VERTICAL GARDEN SYSTEMS: A DIY essential for going green


Here is a DIY Project to get you thinking creatively. Vertical gardens have many shapes and sizes. From large multistoried buildings, to intimate spaces, we've seen vertical gardens taking off as an essential design for going green. This design trend is an answer to greening our cities and helping us maximize the space we have. 

If you ever find yourself with the urge to put a splash of green in your home in a major way, put some fresh herbs right in your kitchen, or somehow stir up a self made spa in your own bathroom — this DIY option to grow vertical could have you doing all the above in no time! You’ll learn a simple design element that could have you planting an edible garden and change your space for good.

Green Wall Planters are starting to pop up every where and for good reason. For urban gardeners who are cramped for space vertical gardening is a great design option. These innovative space savers are a must-have for any one interested in growing food in small spaces. Wooly Pockets is one such company who produces vertical garden systems and wall planters made from 100% recycled milk jugs. And these guys are well made. They are even strong enough to hang inside without leaking, yet porous enough to allow the plant to breath.

Wooly Pockets are the perfect container for adding a fun and useful design element to a kitchen wall or planting a fragrant herb garden above your bath. They are easy to use and get started on your own. You can start small by adding a pot or two in creative ways to an existing wall or you can take kitchen gardening to a new level by hanging the pots together to create one solid lush oasis of green, as an edible kitchen wall or out door privacy screening.

The planters are a fit for a DIY project that is only limited by your imagination. Start simple with one or two containers in a sunny to partly sunny spot and fill them with a few of your favorite herbs. They are so simple to install that they can even do the job of self watering! So give them a try if you are looking to maximize space or add some edibles to your home, patio or walls. 

Look no further than


SHED: A Modern Grange

Just north of San Francisco, in Sonoma County, lies Healdsburg, CA. It is a nexus for artisan producers, farmers, food entrepreneurs, and artists creating a local food culture. Shed is a host to this re-emergence of food traditions. They are one of the few venues for offering series on Biodynamic agriculture education and beekeeping classes. Local artists, food artisans and activists like Frances Moore Lappé share their expertise.


Creative artists like Ariella Chezar of the FlowerSchool New York, and author of the new book The Flower Workshop: Lessons in Arranging Blooms, Branches, Fruit, and Foraged Materials teach their crafts in The Grange's hands on events.


They have a restaurant, kitchen, pantry, market place, fermentation bar, cafe, and modern grange that hosts events and classes.

OASIS: The Healing Garden

Edible Garden

We all desire the success that allows us to enjoy life, to share it with friends & family and to attain our deeper aspirations. Yet these are the very things we too often give up in order to succeed in our fast paced modern culture. What if we took a step back and proposed an alternative to this dichotomy. One that afforded us a balanced lifestyle, uncompromised wellness, and energy put towards family and our passion for living well.

Joy is linked to creativity and inspiration. Making pleasure our default and building it into our lives, bolsters our vulnerabilities toward imbalance and disease. Optimal health is achieved when our systems can return to and maintain the natural state that we were born with. Throughout our lives, our bodies are constantly self-regulating, attempting to realign with this natural state of equilibrium.

Take a step to realign with what feeds you. Our senses are an access point to this singularly most powerful part of our selves, the creative soul. This is the still inquisitive part of our selves resting in the chaos of every day experience waiting to be nurtured and indulge in life’s pleasures.

So the question becomes how do we build our life to support us on the deepest levels?

Our environment is essential to our physiology. Our environments can support and nurture with beauty, balance and ease of function. Design and balance in the most fundamental sense dictate our lives. Poor design can translate to poor diet and lifestyle choices. If we surround our selves with beauty and an environment where we have fresh food, clean water and beauty at our fingertips, we get healthier with out thinking about it. In contrast if we live in a food desert, in a high stress environment we struggle in conditions with statistically poor health outcomes.

Design is one of the most powerful elements in our lives.

Take the Standard American Diet (SAD) as an example of how one typically approaches food and health.

We reverse this trend by re-shaping our environments to support living longer, more enjoyable lives.

By indulging our senses in beauty and creating an environment that supports us we have a greater capacity for achieving balance, for living in harmony with nature and creating a life of joy and reverence.

Think about how our daily habits shape our lives. What if we could gain a renewed sense of self and renew our unconscious patterns. This way of seeing ourselves could be the promise of leaving a larger legacy and radically new perspective. 

Remember You live in the world YOU help create. See if you can call upon your senses and indulge in life more fully every day.


We can only preserve heirloom seeds through active stewardship. If we don’t grow them, they become lost. And because we are at a time when traditions have been lost, the importance of learning and taking part in these traditions has never been greater. The Living Seed Company, based in Pt. Reyes Station, is owned by Astrid and Matthew Hoffman. The Living Seed Company shares seed and educates on seed saving. They are dedicated to open-pollinated heirloom seeds, and donate seed and educational materials to schools to preserve seed and the life affirming art saving seed. 

When possible they use open pollinated seeds that are specific to our region. Openly pollinated seeds are those that grow naturally and are true to the parent plant, adapting over generations to their particular micro-climate.

Saving and sharing seed is pivotal to our world culture and heritage. When seed is diverse, it feeds the pollinators, the soil and all of life.

When seed is genetically engineered with terminator genes, and can only live with the counterpart chemical fertilizers, diversity disappears.

Seventy-five percent of the bees on the planet have disappearedAccording to scientists, bees and pollinators have an essential roll contributing to the diversity of life.

Groups like Seed Savers Exchange hold collections of seed that contain thousands of family heirlooms, entrusted to them for preservation.

"We have a squash variety in our collection from SSE member Norman Turner. He sent us the seeds of the ‘Turner Family Original’ squash in 1992 with a letter describing a pie pumpkin raised by his family in Pennsylvania “for at least three generations.”  He urged us to “keep this valuable fruit going” as he aged, acknowledging that his children may not “continue to propagate it as previous generations of the Turner family have.”  Offered frequently in our yearbook exchange from 1992 to 2011 and now grown throughout the country, the ‘Turner Family Original’ squash is safe in our care."

This is the art and beauty of preserving a living legacy of diversity for future generations to share.  

The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center Cookbook

The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center Cookbook is a beautifully illustrated collection of 200 unique and delicious vegetarian recipes from the renowned California-based farm, educational retreat center, and eco-think tank.

More than anything, food brings us together—as families and as communities. So there is no better place to begin creating a healthier and sustainable community than around a shared table.

The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center Cookbook is a beautifully illustrated collection of 200 unique and delicious vegetarian recipes from the renowned California-based farm, educational retreat center, and eco-thinktank.

OAEC has a passionate ethos about eating seasonally, and this book shows readers how to cook based on what is available in the garden. This unique cookbook incorporates ingredients from all seasons, including weeds, flowers, herbs, nuts, fruits, mushrooms, and other forages. The recipes also include the quantities and measurements necessary to cook for a crowd—making each dish perfect to cook at home, or to share at parties, potlucks, and community events.

With sample seasonal menus to inspire cooks throughout the year, The OAEC Cookbook offers a wide range of recipes such as: Carrot and Chamomile Soup, Summer Squash Ribbons with Purple Shiso, Roasted Asparagus and Nettle Risotto with Pea Tendrils, and Pepita-Encrusted Squash Blossoms Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Mint. There are cold vegetable plates for warm summer picnics, and readers will learn how to create delicious salad dressing recipes for garden-fresh greens, including Loquat Ginger, Golden Tomato Cumin, and Preserved Lemon Brine. There are comfort foods like pots of savory Biodiversity Beans and Winter Sourdough Pizza, and warming snacks like Toasted Hazelnuts with Thyme. Readers can top a plate of veggie sides with a generous dollop of one of OAEC’s famous sauces and pestos, and learn how to infuse their own Honey Syrups for homemade cocktails. Last but not least, delicious standout desserts like Fresh Fruit Fools, a Dark Roast Winter Squash Tart with Hazelnut Crust, or the Cardamom-Rose-Plum Bars.