Picking up where it left off in 2019, the organization Green Roofs for Healthy Cities focused on resilient cities at its annual “Cities Alive” conference this week in Philadelphia. Nothing would stop me from making the trip east this year to learning from my colleagues about the latest green roof initiatives and building methods.
I first discovered Green Roofs for Healthy Cities in 2006. I visited Manhattan for the opportunity to work for a day with Leslie Hoffman of Earth Pledge NYC. We had met earlier in San Diego at a People for Livable Places event. I became enthralled with green roofs, but I had no idea at the time how to build one or even what they really looked like.… Read More
In my spare time, I read science articles. Doesn’t everyone?
In this case, the headline got my attention: “Plants aren’t good at photosynthesis. We can do it better.”
This didn’t make sense to me. The reason plants grow and thrive is photosynthesis. It’s life and death for plants. The article was
written by Dr. Raffael Jovine, a scientist who is the author of the new book “How Light Makes Life: The Hidden Wonders and World-Saving Powers of Photosynthesis.”
I read more and thankfully, Dr. Jovine isn’t a hater. Far from it. His book explores how photosynthesis was first discovered and understood by humans, how it works, our planet’s reliance on photosynthesis for nearly all life, the economic value of photosynthesis, and how we can use photosynthesis and plants to save our environment and solve many other complex problems like hunger, healthcare, and equity.… Read More
When we first installed our green roof at Good Earth Plant Company fifteen years ago in 2007, all the information about the long-term impact came from Europe. There weren’t many green roofs in the United States, just a few in the northern United States and southern Canada. There were very few studies conducted on them, none in our Southern California region.
Times change, and we are much more enlightened about the positive impact of green roofs on the immediate environment and their contribution overall. We love green roofs and everything they stand for at Good Earth Plant Company. We have now built several green roofs in the decade since then, from private homes in Del Mar, Encinitas, and Santa Monica, to the “Fallen Star” art installation at UCSD, to the spectacular green roof at Sharp Memorial Hospital in Kearny Mesa.… Read More
Some of my favorite quotes are about trees. I love what they express about the power of nature, optimism, and time.
“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit” – Nelson Henderson
“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago” – Warren Buffett
“He who plants a tree, plants a hope” – Lucy Larcom
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now” – Chinese proverb
I love all things trees. I always have. One of the very first blog posts I ever wrote was about the magic of treehouses in September 2013.… Read More
It was 14 years ago this month when the first commercial green roof appeared on an occupied building in the City of San Diego. It was OUR main office at Good Earth Plant Company. You never forget your first!
It’s hard to believe it’s been 14 years since we took this leap of faith, although it was made so much easier with all of the expert advice we followed and with the work of the partners who helped make it happen. So a few quick thank yous right at the start go to Ulf Waldman, Robert Thiele, Charlie Miller, Robin Rivet, and Paul Kephart.… Read More
It’s Halloween today, and 180 million Americans of all ages plan to take part in some kind of festivities today. We’re all about it at Good Earth Plant Company, because so much of Halloween connects with nature.
Around this time of year, the seasons are making the transition from the last summer harvest to the cooler, darker days of fall and winter. We make the fall time change this Sunday, November 2. Irish immigrants brought their beliefs about nature to the United States. They explained the natural processes they saw happening during the seasons on magical spirits. It’s not surprising when you think about pre-industrial people trying to make sense of the world without sophisticated science.… Read More
In a previous life, I must have been some kind of animal that lives in a tree. I love all things trees. I always have. One of the very first blog posts I ever wrote was about the magic of tree houses in September 2013.
Trees are at the top of my consciousness right now following my vacation trip to the Pantanal region of Brazil. It’s such a different experience being immersed in dense forests of trees, especially the amazing and unusual types of trees we saw in Brazil.
Back at home in San Diego, I’ve been thinking just how valuable trees are to us in our hot, dry Mediterranean climate.… Read More
Sometimes I wonder why I read the news, because it can be depressing. I guess because it’s a relief none of my own problems ever make it into the San Diego Union-Tribune or on local TV. If they did, I’d know I’m having a REALLY bad day.
A few recent stories in the news were a serious downer for this Eco-Warrior.
In the first one, a report by the City of San Diego ran down our infrastructure funding gap. This is the money we don’t have to fix our streets, sidewalks, lights, traffic signals, and such. The one that got my attention was the $243 million we need to fund local parks.… Read More
So many plant related news items cross my desk that make me say “huh” or “really?” or “wow.” Or “you’ve got to be (kidding) me!” I had to clean up that sentence using “kidding” for our family-friendly blog but you get the idea.
Let me catch you up on a few of them while I’m filling my own brain at the annual Cultivate 17 conference in Columbus, Ohio.
Using Vinegar On Plants During a Drought
In Japan, scientists say they’ve created greater tolerance for drought conditions in plants by growing them in vinegar.
Scientists at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science conducted their tests on the Arabidopsis plant, which is called Thale cress.… Read More
You don’t have to be Irish (or part Irish like me) to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on Friday, March 17. We love any occasion focusing on things that are green!
March 17 is the date of St. Patrick’s death. Yes, he was a real person. For many years St. Patrick’s Day was a serious religious holiday in Ireland, honoring the man who converted Ireland to Catholicism and who also reportedly “drove the snakes out of Ireland.”
This is a historical headscratcher, because there are no snakes native to Ireland. Some historians now believe “snakes” refers to the ancient Pagans, especially the Druids who practiced the dominant spiritual belief in Ireland before the arrival of Christianity.… Read More