Thursday, June 7, 2012

Long Beach urban agriculture rules to be discussed at public meetings next week - Long Beach Urban Agriculture |

Long Beach urban agriculture rules to be discussed at public meetings next week - Long Beach Urban Agriculture |

Friday, April 27, 2012

Seed starting workshop by Long Beach Grows at Center Space

Center Space Long Beach in Admiral Kidd Park is back again this Saturday April 28 after its successful debut last weekend. Tomorrow’s free Growth & Learning Space activities include an 11 A.M. workshop on seed starting offered by Long Beach Grows, a local organization that promotes food security through urban agriculture. Steve Passmore, the Farm Coordinator of LBGROWS Unity Farm, will be the instructor.

The best food that you know and can trust is home grown or grown by you in one of our Long Beach community gardens. Long Beach Grows’ seed starting workshop will help you get started.

Starting your vegetable garden from seed is much more economical than buying plants from a retail store. In addition, you get to choose the exact varieties of zucchini or other vegetables to grow, compared to the small selection that is available at even the most well stocked of garden centers.

Steve will talk about preferred sources and the different types of seed, including heirloom seed, genetically modified or GMO seed, open-pollinated seed, F1 hybrid seed, and which of these are compatible with sustainable organic gardening. 

The discussion will cover the advantages and disadvantages of direct seeding compared to preparing sets that will need to be transplanted, and the utility of greenhouses.

Your choice of seed depends on the season and where you live. Steve will discuss which plants are appropriate to grow now in Long Beach given our temperate climate. Considerations to be covered include the effects of temperature on germination and on time of emergence.

Workshop participants will go home with a souvenir, seeds they have sown for their home gardens.

Other Center Space activities this Saturday include a 1 P.M. workshop on preparing for green career opportunities with Stella Ursua. The seed starting workshop and the green careers workshop will be held beneath the trees on the north side of the Boys and Girls Club building.

Recurring Center Space events include the Greener Good Farmers Market, hot food vendors, zumba, yoga, live music, and a soccer clinic. Center Space is a project of the Catalyst Network of Communities.

Enjoy this? Then share the link and comment below, even if only to say "Hi!"

You might also be interested in Donna’s other work as Long Beach Urban Agriculture Examiner, and founder and director of Long Beach Grows™.

Copyright © 2012 Donna Marykwas; All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Growing Experience Urban Farm to celebrate Earth Day 2012 next Thursday

The Growing Experience is to hold it’s third annual Earth Day celebration next Thursday, April 26 from 3:00-6:00 pm in North Long Beach, 750 Via Carmelitos. The event is free and open to the public.

This ~ 7 acre farm located in the Carmelitos Housing Development boasts a wide variety of naturally grown heirloom vegetables all year long. In addition, over 200 fruit trees offer fresh figs, peaches, nectarines, plums, apples, and citrus.

The local farm fresh produce and fruit can be purchased through the Growing Experience’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program via a weekly, bi-weekly, monthly subscription that costs $17 per week. This is one of the few true local CSA’s currently selling produce actually grown on site in Long Beach. The only drawback is that the CSA boxes are not delivered to your home, instead you must pick them up at the farm.

This Earth Day celebration will give you the opportunity to tour the farm, taste the harvest, and learn about sustainable urban agriculture. The Growing Experience has recently ventured into aquaponics to grow tilapia and edible aquatic crops, also to be demonstrated at the event. Arts activities will keep the kids entertained.  

Jimmy Ng, the urban farmer and director of The Growing Experience was recently interviewed for Bryant Terry’s online show with international reach, Urban Organic. Watch the interview here

More Information

The Growing Experience is a project of the Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles. For more information, contact:

Jimmy Ng
The Growing Experience
750 Via Carmelitos
Long Beach, CA  90805

Enjoy this? Then share the link and comment below, even if only to say "Hi!"

You might also be interested in Donna’s other work as Long Beach Urban Agriculture Examiner and director of Long Beach Grows™.

Copyright © 2012 Donna Marykwas; All rights reserved.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Feinstein Foundation $1 Million Challenge

The Feinstein Foundation $1 Million Challenge is on!

Donations to Long Beach Grows through  April 30 will be matched up to $35k. Please mention the Feinstein Foundation.

Read more about Growing Long Beach with Long Beach Grows and the Feinstein Foundation here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dear Long Beach City Council Environmental Committee

Dear Long Beach City Council, Our current municipal code interferes with the wholesome education of our children with practical how-to skills about real food and sustainability so that there will be safe and wholesome food, and KNOW-HOW, to feed THEIR kids in the future. Plus, it's just plain FUN.


Donna Marykwas
Long Beach Grows
Growing a more sustainable future, or at least trying

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Long Beach Grows Goats

Our goats Dinkey & Bumper are symbols of food justice in our community. Read more about them here.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

National soup month advice: make chicken bone broth part of your food secure diet

 A bowl of velvety chicken bone broth
Everyone should know that chicken soup is good medicine, a nourishing tradition passed on from one generation to the next within many families. Good chefs also know that chicken broth forms the backbone of exceptionally delectable sauces, stews, and other culinary delights.

Although restaurant chefs might use whole chicken to prepare their broth, a more frugal approach takes advantage of the bones from previous chicken meals. It is amazing how much substance and nutrition is left in these often-discarded remains.

Chicken bone broth is rich in minerals, amino acids, and gelatin, the later being especially good for maintaining skin and digestive health. In fact, the sign of an exceptional broth is one that gels once finished cooking and in the refrigerator.

Here’s how I do it. If you can’t cook without following a recipe with precise ingredients, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

My husband never thought I would actually use this enormous stock pot.
Collect the carcasses of chickens in the freezer in freezer bags until you run out of room. Use all parts of the bird including organs, except the liver, which you can reserve for some other use. Also save carcasses, necks, hearts, and gizzards from other poultry, including your Thanksgiving turkey. The more bones used per batch of soup, the richer your broth will be.

Fill the pot with as many bones as you have saved.
Place the bones in a large stock pot and cover with cold water. I use an All Clad 24-quart stainless steel stock pot, my one extravagance.

Bring the water to a boil and then lower the heat. Skim off and discard any scum that has surfaced to the top.

Add one large onion (peeled and cut in half), several sticks of celery including any leafy tops, a couple of carrots, a bunch of Italian flat leaf parsley (minus the rubber band), a couple of large bay leafs, a few peppercorns, and a dried hot red pepper such as chile de árbol. A few sprigs of thyme make a nice addition if available.

Simmer on low heat just high enough to keep the surface of the soup bubbling, for several hours. My broth-in-the-making usually simmers for at least 12 hours, overnight. Long slow cooking extracts all the flavor from the ingredients, making for a rich and savory soup.

Once cooked, strain the liquid into a new pot.
Once off the stove, let the soup cool enough to handle. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve such as a Chinois and refrigerate. The chicken grease will rise to the surface of the pot and congeal. Scoop this off and discard (or if you're really frugal, save it for cooking).

If there is too much soup for you to consume before the batch sours, freeze the chicken bone broth in smaller batches. I have had good luck freezing broth in 1-quart-sized wide-mouth mason jars, provided that each jar is filled up only to the point where the sides of the jar are still straight, not tapered. Otherwise, the frozen contents will expand and crack the glass in the freezer. Alternatively, doubled up freezer baggies work, but they are awkward to handle full of liquid and might end up on the floor.

Typical yield from one batch of chicken bone broth
Now you are left with a pile of cooked bones. If you have a pet that eats meat, it is well worth the effort to separate and reserve everything that is soft and edible (the large bowl on the right) from everything that is still hard and inedible and to be discarded (the smaller bowl). You will find that many small bones are soft enough to crumble between your fingers. Do so and add to the bowl of pet food. My dog is best behaved when she knows I am preparing this food for her.

As for dinner, the broth is delicious as is; just add salt to taste. Or add your favorite soup fixings and you’re ready to go. Plus, if you’re home sick with a cold, just thaw one of the frozen jars of broth for a comforting, nutritious, and tasty remedy.

This recipe is not just for National Soup Month. Advocates of Nourishing Traditions recommend making chicken bone broth part of your daily diet.

Enjoy this? Then share the link and comment below, even if only to say "Hi!" 

You might also be interested in Donna’s other work as National Food Security Examiner, National Science News Examiner, Long Beach Urban Agriculture Examiner, and founder and executive director of Long Beach Grows.

Copyright © 2012 Donna Marykwas; All rights reserved.