Friday, December 27, 2013

Marina DeBris, December 29

Miyuki wearing "Crusastea" in front of
"Aquarium of the Pacific Gyre"
Marina DeBris has been picking up trash off Los Angeles beaches for over 14 years. She uses the found objects to make works of art that help raise awareness about single use plastics and waste.

Come learn about her recent trip to Australia working with groups that are researching the impact of plastic pollution on the marine environment. She'll bring a few samples from 5Gyres.

Marina's also bringing a few pieces for display, including some new ones. You can see more at her website, Washed Up. Come and be inspired…perhaps to make your own art, definitely to reduce your contribution to her raw materials.
Pearls before Swine

The New Year is a great time to set realistic, achievable goals that support a cleaner, greener Earth. What life style changes can you make to shrink your carbon footprint in 2014? Perhaps it's carpooling to work one day a week, planting a tree, shunning styrofoam, packing a zero-waste lunch for your kids…the possibilities are endless. 

Get some help - or give some - at the Green Tent. Stop by and tell us your sustainable resolution and receive an official MVCC foldable shopping bag - just in time for the start of the Los Angeles plastic bag ban. We'll help you stay on track by sending you a reminder of your goal in 2014!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Master Gardeners, Dec. 22

This month, the UC/Cooperative Extension LA County Master Gardeners are back with an array of seasonal greens. 

Have you ever wanted to become a Master Gardener? Applications are now being taken for the next class--January 3 is the last day to request an application, and deadline to submit is Jan. 15. Click here for more information. 

Meantime pick up some seeds and seedlings that the MGs have lovingly planted up for you
  • Mesclun mix -- a selection of salad greens that you can divide into separate plants or just grow, cut, and watch them grow again.
  • Braising greens -- a mix of brassica greens that work wonderfully in a stir fry
  • Siberian Kale -- the super food that everyone loves
  • Rainbow Chard -- as beautiful to look at as to eat
  • Arugula -- you like it spicy? This is your plant
  • Bok Choy -- speaking of stir frying...also delicious braised
  • Baby Spinach -- lovely little leaves of iron-richness
  • Italian parsley -- this is the flat leaf variety
Please bring your empty six packs so we can keep planting more for next month.

See you at the Green Tent!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Learning Garden, December 15

The Learning Garden will be at the Green Tent this Sunday, with some free seeds and Learning Garden DVD's to give away.

Over the last 12 years, The Learning Garden has become a Mar Vista institution serving the community as our neighborhood botanical garden. We're very lucky to have such a valuable resource in our community! 

The Learning Garden wishes to solidify its connection to the people who support its efforts.

Seeking to connect even more with the people around them, it is launching a new program called Friends of The Learning Garden. The Learning Gardens wants to be be more of what it's been – to better fill its role in helping people of all ages become better gardeners and stewards of the earth they call their own.

Help The Learning Garden be an even better community partner. Come find out about its Friends program and dig the dirt with them!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Celebrating Sustainability, Dec. 8

The Mar Vista Farmers' Market welcomes three organizations that promote sustainability and the environment this Sunday. The Downtown Women's Center and Food Forward are sharing the Green Tent's corner. Nearby - right next to Santa Claus - you'll find Heal the Bay.

Downtown Women's Center

The Downtown Women's Center is celebrating 35 years of service to the women of Skid Row! On Sunday, December 8, DWC will be at the Green Tent to share information about their programs, and will display beautiful gifts locally hand-made from sustainable materials as part of the MADE by DWC social enterprise. The Ladies of MADE generate economic and social capital by conceiving, producing, and marketing handMADE products such as blank journals bound from salvaged library book covers and chic travel pouches sewn using reclaimed fabric remnants rescued from landfills. 

Heal the Bay

As an environmental non profit focused on protecting our waterways in LA County, Heal the Bay volunteers will be at the Farmers' Market (Santa Claus adjacent) to answer any questions you may have. Visit them for information about the Los Angeles plastic bag ban that goes into effect January 1, ocean pollution, and how to get involved. And don't forget to play the interactive games for fun giveaways!!

Food Forward

Food Forward is sharing the Green Tent space this Sunday with the Downtown Women's Center.

Food Forward rescues fresh, local produce that would otherwise go to waste, connecting this abundance with people in need, and inspiring others to do the same. Their innovative and replicable urban harvesting program conducts produce recovery events on public and private properties and at local farmers markets in the greater Los Angeles region. 100% of the produce recovered is distributed within 72 hours to over 65 hunger relief and social service agencies in the Los Angeles region. 

To learn more about Food Forward's Programs visit

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Master Gardeners, Nov. 24

Time to plant winter greens!

The UC/CE Master Gardeners of LA County return this Sunday with free plants, seeds and information to share with you. 

Winter's a good time to raise greens, peas and beans. This month they've planted up Rustic Heirloom Arugula, Gourmet Braising Greens, Siberian Kale and Red Kale, Rainbow Chard, a Mesclun Lettuce Mix, Fava Beans and Snow Peas.

Did you know that most of Mar Vista was historically the heart of the Lima Bean Belt? Honor the past and plant something of your own!

Remember: the Master Gardeners need your plastic six packs to continue planting seeds for these giveaways! Please drop them off at the Green Tent between 9 am and 1 pm.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Venice High Students Offer Herbs from the Learning Garden

This Sunday, the MVCC Green Committee space will be turned over to a group of ambitious students from Venice High School. They will be selling herbs grown in their very own Learning Garden. Proceeds from the sale fund a program for high school interns interested in gardening. These enthusiastic, committed students devote their summer hours to learning about urban agriculture. They master all aspects, from planting seeds to cultivating and nurturing young plants, harvesting and, finally, selling the "produce."

David King is the Gardenmaster of The Learning Garden at Venice High School
David King, Gardenmaster of
The Learning Garden at Venice High School

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Sunday November 3, 2013
9AM - 2PM

Catching and Harvesting a Precious Resource: Rainwater!

Come learn many simple ways to help yourself and the planet by "harvesting" the rain (collecting it or redirecting it, for example). You can:

Rain barrels make great “green” gifts for the person who has everything!
  • save water for future use
  • replenish and improve our groundwater
  • protect wildlife, wetlands, and the ocean
  • reduce our negative impact on Northern California and Colorado River import areas
  • reduce pollution and energy use (oil and electric)
  • lower your water bill
Denise "Deni" Friese, owner of Eco-Friendly Custom Landscapes and ecologist since the 1970's, is a trainer for the LA County Master Gardener program and president of the Culver City/Westside Garden Club. She teaches  and consults on many aspects of landscaping and low-water irrigation.
Newly-planted rain garden from
2012 Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Master Gardeners, Oct. 27

It's time to plant your fall garden

The Master Gardeners can help

(of the plastic, not beer, variety) 

Don't throw away those six-pack plastic plant containers! Your faithful Master Gardeners need them to bring more seedlings to the market for you! Please drop them off at the Green Tent on Sunday, Oct. 27, between 9 am and 1 pm.

What they're bringing to market to give away
Fava beans which you can eat or use as cover crop; they fix nitrogen in the soil, ask them how. The snap peas they planted are doing nicely, so is the bok choy. You'll have lettuce through winter with their mesclun mix, plus shelling peas, some swiss chard and a couple of leeks to choose from. And a special bonus: strawberries!

Plus, they'll finally have some fall seeds to give away. Stop by, ask questions, get your garden going!

What to plant now
Fall is a great time to start a garden! Two weeks after replenishing beds with compost and manure, plant seeds and transplants for the veggies that will keep you eating well through the spring. Get some flowers too! (P.S.: The Master Gardeners' helpline is just a call (626- 586-1988) or email ( away.

Veggies for Overwintering
Sow fava beans, celery, chard, chives, garlic, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce (especially romaine types and small-heading bibb and buttercrunch types, which overwinter well), green and long-day bulb onions (which will mature during the lengthening days of next spring and early summer), parsley, peas, radishes, spinach (especially savoy types for more frost resistance), and shallots.

Encouraging Bigger Strawberries
Locate strawberry beds away from where potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers have grown within the last 3-5 years to help prevent verticillum wilt infection, or chose strawberry varieties that are resistant to or tolerant of this disease. Incorporate compost, cottonseed meal, and other nutrients based on a soil test. Water well. After two to four weeks transplant strawberries 1 foot apart so the crown is just above the soil level. Strong roots will develop over the winter, and spring warmth will encourage fast growth and large berries.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Food Forward, Oct. 20


Come learn about the Food Forward Backyard Harvesting Program, Farmer's Market Recovery Program, and other ways to help make an impact in Southern California by getting fresh fruits and vegetables to those needing them most. 
Food Forward rescues fresh local produce that would otherwise go to waste, (called “gleaning”), connecting this abundance with people in need, and inspiring others to do the same. They convene at Farmers Markets, backyards, and  properties they're invited to and harvest excess fruits and vegetables. They donate 100% of the gleaned produce to local food pantries across southern California. 
Combined, their numerous distribution partners provide food to over 40,000 clients a month across Southern California. Since forming in 2009, they have harvested over 1,680,000 lbs. of produce. They couldn’t do it without the help of local volunteers who are passionate and active in their efforts to harvest food, fight hunger and build community.
Food Forward not only battles hunger in Southern California, but also battles the environmental issue of food waste. An article published in the journal PLOS in 2009 calculated that food grown and then thrown away accounts for almost one-quarter of all America’s freshwater use. Food dumped in a landfill rots and creates methane gas, a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than CO2. In the EPA’s Food Recovery Heirarchy, donating surplus food to the hungry is the second most important step to solving the food waste problem - even more important than composting!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pedestrian Celebration, Oct. 13

"Walktober" is here! 

Sunday, October 13, at The Green Tent, Crossing Guard Ryan will share with you how to get involved in Walk to School Day and how to stay safe when walking in Los Angeles. 

National Walk to School Day is October 9th and LADOT has partnered with the LAUSD to promote the first ever citywide Walk to School Day events. Schools throughout Los Angeles are registering to participate and celebrate the joys of walking. Events are being held throughout the month of October and include incentive giveaways, student assemblies, walking school buses, and other fun activities. 
Do you have a connection at a school that is not registered for Walk to School Day? Are you interested in being an event organizer or know someone who is? It's not too late to sign up! Talk to your principal about the event and register online at The website has the resources and guides you will need to help create a successful event.

Need more information about Walk to School Day? Call the hotline at 213-478-0475, extension 101, or email