The Dry Garden: Heirlooms by trial and error

A tomato left to rot in the garden last summer resulted this spring in my eating ripe homegrown heirloom tomatoes by Memorial Day instead of the normal harvest time around the Fourth of July. A fruit dropped in mulch sprouted in October rain, did nicely through winter storms and then, with some watering since May, the vines have been yielding what I’ve decided must be Cherokee Purple tomatoes for going on a month. In terms of flavor, they’re not Black Krims. No other tomato is. The word online is that Cherokee Purples rival Brandywines. That is true. In other words, they’re good enough that, with heirloom tomatoes of this quality costing $3 a pound in farmers markets, I thought I might be on to manna for readers. So I rang UC Davis’ C.M. Rick Tomato Genetics Resource Center to ask why every gardener in Southern California doesn’t plant tomatoes with

A creative commons for school gardens

Good Magazine today announced the five finalists in its school garden design competition. Click on this shortlisted entry by Joseph Sandy of Arcadia, California to see all of the designs. Before giving you the account of competition organizer and Good writer Alissa Walker, a note. As a judge in the competition, it was thrilling to see the thought and creativity that went into 40 submissions. It was perhaps even more exciting to be involved in such a beautifully conceived competition, which set guidelines that should be achievable by any campus. Kudos in this department is probably due to Mud Baron, Green Policy Director for LAUSD Board Member Marguerite LaMotte, and a man who has seen first hand what works and what doesn't, then set out to promote and popularize the best approaches. From Walker's announcement: Finalists will attend a one-day workshop with landscape architect Mia Lehrer to refine their proposals.

High good, low bad: Mead in June 2010

'Colossus' author Michael Hiltzik speculates that Los Angeles Times proprietor Harry Chandler was behind the Hoover administration's hiring of architect Gordon B. Kaufmann to streamline and simplify plans for Boulder (eventually Hoover) Dam. "Early in 1931, Kaufmann began hacking away at Reclamation's architectural scheme (above)," writes Hiltizk, "which was burdened with such neoclassical gingerbread as pediments, elaborate balustrades on the dam crest, and columns capped with bronze eagles." Click on the image to be taken to the Reclamation page about Kaufmann, who also collaborated with the bureau on Parker and Shasta dams.

There is a telling quirk to most US maps of the Colorado River: They stop at the Mexican border. The river’s once-mighty delta and the Sea of Cortez rarely figure.

Save a few forays south, this delineation holds true in the recently published book “Colossus: Hoover Dam and the Making of the American Century by Michael

« go back