This weekend (Thursday actually) the LA Times had a reallllly interesting article on a family, the Devaes, doing urban gardening in Pasadena. They have a yard about the same size as ours and are growing a tremendous amount of food both for themselves and to sell. Check out the article, it's inspiring!
[this is the state of our garden currently]
Scott and I are very interested in sustainable living. When we moved out to California we explored the option of putting solar panels on the house we bought. Unfortunately, the person who came out to give us an estimate and draw up a plan told us the only way it would work was if we chopped down several mature trees in our yard. This was something we didn't want to do (shade does cool the house and lowers energy use on its own you know, not to mention the beauty factor) and couldn't do (we live in a historical district and can't just cut down trees willy nilly). We are trying to do other small things to help in lieu of that. We live in a small house, my car runs on biodiesel, our second car is a prius hybrid, we have a programmable thermostat in the house, we use flourescent bulbs, we try not to buy too many things we "want" and more things that we "need," we recycle, we compost, we green waste (yeah to LA for providing curbside recycling and green waste pickup!), we reuse what we can (e.g., our patio is recycled concrete "flagstones") we try to buy from our local farmers market, and to buy organically when we can. Actually, one of the reasons that I'm drawn to knitting is that it seems like it could truly be a sustainable hobby. We need clothes and if I knit with fibers with conscious then it can be a sustainable and needed activity.
One of the things we started here to be more sustainable is a small garden in our back yard. We had a garden in Oklahoma that did fairly well, but we had to water it with the hose and let's just say I was often too lazy to go out in the 90-100 degree heat to water and so often things got a bit fried. Moving here we committed to a water-conserving automatic watering system for the yard and decided to try to grow some veggies for real.
We had a few delicious heirloom tomatos this summer, some lettuce, and a few herbs. Reading about this family makes me really want to commit this year though. I think the planet is sending me a message. Remember it was only a couple of weeks ago that we toured the organic garden at the 29 Palms Inn and I felt energized to garden. S's mom also has committed to an organic urban garden this year.
If you want to get excited too, check out the family's web pages. They have a number of great video clips linked so you can see the garden and hear about the other sustainable practices they use. I've also added their journal to my bloglist.
We've got a long way to go to get to the level they are at, but it's great to have the inspiration.
I think when I finish posting I'm going to go out and talk to my brussels and see if I can coax them into growing faster [grin].
After the garden, I need to start thinking even bigger. No car day... now there's an idea to aspire to.