Foodshed Forum with John Jeavons – “Food for the Future: Now”

Saturday, August 26, 6:30 to 8:30 PM,
Los Altos Library, 13 South San Antonio Road, Los Altos, CA 94022 [Map]
Free, RSVP Required

In the not too distant past, people in many cultures were growing all of their food and spending less than an hour per day to do it. In this presentation, John Jeavons will present a path towards creating a sustainable food system, and why it is essential that we follow it, now. In short, he will discuss how we can grow each person’s food on 1% of the area used by conventional farming, while building soil and saving water. Moving our society toward sustainable food production is becoming ever more pressing and Jeavons will discuss how resilient communities can be built around localized food systems.

John Jeavons is the Executive Director of Ecology Action, headquartered in Willits, California. He is known internationally as the author of the best-selling book“How to Grow More Vegetables—and Fruits, Nuts, Berries and Other Crops Than You Ever Thought Possible With Less Water Than You Can Imagine”, as well as author, co-author and/or editor of over 40 publications on the topic of biologically intensive food- and soil- growing. For the past 45 years Jeavons has devoted his time to research, develop and teach a small-scale, resource-conserving agricultural method — GROW BIOINTENSIVE®. This high-yield food raising approach is being successfully practiced in over 150 countries—in virtually all climates and soils where food is grown, and by organizations such as UNICEF, Save the Children, and the Peace Corps.

john jeavons

The Foodshed Forum is a partnership of Slow Food South Bay, Transition Palo Alto and the San Mateo County Food System Alliance, bringing together the community for talks on important food system topics in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties.

Aug Fourth Friday/Films of Vision and Hope – Changing Season: On the Masumoto Family Farm

The TPAers who participated in this year’s nectarine harvest already had the great pleasure of meeting the Masumoto family. For everyone else, you’re in for a treat!

“How many harvests do you have in you?” is the perennial echo that reverberates across the Masumoto Family farm. Changing Season: On the Masumoto Family Farm chronicles a transitional year-in-the-life of famed farmer, slow food advocate, and sansei, David “Mas” Masumoto, and his compelling relationship with daughter Nikiko, who returns to the family farm with the intention of stepping into her father’s work boots. Mas’ hopes and hesitations for the future are shored up with his daughter’s return, as the family must navigate the implications of Mas’ 60th birthday and triple bypass surgery. The film is interspliced with moments of Nikiko’s razor sharp meditations on her family’s internment during WWII and her role as a queer, progressive farmer in the Central Valley. See the trailer…

Friday August 25, 7:30-9:30pm
Fireside Room, Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto
505 E. Charleston, Palo Alto
FREE (donations appreciated)

Sponsored by Transition Palo Alto and Slow Food South Bay

masumoto family

Farewell gathering at Full Circle Farm

Garden share enthusiasts and participants in the South Bay Bioregional Hub came to Full Circle Farm for a last garden share and gathering July 23.

The garden shares will be continuing, and organizers will be on the lookout for a new public venue.  Meanwhile, the plan is for participants to take turns hosting in their driveways.  We’ll share info about where the garden share is each month.


A bunch of TPAers adopted nectarine trees at the Masumoto Family Farm this year. The farm is a multi-generational enterprise of the delightful and inspiring Masumoto family. The farm specializes in peaches and nectaries, which Nikiko Masumoto calls the ‘anti-convenience fruit’ because they require lots of attention and care to produce the fragrant and juicy fruit loved by so many.

The first crew harvested on July 22, and a fine time was had by all. The next crew is due to finish clearing our three trees on July 29th.

There will be lots of fruit, and when that happens, it’s time for a skillshare!  Whether or not you participated in the harvesting, you’re invited to a skillshare on July 30 in Sunnyvale. Join in as we prepare and preserve much of the fruit, and then enjoy a potluck dinner. Send email to to RSVP and for the skillshare location and other details.

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June 30 Fifth Friday – To the Ends of the Earth – film and discussion


“To the Ends of the Earth” follows concerned citizens living at the frontiers of extreme oil and gas extraction, bearing witness to a global crossroads. They call for human ingenuity to rebuild society at the end of the fossil fuel era.

The people in the film are uniquely positioned to watch this global crossroads unfold. For example, the mayor of an Inuit village in Canada’s high Arctic who is concerned that seismic testing for oil in the ocean is blowing up the eardrums of the animals that the Inuit hunt to survive. Or the environmental lawyer who goes on a journey to areas that produce energy for the tar sands of Alberta — he learns of the massive inputs of energy that have to be put into this resource — and the reasons why the second largest oil project in the world is economically unsustainable. Or the river conservationist in Utah who fights to protect the Colorado River from oil shale projects that would disturb its headwaters.

“To the Ends of the Earth” brings forward the voices of those who not only denounce the rise of extreme energy, but also envision the new world that is taking shape in its stead: a future beyond the resource pyramid, a post-growth economy.

Friday June 30, 7:30-9:30pm
Fireside Room, Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto
505 E. Charleston, Palo Alto
FREE (donations appreciated)

to the ends of the earth1

Building fences – and bridges – at Phoenix Garden

It was a perfect spring morning May 20 for work and relaxation at Phoenix Garden in San Mateo. (For more on the garden, check out Kris Jensen’s TPA blog post.)

Volunteers helped erect deer fences to protect a new orchard and other designated planting areas. William Mutch demoed his smooth scything technique, and several folks got into the ‘swing’ of it. And a new sign was erected to show what the garden will like when all the areas are complete.

After work, relaxation. We gathered together as the South Bay Bioregional Hub for a potluck and brainstorm about how sustainability activists can help each other. It is a co-creation project where people meet every month at an interesting project site to combine work and bridge-building in the hope of making more and more sustainability and community projects successful. As one example, Chris Searles shared information about his BioIntegrity project, which connects potential donors to environmental stewardship and restoration opportunities. To help build more bridges outside of these gatherings, we use the CrossPollinators – a website where sustainability change makers can share knowledge about community organizations and projects. Also, check out this cool video about how the Cross Pollinators helped the Freedom Farmer’s Market develop a website and marketing materials within just a few hours, just by bringing the right people together.

To learn more, check out The CrossPollinators, including the South Bay Regional Hub section.

Phoenix Garden has a work day the third Saturday of every month. If you’d like to learn more, contact Kris Jensen ( You can also check your TPA email and newsletter for details about garden work days.

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The CrossPollinators is an open-source digital platform where you and other changemakers can share your knowledge of community organizations and projects to help regenerate the world.

Fourth Friday/Films of Vision and Hope – Biophilic Design, the Architecture of Life

Biophilic Design is an innovative way of designing the places where we live, work, and learn. We need nature in a deep and fundamental fashion, but we have often designed our cities and suburbs in ways that both degrade the environment and alienate us from nature. The recent trend in green architecture has decreased the environmental impact of the built environment, but it has accomplished little in the way of reconnecting us to the natural world, the missing piece in the puzzle of sustainable development.

Come on a journey from our evolutionary past and the origins of architecture to the world’s most celebrated buildings in a search for the architecture of life. Together, we will encounter buildings that connect people and nature – hospitals where patients heal faster, schools where children’s test scores are higher, offices where workers are more productive, and communities where people know more of their neighbors and families thrive. See the trailer

Friday May 26, 7:30-9:30pm
Fireside Room, Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto
505 E. Charleston, Palo Alto
FREE (donations appreciated)

biophilic design



A Sad Farewell to Full Circle Farm

For the past 10 years, Full Circle Farm has welcomed the South Bay community back to the land. Through the annual summer camp and school programs, thousands of children have learned about the natural world, exercised the their bodies and minds, and enjoyed the delicious results. People of all ages have rolled up their sleeves to help plant, weed, and harvest, take care of the chickens, or just come out for some time in the sun.

Transition Palo Alto has partnered with the farm for the Sunnyvale Garden Share and many other events, including a Slow Money Farm Fest and several Earth Day celebrations, which together have attracted many thousands of people. 

So it’s with great sadness that we report that unless something happens to change the situation, the farm will close within the next few months. The Santa Clara Unified School District decided not to renew the farm’s lease, so the farm is due to close. The farm’s board of directors and parent organization Sustainable Community Gardens tried to work closely with the district to meet all of its requests and requirements, but ultimately, the district decided they did not want to renew the lease.