Briefly Noted

Briefly Noted: June 2017

By Staff

What’s new around town.

The Krishna Garden

A community permaculture food forest in the making

The Krishna Food Forest is an urban story of reclaiming the land for the benefit of the a whole community. Six years ago the property, located behind Salt Lake City’s Krishna Temple, was an abandoned orchard, and so it continued, year after year, as a different set of gardeners with varying degrees of ability offered their help. A few caused more setbacks than progress. There was the year that someone put in old carpet as weed barrier. Please, no one use old carpet as weed barrier! Most carpeting is toxic and as it decays, it leaves micro trash in your garden!

2017 is such a different story. There has been a fabulous coalescence of forces coming together—the Salt Lake Permaculture Guild, Ecstatic Dance, and Michael+Maomi Cundick from the AFLA (Artists for Local Agriculture) gardens. The abandoned orchard now has life.

The Salt Lake Permaculture Guild meets every Monday evening at the Krishna Garden for a workshop seminar, discussion, followed by an activity in the garden, and a terrific pot luck spread. Sunday at the Krishna Temple is not a typical Sunday routine. Come for Kundalini Yoga (10am), Ecstatic dance (11am) and a vegan brunch followed by gardening.

SLC Krishna Food Forest at Krishna Temple, 965 East 3370 South. Look for “Salt Lake Permaculture Guild” on Facebook for Monday night activities.

Register your hive

Got a beehive? Join the club

Here are some good reasons to register your beehive with the state. No apiary is too big or too small to be registered.

  • You’ll get up-to-date info on diseases, advice and knowledge. Learn to be safer with your hives. Often people don’t realize they are doing things that destroy hives
  • The information your hive provides (through inspections, hive testing, and your feedback,) helps the entire apiary community.
  • Hive inspection and testing are FREE, and have many benefits such as keeping your hive healthy, keeping the local pollinator populations healthy, and educating you. You might learn something new. Did you know that many backyard beekeepers who think they are educated well enough actually do things that harm their hive?
  • You can request an inspection from either the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food or your county bee inspector.
  • The licensing fees, paid annually, are based on the number of hives you have. It costs $10 to register 0 – 20 hives. Licensing your hives benefits you, your beekeeping community and the wild pollinators —but it isn’t mandatory. If you try it one year and decide not to register the next, you don’t have to.

— Anna Zumwald

To register, get other valuable beekeeping information, and to sign up for alerts and reports, go to:


After a lifetime of living in Utah, Claudia Draper is leaving town

Claudia Draper, the personal organizer and feng shui practitioner, is known to her clients as a “compassionate” clutter clearer. “The bond between person and their possessions is sacred,” she says. “If decisions are hard, it may be that you don’t have enough information yet.”

Draper comes by her love or order naturally. She recalls being five years old, her mother pregnant and the house a mess. She realized she could improve the situation. Enlisting the help of her four-year-old brother, they tidied and scrubbed.

Last year while in Berkeley, Calif., Draper met with locational astrologer Julian Lee Mickunas who recommended North Carolina as a positive place for her. Despite the fact that she knew no one there, she visited Chapel Hill last June and had some remarkable experiences. And so she has decided to make it an adventure, aiming for a summer 2017 departure.

Draper will return to Salt Lake City to take care of her clients here, maintaining the same telephone number and email address: 801.755.8529;

Plastic Free July

Choose to refuse single use plastic during July–an international challenge

The Plastic Free July Challenge began in 2011 as a local comunity initiative in Perth, Australia to raise awareness about the amount of single-use plastic we use and toss. By 2014, over 14,000 people from 69 countries participated. This year, the campaign is expected to reach one million people from 130 countries.

Why is single-use plastic an issue? Plastic breaks up, not down—pieces become smaller and smaller, but it’s still plastic. Except for the small amount of plastic that has been incinerated, all the plastic ever produced still exists, eventually becoming microplastics capable of carrying bacteria and of being ingested by living creatures. Why use something for a few seconds that will last the rest of your life?

Of course you can experiment with this idea on your own. But if you’d like to have a group experience, register online. Here’s how the challenge works:

  1. Agree that you will attempt to refuse single-use plastic—plastic grocery bags, bin liners, doggy doo bags, coffee cup lids, cling film, cups, cutlery, items with excessive packaging, milk jugs, water & soda bottles, disposable razors, packing foam, disposable diapers, single-serve coffee pods, produce bags, menstrual products, etc.
  2. Remember: It’s a challenge, not a competition. Do what you can.
  3. Keep a “dilemma bag” in which you collect any unavoidable single-use plastic.
  4. You choose how long you play. Even a day can be eye-opening.

The Plastic Free July website offers ideas, recipes and tips on living a plastic-free life—for cleaning, cooking, food storage, gardening, gifts, meals on the go, personal care, pet care, shopping and travel as well as links to additional resources.

Okay, we know it’s just a clever thing to say — “plastic free.” The truth is, one trip to the hospital and you’ve used a lifetime supply of single-use plastic. These are not items we want to skimp on if they are needed. Our houses and vehicles are full of plastic. It’s the stuff we use frivolously, thoughtlessly, that are the real focus of this experiment.

Participate via Twitter and Facebook. See the abundant list of ideas and recipes on the website and check out the FAQs.


Perennial onions
Easy and yummy!

by Jim French

Let’s face it, sometimes it’s nice to have food plants just grow. No buying, no planting, no coddling, those are some of the wonders of growing perennial onions. Oh yes, they also taste delightful!

I first read about Welsh onions and Egyptian walking onions in Paradise Lot: Two Plant Geeks, One-Tenth of an Acre and The Making of an Edible Garden Oasis in the City, by Eric Toensmeier with Jonathan Bates. They are actually scallions and do not form a bulb, but the greens have a mild oniony flavor that recently caused a professed onion hater to actually covet them. Both onions begin growing under the snow and are ready to start cutting for salads or stir-fries in late winter. You will still be enjoying them well into November!

Welsh onions spread by clumping and by seeds that form en masse within the flower head that starts appearing in May. Once they become thick, just dig some up and replant them near a fruit tree, berry bush or strawberries. When the flower head dries out, the seeds are easy to collect and spread around the garden of your choice.

The bulbils that form on top of the flowering stalk of Egyptian Walking Onions are a sight to behold! Like the Welsh Onions, the Egyptians also spread by clumping. Eventually, the weight of the bulbils pulls down the stalk and they plant themselves. That’s where the “walking” part comes in.

If the idea of less work and more eating appeals to you, why not check out either or both of these perennial marvels. You will enjoy them year after year after year.

Jim French is a perennial permaculture student, and yes, he does have Welsh o­nion seed to share.


This article was originally published on May 30, 2017.