The Lost Bird Project, a documentary film about sculptor Todd McGrain’s project
Welcome to our gardening resources page.
You can get an idea of your soil’s components by doing the following test: fill a large jar, such as a mayo jar, ⅓ with a sample of your soil (leaves and other organic material removed), one tablespoon of powdered dishwasher soap, and ⅔ with water. Shake vigorously, and then let sit for at least half an hour. The layers will become more delineated the longer the sample sits. The soil will settle into layers, sand on the bottom, silt next, then a layer of clay. Organic matter will float to the top. The perfect combination is 45% sand, 35% silt, 20 % clay, and 5% organic matter.
Soil Testing Services:
- University of Massachusetts – $10 for basic soil test, and $5 per each additional test for organic matter, nitrates, and soluble salts. Great value!
- Biological Urban Garden Service – $110 per test. Extensive organic recommendations.
- Wallace Laboratories – Tests start at $50 for basic soil carbon/nitrogen test, with $25 to $30 per additional test.
Wyndbrandt Farms – Available in .75 cubic foot bags. Larger orders can be delivered. For more info, contact Steven Wynbrandt – 310.968.8071
These books are available at either the Los Angeles Public Library or The Palos Verdes Library.
The Bountiful Container by McGee & Stuckey. The definitive container gardener’s bible. There have been many written since, but I take this off the shelf time after time.
Teaming With Microbes by Lowenfels & Lewis. Think you understand soil? Trust me, you will truly understand how much you DIDN’T know before reading this book. It will open your eyes to the world literally under your feet. Recommended read for any serious organic gardener.
Pests of the Garden and Small Farm, A Grower’s Guide to Using Less Pesticide by Mary Louise Flint. Recommended by the University of California to help you identify pests and deal with them quickly.
The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food by Janisse Ray. Inspiring story of ordinary gardeners saving seeds.
This is just a partial listing of the seed sources that are out there. Many specialize in organic and/or heirloom seeds. “*” in front of names indicate organizations based in California.
* Seed Library of Los Angeles (SLOLA)
We’re is excited to announce that the documentary program, Hunger in the Valley