I wanted to introduce you all to The National Association of Professional Women in Landscape. The organization, based in Orange County, CA, was started about a year and a half ago to increase professionalism, profitability and expertise for women in the landscape and green industries.
NAPWL intends to increase the number of women in landscape and green businesses in a number of ways: by establishing innovative and effective change in the practice of the industry’s culture; by building equitable partnerships, alliances and strategic bonds within various disciplines; and by promoting economic development within the landscape community.
The photograph above was taken by a fifteen year old nature lover and gardener. Hopefully, through the efforts of the National Association of Professional Women in Landscape her generation will have fewer obstacles to overcome.
May 11, 2012
Recently I was nominated by Shannon at dirt n kids for not one but two blog awards. So, first of all thank you to Shannon. If you haven’t yet visited her blog, you should. The first award is the Kreative Blogger. And the second is the Versatile Blogger.
The rules for both awards ask that you nominate seven other bloggers for the award and share seven fun or interesting facts about your self. Since I got nominated for two awards I am going to do 14. You may fall asleep.
Here we go… 14 fun filled facts about me.
1. I can spend about four or five days completely by myself before I get lonely.
2. I purposely keep my nails short so they are easy to clean after gardening.
3. I am a Sherlock Holmes junkie.
4. I have seen every episode of Bones at least three times.
5. My favorite poem is A Man Said To The Universe by Stephen Crane.
A man said to the universe:
“Sir I exist!”
“However,” replied the universe,
“That fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation.”
6. In high school I was on the Junior National Ski Team and was offered a spot on the U.S. Development Ski Team (which I declined).
7. I spent a semester abroad in Nepal and have traveled to India, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Guatemala, Montserrat, Kauai, Canada, Russia, Scotland, and England.
8. My family lived in England for a year when I was a baby.
9. I was recently asked to be the chair of the Austin Chapter of the National Association of Professional Women in Landscape and, yes, this is a blatant promotion of the group whose web site is napwl.org.
10. Before I became a landscape designer I did lighting for feature films.
11. After marrying into a family of cooks I have finally started trying to cook and found I don’t hate it. In fact, I kind of like it.
12. I once had a client in Brooklyn whose wife, while planting pansies in the back yard, found a gun buried there.
13. I can weld.
14. I have two cats I found as stray kittens living in the basement of the Trump Tower. I named them Osiris and Tamuz
Okay, on to the other bloggers for nomination. Here we go…
3. Urban Roots
5. Plant Select
11. The Soulsby Farm
14. Vickster’s Vine
If you made it this far thank you for sticking with it. If you have a chance I highly urge you to take a look at at least a few of these blogs. Of course not everyone will like all of them but I bet all of you will like at least one enough to start following it.
May 4, 2012
As with produce and meat there is a lot of jargon that gets thrown around when it comes to seafood.
Just this past Earth Day Whole Foods stopped selling red-rated fish. What is red-rated fish you ask?
Whole Foods has partnered with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and The Blue Ocean Institute. These two institutions have created a color-coded sustainability rating system to tell you how sustainably certain kinds of seafood are harvested. Green is best, then yellow, and last red. Whole Foods is no longer selling any red-rated seafood.
If, like me, you could eat sushi day and night (which I did for a week in Tokyo once) go to The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s sushi guide. And you can download a sushi specific green, yellow, red pocket guide for the next time you are at your favorite sushi place. Go here and look for the link on the bottom right.
April 22, 2012
In ancient Rome a Genius loci referred to the protective spirit of a place. In the Western world it came to refer to a place’s atmosphere or spirit.
It was Alexander Pope who linked the concept to landscaping. In a letter to Richard Boyle, Earl of Burlington, in 1731 Pope wrote:
Consult the genius of the place in all;/That tells the waters or to rise, or fall;/Or helps th’ ambitious hill the heav’ns to scale,/Or scoops in circling theatres the vale;/Calls in the country, catches opening glades,/Joins willing woods, and varies shades from shades,/Now breaks, or now directs, th’ intending lines;/Paints as you plant, and, as you work, designs.
Happy Earth Day
April 12, 2012
You take your old phone to a kiosk which will visually or electronically inspect it and decide what its value is. You can then get cash or store credit for a new phone.
You can find a location here.
April 7, 2012
For almost twenty years RE Store (there are actually two) in Western Washington has been providing quality recycled building materials as an alternate to new materials to sustainably conscious consumers. And over those twenty years the store has grown into a company that now also offers an amazing range of services. Not only can you go to the store to pick out materials, the RE Store also offers a free pick up service and a green demolition service.
What is green demolition you ask? It is a way to dismantle a building using machine and hand techniques to recover materials for reuse. This can include everything from structural framing beams to flooring and fixtures. The RE Store specializes in whole-building deconstruction, which is economically competitive with regular demolition and allows for the reuse up to 50 percent of most structures. This keeps a lot of materials out of the land fill.
The RE Store also has skill building workshops for the community and a Sustainable Living Center. Take a look at their web site and blog for more information about this inspiring and highly useful venture.
March 9, 2012
The Gowanus Canal is a 1.5 mile long man-made waterway in Brooklyn. The canal was originally built in the mid 1800′s for barges, and the surrounding land was used for various industrial activities.
Today, parts of the land are used for heavy industrial undertakings, some for light industrial use and some of the area along the canal is mostly residential.
The Gowanus canal has been cited by the EPA as one of the most contaminated bodies of water in the country and currently a large scale effort is being made to clean it up.
If you want to read more about the clean up efforts all you have to do is an internet search for Gowanus Canal and clean up. There is tons of information out there. What I want to write about is something I found a lot more interesting. (Although don’t get me wrong. As someone who lived in NYC for 12 years, 6 of those in Brooklyn, I am thrilled about the clean up process.)
Sweep was started by Christina Kelly and Jeff Hutchison who run Husk in Brooklyn. The two met when Christina was growing corn and Jeff was drawing plants in CAD. They found they had a common fascination for the history of Brooklyn agriculture and decided to stat Husk.
At Husk the two work as a duo on multi-platform projects that explore the agricultural histories and possibilities of New York City.
Sweep, one of their current projects, focuses on the Gowanus Canal. With funding from the Brooklyn Arts Council and Feast, and the go ahead from the Gowanus Canal Conservatory, the steward for the site, Jeff and Christina planted a terraced garden of Broomcorn which was used to make brooms before synthetic materials took it’s place. They even brought in a broom maker from the Catskill Mountain Broomworks, a company that sells brooms made out of Broomcorn, to give a broom making workshop.
Jeff and Christina hope the garden and the broom making will bring attention to the efforts being made to clean up the Gowanus area and help restore it to it’s original state.
February 24, 2012
Most of you have probably never heard of SWANA, The Solid Waste Association of North America. Until an hour ago I hadn’t either, but it turns out that for fifty years now they have been “the leading professional association in the solid waste field.”
Recently Jennifer Santry at the High Country Conservation Center in Summit County, Colorado wrote a piece about a SWANA conference she attended called The Road To Zero Waste run by SWANA’s Recycling & Special Waste Division.
Most people would think a conference titled The Road To Zero Waste would be about how to more effectively get rid of our garbage: composting, recycling and turning waste into fuel. However this was not the case.
“Surprisingly,” Jennifer wrote, “my take away message had more to do with the purchase than the garbage.” In other words Slow Trash. Instead of focusing on how to make our trash into something useful, concentrate on creating less waste.
In the article Jennifer wrote “Slow trash challenges you to slow down consumption and connect with the purchase. My favorite line in the article is, “slow trash is all about taking a snapshot of the life-cycle of a particular item.”
Think about that for a moment. (Or two since our theme here is slow.) Think about where the product was made and by whom. Was he or she paid a fair wage? Did it have to be shipped from across the globe using tons of fuel? How long will you use this item? When you are done with it can you pass it along to a friend?
The conference was here in Austin and Jennifer gave Austin’s Future Craft Collective a big thumps up for their “Don’t Shop; Swap” event where Austinites can swap clothes instead of going out and buying a new wardrobe. She also touted the fact that the landfill here has a last chance pile for people to go through.
February 19, 2012
At Resolution Gardens, which is located here in Austin, I read about The Congress for New Urbanism which had a post about the Partnership for Sustainable Communities which I posted about yesterday. Got all that?
CNU touts itself as “the leading organization promoting walkable, mixed-use neighborhood development, sustainable communities and healthier living conditions.” Co-founders include Peter Calthorpe, Elizabeth Moule, Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Stephanos Polyzoides and Dan Solomon all people with a wealth of experience developing sustainable communities. This organization has some real potential to do good.
Also read about this good news at the CNU website Obama Administration Releases 2013 Budget, Protects Partnership for Sustainable Communities.