“The World Health Organization has classified processed meats – including ham, salami, bacon and frankfurts – as a Group 1 carcinogen which means that there is strong evidence that processed meats cause cancer.”
A new book is on the way shortly. This one is written by Matthew “Raw Matt” Nailor and was edited by anand. It’s sure to open your eyes on a bunch of important and esoteric health topics. It promotes a very vegetarian oriented message with a little focus on spiritual elements.
Coming soon to Amazon!
We have attended the Heirloom Festival before and always love this conference. It is filled with kindred spirits who care about their food, their planet earth, their community, and most importantly, their gardens. Plus, it is totally affordable!!!
If you are looking for something to do this coming week? Come on down.
Make sure you say hi! We’re doing a presentation on Wednesday September 6th, at 5PM. We’ll be showing off our Urban Food Forest Homestead in the Las Vegas Desert. With many plants inspired by the Essene gardeners. And in addition, we’ll be bringing seeds to share and fresh picked Jujubes.
SEPTEMBER 5-7 2017, Santa Rosa CA
Man does not thrive on food and water alone… In addition to growing food producing plants at our urban homestead food forest, we also have an interest in growing unusual medicinal plants in the desert. Here is some of what we have been successful growing:
- Black Cohosh
- Chaste Tree
- Eleuthero Root (Siberian Ginseng )
- Evening Primrose
- Goji-Wolfberry (We have 4+ varieties. The 2 desert varieties from the State Nursery have been the most successful)
- He Sho Wu (aka Fo Ti) which is very vigorous
- Lavender (multiple varieties)
- Lemon Balm and Bee Balm
- Mints (spearmint, peppermint, chocolate mint)
- Onions (multiple varieties)
- Prickly Pear
- White Lead Tree
- White Sage
We have several trees which produce food, which can also be considered medicinal: Lemon, Olive, Pistachio, Pomegranate. We plan to add a Screwbean Mesquite and Female Carob to our mix in the future as plants that produce both food and medicine. Although we imbibe in none of these vices, we do acknowledge their medicinal benefits and are experimenting with a Coffee tree, Tobacco plant, Afghan Hemp, and Ayahuasca vine for fun. Lastly, we also had a serious Ganoderma applanatum (a wood tree fungus) growing on an aged elm tree – which is related to the Reishi mushroom!
There are many wonderful things to do in Las Vegas that have nothing to do with the typical ‘party’ Vegas experiences. And this nice little blog post outlines quite a few of our personal facvorites…
(We would also add the Spring Mountain Ranch State Park or the Clark County Wetlands park to that mix…)
Current ‘Tree’ Inventory
Between the two normal standard sized older city properties measuring 110′ deep by 64” wide (Estimated Lot Size: 0.17 acre), our current foundation (tree and larger specimens) plant inventory stands at over seventy (70) plants in various states of growth and production.
- Almond – Ne Plus
- Almond – Non Pareil (3)
- Almond – Texas Mission (2)
- Apple – Anna
- Apple – Arkansas Black
- Apple – Fuji Semi Dwarf
- Apple – Granny Smith
- Apricot – Mormon
- Asian Pear – 20th Century
- Asian Pear – Shinseiki
- Avocado – Stuart or Stewart
- Avocado – Mexican Granifolio
- Avocado – Zutano (2)
- Avocado – Pinkerton
- Carob tree – male
- Chaste Berry (2)
- Date Palm – Medjool Unknown Sex (4)
- Date Palm – Medjool girl clone
- Fig – Black Mission
- Fig – Brown Turkey
- Fig – Kadota
- Fig – Negrone
- Fig – Unknown Heirloom
- Grapefruit – Oro Blanco
- Grapefruit – Rio Red (2)
- Grapefuit – Flame
- Grapes: Merlot, White, Red, Chardonnay, Concord
- Jujube – Honey Jar
- Jujube – Lang
- Jujube – Li
- Jujube – Shangxi Li
- Jujube – Sherwood
- Jujube – Sugar Cane
- Lead Tree, White ‘False’ Tamarind, Leucaena (2)
- Lemon – Eureka
- Lemon – Lisbon
- Lemon – Meyer (2)
- Lime – Mexican thornless
- Mandarine – Murcot
- Mandarine – Owari Satsuma
- Mulberry – Pakistani
- Mulberry – Unknown Variety
- Mulberry – White
- Nectarine – Panamint
- Olive – Arbequina (2)
- Olive – Arbo Sana (2)
- Olive – Unknown Variety Female (2)
- Olive – Koroneiki (2)
- Olive – Wilsoni
- Orange – Trovita
- Orange – Valencia Midnight
- Orange – Washington Navel
- Peach – Early Alberta
- Pear – Semi Dwarf Bartlett
- Persimmon – Chocolate
- Persimmon – Fuyu
- Pistachio – Peters Male
- Pistachio – Peters Female (2)
- Pistachio – Kerman Female
- Plum – Sweet August
- Plum – Unknown Variety
- Pomegranate – Unknown Variety
- Tangerine – Algerian Semi Dwarf
- Tangerine – Clementine
- Tangerine – Dancy (2)
- Tangerine – Mineola
Some Role Models
If you think drinking and drugging makes you cool or creative… Take a look at these men. All are Creative, Cool and Achievers. They may have other ‘personal’ issues, but they all adopted clean and sober living (no drinking or drugs) to one degree or another. If they can do it, so can you. All the guys from Aerosmith, Eric Clapton, Tiger Woods, Anthony Hopkins, Ringo Starr, Robbie Williams, Pat Metheny, Ben Affleck, George Bush, Depak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Jesus Christ, Buddha, Ewan MacGregor, Kelsey Grammer, Tony Robbins, Jack LaLane, Tim Allen, Paul Williams, Wynton Marsalis, John Coltrane, Alex Van Halen, Alice Cooper , Steve Earle, Henry Rollins, Ted Nugent, Elton John, Frank Zappa, Peter Gabriel, Gene Simmons, Iggy Pop, Tom Waits, Steve Vai, Elvis Costello, Prince, Johnny Cash, Donald Trump, Stevie Wonder, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Al Pacino, and numerous other sports figures,
Mankind is Natural
Many participants in the Permaculture movement, forget the idea of man as an ‘natural element’ in the garden. In other words, they try so hard to adhere to natural layouts, that they forget that the gardener must be a participant and living inspiration to the design. Thus our approach to permaculture includes thoughtful landscape architecture and a semi-formal design approach. Not just willy nilly spirals of plantings, or random throwing of seeds. Central to permaculture are the three ethics: care for the earth, care for people, and fair share.
Caring for people, in our humble opinion, means giving them pleasant, well-planned, and organized spaces to reside within… And that includes STRAIGHT LINES. 🙂
(See more under Principle 7.)
We used artistic and traditional “Sunset Magazine” California-living, Mid Century Modern Landscape design inspired by the legendary award-winning landscape architect, Garret Eckbo. This means, that we include the layers and interactions of permie principles ALL WITHIN a pleasing MCM architectural approach to the garden – creating living space nooks and crannies and outdoor ‘rooms.’ The focus is on useful livability that just so happens to include food producing surrounding plant life, which includes places for ‘natural’ man to rest, do yoga, meditate, play, or converse.
Principles of Permaculture
Here are the twelve (12) principles of permaculture as described by David Holmgren and our responses to them.
- Observe and Interact
“Beauty is in the mind of the beholder”
By taking the time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation.
Observe what works and plant with enough order and organization to please the eye. Man is himself a part of mature and his mind creates straight lines, connections, pathways, and organization, which can be a thing of beauty.
Catch and Store Energy
“Make hay while the sun shines”
By developing systems that collect resources when they are abundant, we can use them in times of need.
We are currently using rain water catchment to water the garden through summer, and are looking into solar and wind power. We are also experimenting with Hugelculture. And in some instances we have altered the physical landscape terrain with retaining walls and raised beds to improve drainage and even provide water retention, in one case building an experimental below grade basin.
Obtain a yield
“You can’t work on an empty stomach”
Ensure that you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the working you are doing.
Although we know that ALL plants serve a medicinal or edible purpose, for now, we only plant those plants which we have knowledge on how they may be used. If we have a plant that arrives on its own – we endeavor to learn why it came and what purpose it serves.
Apply Self Regulation and Accept Feedback
“The sins of the fathers are visited on the children of the seventh generation”
We need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can continue to function well. Negative feedback is often slow to emerge.
We enjoy active participation in the local garden enthusiast community and look forward to sharing and learning more with our fellow gardeners.
It is interesting to note that although it may be ‘implied,’ nowhere in the ‘official’ permaculture principles do they specifically mention Organic or non Genetically Modified (GMO) gardening?!? However, we feel this is a very critical aspect of successful permaculture. Therefore, we use no harmful pesticides or herbacides. This can be challenging, but worthwhile knowing it is the right thing to do to “Care for the Earth” principle. We aspire to plant primarily heirloom or non-hybridized varieties of plants when possible. We also do not use ANY commercial animal products in the garden anymore. Originally when we began, we did use some fish emulsion in the raised beds, but now we have come to understand that the typical animal byproducts used in agriculture may come from very questionable sources. Animals who have been mistreated (or given cannibalistic feed or antibiotics, etc.) in turn would only end up in our garden through their waste products (emulsions, fish meal, bone meal, manures, etc.). We consider our garden to be free-range “veganic.”
Use and Value Renewable Resources and Services
“Let nature take its course”
Make the best use of nature’s abundance to reduce our consumptive behavior and dependence on non-renewable resources.
We have used recycled concrete, recycled rocks, and even recycled glass bottles in our landscape design. The Boca Park restaurant “Honey Salt” donated boxes and boxes of bottles for our glass collection program, as well as neighbors who all dropped off their used wine green bottles, beer bottle, water bottles to help create the outlines of our pathways. It should be noted that this technique was inspired by the work of Jules Dervaes Jr. at the Urban Homestead in Pasadena, CA. We have participated in the Master Gardener Orchard mulch program, and of course, mulched our own dead trees back into our yard.
Produce No Waste
“Waste not, want not” or “A stitch in time saves nine”
By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.
As a yard project, our garden produces no waste. Dirt has been recycled through Craiglist. Tree prunings are used as firewood. Greenwaste is composted or mulched. Unwanted plants have been given to other gardeners.
And, as far as the actual household is concerned, after years of asking, we finally got the city to provide recycling on our street. We are shooting for being a zero-waste property, but for now, we are doing intense composting and recycling.
Design From Patterns to Details
“Can’t see the forest for the trees”
By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go.
We have observed that many permaculturalists think that to use permie priniciples – everything must be in curving or undulating lines. We believe it is NO SO. Early civilizations prove that mankind naturally tends towards putting his domicides and villages in reasonably lined up fashions. Man is a part of nature and man walks a straight line, not in a zig-zag. (And not like the Ministry of Silly Walks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZlBUglE6Hc). Therefore, we believe that formal plantings or crops in a line are acceptable in a permaculture design.
We design our garden outline in straight lines. Many of our trees may be planted in allées, but they will not be the same trees repeated one after another. They vary so that one does not necessarily interpret the planting as linear. Then we allow nature to express and ‘color’ between… and outside of the lines.
Integrate Rather Than Segregate
“Many hands make light work”
By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other.
We are members of the World Wide Organization of Organic Farmers (WWOOF) and have hosted woofers. We have paid close attention to the sun and wind patterns and planted accordingly. In addition, we are beginning to start companion under-plantings that will create additional plant relationships. We also use passive sun and shade positions – for instance, planting a more semi-tropical trees under mature desert tree to provide solar protection. And by planting multiple varieties of trees within close proximity to each other, the trees create relationship with each other (like redwoods circling each other in the Pacific Northwest forest!)
In addition, throughout the garden we have seating, work and recreational spaces integrated into each landscape room area that encourage relationships.
Use Small and Slow Solutions
“Slow and steady wins the race” or “The bigger they are, the harder they fall”
Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and produce more sustainable outcomes.
We have been working on this project since 2008, and in earnest since 2011. We are recently even more committed to using “Standard” size trees, because of their ability to live a longer life, even though they may require more care and pruning than Dwarf or Semi Dwarf varieties. We are planting this food forest for 10-20 years to come and beyond.
Use and Value Diversity
“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”
Diversity reduces vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature of the environment in which it resides.
We are continually researching, educating ourselves, and looking for new and varied varieties and techniques.
Use Edges and Value the Marginal
“Don’t think you are on the right track just because it’s a well-beaten path”
The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system.
We are eternally endeavoring to learn and grow and get feedback whenever and wherever possible. And there is no space in our yard from edge to edge that goes by unused. With thoughtful planning, every inch of the property becomes useful and valuable. In terms of Feng Shui, there are no dark corners where energy will pool and/or stagnate. the entire garden and yard circulates useful energy!
We have planted fruit-producing trees right up to the edge of the street. When people remark that people will ‘steal’ our fruit, we remind them that it is not stealing… we are giving the fruit to our neighbors! This is in alignment of the principle, “fair share.”
Creatively Use and Respond to Change
“Vision is not seeing things as they are but as they will be”
We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing and then intervening at the right time.
When plants have a will to live in our yard, regardless of whether we have imposed their position or not, we tend to give them right of way… Thus we have come to terms with random volunteer plants” and so-called “weeds” like Lamb’s Quarters.
Also, initially we were using rock as mulch material in order to keep down the weeds. Throughout the years, the crab grass broke through and we heard it calling to us that it was there to break up the soil, add nitrogen and break it up for future planting. We have since removed ALL rock in any planting areas, and only used it for walking/work areas. Everywhere else, we use recycle mulch and the weeds are free to grow and eventually be mowed like grass.
The master plan vision we have for any property design is one of how the mature landscape will meld together and create a new ecosystem around the home.
Permaculture is an approach to designing human settlements and perennial agricultural systems that mimics the relationships found in natural ecologies. It was first developed practically by Austrian farmer Sepp Holzer on his own farm in the early 1960s and then theoretically developed by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren and their associates during the 1970s in a series of publications. — wikipedia.org
An Idea was Planted
When we bought the previously abandoned property, now known as Pistachio Palms, in February of 2008, the name was based on the fanciful names of dingbat apartments from the 1950s and came simply from the color paint. But when it was time to consider landscaping the front yard, and since there was already a wild Washington palm growing in the front corner, planting a pistachio tree or two seemed like a no-brainer. After a visit to the original Desert Demonstration Garden on Alta Drive and a chance meeting with Peter Duncombe, curator of the garden, we found that pistachios would do quite well here… So it started out simply, with three pistachio trees in the front yard (two girls and a boy) and a few edible cacti (aloes and agave).
Then as the master plan for the yard grew, so did our collection of trees and plants. Since embarking on improving the original WholeWay Home property, we have endeavored to grow as many medicinal and edible plants as possible on our site, maximizing the ‘food forest’ potential by espalier techniques, pruning, companion planting, and multiple trees in one hole. The collection was initially inspired by the edible bio-dynamic principles and plants of the Essenes in the Middle East and Egypt. We knew that these food producing plants did historically well in another desert area of the world… This is often called a Biblical Garden. These included plant foods mentioned in the bible such as figs, olives, jujubes, pistachios, dates, pomegranates and grapes. (http://www.biblicalgardens.com/All_Plants_Musselman.html)
The Master Plan
After the initial ideas were outlined, the plant collection grew to include basically any plant that could weather it through our intense climate zone. We had to start the project slowly, due to some legal complications with the property, but eventually those were over and by 2011, we were planting in earnest.
Surprisingly, we found that the frost was more dangerous to most plants than the 110 degree heat! For instance, citrus endeavored through the Summer, but took a beating when chilly frost in Winter hit. Plants that came from other extreme or harsh climates, such as India and the Himalayas also surprised us in being quite well adapted to the Mohave desert. These included several varieties Goji Berries (or Wolf Berries), Ginsengs and He Sho Wu, among others.
When we were able to acquire an additional vacant abandoned property across the street at a pure ‘fire sale’ price the following year, it meant a ton of sweat equity work (every window was broken, save one, and the place was tagged from top to bottom), but is also meant even more land on which to plant more food-producing foliage. This time the front yard was designed to teach neighborhood kids (and adults) about eating off the land. We participated in Clark County Commissioner, Chris Giunchuliani’s Little Free Library initiative, and started the Little Free Downtown Health Library (Charter #33110) https://www.facebook.com/LittleFreeHealthLibrary in 2015.
Now that we have many trees firmly established and starting to produce, we have been working towards a Permaculture approach with the remainder of the plantings, mixed with traditional Mid Century Modern (MCM) Landscape design inspired by the legendary Garret Eckbo. This means, that we intend to have layers and interactions of permie principles with a pleasing MCM architectural DESIGNED approach to the garden – creating living space nooks and crannies and outdoor ‘rooms.’ The focus is on useful livability that just so happens to include food producing surrounding plant life. We will discuss our approach to Permaculture in a follow-up blog post, which includes places for ‘natural’ man to rest, do yoga, meditate, play, or converse.
Next week we embark on our first ChocoFrolic Tour of Arizona…
When we teach our raw chocolate classes, we touch on brain chemistry and addiction issues as well as teach how to make your own raw chocolate. That’s we believe that a spoonful of sugar does help the medicine go down!
More info here: