Sus ConThe Bay Area non-profit, Sustainable Conservation, is searching for an experienced and collaborative Managing Director of Programs to provide oversight and guidance to all of its program areas.  They have two major program goals: (1) help California farmers be a model for environmental and economic sustainability, and (2) restore California’s rivers and streams on private lands.


This is an excellent position for a strategic and highly organized individual who enjoys mentoring others and has a track record of success in leading teams to achieve tangible results. You can find the complete position description at this link: http://job.ceaconsulting.com/jobs/managing-director-of-programs-san-francisco-ca-8003.

If someone you know is interested in this leadership opportunity, or if you have questions about the position, please contactSavanna Ferguson at savanna@ceaconsulting.com or by phone at 415-421-4213 x18.


Summer Golf


Forty acres have been replaced with natives. Photo courtesy Union-Tribune.

Forty acres have been replaced with natives at La Costa Golf Course. Photo courtesy Union-Tribune.

The U. S. Open was a couple of months ago, but I am just catching up with a ripple effect from this event that is related to our main interest: native plants. The San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper, which knows its audience, published an article about the New Brown in golf. Moving from that intense green of super-manicured turf to a more natural look is going to be difficult for many. Golf is an important hobby and tourist attraction in San Diego, so this really hits home.

The water use statistics, let alone the environmental impact form the synthetic fertilizers, etc. is just too much for today’s world.

Pinehurst, the venue for the U. S. Open, had a different look this year. It was showing off the U.S. Golf Association’s “brown is the new green” initiative.  Locally, courses have had to adapt. The article in the Union-Tribune quotes Sandy Clark, the longtime superintendent of Barona Creek Golf Club as saying, “What Pinehurst represented to the public is that this is OK. We don’t have to be wall-to-wall green. I think it’s going to break the barrier for the industry in terms of what we think we can and cannot do.

“I think it started a few years ago at Pebble Beach (for the 2010 U.S. Open). They roughed up the course a little bit for that one. People scratched their heads and said, ‘What are they doing?’ But two of the most famous golf courses in the world have provided us with different looking golf courses, and it turned out great.”

And, I love this quote from Craig Kessler, director of governmental affairs for the Southern California Golf Association. “We’re going to get back to past of the game, when the main attraction was that it was played in nature.”


native sons nursery site

Aerial Shot of Native Sons Wholesale Nursery, courtesy of the Native Sons website.

It isn’t often that we get some good news going and yet, this morning we heard two nice, connected pieces of info.

Tim Fross, from Native Sons Wholesale Nursery in Arroyo Grande wrote this email to Robert Hall, who shared it with the online Yahoo Group: “

With regards to neonicotinoids, we discontinued using any product containing them at the beginning of the year.” That’s great!

And that led Jean Struthers to mention that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has just announced they will ban neonics and GMOs in All Wildlife Refuges. “We have determined that prophylactic use, such as a seed treatment, of the neonicotinoid pesticides that can distribute systemically in a plant and can affect a broad spectrum of non-target species is not consistent with Service policy,” James Kurth, chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System, wrote in a July 17 memo.

Thank you to those who have lobbied, discussed, written about and generally raised awareness level on this issue. We are making progress.


Photo courtesy Alicia Funk.

Photo courtesy Alicia Funk.

Alicia Funk, at The Living Wild Project, just completed a short and beautiful film called “Manzanita Madness.

Alicia writes, “My favorite time of summer is here – the time to gather Manzanita berries. I hope you’ll enjoy our new short film on manzanita, participate in our manzanita recipe contest to win $250 for your favorite non-profit, and enjoy this month’s blog with harvesting tips and recipes.”

I watched the film and loved it. Please check it out.


She also suggested this event: the Tahoe foodie community will meet at the premiere of Elevate Tahoe-Food Innovations at 6,000 feet, a film on Saturday Aug. 23 at the Community Arts Center in Truckee. Doors at 6:30 p.m., film at 7:15 p.m. The Living Wild Project is one of the organizations featured in the film.


It’s fairly warm in most parts of California and the northern end of Baja. And dry. People are talking dry dry dry…so here is a bit of refreshment.

I took this photo at the Waterfront Grill in National City. The cool water and colorful surfboards reinforce the beautiful rusts and creams of this field of buckwheats. Eriogonum species always turn up on drought-tolerant plant lists everywhere. For ornamental gardening, they are usually conceived of as plants for the typical dry-looking garden.

But here, they were positioned at water’s edge and they really made a hit, visually.

The Eriogonum family is a pretty diverse group, with a wide cultural range. Great pollinator attractors, too. Find out what grows nearest to your location, find it at a local nursery and try one soon. Then plant more!




One of our online email list buddies, “Garden Contessa,” spotted this article about Ceanothus at the site called Houzz – which is an Internet resource where we can all browse home and garden photos and information. Houzz is a huge repository of articles, topics and lovely images.

I was pleased that Garden Contessa called our attention to the article – and there are some really interesting comments at the bottom of the page. Interesting how people’s advice about a plant can vary so much…”love the scent”…”hate the scent”…etc.




photo courtesy Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour

Save money, save time, save water!  Lose your lawn, get a garden—and get paid for it, too!  In this hands-on workshop you’ll learn how to remove your lawn, select native plants, and design a water-conserving, pesticide-free garden that attracts wildlife.

Led by Kat Weiss of Kat Weiss Landscape Design, Robyn Navarra from the Zone 7 Water Agency, and Kathy KramerBringing Back the Natives Garden Tour Coordinator

In this hands-on workshop we’ll work at a Livermore home that currently has a lawn, but won’t when we are through with it! If you have them, bring a labeled long-handled shovel and rake, and gardening gloves, as we will be sheet mulching—cutting back turf, shoveling compost, laying cardboard, and spreading woodchips.

Bring a lunch to enjoy as we answer your sheet-mulching questions, provide you with a list of resources, talk about how to select native plants and where to purchase them, and let you know how you can get rebates from your local water district for removing your lawn. You’ll leave this workshop feeling confident that you can sheet-mulch your own lawn away!

What past participants said:

“This was a fabulous workshop and it was so useful to actually take part in the mulching process. There is nothing better than the hands-on experience. Thank you so much, a really enjoyable day.”

“This was great. I have read many articles on sheet mulching, but until you experience the entire process up front and personal, you just don’t get it. Thank you.”

“The process of learning how to sheet mulch was great. We were a bit intimidated by the process but now are confident that we can complete our project and do it well.”

“I enjoyed the low key, casual, up-beat, can do atmosphere. It was wonderful to be among others who are interested in learning and exploring new possibilities. Thank you!”

This workshop was sponsored by the Zone 7 Water Agency

$30 (registration required)
Saturday, September 6, 2014; 10:00 – 3:00, Livermore

Register here.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 43 other followers