weenie levels, during its life in between) is the exceptionally deadly dioxin, “the Watergate of molecules.” And as one of the many scientists interviewed for this film asserts, the highly carcinogenic dioxin sticks around for a very long time: if you were “exposed to ten units of dioxin, ten years later, you would still have five units in your body.”
read more about this documentary and reserve your seat


“While it’s impossible to avoid all plastics, we must rid our diets and lives of this toxic material as much as possible.”
~ Paul Goettlich~
Get Plastic Out Of Your Diet (Mindfully.org)

When you eat or drink things that are stored in plastic, taste it, smell it, wear it, sit on it, and so on, plastic is incorporated into you. In fact, the plastic gets into the food and food gets into the plastic and you. So, quite literally, you are what you eat[1]. . . drink. . . and breathe — plastic!
read more

Alternatives to Plastic (Mindfully.org)

Over the past few of years, many people asked me for help in getting plastic out of their lives. It is hoped that this article guides you to a cleaner lifestyle. While it is presently impossible to actually remove all plastic from one’s life, it is definitely worth reducing it to a minimum.
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War on Plastics (Culture Change.org)

Plastic as toxic trash is barely an issue with health advocates, environmentalists, and even those of us looking toward the post-petroleum world. Instead, “recycling” and future “bioplastics” distract people from keeping plastic out of their lives. As the evidence from our trashed oceans and damage to human health mounts, plastic can no longer be conveniently ignored. The days of naive trust and denial need to be put behind us, and a war on plastics declared now.
read more
More about the dangers of Plastic

Getting rid of plastics is a formable task. We have taken steps however – drinking out of stainless steel SIGG water bottles, using cloth bags, for camping/picnics we use a stainless steel eating set (cup, bowl, plate), buying in bulk, try to buy items that come in glass (this is getting harder and harder!). Even with these small steps, plastic is everywhere and is something we continue to battle to rid ourselves every day.


  1. Anne says:

    Totally agree with the seasons being out of sink. Here too, my sprouting broccoli that should have been harvested in October is now in flower and sprouting as quickly as it can. The beans are not as bushy as usual and everything seems a little strange….eery! What we can do is check what is happening….I found my chickens knew there was going to be a heatwave….they stopped laying the day before and maybe we need to learn to read the signs more. Our soft fruit having ripened over 2 days is now rotting due to lots of rain. It makes for interesting gardening anyhow. The items in my polytunnel are doing well though, the temperature rose to 50 degrees which suited my peppers well. I am thinking of planting a peach tree, going up a zone in preparation of warmer weather in summers to come. Maybe we can adapt what we grow.