08.25.2010 Vegetable Garden Update

The vegetable garden on campus is the largest current ongoing project. Seeds of Change Club members, Sarah Shutman and David Plunkett, have been working hard to get donations during these hard economic times.

Welcome Sign to the Pasadena City College Community Vegetable Garden Cherry Tomatoes

unknown squash plant

Ficus carica (Common Fig)

We still need to construct the last two raised garden beds and finish the raised bed from old tree crates. The soil will need to be prepared for the next season. Also, the construction of a fence around the vent with a gate and a possible small tool shed or storage area.

Raised Garden Beds at PCC
Courtesy Jason Carman

Other proposed projects include a worm composting bin and a small greenhouse. I personally would like to see a nesting block or stick nest project for native polinators.

08.22.2010 Vanishing of the Bees Documentary

Seeds of Change member Eric, has brought the Vanishing of the Bees to my attention, a new Colony Collapse Disorder documentary. Net Impact (Caltech) has proposed a joint movie screening with Seeds of Change.

A similar named documentary, Silence of the Bees, can be watched in full here and here. Both documentaries feature commercial beekeeper David Hackenberg. The difference, Dee Lusby is featured in the Vanishing of the Bees.

Another good documentary is Who Killed the Honey Bee. This film shares some the same footage with Vanishing of the Bees and covers the most current information on CCD. The full documentary can be watched here (note: it may require you to download a plug-in).

On the topic of Apis mellifera (Honey Bee), my uninformed neighbor had a bee swarm land on her Quercus chrysolepis (Canyon Live Oak). She contacted Los Angeles County Vector Control, resulting in a bee exterminator spraying pesticides on to the swarm and the trunk of the oak tree. The only things left were the dead bees and this sign:

Honey Bee Danger Sign
Courtesy Jason Carman

08.10.2010 Fruit Fly Quarantine

Today, the California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) announced plans to quarantine a 89 square mile area in Altadena and Pasadena after trapping five Oriental fruit flies. You can read the filing of emergency here.

The CDFA is proposing to spray Naled (organophosphate pesticide) and fly attractant on light poles and city trees according to the CDFA’s website.

This may affect our proposed compost project for the Fall 2010 semester.

Quarantine Zone
Source: 3423OFFPasadena.pdf

To learn more, please visit http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/phpps/PE/InteriorExclusion/off_quarantine.html.

08.06.2010 Permaculture Garden Update

Last month, we posted an update of the native garden. This time we are taking a look at the permaculture garden in the quad. Last month we had a garden maintenance day, and we are still having issues with Bermuda Grass. In a future meeting, we should discuss possible solutions to this ongoing problem.

Commemorative plaque Epilobium canum (California Fuchsia)

Nevertheless, there is still a lot going on in the garden. Looking closely, wildlife can be found. Here are some cool shots of a California Mantis, Yarrow’s Spur-throat Grasshopper, and even a Convergent Lady Beetle:

Stagmomantis californica (California Mantis)

Hippodamia convergens (Convergent Lady Beetle)

Melanoplus yarrowii (Yarrow's Spur-throat Grasshopper)
Courtesy Jason Carman

Another garden day will be planned for the near future.

08.01.2010 Agriculture Movement

Below is a short video on the relationship between the climate and the agriculture system.

Megan Quinn discusses her documentary The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil and the movement to urban farming.

You can watch her documentary in full here.