Thursday, May 24, 2012

Garden Girl: Lawns to Edible Landscapes

Check Patty the Garden Girl. She has some interesting information on how to build gardens and do it sustainably. Here is a video on transforming lawns into other types of landscapes - like edible or native plant - your garden will still be luscious, but probably a bit more practical.

If you live in Southern California, it is probably not a good idea to build a pond or fountain, since we suffer from water scarcity and high heat (meaning evaporating ponds and pools). But there are a lot of other really interesting tips in here. Check it out!


Saturday, May 12, 2012

May Events in LA

Dear community:

Here is a list of events for the rest of this month. 

Events include: the Seed library monthly meeting (and how to seed save grains); Cafe Vida (a play about Homegirl Cafe, part of Homeboy Industries); an AFSC training on nonviolent confrontation; locally grown, cooked-from-scratch, vegetarian community dinners at Historic Monument 157; a free parenting class for women who have experienced domestic violence; and a kombucha brewing class. 

Enjoy and happy May!

Nisha Namorando Vida
Founding Director 
Local to Global Life Works


What: Seed Library of Los Angeles 
 monthly meeting

Sponsored by: 

Where: The Learning Garden at Venice High School, 13000 Venice Blvd, Venice 90066. Enter at the first entrance south of Venice Blvd on Walgrove Avenue.  The gate is unlocked during meeting hours

When: Saturday, May 12 from 2:30 - 4 pm.

SLOLA will host guest speaker Davey Creates as he shares expertise about growing grains and his experience at Native Seeds/SEARCH's Grain School. The seed library will be open for check-outs following the meeting. All monthly SLOLA meetings are open to anyone in the general public with an interest in seed saving, we welcome you to join us!

For easy seed checkout, you can download:
Current Inventory 03.2012 -
2012 Seed Check Out Form -

Cost: Free, though you have to be a SLOLA member to check out seeds. Membership is $10.



What: Cafe Vida -- a theatrical play!

Sponsored by: Produced in partnership between Cornerstone Theater, Homeboy Industries and Homegirl Café. Community partners include Hunger Action LA, Solano Canyon Community Garden, and the Urban & Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College. 

Where: The Los Angeles Theater Center, 514 S. Spring. St., Los Angeles 90013

When: Thursdays - Sundays now until May 20. From Thu-Sat it takes place at 8pm, with Sunday matinee at 2 pm

Acclaimed playwright Lisa Loomer pens the first production in Cornerstone Theater Company’s Hunger Cycle with an original work, Café Vida. Chabela and Luz are two rival homegirls ready to leave the gang life and begin anew at Café Vida, the only place in the city that gives young women and their shady pasts a genuine second chance to start a new life free of violence. It’s here that these former enemies pull themselves up by their shoelaces, maintain a steady diet of self-respect, learn to compost, tend a garden, julienne an onion and take your lunch order with a smile and a heaping side of transformation. This play is the story of Homegirl Cafe, a part of Homeboy Industries.

Notes: Café Vida is the first play in Cornerstone Theater’s recently launched Hunger Cycle, a series of nine world premiere plays investigating the universal and urgent need for food and how filling that need has the power to transform individuals and communities. They are also hosting other events in conjunction with this play. See Cornerstone website for more details.

Cost: $20 advanced purchase online, pay what you can at the door (accessible to all). 

Theater company website:
Homeboy Industries: 


What: Mother's Day

When: Sunday, May 13

Have you not planned anything to do yet for Mother's Day? How about going all natural and taking a hike with her, or going on a picnic? 

Sierra Club has some great suggestions for celebrating a "green" Mother's Day:

Notes: Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there! And, of course, to the great mama herself, Mother Nature. :)


What: Community Dinner at Historical Monument 157

Sponsored by: HM157 and SoCal Time Banks

Where: Historical Monument 157, 3110 N. Broadway, L.A., CA 90031

When: Tuesday, May 15, 7:30pm – 8:30pm

Doers of all persuasions are invited to come network and walk away in cahoots. Gourmet vegan dinner is provided for $5 most weeks. On fundraiser weeks (once a month) the cost is $10 if you rsvp, $20 at the door. To earn time dollars, come work in the kitchen starting around 4pm. Please RSVP on the Arroyo Lowdown ( where the menu is posted on Monday nights. BYOB.

Notes: This is a weekly dinner.

Cost: $5-20

Links: Arroyo Time Bank:


What: Nonviolence training

Sponsored by: American Friends Service Committee

Where: 634 S. Spring St., ground floor, Los Angeles 90014

When: Saturday, May 19 from 9:30 am - 3:30 pm

This is a training primarily intended for activists 'in the trenches', who might be faced with violence from police and others. Occupy folks, this one might be a good one for you. Topics to be covered include:

Topics covered:
Nonviolence principles and values
Nonviolent strategy, tactics, campaigns
Nonviolent direct action planning
Discipline and group dynamics
Building inclusivity
Legal rights and safety

Notes: Bring your own lunch, or buy lunch at one of the many neighborhood restaurants. Take public transit if you can - many busses run down Spring St. and up Main St. (the next block over) and the building is located about 2 blocks from the Pershing Square exit off of the Metro Red Line. Otherwise, find street parking or pay $4 to park at Joe's next door. 

Cost: Free, though donations welcomed.

Links: American Friends Service Committee -


What: The Ancient Art of Fermentation: Kombucha brewing

Sponsored by: The Growing Home

Where: The Growing Home, Doeskin Pl, Diamond Bar, CA 91765

When: Sunday, May 20, from 1 - 3pm.

Kombucha has been brewed as a health tonic for millenia. In this workshop, you will learn how to safely brew and bottle your own kombucha at home. You'll also go home with a complete kombucha brewing kit including a kombucha culture.

Workshop price includes:
-1 gallon glass jar
-6 16.9 oz. glass bottles
-1 muslin cloth
-a kombucha scoby
-dried tea herbs from The Growing Home

Cost: $50

Links: Facebook event page -


What: Nonviolent parenting series for women who have experienced domestic violence

Sponsored by: Echo Parenting and Chicana Action Service Center 

Where: Chicana Service Action Center, 3601 East 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90063

When: Wednesdays, May 30 - Aug. 1, from 2 - 4pm.

Many mothers need support to begin their own healing and to support their children after experiencing violence. This ten session course will help women to learn a philosophy and practice of parenting that is based on empathy and compassion. It will provide the opportunity for mothers to receive support from other women who have experienced violence.

Topics will include:
* Developing a connected relationship with your children
* Creating a safe and peaceful environment for you and your children.
* Learning self-regulation and teaching your children to regulate their nervous system.
* Talking with your children about the violence.

Notes: Childcare provided! Contact Glenda Linares at 213.484.6676 ext 310 or to register or for more information.

Cost: Free!

Links: Echo Parenting -

Thursday, May 10, 2012

GOOD Competition: $500 for a Day of Car-Free Fun

Dear community,

GOOD LA just announced a competition, and Local to Global Life Works (LTG) would like to invite you to participate in creating a group submission. 

GOOD LA's competition is to come up with a great idea for how LA (or part of LA) can go car free for a day. The winner will be awarded $500 to make their vision happen. Local to Global Life Works would like to submit as an organization by gathering ideas from you. We have one week to make this happen, so if you are interested in shooting out an idea, let us know! See below this message for more details.

Just to add a bit on bicycle magic, at the last CicLAvia it was announced that Los Angeles will be installing bike share stations, which will help more people in Los Angeles get around car-free while stimulating LA bike culture (at least, this is the idea behind this). This will be a for-profit endeavor, but hopefully bikes will be affordable. Bike sharing was also an idea called for at LTG's GOOD Growth event last year. The strategy paper is still in progress, however, it will soon be fully available thanks to LTG's new Development Coordinator, Meghan Smith. :)  

As for more LTG event calls to action, I am currently building a vegetable learning garden at a school in response to dialogue on how to stop food waste in America following a screening of the film Dive! at the Los Angeles Eco-Village. Look out for some work parties later this year.


Scroll down to see the competition announcement from GOOD.

Thanks and much love,

Nisha Namorando Vida
Founding Director // Local to Global Life Works

* We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children * 

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: GOOD LA <>
Date: Tue, May 8, 2012 at 1:28 PM
Subject: We're Giving Away $500 for a Day of Car-Free Fun
To: GOOD LA Team <>

Design Your Ideal Car-Free Day in Los Angeles. You Could Win $500 to Make It Happen.

The Daily GOOD LA
Tired of Angelenos complaining that this city doesn't move? GOOD has teamed up with LA/2B, a project of the Los Angeles Departments of City Planning and Transportation, to envision the future of mobility in LA. As part of that partnership, we're challenging you to come up with creative ideas for an amazing car-free day in the city. From the Santa Monica pier to Griffith Park, there's lots to do in LA. Where do you want to go—by bus, foot, bike, or even horseback? Submit an idea this week for the chance to win $500 to bring it life.
The deadline to submit is Tuesday, May 15, at noon PST. At that point, we’ll open up all ideas for voting, so rally your colleagues and friends to join the GOOD community and decide which idea is most deserving of the cash. Voting is open May 15-31. The top-voted idea will take home $500 to make it happen.
Connect with this challenge on Twitter at @GOODmkr and follow the conversation via #LAcarfreeday. If you’d like to be notified of future GOOD Maker Challenges, let us know here. If you have any questions, please email GOOD's own Manasa Yeturu at

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Fashion 2012: Plants growing in gowns!

I have to give credit to Reuben at Rancho Reubidoux for sharing this designer's work.

Designer Egle Cekanaviciute has created a 6 piece line of clothes made from organic raw materials like potato sacks, which are cut with crevices in which plants are growing.

Reuben has written a whole post on the work, which you can check HERE.

Or, go straight to the website by clicking HERE!

Peace and peas! Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Capitalism and Industrialization: Siblings

The 405 freeway in LA during rush hour
In our recent collective human history, capitalism and industrialization are siblings if not twins. The industrial revolution of England 200 and some years ago led for major thinkers at the time to brainstorm how the factors required by industrialization (land, natural resources, liquid/mobile capital and labor/cheap labor) and the output of capitalism (goods and lots of money aka capital) could be harnessed to create massive and continuous capital growth. These philosophies sort of congealed and became capitalism. Thus, machines, then factories were invented, followed by capitalism as the theory of how to best manage and enhance capital creation (stemming from massive production enabled by industrial machines, which generate capital, which is then invested and speculated with in different markets like the stock exchange). These philosophies have been promoted around the world (through, for example, economic development policy).

By the way, if you haven't read Adam Smith's work, you will be happy to know that you can access the Wealth of Nations online for free.

As I mentioned in my post yesterday on my FREE ALOE VERA giveaway (all-caps = there is SO much aloe and I want to share it), I am working on some projects taking up a LOT of time. One of them is research and grantwriting for the GMO Film Project, for which I am an advisor, researcher, and associate producer (we have some big production goals for this month), and the other is an academic research project I have been working on now for 6 years. I am presenting my results in a conference next month, which will hopefully be filmed to share with you, the public. I am still finishing writing my article based on results, and have to prep for the conference in a couple of weeks...yikes!

So, as I was plodding along, I thought I would try to get insight into the difference between capitalism and industrialization. The first hit of my search capitalism vs. industrialization yielded the blog post entitled "Industrialization vs. Capitalism". The author gave a disclaimer of not being well versed in economic matters, but I thought he made some good points and left some open areas that I could contribute to. I decided to comment on his blog based on my thoughts and research, and thought it would be a good one to share with all of you, particularly since it focuses on issues such as agrarian living, which many people in 'modern' times are turning back to (see So, check out my comment below, and check out the original article HERE. Please feel free to leave/share any thoughts in the comment box.


Nisha Namorando Vida
Founding Director
Local to Global Life Works

I'm writing a paper for publication in an academic journal on this subject. Actually, my work focuses on industrialization and movement away from agrarian society as not being 'advancement/a step up', which I argue is the legacy of colonial mentality. Europe's industrial revolution is really what enabled them to violently conquer much of the world and enabled/required them to find new sources of resources for machines, and consumer markets to buy industrialized goods, while convincing themselves and others that industrialized society was more civilized, advanced and developed than backward indigenous/tribal/rural (aka agrarian) societies. This mentality still exists today, and is what I think needs to be changed en masse.

Anyway, I think your analogy was not far from the truth, but I also think this issue is a very hazy one that can be variously interpreted. It also depends on what school of capitalism you are looking at. But I do think that 'capitalism' and 'industry' can be 'good' depending on how they are managed by humans.

Also, industrialization actually stands in some ways in opposition to free trade/openness of markets because nations need to foster certain industries (for ex. subsidize through government loans, protect through tariffs on imported goods of the same product, etc) both to foster industrialization at home, and to have an industry with which to have a competitive edge. This is especially true of 'developing' economies, though you can still see it to be true in the US, such as of our subsidizing of the agriculture industry (which is as far from 'agrarian life' as you could possibly get).