Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Upon reading the sad, bad news in the EPG digest recently, regarding the inevitable proliferation of GMO food crops (and its cousins), and finally, people waking up to the climate change - with warnings since the '70s totally ignored...until now...REALLY?  I am afraid so - some have been aware of all the science on the latter since the 1970's, I had worked full time to get the word out in the 80's and was thrown in the trenches of the 2nd World Climate Conference for 2 years in Geneva 1990 (the token US staffer).  The Conference was totally ignored in this county, highest level official was from the State Department and Dept. of Commerce (NOAA).  There were 11 heads of states from most other countries, and somewhere around 2500 attendees.  After the proceedings were published I was hired (by the Secretariat of  the Rio Conference scheduled for 1992), but upon my return to the States, I was told, don't even think about it, no one is listening.  The administration wants it to go away.  So I am sort of familiar....
When the announcement came out recently on GMO's I tried to come up with a response, but could only do it on a personal level. It seemed another 'deja vu' moment.  I have, and am guessing many of us have, sort of known the" jig's up"  for quite awhile, as logic dictates that nature moves ahead with pollination & procreation - of all life & so accepted these manmade franken-genes as if they were her own.  Of course, the story doesn't end there as humans (according to reports)  likely already have ingested the food from this unholy union since the '80's, and that no doubt moves us closer to that test of un-natural selection most thought could not happen to superior human race.... well, of course,  you all no doubt already know  this...what none of us know is where we really stand.
 I was raised in the '50's in this country under the "cloud" of nuclear proliferation, tainted milk, and what we did to Hiroshima.... nightmares of that cloud that never went away.  Would it be polio or nuclear poisoning that would kill us, we ( my elementary school friends and I) asked our parents. The insanity of what we have done to our seas and air and land, and to our own species as well as all others and what that means to the future of our planet was already a part of our fears in our collective psyche then and as time went on, still is.  So living with that fear into the age when we call on sane humans to stop or slow the climate change we have created....well, it's pretty obviously a little late now. 
So - my generation of friends & acquaintances who knew the odds, survived by listening to our mentors who did not deny what we all knew & feared in our hearts, but encouraged us, with good sense as Paul Hawken did in the quote below....so (in my opinion & experience), those of who kept trying, keep trying.  We try to stay calm and move on these days, excited if we can harvest & enjoy some of food we grow as carefully as we know how. We try to show our love for our children, grandchildren and "all our relations".  
I would not have had the strength, however, until another accidental? opportunity was handed to me by friends.  My first permaculture class, long after the throes of graduate school and trying to work for positive change in this mad, mad world, made me hope again.  We were taught by the Navajo & the Hopi. Imagine!  Certainly they are the souls who have learned patience and strength to carry on. Imagine, after all we still do to rob them of everything:  they, the young men, women and the grandmothers, took the white men and women in, to a sacred place on the land, taught us so much by their presence, as they gave us the gift of how to read the land, how to walk at night and know how the wind blows and where the water will run when the rains come, and where to plant seeds as we followed them, making holes in the unlikeliest (farm) driest dirt with a stick, and all the ethics they already had accepted from their ancestors, and stood with us  in the blessing circle. We accepted what we could understand and wanted to believe we could be (at least) shadows of these true stewards of the earth...and hoped there was really enough time....  I was comforted by the children and women while in the sweat lodge and on the sacred land, taught humility by the grandmothers, and so much more.   I have such gratitude for that amazing experience in my life.  
No need to continue this monologue, just my thoughts as I read the message and felt a part of a collective sadness.  I offer a little reminder to myself when all is bleak and I would like 'to crawl in a hole and pull it in after me', as my mum would say.... my computer screen display has had this montage (below) or something similar, since working for change in the 1970's & forward....the photo was taken in my friend Eve's garden in west Texas where I grew up and where she also planted and lived with this beautiful lavender labyrinth, wonderful for meditation.  The added (quote) gives as good a rationale for carrying on, as there is, I think.  That and love!
Forget that this task of planet-saving is not possible in the time required.  Don't be put off by people
who know what is not possible.  Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are done.
--Paul Hawken

Or as my Quaker friend would say..."Be calm and carry on...."

It's the only game in town. 
Audio from "Chasing Ice" documentary

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Equinox & Spring Sunshine!

Hoping you get OUTSIDE to enjoy some of this beautiful day....love to see you for a "Vernal Equinox" very small celebration & nice day in the garden.  Putting in some snow peas already "hatched" in hoop house! Talk about a community garden or school garden in Sweet Home....noonish today...small luncheon/pot luck! 

in case you don't have time to come by but want to catch up:  photos below of finished Rehab#2

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http://earthsky.org/earth  Happy Equinox!  beautiful images & explains the astronomy involved and descriptions/photos of the planet & positions at this time of year.... many different ways to think of this day.

Also Coming events:  where will you be?
World Water Day

http://springpropagationfair.com wishing I could be there!

Earth Day!

What day is Earth Day 2014? April 22, 2014  http://www.almanac.com/content/when-earth-day

photos below of finished Rehab#2


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Apologies - my original Holiday post was somehow deleted...showing "ice buckets" & chicken sweaters (photo sent from a friend - I crochet very slowly))  & more...


Have been "offline" for some time now - going with the "flow" of a rehab project on my house (if you can call that a "flow"?)  and other family things happening, & some of the gray day blahs!  But I am back with what I hope is a great eye opener for us all (video link below).    I It is a wonderful way to "be" Inline image 8and that's what keeps me going in this lifetime when the rest of the world seems a bit mad!  And the winter a bit tough to live with....etc. etc.

This is also to invite you all to the first 2014 Sunday in the Gardens in Sweet Home - trying out the  "open house" style Sunday Jan 19th (anytime after 10 and until about 3 pm).  That way you can choose when you come. We can also change the day...if that helps.  Coming anytime is for convenience...all you may miss is some other folks who stop by.  This is also for my inspiration,  love to have you come to visit, if not to join in a "garden" project then just to visit.  If it is too cold, we will be inside but otherwise if there is a hint of sunshine, maybe outside....seeing what has happened to my gardens and what is working (or not)!  This is my permaculture site, and lo & behold, Geoff Lawton has the perfect set of new videos out.  Hope you will at the very least watch the video...warning he has an Aussie accent if that bugs you.  I happen to like it!

   Please do come (now or whenever you find a moment):  RSVP please - email preferred! Inline image 7

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 re: house redo (no that is not the final color), plants still alive in solar cold frame in spite of the outside temperature, Izzy on her post, lots of leaves, lots of compost mix for all !  It's a nice time for hot tea or cider and some good company!  Also there is a lot to be learned from our winter (so far) and ways to maintain sanity & gardens.  So I am prepared to do this now & in the foreseeable future, at your place or mine or....church garden or....?  Thank you all for everything you do to make this a more sustainable world!  Inline image 8

Joelee, Dolly, Izzy, chx and new resident (my daughter's cat) Sir Seamus!

P.S.  hope you have noticed the classes listed at LBCC in Sweet Home in February -    movement therapy for gardeners ..."Effortless Gardening Workshop" that Joan Clapper is offering - highly recommended!
P.S.S. taking a new tact to poll the interest....if I don't hear back from you I will drop your name off these emails for the " garden gathering" notices or any emails if you let me know to take your email off!  Your interest greatly appreciated!


Thursday, October 24, 2013


Scroll down to see * A very special "Treat" for the students during upcoming the  Halloween week!!!*

Class ongoing at LBCC in Sweet Home: 
Course Name: Edible, Sustainable  & Beautiful Landscape
Linn Benton Community College CRN 25053 Fall 2013
DIY Perennial Garden/Landscape can be a “Food Forest”

Week 1 - 4 (Oct. 2 - Oct. 23)
Hands-on techniques that are affordable and doable! Find out about gardens/urban homesteads in this area that look (and are) good enough to eat! Meet your local organic farmers, seed savers and small urban gardeners. Be more resilient and grow an abundance of really good, nutritious food that you can harvest, store & share. All the possibilities are right around the corner from you! Do your part for food security - help create an edible neighborhood!

Grow your own food in a beautiful landscape/garden and "weather" the changing times and climate. Find out how to
design, plant, and grow a small scale garden, while conserving resources and making the most of the Pacific Northwest Climate. Local resources will be introduced. Easy and affordable hands-on techniques such as composting, water harvesting, helping pollinators, 4 seasons gardening, and much more will be included;

CARE OF PEOPLE...WEEK #5: Oct. 30, 2013
  It’s all an experiment! Find out what works and what does not work on your site. Troubleshooting your design & learn by experimenting; adapt to appropriate scale & your own energy level; learn from those who have long term experience growing in this area; adapt to changing weather patterns; learn resilience & grow your own resources and share the food bounty with others.   
*ALSO: taking care of yourself – our guest is a trained Feldenkrais therapist.
*Join us for an Introduction to EFFORTLESS GARDENING –
Learn to “WEED OUT” pain from gardening and other yard work
using the easy movements of the Feldenkrais Method®
Join us for an Introduction to the Feldenkrais Method. Learn how to move in
ways that allow you to use your body in a sustainable way, with greater ease
and comfort, in tune with the laws of nature.
The hour will include ideas for using long-handled tools (raking), pushing
equipment (like a wheelbarrow) and working near the ground (weeding). We will be exploring a sample Feldenkrais exercise and learn how to find more power in your legs, strength in your hands, and a way to get up from the ground without strain. No experience in Feldenkrais needed.
Instructor: Joan Clapper, a Feldenkrais practitioner for over 15 years.



Wednesday, August 21, 2013


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Mostly Perennials in Edible Landscape setting
(an embarrassment of riches)

Email dawnvoyager@gmail.com
  for more info & to set up times/dates for you to view & bargains galore! May be able to deliver in Sweet Home...
BYOC (bring your own container)
We also offer Garden Signs by Mike for Sale 4 for $2---------------------->

  • Individual plants in containers, already established: herbs, shrubs, pond plants, berries, house plants
  • VEGGIES as they are available: cucumbers, squash, green beans, scarlet runner beans, chard, kale, garlic etc.
  •  Small herb garden for your kitchen: 3 or 4 plants in container (or made to order)
  • Many others: Nasturtium, Marigolds, Calendula, hazel nut trees, cotoneaster shrub (birds love berries), & more...Inline image 2 Inline image 1 

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    • small basil starts
    • violet (white flower, native woodland)
    • violet (purple, dark leaves)
    • holly
    • sedum (several varieties)
    • lillies (5 varieties)
    • onion chives
    • horsetail & other pond plants
    • raspberry canes 
    • HOUSE PLANTS sedum, succulents, philodendron (3 varieties), christmas cactus, angel wing begonia, spider plant, arrowhead plant, etc.                            

    • Dry or fresh herbs to order (available here include Sage, Comfrey Rosemary, Lambs Ear, Comfrey, Monarda (bee balm), Lemon Balm, Yarrow, St. Johns Wort, Borage, Thyme (Lemon, English & Creeping), Oregano, Basil, Chives, more)


       OTHER ETC: pet things, jackets, cat tower, beds, dishes, pet gift assortment (cat), or to order, lavender and lemon balm bath & beauty collections, soaps & more....vintage earrings, women's clothing, etc.

      FREE stuff -- miscellaneous, usable, clean containers (natural washing products, laundry soap, etc.), cleaning out storage shed -- more will become available.