Landscape architect Owen Dell has a vision: transforming suburban neighborhoods into shared "foodsheds" with food-bearing and native plants, and even chickens. Neighbors can start by finding edible plants already growing in their yards, maybe remove fences, plant what works best in each location. Best of all, share the resulting food abundance with one another ("Hey, it's lemon time. Come and get 'em!") and build the social network with shared food potlucks. Tour Owen's own edible landscape yard, including a rooftop container garden complete with visiting cat. [www.owendell.com,www.mesaexchange.org]
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Yuba Gals Independent Media production partners Robyn Mallgren and Janaia Donaldson have been producing local video programs for community access television since 2002.
The Yuba Gals live in rural Nevada City and their business is named for the nearby South Yuba River, a part of the Wild and Scenic river system in California. They live on 160 acres of forest land, in a 1500 square-foot off-grid home using about 10% of the electricity of the average American home (including home office). Their home is heated by a wood stove using deadfall wood from their property. Propane heats the cookstove, on-demand water heater and backup generator (needed only during gray-day periods in winter). Not yet energy independent, but moving in that direction!