Saturday, February 8, 2014

Save The Date!

Save The Date and Join Us 
at the
Water Wise Expo 
at the 

Sunday March 16th 9 AM to 2 PM

Corner of Grand View & Venice, Mar Vista, CA.

Saving water starts with us. 
Join us to learn simple ways to save water and money in our homes and gardens.

Guest Presenters at the Water Wise Expo on March 16th

Saving water starts with us. 
These guests will present simple ways to save water and money in our homes and gardens.

Co-Host Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin will hold open office hours for community input from
10:00AM to 12:00PM

Co-Host TreePeople on drought response and water capture

Pre-order from Rain Barrels International

Grey Water Corps on how to reuse water in our homes

Margot Griswold, Ph.D. and Los Angeles Audubon on how to kill your lawn and why we should

Marcia Hanscom of the Ballona Institute on planting California Natives

Lawrence Ziese of WorldFest on water and our food choices

The Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase on the April 26th tour of sustainable and edible gardens

Co-Host AltBuild on water conservation resources and the upcoming AltBuild Expo

Well Water USA on water filtration options

KOR Water with reusable bottles

Susan Klos, National Association of Realtors GREEN Designee on LADWP free water conservation tools and rebates

Food & Water Watch will provide information on fracking and the Bay-Delta Conservation plan and their implications on the drought 

Surfrider Ocean Friendly Gardens program

Keep checking back as we add presenters!

How the Drought is Impacting Our Farms - Gonzaga Farms

Ronnie Gonzaga had a long and successful career in construction as a general contractor and Tess Gonzaga began her career in the medical field as an RN. They founded Gonzaga Farms in July 2001 with the idea of bringing a high quality of fresh and unique produce to the Southern California community at competitive prices. Their mission is to help create a stronger community by providing nutritional education to consumers while encouraging them to eat healthy organic food.

They have 4 sites and 3 different wells but in the city of LA, historically it has been cheaper to buy water than to use the electricity to pump from their wells.  Pumping costs twice as much with electricity rates being so high within the City of LA.  Now the city water is no longer available except in the case of emergency.  They have had to make deposits on emergency supplies. It used to be $158 an acre, now it is $1200.   It’s getting to the point where they can’t sell enough fruit to make the money needed to afford the water. They can buy outside water but it is 180% more expensive.

They use micro sprinklers next to the trees to irrigate.  These shoot water efficiently just to the crucial point that feeds the root.  When it rains they can wait two weeks to water.  

They have new trees to plant but aren't doing it yet because they fear not having enough water.  If things don't improve, they may have to let those trees just decompose and die.

Let's Be Ready For The Rain That We Do Get - MUST ORDER IN ADVANCE! Pick up on March 16th

PRE-ORDER YOUR RAIN BARRELS - order here. They will only be $10 after the rebate under this program!

Meet Rain Barrels International and learn about nature's solution to our drought, and explore all the opportunities that fresh, soft chemical free water offers to your garden. 
The rain barrel is an invention that has been used for centuries, but in recent years their relevance has become more pronounced. When we do get rain, we can't tolerate the waste of letting it run into storm drains. Learn how it can be captured and reused!

This is a business that was founded for all of the right reasons - read their wonderful story....
The Rain Barrel Company was started in 2006 by our 12 year old son (who wanted to make one for me as a birthday gift). I loved the barrel and so did all my friends. My son then took it to a local garden center (Norwood Road Gardens, Raleigh, NC) who graciously agreed to sell his product. In the next couple of days the garden center sold four rain barrels and my son enlisted the manufacturing assistance of his twin sister. The children decided that this would be their way to help the environment and make some extra holiday spending money. They quickly found out they were providing a top quality product with high demand.
The business has grown and our products are currently sold in 119 stores in nine states. On Friday nights, we no longer all go into the garage as a family to watch a video, eat popcorn and make rain barrels together. However, both of our young teens are still very involved in the business and are learning the day to day operations of running a company. Our company now has a crew that assembles our rain barrels out of recycled food grade barrels that would otherwise be headed to landfills.
Our children have proven that everyone can make a difference to address our country's drought and recycling concerns.
Sunday March 16th 9 AM to 2 PM

Corner of Grand View & Venice, Mar Vista, CA.

How the Drought is Impacting Our Farms - Arnett Farms

For over 103 years the Arnett Family has been operating one of the best farms in California. Arnett Farms, located in Fresno, grows over 200 different varieties of stone fruits, citrus, and berries, as well as apples and persimmons.

Normally their water comes from surface irrigation from nearby lakes with pumps.   Today, those lakes are at 15-17% capacity. When they can’t get surface irrigation, they use their wells, which is much more expensive. This year, 90% to 100% of their water will come from the wells. They are working to upgrade the wells, but so is every other farm in the area and the service providers are back up 2 to 3 months. It’s a race to get the wells upgraded in time for the summer water needs. 

This is the worst year of drought in Scott’s lifetime - going into the 3rd year of little rain with no drainage carry over to replenish their ground water.  They are trying to convert to drip irrigation – most farms have stayed with surface irrigation in the past because it replenishes the ground water.

They are still in a major crisis despite the little bit of rain we have had recently.  All they can do is their best to get their wells in shape and hope that it rains.  

Learn How We Can REUSE the Water in Our Homes on March 16th!

Sunday March 16th 9 AM to 2 PM

Corner of Grand View & Venice, Mar Vista, CA.

Grey Water Corps  designs and installs residential greywater irrigation systems and teaches homeowners how to use them. Their systems are generally simple and low-maintenance, relying on gravity and natural processes to save water to turn our homes into an essential part of a healthy ecosystem.

Please stop by to learn about a menu of options that would allow you to become a little more water self sufficient! Consider a  laundry-to-landscape grey water system that uses the water that washed your clothes to irrigate your garden!

Why Trees? Learn More From TreePeople on March 16th!

TreePeople has partnered with us as Co-Host on the Water Wise Expo and will help us understand how to protect our trees through the drought.Trees are the most vital resource for environmental well-being in urban areas. While it may seem counter-intuitive to irrigate trees in a water crisis, it is the single most important thing to do.  Trees actually are key to a sufficient local water supply in Los Angeles.

When it does rain, a mature tree can capture thousands of gallons of rainwater in its canopy and root zone, sinking that rain into the aquifer. Because so much of our city is paved, every time it rains an inch in the City of Los Angeles, 3.8 billion gallons of precious water runs off into the ocean and is wasted. When it doesn’t rain, trees shade and cool our city by as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
Visit TreePeople at the Expo to learn more about response to the drought!

Sunday March 16th 9 AM to 2 PM

Corner of Grand View & Venice, Mar Vista, CA.

Conserving Water With Native Plants - Learn How on March 16th!

A single-family residential customer may use 140 gallons of water a day - and about 40 percent of that is used outdoors to water our lawns.

Marcia Hanscom of Ballona Institute will present information about how planting with native plants helps to conserve water, and also even conserve energy!   She will talk about the things you need to consider when determining which native plants will work in your yard.  Ballona Institute has been working for four years with two schools in the LA Unified School District, growing native plants from seeds and cuttings, and realizing the need for more nurseries and others to grow native plants so we can bring back more native songbirds, butterflies and other pollinators to the flora in our region.

Sunday March 16th 9 AM to 2 PM

Corner of Grand View & Venice, Mar Vista, CA.

Take Back the Tap! Take the Pledge on March 16th!

Take Back the Tap!

Food & Water Watch will also be on hand presenting information to urge us to take the pledge to choose tap water over bottled!
We believe water should be safe, accessible and affordable for all; that clean water is a basic human right and a public service, not a corporate commodity.
Tap water is a better choice than bottled water, for many reasons:
  • Bottled water is not safer than tap water. In fact, the federal government requires more rigorous and frequent safety testing and monitoring of municipal drinking water.
  • Bottled water is thousands of times more expensive than tap water. Compare $0.002 per gallon for most tap water to a range of $0.89 to $8.26 per gallon for bottled waters.
  • Bottled water hurts the environment. After millions of barrels of oil are used to produce and ship plastic water bottles, 75% of them land in the garbage or our waterways instead of the recycle bin.
Sunday March 16th 9 AM to 2 PM

Corner of Grand View & Venice, Mar Vista, CA.

Conserving With Home Filtration Options - Learn More on March 16th!

Did you know that reverse osmosis may waste 4 gallons of water for each gallon that is filtered? Whether you drink individual bottled water or have a home delivery system, chances are it is produced using reverse osmosis.

Well Water USA will present options that filter water without using reverse osmosis and no wastage as well as a whole house filtration system. They will also be offering water saving shower filters, emergency water kits, travel alkaline portable water sticks and more water conservation tools.

Sunday March 16th 9 AM to 2 PM

Corner of Grand View & Venice, Mar Vista, CA.

Our Diet Has a Water Footprint Too! Learn More on March 16th!

There is a huge difference in the water used to produce beans versus meat. Learn how our food choices can help combat the drought.

Lawrence Ziese of WorldFest will join us to share his vegan tips. Maybe you are ready for a 30 day trial as a vegan or just want to add a meatless Monday to your week. Lawrence will share some easy recipes using what is being sold at the market the day of the Expo.

Sunday March 16th 9 AM to 2 PM

Corner of Grand View & Venice, Mar Vista, CA.

How the Drought is Impacting Our Farms - Fat Uncle Farms

The Water Wise Expo at the Mar Vista Farmers' Market will share how the drought is impacting the farms we rely on. 

Fat Uncle Farms is worried about keeping trees alive that have been in the family two generations. They are a very small, second generation, family farm in Wasco. They have been told that they can't have any water from the water district this year.  So they are in "wait and see" mode as they pray for rain. 

They still have some left from last year but once they run out they will be dependent upon neighbors who are willing to sell them water.  Rebecca Siemens of Fat Uncle says she is worried the neighbors will not sell them any this year - several of them have dug deeper wells - dropped 500 feet - and hit bedrock!  Because of this, they may hold all they have out of fear.  

In Kern County the water feeds from a reservoir in the Sierras which is now at 10% capacity. Allotments are based on prior usage - in a severe drought year a small farm may not get any because of the percentage rule.

How The Drought Is Impacting Our Farms - The Garden Of...

Photo from LA Times 

We all know The Garden of..... and Debby and Shu Takikawa from our Sundays at the market. Maybe you read the wonderful profile on them in the LA Times, Market Watch: Takikawas' the Garden of ..... connects the dots to quality

They are very careful with the amount of water they use - Shu has always felt that over-watering is very bad for the health of the plants and his conservation of water is one of the cornerstones of his basic farming method. Still, their water use for 70 acres of farmland is 30,000 cubic feet per month on average. Normally, this time of year they can rely on rain to supply all of their irrigation needs. This year, their water bill is over $1,000 a month. More important, the plants prefer rainfall and grow better and soil needs rainfall to wash away the saline buildup of groundwater use, especially this time of year. 

Wild life and plant life is affected all around them, and this also impacts their farm and the way that they feel. It seems like the drought is a symptom of an environmental imbalance, and since their farming practice is based on harmony with nature, this feeling of imbalance affects their ability to maintain equilibrium.

Currently they have stopped growing vegetables that require large amounts of water, for example celery. If there is not enough water to farm with they will be forced to stop farming – while big agricultural continues. That would be a heartbreaking loss for all of us.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Why Plant Natives? Check out the Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase!
3664 Boise Avenue

Did you know that an average of  40% of the water used in our homes is used to irrigate what we plant? The Mar Vista Community Council Green Committee will be a guest presenter at the Expo - stop by to learn about the 6th annual The Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase that will be held on April 26th.

This tour of sustainable and edible gardens empowers Angelenos to adopt environmentally conscious living solutions. Each garden has one or more of the following sustainability features: California native/drought tolerant plantings, edibles, water catchment systems or chickens. Visitors can talk with landscapers and meet landscapers as well as do-it-yourself gardeners who share knowledge and experience. Special guest presenters at many gardens will enhance your knowledge of sustainability in daily living. 

Visit their tent at the Water Wise Expo to learn about the gardens on this years tour and get tips on what will be new this year!

Learn About LADWP FREE Water Conservation Tools and Rebates on March 16th!

Mar Vista resident and National Association of Realtors GREEN Designee,  Susan Klos , will provide information on the DWP’s FREE Home Energy Improvement Program. Participants receive in-home installation of water saving devices including sink aerators, shower heads and ultra high-efficiency toilets. And it’s all for FREE!

In addition, Susan will have rebate information for turf replacement through the California Friendly Landscape Incentive Program, information on the federal tax credits available when you install a tankless water heater and other water saving tips for the home.

Sunday March 16th 9 AM to 2 PM

Corner of Grand View & Venice, Mar Vista, CA.