Category Archives: Compost

Edible Education 101 – Free classes

FOOD! and FOOD Politics, Processes, Philosophies, it is all here in this series of classes. They are free. You can attend in person or join a streaming conference from your own computer. Sign up!

Public conversations about food have flourished since the 1960s. In the wake of these conversations, it is important to ask, is the “food movement” a social movement? This class will explore what details a social movement and what it will take to shift the power balance.

Building on her vast experience as co-founder and co-director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, Saru Jayaraman will discuss ways to take fights for bold social change goals and transform them into sustained action.

Edible Education 101 meets at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business in the Anderson Auditorium on Wednesday, January 31 from 6:15-8PM Pacific Time. You can watch the conversation live online or join us in class on campus. Participation to the community is free of charge. WATCH ONLINE or ATTEND IN PERSON

NEXT UP! Yes there are more classes available –

Week 4 | Wednesday, February 7: Regenerative Cooking: Food, Soil, and Seeds Presented by Chef Dan Barber

Chef Dan Barber will discuss the role of chef and seed breeder collaboration in reshaping our food system and share examples of new vegetable varieties inspired by and celebrated in the Blue Hill kitchen. Dan Barber is the chef and co-owner of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and the author of The Third Plate.  His opinions on food and agricultural policy have appeared in the New York Times and many other publications. Appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, Dan continues the work that he began as a member of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture board of directors, bringing the principles of good farming directly to the table. Barber has received multiple James Beard awards. In 2009 he was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.

Missed Week Two? Check out our livestream recordings! Thanks to special guests Clair Brown, author of Buddhist Economics, and Margiana Peterson-Rockney for a lively discussion. Watch now >


Rooftop Gardens – Such a Fresh Way to Eat


Rooftop gardens are all over the SF Bay Area! We aren’t the only area…. you can find them all over, even in New York City. These min-farms provide a great access to fresh eggs and produce. They are fun too, and what better way to learn how things grow!

green corporate

  • Check out Brooklyn’s Eagle Street Rooftop Farm
  • Designs are becoming more innovative to protect the animals (chickens and rabbits) and provide a maximum growing area. Some gardens are almost entirely VERTICAL, imagine waterfalls of tomatoes…. cascading from a large pot higher above.
  • Some gardens are in tall buildings (very popular in denser areas or unstable climates) and this method provides a controlled climate and nutrients.
  • Nursery Seedlings and special varieties can help in the growing and yield process.

Check your community – there are often clubs and Facebook sites to help you get started and share advice!

YELP! has even helped out with a collection of gardens in the posts: The BEST ROOFTOP GARDENS IN SF  Small IS Beautiful!

There are also many events that are FARM TO TABLE if you’d like to get away to a B&B and see the large farms in action!


  The beautiful view from Libertyview Farm, a Hudson Valley Farm Wedding venue

Love Food? Learn More at FBS

The Food Business School has many Luminaries in the food business, passionate people that love food, grow food, distribute food.  There are many seminars, calls, and classes available.

FBS Seminars

Course Offerings

Eat.Think.Design, Online, September 12 – October 14

Mission-Driven: Developing A Values-Based Food Brand, Online, September 12 – October 14

Essentials of Nutrition & Sustainability for Food Innovators, Online, October 3 – November 4

Tech, Trends, & Policies Transforming the Food System, Online, October 3 – November 4

Building Supply Chains for a Sustainable Future, Online, October 3 – November 4

Food Venture Formation & Financing, Online, October 3 – November 4

Click here to learn more about online courses and register early for special pricing!

Class Listing:    reThink Food this November

reThink Food, a collaboration between The Culinary Institute of America and MIT Media Lab, brings together thought leaders and innovators. FBS Dean Will Rosenzweig joins the conversation on Friday, November 4 during a CEO RoundTable on “Keeping Up with the Pace of Food Innovation: Innovator’s Dilemma“. The conference will be held on November 4-6 at the CIA’s Greystone campus in St. Helena, CA. Register today.

Gardening Skin Care

SF Spring Plant Sale Extravaganza in June

The San Francisco Spring Plant Sale Extravaganza is a collection of Spring plant shows and sales SATURDAY JUNE 11 in the San Francisco County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park.

Location is on 9th Ave and Lincoln Way
Time 9-5pm

This is an annual one day only Sale, featuring:

  • SF Begonia Society
  • SF Gesneriad Society
  • SF African Violet Society
  • SF Epiphyllum Society
  • SF Fuchsia Society
  • SF Rose Society
  • SF Dahlia Society
  • SFSU Friends of the Green House Exotics (
  • SF Aquarium Society
  • Laughing Lydia
  • Pottery and Glass Blowing Artists
  • EZ Mount Plan Hangers
  • Orchid Society of California
  • and many more, as well as other vendors and food and drinks.

On Saturday June 11 / Sunday June 12 at the Gallery in the Hall of Flowers 9-5

Annual Two Day SALE! Featuring the:

  • SF Succulent and Cactus Society
  • SF Bromeliad Society

and more

Each plant society involved is dedicated to education, culture, protection, and appreciation of plants all over the world. There are also many local growers and nurseries that feature particular types of plants that join this huge plant sale!  So regardless of if you are looking for a particular plant and/or society, this is the THE event to attend to find what you are looking for! Even if you do not know what you are looking for!    



Just so you know:

The San Francisco Orchid Society meets the 1st Tuesday of the Month 7-10pm in the County Fair Building at 9th Ave and Lincoln Way in SF

“Orchids in the Park”  event presented by the SF Orchid Society’s Summer Show and Sale is July 23 & 24 2016 10 – 5pm – Demos, Raffle, Admission $5 / 4 under 16 free.

Mother’s Day Weekend 2016 – –  Orchid Show and Sale May 7 & 8 Lakeside Park Garden Center 666 Bellevue Ave Oakland, CA 94610, FREE, displays, raffles

Out of this WORLD Orchids Saturday / Sunday March 5 & 6, presented by the Napa Valley Orchid Society Presents. 10-4pm  FREE, at the Napa Senior Activity Center, 1500 Jefferson Street, Napa CA 94559  For more information call (707) 252-4050  Orchids for sale, art, raffle, orchid supplies.


Austin Creek

Bay Area Carnivorous Plant

Cal West Tropical

California Native Plant

California Rare Fruit


Geraniaceae (Geraniums) –

Lauging Lydia (Succulents)

Mycological Society of San Francisco (Mushrooms)

Orchid Society of

San Francisco African Violet

San Francisco Aquarium

San Francisco Begonia

San Francisco Dahlia

San Francisco Epiphyllum

San Francisco Fuchsia

San Francisco Gesneriad

San Francisco Rose

San Francisco Succulent and Cactus

San Francisco State University – Friends of the Greenhouse (Martin Grantham)

The Tiny Jungle (Orchids, Begonias, Gesneriads and more)


We’ve Got to Talk about this! – Greywater!

Water News, Water Workshops

The Good: The Carmel River is running freely again for first time in 95 years after the San Clement Dam was removed this week, opening up the river for spawning Steelhead. And restoring California’s meadows could help combat climate change and increase the water supply.
The Bad: All the recent recent storms and snow in the Sierra’s have had no effect on California’s long-term water supply deficit, according to the US Drought Monitor. The drought is still extreme! And as California’s wait for rain, salmon struggle for survival in the warm and shallow rivers.

And the Ugly
: Happy (belated) World Toilet Day!  Some are calling this toilet “grossly awesome” due to it’s poop eating worms, others think it’s just plain awesome. What about you?

Upcoming Workshops

Los Angeles Area

  • Free workshops sponsored by California American Water!
    • LA County (Rosemead Community Center)
      • 1) Introduction to Greywater. November 30 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm. More info here
      • 2) Laundry-to-Landscape Design & Installation Workshop, December 7 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm. More info here
    • Ventura County (In Thousand Oaks)
      • 1) Introduction to Greywater: Drought-Proof Your Landscape. December 9 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm. More info here
      • 2) Laundry-to-Landscape Design & Installation Workshop. December 15 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm. More info here
  • The Low Down on Pee and Poo: Composting toilets and urine reuse at the Los Angeles EcoVillage (117 Bimini Place LA, 9004) December 3 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm Cost: $5 – $15 More info here
  • Save Your Water! (LA Natural History Museum). Learn about rainwater capture and greywater reuse, plus help build a greywater system at the museum. More info here
  • 3 day greywater class in Malibu. January 11th-13th. Hosted by COWA. More info here

On-line classes
Last two webinars of the 2015 series. More info and registration here

  • 12/2 Gravity-Flow, Branched Drain Systems and Greywater Irrigation in Arid Climates
  • 12/16 Southern CA Fruit Trees 101- How to Irrigate Your Home Orchard with Greywater

SF Bay Area

  • (Fairfax) Hands-on greywater workshop. December 5 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. More info and registration link here
  • (Oakland) Hands-on greywater install workshop. 10th January 2016 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. More info and registration link here.
  • (Oakland Tool Lending Library) Laundry to Landscape workshop. January 16th, 1-3:30pm.  Free workshop.

SOil – biochar & home gardens

Today, The Biochar Company, one of 11 finalists in Sir Richard Branson’s $25 million Virgin Earth Challenge, launched an Indiegogo campaign to deliver the new, three-part Soil Reef™ Biochar System.

As a soil-building system, the Soil Reef Biochar System uses timed application, to help home gardeners create a soil rich in carbon-based organic matter to capture and contain vital nutrients, bacteria, and other microorganisms critical to plant life, and our own!

First used by native peoples of the Amazon to transform thin, low-nutrient soil into productive fields for crops and grazing, biochar has been hailed as a simple and effective way to capture carbon that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere while providing nutrient-rich benefits to our soil. In fact, for every pound of The Biochar Company’s Soil Reef Biochar added to soil, 1.5 pounds of carbon dioxide is sequestered. We can all agree that carbon in the ground is better than carbon in the air!

The Biochar Company is sharing their environmental lifesaver with backyard farmers of America through their first-ever Indiegogo campaign. Supporters even have the opportunity to supply developing farmers in the Dominican Republic with an Estufa Finca, a locally produced, low-emission stove, used to prepare food and make biochar for home gardens, farms or profit.



Natives require less water, and can attract beneficial bugs! 

Plant the right plants in the right place! That’s the key to a successful and attractive garden and using native plants can get you there. The Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association (BASMAA) is encouraging the region’s residents to consider native plants in lieu of lawns and other plants. The impact can be dramatic: natives require less watering, and many attract beneficial bugs, reducing the need for pesticides and chemical treatments.

“It makes sense at an intuitive level,” said Geoff Brosseau, executive director of BASMAA. “Plants that are native to the region were meant to be here, and thrived here. They require less maintenance, water, and other resources than non-natives we may choose to plant based on aesthetics alone.”

Native plants are especially important right now because of California’s drought. Although a green lawn is no longer an option, natives are a great alternative. “Most natives use much less water than non-natives once they are established,” explained Brosseau. “That alone is an excellent reason for anyone to make changes to their garden.”

There are more benefits, too: Native plants can provide year-round color in a garden and can also attract butter?ies, birds, bees and other beneficial insects, allowing for less-toxic gardening. That’s something BASMAA always encourages because of stormwater pollution from yard and garden chemicals.  When used on lawns, in gardens, or even just around the perimeter of a home, pesticides can cause water pollution. Once pesticides and fertilizers wash off lawns from rain and watering, they flow into storm drains, polluting local creeks and the Bay and harming fish and wildlife.

Some Bay Area native plants include California buckeye, yarrow, white alder, Western azalea, and briar rose. A full list can be found on the California Native Plant Society website. Residents should look for plant recommendations for the part of the Bay Area they live in because the region’s microclimates vary and, consequently, so do the plants that thrive in different parts of the region.

Resources for getting started with or learning more about native plants and less-toxic gardening: Sets Its Sites on New Generation of Gardeners

The new online gardening resource, Garden Aware is aiming to get more young readers gardening. It has set out to break the stereotype that green fingers are a hobby for the older generation with a colourful and engaging website offering interesting and attention-grabbing articles.

With a recent global gardening survey revealing that 47% of the UK population would like to introduce their children and/or grandchildren to the world of horticulture, it has never been a better time for families to grab their gloves and seed the passion for gardening.

Research suggest that the younger generation is becoming more interested in gardening with a recent survey showing it is more popular than the cinema with some 25-35 year-olds.  This year, the Royal Horticulture Society also found that 89% of 16-25-year-olds have a garden or grow plants.

Shad Zac, Owner of Garden Aware said, “The number of young gardeners is on the rise, however, many still believe that gardening is reserved for the elderly, the retired or those with too much time on their hands. Here at Garden Aware we aim to show budding horticulturalists that tackling a garden is not only relaxing, but rewarding.”

It is never too early to experience the array of benefits that gardening offers both physical and psychological. These include a lowering of blood pressure, to lower chances of strokes and heart disease and a better diet free of too much processed food and full of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Zac added, “Our website offers a vast range of articles, techniques and tips for anyone who wishes to get their fingers green. There is something for everyone, and with years of experience, Garden Aware is designed to be accessible for young gardeners to pick up the tools they require.”

To find out more about Garden Aware visit the website:

About Garden Aware

A source of education and information for all gardeners regardless of experience, Garden Aware is the best online resource for gardening enthusiasts, providing them with top-quality gardening information, inspiring ideas and utilitarian tips on how to keep home yards updates round the year.

A family run website, Garden Aware exudes passion and gives gardeners useful tips on how to tackle any space. Experts in grow-your-own, the online resource can help growing gardeners live greener, fresher and sprightlier lives.

Vita Gardens – Save Water

Gardens across the country are threatened by drought, yet plants in Vita Gardens’ new African Keyhole thrive.


WATCH the youtube:

Developed in Africa as a way to grow food in severe drought and extreme heat, the Keyhole Garden method works by creating one space for both growing and composting. Gardeners can immediately plant vegetables in their keyhole after they load the bed with both brown and green composting materials and layer of soil.

Vita’s modern day approach to this method provides the same benefits, yet in a raised bed. The African Keyhole Garden Bed uses 80 percent less water compared to a traditional garden bed and produces a greater yield in less time.

SF Green Film Fest May 28-June 1!!

Over the last four years, San Francisco Green Film Festival ( ) has brought over 200 compelling and relevant environmental film programs to Bay Area audiences. At venues across San Francisco we all have watched and loved the latest green independent documentaries on topics including: water in the West; better cities; nature and biodiversity; zero waste; and more.

All our films offered one thing: a unique perspective on the most pressing environmental issues.

But the Green Film Fest didn’t stop there. We have seen filmmakers, environmental experts, campaigners and local residents come together to watch, discuss and create ideas for a better world. We are using the power of film to spark environmental and social change.

It will be here soon, get ready to enjoy it!