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Finding Frost

frost on kale leaf

When we go out into the garden to take pictures, we don’t always find what we expect.  So don’t get locked into seeing what you want to see.  See what is.

When my friend Kate Frey suggested I might want to photograph the tapestries of winter vegetables she planted at Lynmar Winery I could hardly wait for the next free morning.  I knew her keen sense of design and plant combinations would be exquisite.  An organic edible garden designed to be an artistic visual treat ?!  Think the Roadrunner cartoons… zeeeeeeeeoooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwww …. I’m on my way. Continue Reading →

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Normally I would Tweet or link to this article on Facebook. Perhaps you’ve already read about this on another garden blog. In case you didn’t though, this is BIG news. Please pass on to your friends and colleagues……Fran Sorin

Law of Mother Earth expected to prompt radical new conservation and social measures in South American nation

Written by By John Vidal for The Guardian

Bolivia is set to pass the world’s first laws granting all nature equal rights to humans. The Law of Mother Earth, now agreed by politicians and grassroots social groups, redefines the country’s rich mineral deposits as “blessings” and is expected to lead to radical new conservation and social measures to reduce pollution and control industry.

The country, which has been pilloried by the US and Britain in the UN climate talks for demanding steep carbon emission cuts, will establish 11 new rights for nature. They include: the right to life and to exist; the right to continue vital cycles and processes free from human alteration; the right to pure water and clean air; the right to balance; the right not to be polluted; and the right to not have cellular structure modified or genetically altered.

Controversially, it will also enshrine the right of nature “to not be affected by mega-infrastructure and development projects that affect the balance of ecosystems and the local inhabitant communities”.

“It makes world history. Earth is the mother of all”, said Vice-President Alvaro García Linera. “It establishes a new relationship between man and nature, the harmony of which must be preserved as a guarantee of its regeneration.”

The law, which is part of a complete restructuring of the Bolivian legal system following a change of constitution in 2009, has been heavily influenced by a resurgent indigenous Andean spiritual world view which places the environment and the earth deity known as the Pachamama at the centre of all life. Humans are considered equal to all other entities.

Read full article at: The Guardian

Link to video on Bolivia’s Climate Change Wars

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Garden or Museum – what’s the big deal with heirloom veg?

Medieval peasants worked hard for low yields. Do we really want to go back to their heirlooms?

Heirloom vegetables and flowers (or as well call them over here – heritage) have been big for some time now. Much more so in North America than home. In fact I am always really surprised about how enthusiastic American gardeners are about ‘vegetables our grandmothers grew’. The love of heirloom veg however goes along with a certain hostility to modern varieties, and modern breeding methods such as F1 hybridisation, particularly claims that heirlooms taste better; there is also an undercurrent that heirlooms are somehow better for the world, more ethical. Here I’d like to challenge this and stand up for modern scientific plant breeding. There is also a political point I’d like to make.

Continue Reading →

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The Global Strategy for Plant Conservation

Note from Fran: We’re thrilled to welcome a new Guest Contributor to GGW, Chris Woods. Over the course of his twenty year tenure at Chanticleer, Chris transformed what was one a private estate garden into an exuberant, knock your socks off  public pleasure garden. After stints as Executive Director of  Mendicino Coast Botanical Garden,  Van Dusen Botanical Garden, Ojai Valley Land Conservancy and Santa Barbara Conservancy, Chris has branched out on his own and as usual, is wearing several hats; plant conservation being one of them. You can learn more about Chris on his website.

Pause, if you will, to think about the world’s plants. It is estimated that one-third of plants on this planet are now endangered. From the teak trees of Myanmar to the Manzanita of California, plants are being eliminated due to rapacious greed, human over-population and consequent loss of habitat.


Continue Reading →

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Picture This – Photographing Abundance

There is still time to send in your photos for this months contest.  The theme is Abundant Harvest which we kicked off with a smorgasbord of photos, all of which are interpretations of the theme.  Rules and prizes in the October 5 post. I should remind our readers that the photos do not have to be recent ones, nor do they even have to be in the garden.  A farmer’s market or a jar of homemade pickles can say abundance.

What does matter is good composition and a photo that has ‘abundant’ in its impact.  Extra points for color; and when I think of harvest I think of edibles, be it fruit, veggies, or herbs.

I thought it might be fun to analyze my construction of a photograph that was commissioned to show abundance, the lead photo in the original post. Continue Reading →

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