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Archives for April 26, 2017

Growing Up: Vertical Gardening Project Presents Sustainable Food Options

Senior Makkie Conching ’17 hopes she will inspire people to think differently about the world and global environment through the work she performed on her senior capstone project. In an attempt to encourage others to both think and live sustainably, Conching designed and created her own vertical garden.

As a freshman in high school, Conching knew she wanted to attend a college or university in Oregon. It was only when Conching learned about the environmental studies program at Pacific University that she knew her decision had been made.

“I heard about the environmental studies program here and it was something that I had my heart set on since I was young child in elementary school,” Conching said. “I knew I wanted to make a change, no matter how big or small.”

To begin developing a project she could work on for her senior capstone, Conching looked at problems she saw both in Forest Grove and at her home in Oahu, Hawai’i.

Conching noticed how limited the space to garden was in Hawai’i and began developing a design for her very own vertical garden, which would allow those with green thumbs to garden in small spaces and be able to produce food to sustain themselves and their families.

“About 85 percent of our food in Hawai’i is imported,” Conching said. “Even though it’s a small change, I wanted to start with my family and help them produce our own food so we can decrease the number of imported goods and so we could eat fresh and local food straight from our home.”

Conching began creating her vertical garden design on a computer-based application called SketchUp, which allowed her to plan out every step of her design process and visually anticipate the final look without having to spend copious amounts of money or waste any valuable material.

“For my design, I came up with the ‘A Frame’ design, and it’s basically rotating using a pulley system and motor,” Conching said. “I wanted it to be really accessible to all growers and easy to build and something that can adapt to all growers needs.”

Conching’s design for her vertical garden also allows growers to utilize LED lights so that they can grow produce inside their own homes. A basin-based watering system also ensures that the vertical garden is always well hydrated.

Conching’s uncle already hopes to put the design to work in his own home in the coming months.

“I want people to think my design is cool,” Conching said. “And something they would be interested in participating in.”

The sustainable design major at Pacific University is an interdisciplinary program within the Environmental Studies Department that emphasizes designing solutions to environmental problems. Students combine the fundamentals of ecology and permaculture with the social sciences and humanities as they seek global solutions to complex challenges.

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Elementary school garden grows from students’ years of work

The sixth-graders at Island View Elementary have worked on a project for two years using math, science, art and technology.

The difference between this assignment and many others they’ve seen? This one could potentially feed hundreds of people.

“It wasn’t a boring assignment,” student Rowan Tull said. “It was a fun and engaging project. It took a long time and a lot of hard work, but it was fascinating.”

The kids planned, researched and executed a new community garden on the school campus.

Food grown in the garden can go toward school lunches and be donated to the food banks in town, teacher Heather Shainin said.

A work day Saturday helped finish the garden, but the planning started last year.

Student Siobhán Gross said she really liked the project because it allowed the students to be creative but added the challenge of sticking to a realistic budget.

She said she wanted to bring the natural beauty of a garden into the space.

The money for the project came through grants from community groups and businesses, including Soroptimists International of Anacortes and Tesoro, Shainin said. Seeds and a lot of the material were donated, she said.

The students could use only the money they had and put in as many raised flower beds as they could with the space allotted.

They worked as fifth-graders last year to design the project. About 85 young people were involved in planning the garden.

They worked in groups to research different topics and then presented those topics to the rest of the students, student Aaron McClellan said.

Topics included self-watering beds, pathway material, worm bins, rodents and fences. During the process, the kids went on field trips to visit other gardens, Rowan said.

Then, they worked in groups to come up with garden designs. Elements were combined to create the final design for the garden.

In the end, it had one bed per classroom, plus a few extra that will be used to teach science, a learning center and a butterfly garden.

Kali Massey said her group had to rethink their design a couple of times to get all of the elements in and make sure the group members agreed.

“It was a challenge, but it was a good challenge,” Mateo Garcia said.

Those designs included a scale drawing of the garden, Shainin said.

The garden is wheelchair-accessible, and the beds had to be designed for the ages of the kids who would use them, Aaron said.

Garden beds for younger kids had to be narrower so the smaller children could still reach to the middle to tend their gardens, he said.

The plants going in now will be those that kids can harvest soon (like lettuces and radishes) and some that will be ready to harvest in the fall, Shainin said. That way, there won’t be too much to do in the summer while school is out.

Families have already volunteered to stop by and water the garden during the summer months, she said.

The garden design includes self-watering beds. Those beds have reservoirs of water underneath them, meaning the garden only has to be watered about once a week.

Rowan said he hopes that in years to come, he can come back and visit the garden to see what other kids are growing.

Siobhán said she wanted to provide something that will help teach younger kids, like her younger sister.

“I want to hear them come home and say things like ‘Guess what I learned in the garden today?’” she said.

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Nine Things To Ask Before Designing a Garden

Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful,’ and sitting in the shade. — Rudyard Kipling

One of the many things I love about being a garden designer is getting to know my clients’ story. By this I mean what role gardens have played in their lives, what plants, structures, and ornaments evoke good memories and what kind of garden makes them feel most relaxed and happy. I call this the “inner garden” of my clients. And I believe we all have one: Even those people who tell me they don’t garden, or that they have a “brown thumb,” I find that when pressed, they can paint the most beautiful garden pictures.

Maybe it’s a story you grew up with that resonates. For me, it’s the children’s book, ”A Secret Garden.” As a child, I spent hours rereading the chapter where the children uncover the old garden door in the ivy-covered wall. I dreamt about a secret garden of my own and pictured myself working alongside the children, patiently nursing the old garden back to life. It comes as no surprise that one of my first gardens, a formal, enclosed rose garden, was based on my memories of this novel.


Photo by Carole Funger

“My Secret Garden”

Gardening and gardens are personal. When properly planned with the client’s own narrative in mind, they tell the owner’s unique garden story. While a good garden design must also take into account soil, climate, sun exposure, available space and what plants will work best, at the root, it’s a highly personal journey. A truly successful garden reflects our feelings about Nature, its restorative powers and the role we would like it to play in our lives.

Before you begin your next garden, start outlining your story. Your story will provide the framework for the design. Here are nine things to think about as you begin the process.

• What gardens have inspired you during your lifetime? What emotions do they bring out in you and why?

Pennsylvania’s Longwood Gardens is one of my favorite destinations for seasonal garden inspiration. I’ve been visiting it every year since I was a child. It figures prominently in my own garden story.

• Are there particular scents that trigger good memories and emotions?

Smells can trigger strong memories and dramatically affect people’s moods. Do you associate certain smells like the sweet smell of lilac, the heavy scent of gardenias or the smell of newly mown grass with certain seasons or happy times in your life? Which scents are the most important to you?

• What are your favorite times to be outdoors?

For early risers, this may be the peaceful hours after dawn while for others; the soft light of the evening may be more enticing. It’s important to know, so you can plan for plants that bloom accordingly.

• Which season do your prefer? When are you home?

If you travel for extended periods of time during the year, it makes sense to design a garden with shrubs and flowers that bloom when you’re home.

• What is your definition of tranquility and relaxation?

Do you view the perfect garden as a group of well-tended plants in a tranquil setting? Are there meandering paths, quiet corners and secluded seating? Or is your definition more open and lawn-centric, a space built for entertaining, or a combination of both?

• What color palettes appeal to you? Pastels, bright colors or all white?

Do your color tastes change with the seasons and the light? In my garden, soft blues, pinks and yellows look best in the spring followed by fiery reds, bright yellows and deep purples in summer. I round out the season with dusty mauves, grey blues and shimmery silvers.

• Do you prefer sun, shade or a combination of both?

• Which kind of ‘lines’ make you feel most comfortable and fit with your vision of what a good landscape should be?

Do you like straight-edged beds with orderly plantings (what some refer to as “landscaper’s edge”) or do you prefer curvy beds with irregular plantings for a more casual look?

• Finally, are you interested in hands-on maintenance, or any version thereof, or do you intend to employ a landscaping crew to maintain the garden?

Are you willing to maintain the garden so that it retains the plan? (This is a big one for the garden designer.) All great gardens need to be understood and valued in order to survive.

Happy planning and may we all create beautiful gardens this spring!

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Eastern Municipal Water District Announces Water Conservation Festival

From Eastern Municipal Water District: Local water agencies would like to invite area residents to attend a free Community Water Conservation Festival on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at the Murrieta Community Center.

The family friendly event will take place from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the community center, located at 41810 Juniper Street, Murrieta. Eastern Municipal Water District’s water-saving mascot, Dewie the Dragon, will make an appearance and a children’s theater show will begin at 1 p.m.

The Partners in Water Conservation, a coalition of water agencies in western Riverside County, will provide information about retrofitting outdoor irrigation equipment, Water Saving Garden Friendly plants and water-wise landscaping ideas. There will also be master gardeners on location to answer questions.

Vendors will be available to provide demonstrations and information about water-efficient technologies such as weather-based irrigation controllers, moisture sensors, and drip irrigation systems.

Each participating water district will have information regarding their respective rebate programs available.

“While California’s drought may be over, our mission is to provide residents the tools necessary to become water efficient for the long-term,” said Stacy Rodriguez, Eastern Municipal Water District’s Conservation Program Manager and Committee Chair for the event. “We hope that everyone can join us for this interactive and free event and make water use efficiency a way of life within their homes and businesses.”

Participants may take part in raffles throughout the event. The first 100 guests will receive a special gift. Families are encouraged to bring their children to the festival; face-painting, water-wise activities and crafts will be available.

For more information about the event, please contact EMWD’s Conservation Department at 951-928-3777, ext. 3322.

Partners in Water Conservation:

  • Bureau of Reclamation
  • CA Dept. of Water Resources
  • Eastern Municipal WD
  • The Metropolitan Water District
  • Of Southern California
  • Rancho California WD
  • Western Municipal WD
  • Southern California Edison

Image via Shutterstock

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City seeks ideas for downtown development

Mansfield has a vision for the next mixed-use project in downtown and will ask developers to submit their ideas.

The city owns four acres on Smith Street north of Elm Street that’s prime land for potential development. On Monday, the City Council directed staff to advertise requests for proposals for the project.

The RFPs are expected to go out in May and will be due by late July. The council could get its first look at the proposals in August.

The city envisions a mixed-use project with parking and a pedestrian plaza that connects to the Pond Branch Linear Trail. It will need to have the same architectural style as existing buildings in downtown.

Councilman Cory Hoffman, who is on the subcommittee overseeing downtown development, said the city has taken great measures to make sure the right project gets built on that site.

“We’re certainly excited to see what developers come up with for that development,” Hoffman said. “There’s a lot of exciting things going on in downtown Mansfield.”

Pond Branch Trail starts

Dirt will start moving this week for phase 1 of the Pond Branch Linear Creek Trail in downtown Mansfield.

The City Council had a ceremonial groundbreaking for the $2.2 million project prior to Monday’s meeting.

The contractor, Klutz Construction, will mobilize this week for the .3-mile trail that goes from Kimball Street, under East Broad Street and ends at Sycamore Street. There will be a connection to Smith Street so it connects seamlessly into downtown.

Matt Young, director of parks and recreation, said construction will be going “fast and furious” with plans to complete the trail by January.

The entire trail will be lighted with ornamental light poles. The 10-foot-wide trail will also have planters, trees, monuments and other landscaping.

Phase two of the project, which continues the trail north to Katherine Rose Memorial Park, has been delayed while Mansfield negotiates with the Union Pacific Railroad. The city needs permission to build the trail through a culvert under the railroad tracks, Young said.

Mansfield expects to find out this week whether it will be feasible and how much it will cost. If the city can proceed, construction would start on phase two immediately after phase one is complete, Young said.

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Mail ballot request deadline

Mail ballot request deadline
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Orange Park voters planning to cast ballots in the May 9 Municipal Super Tuesday Run-Off Election have until May 3 to request a ballot be mailed to them for voting.
Voters are advised to allow at least five days for their ballot to be returned by mail to the Supervisor of Elections office. However, voters can drop off their completed ballots 24 hours a day by delivering their ballots to the Mail Ballot Drop Box located at the front entrance of the Supervisor of Elections Office in Green Cove Springs. Voted mail ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day.
Meanwhile, the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Orange Park Town Hall at 2042 Park Ave.
Voters will choose between Larry Nichols and Ron Raymond for Council Seat 1 as neither candidate received 50 percent of the vote plus one vote to win the race outright on April 11.
Raymond received 463 votes, 49.26 percent, while Nichols received 311 votes for 33.09 percent.
For more information, go or call (904) 269-6350 for assistance.

Asdot named acting police chief
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The City of Green Cove Springs has appointed Derek S. Asdot as its Acting Police Chief.
The move comes nine weeks after former chief of police Robert Musco retired suddenly after an investigation revealed he had made racially-charged comments to a black officer in January while planning for the city’s Rev. Martin Luther King Day celebration.
Asdot began his career with the Green Cove Springs Police Department as a patrolman in 2002. During his tenure here, he has also served in the department’s Street Crimes Unit, a Clay County and DEA Task Force Narcotics detective, a patrol sergeant and lieutenant before taking the new position. Prior to entering law enforcement, Asdot also served as an airborne infantryman in the U.S. Army where he attained the rank of specialist upon his honorable discharge in 1996.
Asdot will serve as acting police chief through the end of this fiscal year and is scheduled to attend the FBI National Academy for further training, according to a news release from the city.

Canterfield of Clay County names executive director
ATLANTA – Medical Development Corp., developer and owner of Canterfield Senior Living Communities, has named D. Brent Montgomery executive director of Canterfield of Clay County.
A graduate of Mississippi State University, Montgomery has a bachelor’s degree in business administration, marketing. He has been a licensed nursing home administrator since 1993.
Prior to joining Canterfield, Montgomery served in numerous administrator positions, including skilled nursing and assisted living facilities as well as home health care agencies.
“Brent Montgomery brings a wealth of knowledge to our Executive Director position,” said Winston A. Porter, president of Atlanta-based Medical Development Corp. “Not only does he have a deep understanding of the elder care field, but he also exhibits a strong personal passion for its inherent mission. These traits, coupled with his in-depth working knowledge of the business aspects of his position in addition to his robust team building and leadership skills, made Brent our logical choice to fill the critical position of executive director at Canterfield of Clay County, our newest Canterfield campus.”
Canterfield enables residents to age in place with Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care services.

Land Trust to hold 6th Annual Fish Fry
JACKSONVILLE – North Florida Land Trust is hosting its 6th Annual Fish Fry at Big Talbot Island on May 20. The family-friendly event will be from noon until 5 p.m. at Talbot House on Big Talbot Island, 12134 Houston Ave. in Jacksonville. There will be live music, marsh views, food, local beers, lawn games and more.
“This fundraising event is so much fun for all ages,” said Jim McCarthy, executive director of North Florida Land Trust. “It is a great opportunity for everyone to spend some time out at Big Talbot Island, partake in a nature hike and learn more about why Big Talbot Island is such a special place. It is a great example of why we at North Florida Land Trust do what we do.”
A Florida Master Naturalist will be there to take people on a free guided nature hike. The hike is 1.5 miles and hikers will learn about all the natural plants and wildlife that can be seen on Big Talbot Island. The hikes will leave at 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Space is limited and guests can sign up for the preferred time when purchasing tickets.
Guests are encouraged to BYOC or bring your own chair, sit on the lawn and enjoy live music from some local favorites. Junco Royals will be playing traditional old time jazz and LPT will perform their Afro-Cuban beats. Bold City Brewery will bring the beer and Beer 30: San Marco is providing cider. Safe Harbor and Indulge Food Truck will be serving up the food for the fish fry. Vegan and gluten-free options will also be available.
Tickets are $30 in advance or $40 at the door and include entry and a meal. Kids under 12 are $10 in advance or $20 at the door and students with ID are $15 in advance and $25 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at For more information, contact or call (904) 479-1962. Tickets are rain or shine. No refunds.
Founded in 1999, North Florida Land Trust is a nonprofit organization who serves as a champion of land conservation primarily in Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam, and St. Johns counties.

Landscaping database saves homeowners time, money and water
PALATKA – An online resource is saving time, money and water for homeowners who are looking for landscaping ideas. The St. Johns River Water Management District’s waterwise plant database can help landscapers and do-it-yourselfers research the right plants for their yards’ specific growing conditions.
“Among the district’s greatest priorities is promoting water conservation,” said Ann Shortelle, SJRWMD executive director. “Because one of the biggest uses of water is lawn and landscape irrigation at our homes and businesses, using water wisely in our landscapes is an important personal responsibility. Florida-friendly landscaping is easy – plus, saving water saves homeowners money!”
To date, rainfall during 2017 has been below average with future predictions for similar rainfall trends. If a landscape’s sunlight and soil conditions are assessed correctly, well-chosen plants will need little to no supplemental irrigation once established.
The district’s waterwise landscaping webpages provide information on how to design a water-conserving landscape and how to group plants according to their needs, such as planting region, sunlight and soil conditions.
The database, which is found at, is searchable by scientific name, common name, size, color of flowers, hardiness zone, soil moisture needs, light and shade requirements, salt tolerance, and more. It also offers information on hundreds of plant species and allows users to compare information about different plants to determine if they are suitable to plant together and to help the user better plan planting areas. The database works on smartphones and other mobile devices, so can conveniently be taken along when shopping at a garden center.
April is Water Conservation Month, a designation intended to heighten public awareness about the variety of ways to reduce our water use. For additional water conservation tips to help you save money around the home, visit

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95-year-old’s Butler County plant farm filled with unique blooms

Dressed for the chilly wear with a favorite pair of gardening gloves and clippers, Harrison pruned at Mary’s Plant Farm Landscaping, her three-acre showcase filled with thousands of flowers, shrubs, trees, herbs, tomatoes and fruits.

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Entomologist warns of potential Japanese beetle infestation

Japanese beetle

With all the fuss about musician Paul McCartney making his first concert stop in Iowa in a dozen years, there’s news of looming trouble with another beetle, the creepy-crawly kind.

Entomologist Robert Wright says conditions appear favorable this year for a wider infestation of the Japanese beetle in Iowa and across the region. The bug can threaten Iowa’s top two crops and our gardens.

“It has just one generation a year. Right now, they’re in the soil as immature white grubs feeding on grass roots and plant roots,” Wright says. “The adults will emerge in late June and into July and that’s when we’ll start seeing the adults.”

Iowans have likely seen the bug but may not know it’s a Japanese beetle. They’re easy to identify. “They’re about a half-inch long with a bright metalic green head and shoulders and then the wing covers of the back are a coppery-brown color,” he says. The pests have been in the U.S. for nearly a century and here in the Midwest for perhaps 30 years.

Not only are they a threat to corn and soybean crops, but they can gobble up our gardens and landscaping. “Oftentimes when you’re gardening, you may see it attacking roses,” Wright says. “It likes things in the apple family. It’ll feed on crab apples. Linden trees are a favorite plant in terms of feeding on the leaves.”

Iowa’s farmers need to be on particular guard for the insect. “In agricultural settings, it can feed on both corn and soybeans,” Wright says. “It’ll defoliate the leaves in soybeans. It also will feed on the leaves in corn but it really prefers to feed on the silk.” He says the same insecticide used to control white grubs also works well on the beetles.

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‘Master’ shares Japanese gardening techniques with South Whidbey

For some, gardening and landscaping is a backbreaking chore. For others, such as those dedicated to the Japanese method, it’s an art form deserving of a Super Bowl for gardens. Yes, such a thing exists.

Luckily for South Whidbey, Masa Mizuno, one of the perceived Japanese “master gardeners,” will make his annual return to share that gardening philosophy, his wisdom and techniques.

“Each time Masa has come to Whidbey, he’s brought something fresh and new, not just about landscaping principles, but how to apply them in one’s own life,” Northwest Language and Cultural Center Director Josette Hendrix said.

The Northwest Language and Cultural Center (NWLACC) is welcoming Mizuno back to South Whidbey to raise funds for the center’s Global Cultures Program, which the NWLACC offers to South Whidbey schools for free as a way to teach youth about global matters.

Mizuno is leading a pruning workshop from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, where he will demonstrate the Japanese pruning technique, discuss the gardening approach of his homeland and answer questions from the attending crowd. Tickets cost $75, and lunch will be provided. Reservations can be made on the NWLACC website.

The workshop is held at a different garden on South Whidbey every year, and this time around the demonstration will be held at Clinton resident Sievert Rohwer’s private residence. The garden brings a new flavor to the annual workshop, as Rohwer’s space is a European-style garden without the traditional Japanese greenery such as the country’s native maples and pine trees. The garden is also within a 40 acre plot of land where Rohwer is aiming to restore the natural wetlands to the area. Visitors will have the opportunity to tour the acreage.

“It’ll be exciting to see what Masa does with the property, because it’ll be a fusion of Japanese gardening techniques and French twists,” Hendrix said. “He always manages to show others how to look at organizing their garden or landscape in relation to space and time, regardless of what kind of garden he’s demonstrating on.”

According to former workshop host and Clinton resident Norm Bodine, it’s a rigorous process to reach Mizuno’s stature as a “master gardener.” Mizuno has been working in gardens in Japan and the United States for more than 30 years, but served as a gardening apprentice in both Osaka and Tokyo before then. It’s a common process in Japan.

According to the Japanese tradition, it takes years before a student can even start gardening, as the pupil is supposed to closely study their teacher and perform minuscule tasks before they can take up any shears. It’s similar to the process of becoming a sushi chef, where students have to work in restaurants for years as dishwashers and bus boys before they can even handle the rice, let alone the seafood.

“The Japanese feel you have to go through the process of being a student, where you start off sharpening tools,” Bodine said. “After years of doing this, the students can finally land a job in one of these gardens, of which there are many. I don’t know of any apprenticeship program in the U.S.”

Mizuno eventually worked on gardens in Tokyo after years of learning from elder gardeners, and later landed jobs in famed gardens across the country such as the Adachi Art Museum garden in the Shimane Prefecture. But the City of Portland managed to bring him to the Pacific Northwest in 2000 to be the landscape director of the Portland Japanese Garden, and Mizuno has stayed in the city ever since. He later started his own landscaping business, and has worked on the Japanese garden in Seattle’s Washington Park Arboretum. He’s also worked on numerous private gardens across South Whidbey.

Attendees at the workshop will see a glimpse of the traditional Japanese gardening philosophy. Mizuno will explain how to approach gardening and landscaping, which heavily emphasizes sight lines and highlighting the beauty in a single plant. Bodine says the Japanese try not to crowd plants next to each other, so they can stand alone and viewers can “see the whole plant.” Natural beauty is also emphasized, as plant shapes are intended to look natural rather than over-groomed or symmetrical.

“The Japanese style is tied so much to the relationship with nature that is both caring and respectful,” Hendrix said. “It’s not about the gardener over-imposing, it’s rather working with the nature to reveal the inherent beauty in each plant.”

Bodine says opportunities to learn from gardeners of Mizuno’s caliber are rare. People of his expertise don’t come around that often in the first place, and Bodine adds many Japanese master gardeners’ grasp of the English language isn’t extensive. It’s one thing to follow their actions, Bodine said, but a different level of understanding is reached when students can open a dialogue with the mentor.

Luckily, Mizuno is different. Bodine and Hendrix say Mizuno is a highly social person always looking to demonstrate the Japanese method, teach others about the style and meet new people. He’s also aware that students could try out his methods on their personal gardens, considering the Whidbey climate and flora is somewhat similar to Japan, according to Bodine.

“Masa has this wonderful way of teaching people what to pay attention to,” Hendrix said. “He’ll be teaching people not only about the techniques, but the larger context of being in harmony with your garden.”


Contributed photo — Mizuno explains how to approach a garden considering time and space to a class during the 2016 workshop.

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From petting dogs to gardening: Top tips to eat your way to a happy tum


An acronym for symbiotic communities of bacteria and yeast. This is used to describe the cultures used for fermenting milk or sugar water or grains into kefir (fermented yogurt drink), kombucha (lightly effervescent black or green tea drink) and sourdough bread.

Cultured dairy

Fermented dairy contains lots of beneficial bacteria and sometimes fungi or yeasts that contribute to the diversity of the microbiome. 

Raw (unpasteurised) dairy products contain beneficial enzymes and probiotics that are damaged during pasteurisation. Avoid raw dairy products if you have immunodeficiency (during chemotherapy for example), are pregnant or for children under the age of three.

Preserved meat

Dry cured salami and ham use controlled fermentation to preserve the meat, creating probiotic delicacies when made without the use of lactose, dextrose and various preservatives. Look for products that contain only meat, fat, salt, garlic or spices.


Owning a pet (especially a dog) and living or working on a farm are associated with greater diversity of gut bacteria. Although we don’t yet know why, it does appear that this diversity helps to support immune function, damp down allergies and reduce food intolerance. If you don’t own any animals try to say hello to any you meet if it seems appropriate. 

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