Monday, November 22, 2010

Winter Garden-land

Last Friday the garden hosted an expert gardener, Lynn Villella, who walked us through the process of preparing our learning garden for the inclement weather of the winter months in the great Northwest.

And not a moment too soon, as the following days before our Thanksgiving break the garden seemed to be growing snow.

We had wonderful volunteers and hands that came out last week to help us prepare the garden for a winter hibernation. As per our usual M.O. we had rain and light showers for our garden gathering, but we still managed to recruit some brave souls to help us.

Our volunteers helped us to clean out the beds, compost old plants, and plant faba beans in the empty beds to help reintroduce some nitrogen and other nutrient goodies into the soil for next year's plants.

Gardens in front yards or other high visibility locations used to be a taboo, because of the pressure for them to be maintained and looking beautiful, but after our clean-up our expert thinks we'd pass inspection.

We also enjoyed some hot apple cider and treats from Bon Appétit.

And our volunteers even managed to take home some mint starts for themselves.

A very productive, and timely work party for our Learning garden.

Many thanks to everyone who have been following us here on the blog, and volunteering your time in the garden helping to keep it beautiful, and running smoothly. Our wonderful garden wouldn't be possible without the help from all you.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Winter Garden

This year’s theme for International Education Week is Striving for a Sustainable Future. With sustainable future in mind, gardens are becoming increasingly popular all over US campuses, in people’s homes and in cities!

For example, take a look at a San Francisco’s neighborhood recent re-use of a freeway ramp into an urban farm!

In this spirit, we are excited to offer you a Garden Workshop this coming Friday in SMU’s new campus garden.

Garden experts will be on hand to tell and show you how to prepare your gardens for the winter.

Dress to be outside and get dirty! Bon Appétit will provide hot apple cider and there will be light snacks.

At 2pm, we will gather in the St.Gertrude (dining hall) atrium for a talk, followed by some hands on work in the garden.

NOTE: the IEW poster says 3-5, but we are actually starting at 2pm!

Friday, Nov. 19
Winter Garden Planting
SMU Community Garden, 2-5 p.m.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Worldchanging for the Green

Greetings to all our readers, volunteers, and fellow garden and sustainability enthusiasts,

Last week the sustainability met to assess our progress, budget and future plans, and one of the many possibilities we addressed was introducing other valuable organizations and resources that are committed to sustainability, and possibly looking into recruiting speakers for workshops and lectures about our community learning garden, and sustainability.

One such organization that came up is local, Seattle-based “WorldChanging,” a nonprofit media group with a global network, and global goals of affecting sustainable change. Since its inception 7 years ago, Worldchanging has produced a bestselling book: “Worldchanging: A User’s Guide for the 21st Century,” which is widely considered an encyclopedia of all things green and sustainable, and “go-to source for forward thinking, solutions-based journalism that takes a big picture approach to sustainability,” and publishing more than 11,000 articles related articles, with local issue specific blogs for Denver, Seattle and Canada. Earning Worldchanging the honor of being rated the second largest sustainability site on the web by Nielsen Online in 2008.

Worldchanging: A User’s Guide to the 21st Century,” is a 600 page compilation of solutions from across the globe. Among its many accolades it has been on Amazon’s bestseller list in both the U.S. and Canada, and won the Green Prize for sustainable literature, and one of the books of the year by BusinessWeek. The book has also been translated into French, German, and Korean, and expects to soon be available in several others.

Co-founder and Executive Editor of, and editor of “Worldchanging: A User’s Guide to the 21st Century,” Alex Steffen, spreads the message of sustainability global through regular speaking appearances at leading companies such as Nike, Amazon, Yahoo!, and has been hosted as a keynote speaker at design and invocation conferences across the globe including Ted, Pop! Tech, as well at some of the world’s leading universities including Harvard, Yale and Stanford.

His talk last November in Seattle’s Town Hall, explored why our present global crisis requires a different approach to reach a greener future in which we can provide increased prosperity, security, and quality of life for everyone on the planet, and helped influence Seattle’s adopting the goal of carbon neutrality by 2030.

Today he will be addressing Seattle again on “The State of the Future,” where he will be presenting his new ideas on “planetary futurism,” global solutions, and the next big step towards a sustainable future.

Best of luck to Alex and Worldchanging in all their green endeavors. And to our readers, volunteers, and fellow green enthusiasts, check out the latest goals, events, and news from Worldchanging on their website, or their book for solutions for a more sustainable future.