Calendar of Events

There are lots of Transition-type events going on in the Westchester area:
For full details, please refer to the calendar of the

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Harvest Westchester

The Harvest Westchester project collects excess backyard fruit and vegetables and helps channel this food to where it will be useful. The project operates in the Westchester (90045) area of Los Angeles.

Harvest Westchester began as a new shoot of the Community Garden at Holy Nativity. As volunteers harvested the community garden and carried its fresh fruits and vegetables to Food Pantry LAX, we realized that fruit trees all over our neighborhood were bearing fruit which was often going to waste.

The fruit from unharvested trees rotted on the ground, attracted vermin, created an unsightly mess, and was lost bounty which could be feeding people. Christine B got the idea to collect the excess fruit and add it to the harvests being sent to feed needy local families via Food Pantry LAX. Thus the "first generation" of Harvest Westchester was born.

Local neighbors are now learning that when they get to the "too many zucchini" time of year, they can bring this bounty to Holy Nativity (6700 W. 83rd, Westchester 90045) and the Harvest Westchester team will get it to people who can use it.

Meanwhile, as Environmental Change-Makers and Transition Los Angeles/Westchester delved deeper into the future of food, we came to realize how we need to build a strong local network to help redistribute our backyard harvests. If one person grows too many peaches and another person grows too many tomatoes, shouldn't we swap? In Mar Vista, they have invented a way of doing this on a regular basis. It would be great to bring the Mar Vista model here and take Harvest Westchester into its "next generation."

Ways you can help Harvest Westchester:
  1. Expand the harvest: Help get the word out about HW, by word of mouth and/or by circulating fliers.
  2. Harvest teams: If you like to have fun climbing trees, join the fruit harvest teams. These teams go out (on relatively short notice) to harvest the trees of elderly people who cannot harvest.
  3. Help create "next Gen": Coordinate a group of volunteers to expand the food redistribution aspect of HW, perhaps following the model of Mar Vista.
If you'd like to help, contact us.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Growing a Resilient Local Economy - Mar. 11

Times are changing – radically. Changing times call for changing practices.

As you as you reorient your career, or as you create the 5- and 10-year plan for your business, we encourage you to do so with clear understanding of the potential pitfalls and the unprecedented opportunities.

In the decade ahead our local community will need:
  • Local businesses, which sell or utilize locally-sourced materials that demand far less transportation.
  • Businesses which are independent of national and international financial markets.
  • Core industries which provide the basic needs of living: food, water, shelter, basic clothing and tools.
  • Skilled craftsmen, home businesses, and barter-based services
  • Community banks, time banks, and sophisticated bartering networks
How do we support what we already have, build/grow/cultivate what we don’t have, and get the Transition process underway? Come join a community discussion of real solutions.

Download flier here (pdf)

7-9pm, Thurs Mar 11
Environmental Change-Makers and Transition Los Angeles
Community Hall of Holy Nativity Church, 6700 West 83rd, Westchester (LA 90045)
Suggested donation $1 to $5. We invite you to bring a can of food to donate to LAX Food Pantry.

Vegetable / Herb Seed Swap - Mar 13

Do you save seed? Do you have extra half-packets of vegetable seed lying around from last season's exuberant purchases? Do you wish you could access some of those exotic heirloom varieties without having to buy whole packets? Do you want to start a garden and yearn for diversity? Come to our seed swap!

Bring your seed, and bring junk mail envelopes to carry home your bounty. If you don't have seed to share, come anyway and take home a starter garden.

9:00am to 9:45am lecture on Seed Saving - learn why it is important and valuable to save seed, what are heirlooms, how to avoid GMO's, and briefly how to save seed from popular winter vegetables.

9:45am we'll reorganize the room and begin the seed swap.

Our seed swap emphasizes FUNCTIONAL PLANTS: Seeds from vegetables, herbs (culinary and medicinal), grains, fiber/dye plants, compost crops are all welcomed.
(why not ornamental flowers?)

Resources about seed-saving:

* a delightful article about Seed Swaps by Heather Coburn, author of Food Not Lawns - we'll be following her "potluck" version of organizing

Part of the Organic Vegetable Gardening class series

Cost: $1 to 5 suggested donation
Please bring a can of food to donate to LAX Food Pantry.

Site: Community Garden at Holy Nativity Church,
6700 W. 83rd, Westchester (LA 90045)

Vegetable Garden Design class series - Mar 20, Apr 10, Apr 24

Learn to design your own edible landscape for your home garden. This popular series returns with Joanne Poyourow, who designed the Community Garden at Holy Nativity. You'll learn how to design a garden that will keep producing year round in our So Calif seasons.

Part I (Mar 20): "The Big Picture"

We'll begin with overall site design, permaculture zones, aesthetics, making full use of vertical vs horizontal space, and how to position your garden on your property.

Part II (Apr 10): "The Details"

You'll get to know common edible plants, their growing habits, and how to integrate them into your urban landscape, including vegetables, fruit trees, perennials, herbs, and "feral vegetables". We'll talk about plant families and the similarities in plant care within a family, and introduce companion planting and guilds.

Part III (Apr 24): "Rotations"

We'll pick up where we left off with companion planting and guilds, then discuss several different systems for vegetable crop rotation including traditional row methods, Square Foot Gardening, French Intensive plantings, and more. The class will conclude with a hands-on design project, where you will get to integrate your new knowledge with guidance and support from others as you participate in the design for the summer 2010 Community Garden.

Three Saturdays. While you are welcome to attend whichever sessions your schedule permits, please realize that information is definitely cumulative and will not be repeated.

Part of the Organic Vegetable Gardening class series

Cost: $5 to 10 suggested donation
Please bring a can of food to donate to LAX Food Pantry.

Site: Community Garden at Holy Nativity Church,
6700 W. 83rd, Westchester (LA 90045)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Vigil for Survival - Dec 11

There is a global mobilization planned for the weekend in the middle of the Copenhagen climate conference—Dec. 11-13.

Mid-way through the climate talks, people all over the world will gather at iconic or strategic locations in their communities, and will light candles of hope to stand in solemn solidarity with the citizens of the nations whose very survival is threatened by the climate crisis.

These nations are calling for a “survival pact,” for commitments by the developed world to cut emissions enough to get the atmospheric concentration of CO2 back to 350 parts-per-million. They know the simple, mathematical truth of global warming: 350 = Survival.

In the Westchester area of Los Angeles (right beneath the flight path of LAX airport) we will be gathering. We'll hold our vigil in front of the LAX sign on Sepulveda at Lincoln.

When: Friday night, Dec 11, 7pm

Where: [no longer at the LAX sign]
We will still hold the candlelight vigil! We will move indoors, into a church a few blocks from the outdoor site. We'll be at Holy Nativity Church, 6700 W. 83rd, Westchester/LA 90045. 310 670 4777 This backup location is shown on the "Google map to the site" below.

Who: you, your friends, your family and children, and many others who care about global warming and survival.
Coordinated by the Environmental Change-Makers and Transition Los Angeles

Bring: candles, warm clothes (it gets windy there), and signs or banners about 350 or global warming plus flashlights to illuminate them.

What we'll do: We are planning candles (of course!), song, possibly drumming, and a reading of the very moving speech given a few weeks ago by the President of the Maldives, the speech which called for solidarity. Photos from the evening will be forwarded to 350 and to our political representatives to make our voices be heard.

RSVP here

Google map to the site

Why LAX?
"Flying off to a Warmer Climate"
"Saying Goodbye to Air Travel" by Richard Heinberg
The impact of flying on the environment, BBC Justin Rowlett
"To Fly or Not to Fly" by Rob Hopkins and Naresh Giangrande

The Science of 350
"The Physics of Copenhagen: Why politics-as-usual may mean the end of civilization" by Bill McKibben
"Global Warming Deniers Well Funded," Newsweek (if that link doesn't work try this one)