Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2019

Talking Biomimicry with Lily Urmann of Arizona State University’s Biomimicry Center [2019 Video Interview]

This morning I had the pleasure of interviewing Lily Urmann, my dear friend and fellow UCSC sustainabilibuddy graduate. We spoke about one of her favorite favorite subjects: Biomimicry.

The Biomimicry Institute describes biomimicry as "an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies. The goal is to create products, processes, and policies—new ways of living—that are well-adapted to life on earth over the long haul. The core idea is that nature has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with. Animals, plants, and microbes are the consummate engineers. After billions of years of research and development, failures are fossils, and what surrounds us is the secret to survival."

Lily is fully immersed in the study and development of programs related to biomimicry at Arizona State University. The work of the Biomimicry Center at ASU is at the forefront of biomimicry education, and…

2018 Garden Harvest Report & Reflections

Nine months ago, I harvested my first vegetables from Green Gal's Garden. That initial harvest on May 20 consisted of nine heads of bok choy. Although the harvest that day was small and too early for my Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, it was a momentous occasion.

Planting the bok choy transplants 

Momentous because, with a little bit of my help, some living beings had rooted themselves in the garden soil and gathered sunlight and nutrients and grown from tiny seeds in my small greenhouse to edible vegetables. The miracle of seeds growing into plants has been happening for a really long time on this planet, but observing and supporting this process continues to be magical and profound. The process of photosynthesis is intimately tied to the lives of every human on earth.

Bok choy seedlings in the greenhouse

Nine months later, I look back on all of the vegetables and herbs that I harvested in the garden from May 20 until November 8, 2018, and I am in awe. It's rem…

Tour of River School Farm in Reno, NV

Colorful chickens, roosters, and two curious goats make up the welcome party that greets visitors to River School Farm in Reno, Nevada. I had the pleasure of meeting these farm animals, as well as Farmer Tom, during a first Friday farm tour on February 1, 2019. It was my first behind-the-scenes introduction to Reno farming, and it left me feeling hopeful and inspired to get involved with the local food system and begin growing my own food here in the high desert.

The River School Farm is nestled between the Truckee River and a business park west of downtown. It was established in 1992 and features an event space with a firepit and stage, outdoor kitchen, a nursery in spring/summer, greenhouses, spaces for workshops and classes, compost piles, chicken coops, and more. It's a community gathering place, home to a cohousing project, and an educational space. Learn more about all of the offerings and services River School Farm provides on their website here.

During the tour, Farmer Tom…