Saturday, August 30, 2008

Apologies to Universidad Popular

So, I got an interesting email after the Worldview interview where I had mentioned studying Spanish at Centro Latino in the early 80s. I called it a very progressive place and said it didn't exist anymore. Happily I have now been informed that it still exists thought the location has changed to South Lawndale and the name is Universidad Popular. Their website makes it still seem like an amazing community organization; I noticed literacy programs, a legal & financial clinic and a women's empowerment group. When I studied there, it embodied real hands-on learning. The method was so welcoming and fun that I incorporated a life-long love of Spanish: quite a shift after years in high school & college of miserable, intimidating french classes. Having never had the space to study it seriously, I am still an incorrect speaker, but I manage for several weeks up in the village where nobody speaks English. I am probably saved by the fact that Spanish is a second language for most of the villagers: their mother tongue is Mam.

Friday, August 29, 2008

WBEZ Worldview Podcast: Guatemala (28 August 2008)

If you wish to hear me speak about the Earthways/AFOPADI Reforesting & Organic Agriculture project in Guatemala on WBEZ's Worldview, click here. Look closely above...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Find the Dogs in the Garden...

A variation on "Where's Waldo", except here it's Mina & Muddy, enjoying a client's Chicago garden. Our client is not only a prolific gardener, but a stand-out cook as well. I sampled some of the luscious bounty from her veggie plot (that has spilled over into containers) while we talked about not only the virtues of growing your own veggies, but also books & dogs...both of ours are rescue pups (well, we see their hearts as eternally youthful). Hers is a Samoyed and ours a Norwich Terrier. Book? I am currently keeping company with MOUNTAINS BEYONDS MOUNTAINS by Tracy Kidder. It fleshes out the inspiring example of Dr. Paul Farmer, the MacArthur genius grant winner, who has altered the planet in terms of infectious diseases and his relentless activism for social justice.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Worldview Interview: 28 August 2008

This is the flower for Pericon tea, a good remedy for tummy aches. It was grown in one of the medicinal gardens in the AFOPADI reforesting & organic agriculture project up in Casaca, Guatemala. Yesterday, I talked about that group and the amazing things they are doing during my interview on WBEZ's Worldview. Jerome McDonnell proved to be even kinder and more curious in real life than he has seemed during the many years I have listened to this great show on the radio. The program will be broadcast Thursday 28 August at noon, 9 pm and on Podcast.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Radio Interview About Guatemala Project

Yippee! I get to talk on the radio about one of my favorite subjects: the Earthways/AFOPADI Organic Agriculture/Reforesting Project in Guatemala. On a great local NPR program: Worldview on WBEZ. While it's definitely on a Thursday at noon, they don't yet know whether it will be this Thursday, 21 August 2008, or next Thursday, 28 August 2008. Please join us on the air waves...and if you're interested in doing something with the project: please email me since I'm the project director for that Earthways program here in the States.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Evanston Arts Center: Landscape Art

While I am usually disappointed by landscape art, this place has consistently excellent installations!

Many messages in a bottle...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Anemone tomentosa 'Robustissima'

I most enjoy the blooms of many plants just before they open when they are mysterious with possibility.

Survival of the Fittest

Well, maybe not the car...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Allium 'Summer Beauty'

I love this plant! Why? It's has fabulous foliage (color & form) that greens up early. You can take it anywhere because it's so well-behaved (i.e. sterile so it doesn't seed about wantonly). The shape of the bloom floats gracefully above a contrasting leaf form and that pink holds its own surprising well. Plus it seems to have a sense of humor and not take itself so seriously.

Above see it at my mom's Indiana garden; below it holds court at a client's ranch near O'Hare.
Both stands of ornamental onions were planted a year ago....well, the rest of my mom's garden is established. And in the country which brings up another of allium's virtues: deer resistance.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Artificial & Natural: Guatemalan Style

On the road...

At the window...

In the nursery...