Transition Founder Rob Hopkins in Los Angeles

TRANSITION MOVEMENTRob Hopkins, the founder of the international Transition movement is coming to Los Angeles for two events:

Sunday, October 13: Westchester, CA
“Just Doing Stuff” Festival
Fun for all ages: Live music, food, transition-related displays and interaction in the beautiful Emerson Avenue Community
Garden, at 80th Place, Westchester 90045

Festival is free.
“Just Doing Stuff” Panel
Rob Hopkins’ talk and conversation
with friends:
Andy Lipkis, founder and director
of TreePeople
D’artagnan Scorza, executive director of the Social Justice Learning Institute
Meghan Sahli-Wells, Culver City Vice-Mayor and core member Transition Culver City
Joanne Poyourow, Initiator Transition LA, Environmental Change-Makers

Westchester United Methodist Church.
8065 Emerson Ave, Westchester, CA 90045
Tickets: $10 pre-registration required at

Saturday Linkages: Passive Cooling, Cats and Three Mules


A Passively Cooled House in the Tropics …

Catification: Beautiful Cat Climbing Shelves …

DIY VIDEO: How to Make a Mason Jar Herb Garden with Model Summer Rayne Oakes

An Open Source Community Model to Save Seeds – a WordPress Seedbank Plugin …

Permaculture Paradise at Alex’s PermaGarden – Part 1 …

Growing the color blue: …

Handcarts on Rails …

Brooklyn firm specializes in creating furniture from bowling alley remnants 

Compost warnings to follow Legionella outbreak …

LA’s bird killing buildings: 

Climate change: Reporting the Future …

Chicken troubles: Lash …

The Honey Launderers: Uncovering the Largest Food Fraud in U.S. History …

Our Right to be Outside: Three Mules …

Roads Kill: Mapping the Automobile’s Global Body Count (Be sure to go full screen with the map for the interactive presentation.) …

Eyes on the Street: the Ongoing Humiliation of the Spring Street Bike Lanes …

I just backed the film, BIKES vs CARS – WE ARE MANY on @Kickstarter 

@homedepot @lowes: 2/3 of our food crops need bees! Stop selling bee-killing pesticides! #BeeAction @foe_us 

Your Future in Farming & Homesteading: FREE 3-Day Webcast Event! (Oct. 1-3, 2013) …

For these links and more, follow Root Simple on Twitter:

City of Angels Permaculture Academy Design Course Series


The City of Angels Permaculture Academy Design Course Series will be starting up this October 5th and 6th. Kelly and I are planning to attend and we look forward to seeing some of you there. Here’s the 411:

One weekend a month for 6 months.
World-class education for less than $12 an hour!
Discounts, Payment Plans and up to 50% Work-Trade Still Available

You can drop in for one day- or for the whole series.

  • Elegant Home and Gardens- DIY Design & Build
  • Learn Urban Homesteading Skills
  • Community Projects
  • Starting a Neighborhood Business
  • Hands-On Natural Building / Sustainable Landscaping
  • Permaculture in Schools and more.

With Larry Santoyo, Toby Hemenway, Scott Pittman, John Valenzuela and Local Guests.

For all the course details- and how to get yourself registered please go to:

The Lament of the Baker’s Wife

flour pile

This our flour collection, The Leaning Tower of Pizza.  Erik collects flour like Emelda Marcos collects shoes. The collection is  taking up a good deal of the floor space in our kitchen. Supposedly it will one day be moved to our garage–after the garage is remodeled–but waiting for the garage remodel is somewhat like waiting for Godot, or the Armageddon.

Speaking of which, if Armageddon does arrive, you know what that means? Pizza Party at Root Simple!!! Woot! We could feed the neighborhood for a month. Those are 50 lb bags. They are propped against 5 gallon buckets. A five gallon bucket holds about 30 pounds of flour. I think we’ve got at least 200 lbs of flour piled up here. And where will it all go eventually? Straight to my hips, sweetheart!

And I know I shouldn’t complain. “We have too much food!”  “There’s nowhere to put it!” “All this artisanal sourdough is making me fat!” Boo hoo. This the lament of the baker’s wife.

Gardening Resources in Los Angeles County

Opuntia illustration

Perhaps because the real estate market is heating up again, we’re getting a lot of requests for gardening resources in the Los Angeles area. It thought I’d list our favorite resources in this blog post that I can refer people to. But I need your help–please let me know in the comments if you know of a resource that I should have included.

Soil Testing
Wallace Labs. When you fill out the form check off the box for “Standard Agricultural Soil Suitability Analysis.” All healthy gardens start with a soil test and Wallace Labs will have your results delivered by email within a few days.

Tree Care LA (Nick Araya, ISA Certified Arborist and Oscar Sanchez). Nick and Oscar did a great job with our trees. If you care about your trees, hire a certified arborist not just some dude with a chainsaw. It costs is nothing when you consider how much you’ll pay to fix the damage from a limb falling down on your roof in the next big winter storm.

Fruit Trees/Berries
Bay Laurel Nursery (mail order bare root). Order in the fall for January/February delivery. Get your order in soon as they often sell out of popular trees. Get trees with low chill hour requirements. Look up your chill hours here.

Check out Dave Wilson Nursery’s handy guide to backyard orcharding,

Do not plant any grapes that aren’t Pierce Disease resistant. And personally, I would not plant citrus.

Vegetable Gardening
When to plant:

Our favorite seeds, Franchi Seeds, are available at, and at Sunset Nursery in Silver Lake.

Vegetable gardening classes: Grow LA Victory Gardening Initiative.

Visit the Huntington Ranch for ideas and inspiration.

The Environmental Change Makers offer a number of great classes and publications: How to Get Rid of Bermuda Grass, and How to Make Your Garden GMO-free Booklets about high-yield organic vegetable gardening in SoCal’s unique year-round growing season Monthly organic vegetable gardening classes at the two community gardens in Westchester

Monthly vegetable gardening classes at The Learning Garden at Venice High School.

Seed Library of Los Angeles (meetings and seed saving classes).

Keeping Chickens
Los Angeles Urban Chicken Enthusiasts


How to videos starring Kirk Anderson at the Backwards Beekeepers blog.

Greywater/Rainwater Harvesting
DIY option: Art Ludwig’s free laundry to landscape plans at Oasis Designs. Or buy his books, Create an Oasis with Greywater: Choosing, Building and Using Greywater Systems – Includes Branched Drains and Water Storage: Tanks, Cisterns, Aquifers, and Ponds for Domestic Supply, Fire and Emergency Use. Brad Lancaster’s book: Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond (Vol. 2): Water-Harvesting Earthworks

Greywater Corp (design, installation and classes)

Retail Nurseries
Apartment Therapy has a good list.

Annie’s Annuals (mail order from SF Bay area).

Garden Design/Maintenance
Help me out here readers–if you know of some good folks leave a comment . . .