The Prints of Frances Gearhart

Frances Gearhart (1869-1959) was a print maker whose work celebrates the California landscape. Influenced by Japanese block printing, Gearhart’s work combines a close observation of the natural world with a vibrant color palette. We were lucky to snag a reproduction of one of her prints thought the Legion of Honor gift shop.

Methinks we could all benefit from having more images of trees and mountains in our lives in addition to surrounding ourselves with, well, real trees and mountains. Museums should also include more work by women artists who make up just 2% of the world art market.

If you’d like to see more of Gearhart’s work check out

The Minneapolis Institute of Art has an exhibition open through March that includes some of Gearhart’s prints along with the work of other artists of the Arts and Crafts era.

133 Trees of Power with Akiva Silver

On this 133rd episode of the Root Simple podcast Kelly and I talk to Akiva Silver of Twisted Tree Farm, described in his author bio as a “homestead, nut orchard and nursery located in Spencer, New York where he grows around 20,000 trees a year using practices that go beyond organic.” Akiva’s background is in “foraging, wilderness survival and primitive skills.” He is also the author of Trees of Power: Ten Essential Arboreal Allies (Amazon, library) just published by Chelsea Green. In our conversation we discuss how trees could replace a lot of the staple crops in our diet. During the podcast we also rap about:

  • J. Russel Smith Tree Crops (Free download on
  • Kat Anderson Tending the Wild
  • Mulch, soil and water
  • Processing acorns
  • Exotics vs. natives – should we learn to love the invasives?
  • Tree of heaven!
  • Coppicing and pollarding
  • Arborist fails and #arboristfails
  • How to plant trees

If you’d like to leave a question for the Root Simple Podcast please call (213) 537-2591 or send an email to [email protected] You can subscribe to our podcast in the iTunes store and on Stitcher. Closing theme music by Dr. Frankenstein. A downloadable version of this podcast is here.

The Buddha of Oakland

A friend and I took a wrong turn in Oakland once and accidentally stumbled on this shrine in an otherwise unremarkable cul-de-sac. This unsanctioned intervention began when a local resident Dan Stevenson, fed up with illegal dumping and graffiti, had the idea of installing a Buddha statue to calm things down. Stevenson is not a Buddhist, but the statue was adopted by the Vietnamese community and what started out as a modest gesture became something much bigger. The short video above tells this amazing story. You can hear more about the “Buddha of Oakland” on this episode of 99% Invisible.

Here in Southern California shrines and murals of the Virgin of Guadalupe fulfill a similar role.

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Christmas in SanTana #virgendeguadalupe #lit #feliznavidad

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We need more of these sacred surprises in our cities.

Saturday Linkages: Arboreal Angst

The Emperor Charles and ‘Carlina’ in Giovanni Cadamasto’s herbal: Harley MS 3736 via Medieval Manuscripts Blog

Arboreal Angst: a short history of recent architectural/plant mashups

Louisville needs trees!

Cedar plant swing holder

Ancient watering hole in Southern Arizona at risk from border wall construction

On the Surprising Benefits of an Un-Mobile Phone

Is Our Fear of Smartphones Overblown?

Same Pesticides that are Killing Bees Significantly Shorten Monarch Lifespan