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Developing Healthy Landscapes

An unhealthy environment should not be the price of a beautiful landscape. Inappropriate plant choices and inadequate soil preparation can lead to a reliance on excessive use of water and on toxic chemicals to resolve problems. Ecological landscaping encourages practices that promote a healthy environment through conservation of resources, respect for biodiversity, and ecologically-sound techniques.

A mixture of water, EM1, and molasses await incorporation into a bran & coffee chaff substrate as part of a bokashi recipe.

The Joy of Bokashi Composting

By Boris Kerzner

About five years ago, while living in a small house with a small backyard, I was fortunate to be introduced to bokashi composting. Whereas standard compost piles rely on the presence of oxygen for decomposition to occur, the bokashi method is a two-step process in which the first step occurs in the absence of oxygen. This composting method takes less space and less tending than a traditional compost pile.

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<em>Trametes versicolor </em> Turkey tail is one of the most common mushrooms in North American woods, 

Mycological Strategies for Surviving

By Paul Stamets

Today, we only have 10-15% of the forest debris that nature has needed to build the food webs for sustainable ecosystems. Widespread deforestation, factory farming, population expansion, industrialization, and concomitant pollution are ongoing threats imperiling our ecosystems and the foundation of our food webs at a time when unprecedented waves of humans walk the Earth needing water, sustenance and shelter. What do I recommend?

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Healthy Plate 

Ways to Improve Your Nutrition and Health During the Offseason

By Samantha McCarthy

Fall is now upon us. While physical activity is still a part of the daily job, it may not be as intense or strenuous as spring days. Eventually, winter will arrive again, and activity levels will drop significantly. It is now an excellent time to start changing your eating habits to reflect your activity levels. 


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Figure 1. Soils in Los Angeles 

The Needs Assessment of Los Angeles Soils: Current Status, Community Needs, and Future Directions

By Yujuan Chen, Ph.D. 

Soil is the brown infrastructure for Los Angeles. It has great potential to mitigate current and future climate impacts by sequestering carbon, improving water supply and water quality, supporting plant growth, enhancing food production, and maintaining healthy communities. This study aims to understand the current status of LA soils, identify soil issues, and work with partners to provide a framework to move forward. 

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Harms Woods is a restored woodland in Glenview, IL.

Can the Soil Seed Bank Save Us?

By Nathan Lamb

Imagine two woodlands. Both have deciduous, fire-adapted trees overhead. One has widely spaced trees, and sunlight reaches a diverse community of grasses, sedges, and forbs. The other has a dense thicket of invasive shrubs that shades out all but the earliest spring ephemerals. Will removing the invasive shrubs and exposing the bare soil trigger a profusion of native plants, restoring the diverse community that lived there hundreds of years ago? 

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Colorful Produce 

Proper Nutrition for Increased Activity Levels

By Samantha McCarthy

In landscape and gardening design, spring means a change from a more sedentary winter lifestyle to a sudden increase in physical activity. This quick transition can be a challenge for the body, so optimizing your nutrition throughout the Spring and Summer can help you feel better, increase energy levels, and prevent inflammation and pain in the joints. 


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