Happy 3rd Birthday, Landerholmstead!

Our fledgling nonprofit turned 3 this month. WOW – where has the time gone?! Can we even call it a “fledgling” anymore…? It feels surreal to reflect on all that we have accomplished in our 3 short years, and even more to dream about the (hopefully many) years to come.

In the nonprofit world, of course, things move slowly. These first few years have been essential for establishing our infrastructure, and with much of this work done we are now able to focus significantly more energy on serving the homeless and making moves towards establishing our homestead.

Here are some highlights of our greatest accomplishments during our first years:

And, equally importantly, here are some important goals we hope to accomplish in the upcoming years:

It brings me comfort and pride to consider how methodically and responsibly we have run ourselves thus far, and I look forward to leading this organization into an exciting new chapter in our development.

Happy 3 Years to my fellow Landerholmstead volunteers, supporters, and beneficiaries! Thank you for your donated time and funds, encouragement, and – above all – for your strong belief in our Mission.


By Rebeccah Landerholm

© THE LANDERHOLMSTEAD, 2019

How Botanical Sexism Agitates Your Allergies

By Elizabeth Crews

This post contains Affiliate Links.

Introduction

After years of his wife suffering with severe allergies and asthma, Thomas Leo Ogren was determined to find a solution to suppress her symptoms. What began as a singular journey to help his wife transformed into decades of research that established him as an allergy expert and the author of the most comprehensive botanical allergy books in existence. He realized that the number of individuals with allergies was increasing exponentially, although one of the causes for this suffering is simple: botanical sexism.

Male v. Female Plants in Landscaping

In The Allergy-Fighting Garden, Ogren discusses the reproduction of plants and trees, focusing specifically on those that are dioecious. These plants have distinct male or female reproductive systems. The males produce pollen, which travels  to the females to create seeds and fruit.

Male plants are most often used by cities and homeowners because they do not produce seeds or fruit like the females. Because of this, females are considered to be high-maintenance and require more upkeep, whereas the males are considered easier to manage. This practice is called botanical sexism.

Issues with Botanical Sexism

Ogren maintains that the best treatment for allergies is avoidance. There are medications and inhalers we can use when we experience reactions; however, he states that intentional planting  is the key to decreasing reactions. The males are designed to create pollen and they will continue to send the highly-adhesive particles into the air. If there are no females there to accept the pollen, it seeks another tall surface to adhere to: often people . Breathing in these sticky particles  causes trouble for those with asthma, allergies, and compromised respiratory systems. While planting male trees is often perceived as lower maintenance, the lowest-maintenance option is actually to plant females alone: they do not produce the same high rates of irritants, and without pollination they cannot produce messy seeds and fruit.

That being said, there are benefits to planting males and females together for sexual reproduction. The singular incorporation of male plants and trees has decreased  biodiversity, which increases vulnerability to diseases like the Dutch Elm Disease. It was introduced in 1930s and laid waste to male American elm trees, which were commonly used for their shade. Their close proximity allowed the disease to easily spread from one elm to the next until they were all but completely wiped out. The impressive American elm population never recovered from that devastation.

Governments have also planted male clonal trees. Groups of asexual clonal trees or plants are called colonies, and they are genetically identical and connected by the same root system. As a colony asexually reproduces, single cells multiply to create more, and mutations can occur at a higher rate than during sexual reproduction.

In a study of famous clonal aspen trees nicknamed Pando, botanists have noted that the trees’ sexual fitness decreases with age, meaning the trees do not reproduce as rapidly. If dangerous mutations occur and are asexually produced rapidly, the organism runs the risk of continuing to produce mutated cells, which make them even more vulnerable to diseases like the Dutch Elm Disease.

OPALS: The Solution

To help people plan the most allergy-friendly gardens and landscapes, Ogren developed the OPALS system. The acronym stands for the Ogren Plant Allergy Scale and it details the least to most allergenic plants in an easy-to-read scale of 1-10. It is currently the most comprehensive guide and it was met with such high esteem that branches of the USDA have incorporated it into their landscaping. In addition to landscaping with low-OPALS-rated plants, planting females to receive male pollen (especially in public spaces) will dramatically decrease human exposure to allergens. This book and the rest of Ogren’s work have made it possible to easily create a garden that is allergy friendly.

To learn more about how you can apply this to your own home or homestead, we recommend purchasing Ogren’s book! Using this link to Amazon doesn’t cost you anything, but we are paid a percentage of Amazon’s profit from your purchase!


© THE LANDERHOLMSTEAD, 2018

Finalized 2018 Board of Directors

We recently inducted our final additions to the 2018 Board: Amelia Herbst and Nick Griffin. Learn about the entire Board of Directors here.

Amelia Herbst, MS, BS (General Board Member)

Amelia Herbst is a clinical psychology doctoral student living in Pennsylvania. Her work and research focuses on adolescent therapy, interpersonal violence, crisis intervention, and community mental health. She uses her work to advocate for mental health needs at the local and state levels. In Amelia’s free time, she enjoys podcasts, gaming, and spending time with friends and family. She was inducted to the Board in May 2018.

Nick Griffin, BA (Director of Membership)

Nick currently lives in Seattle, WA. After leaving active duty in the U.S. Marines in 2009, he studied Sociology at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. He believes holistic approaches at the community level are key to solving much larger issues. Nick works as a Global Security and Intelligence professional and in his free time enjoys being in nature as much as possible. Nick was inducted into the board in May 2018.

In addition to welcoming Amelia and Nick to the Board, Oliver Smith (a Founder) voluntarily resigned from the Board to prevent any actual or implied conflict-of-interest with his wife, Rebeccah Landerholm, who is President of the Board. We are grateful for his contributions to our Incorporation and establishment, and he will continue to serve as an Officer and Manager of the corporation.

Welcome Amelia and Nick!

While we have no open positions at the moment, Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Please Apply Online or Contact Us for more information.


© THE LANDERHOLMSTEAD, 2018

New Board Inductees

Last month, we inducted two of our new Board members: Julia Davis and Mya Kerner. Learn about the entire Board of Directors here.

 

Julia Davis, MSW, BSW (General Board Member) ~

Julia Davis currently resides in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania. Julia received both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Social Work from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. She is a community builder and advocate for our most vulnerable populations. In her free time Julia enjoys painting, seeking out new experiences, and spending time with family.  Julia was inducted to the Board in May 2018.

 

Mya Kerner, (General Board Member) ~

Originally from Philadelphia, PA, Mya Kerner is a multidisciplinary artist based in Seattle, WA. In 2011, she received a BFA in Interdisciplinary Sculpture and Environmental Design at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD. After moving to Seattle in 2015, she completed a Certificate in Holistic Landscape Design at Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA. Currently, Mya maintains a full-time studio practice in which she responds to her studies in permaculture and ecology. She also runs a small garden design business. Mya was inducted to the Board in May of 2018.

 

Welcome Julia and Mya!

 

While we have no open positions at the moment, Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Please Apply Online or Contact Us for more information.


© THE LANDERHOLMSTEAD, 2018

2018 Board of Directors

We are proud to announce that we are expanding our Board from the 3 Founders to include 6 new Directors. We are staggering their elections to prevent each position becoming vacant simultaneously, and will continue to announce them as they are inducted. Please join us in welcoming our newest Board members!

Steven Garcia, BBA (Treasurer) ~

Steven was born in New York City: the second of three children. He moved to Pennsylvania in 2004 where he went to High School and achieved his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. He has worked in public accounting for several years, for a top 15 Accounting Firm, Baker Tilly. He loves to travel; listen to music; and spend time with his family, friends, and girlfriend. He also enjoy reading books and helping people, even in the smallest ways.

 

Marguerite Humphrey, M.Ed, BA
(General Board Member) ~

Marguerite grew up on a Texas farm but has lived in Seattle for decades. She was a Montessori teacher and administrator for 30 years. After retiring, she pursued Permaculture education at Bastyr University. In addition to serving on the Board, she is The Landerholmstead’s Farm Manager. Marguerite categorizes herself as a lifelong-learner and is curious about all things sustainability. She is a loving and playful gardener, mother, and  grandmother.

Welcome Steven and Marguerite!

While we have no open positions at the moment, Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Please Apply Online or Contact Us for more information.


© THE LANDERHOLMSTEAD, 2018

Lemon-Lime Pound Cake Recipe

We are proud to welcome a new writer to our team of volunteer contributors! She will be writing periodically on sustainable food production and social justice. Her site is TracedLines.com, and this post is copied (with permission) from her Pound Cake recipe, April 30, 2018. Enjoy!

This post contains Affiliate Links.


From Ratio by Michael Ruhlman

Lemon-Lime Pound Cake

  • 8 ounces Butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces Blonde Sugar*
  • 1 tsp Fine Salt
  • 8 ounces Eggs (4 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk, room temperature), Lightly Whipped to Combine
  • Juice & Zest of 1 Lemon
  • Juice & Zest of 1 Lime
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 8 ounces Flour (about 1 3/4 c)

Citrus Glaze

*Ingredient note: Blonde Sugar is evaporated cane sugar.

Useful Items: Stand Mixer, 9-inch loaf pan, Parchment Paper

Oven to 325F. Line a 9-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.

In standing mixer using paddle attachment, on medium-high: Beat Butter until creamy, then add Sugar and Salt. Beat until the mixture becomes a very pale yellow, and has increased about a third in volume (2-3 minutes).

Add Eggs slowly, to fully incorporate (about another minute).

Add: 1 tbsp each Lemon & Lime juice, Zest of both, and Vanilla.

Reduce mixer speed to medium-low: Add Flour, mixing only long enough to incorporate.

Pour batter into pan, bake for 1 Hour. Test with a pairing knife or toothpick. Cake is done when blade comes out clean.

Let rest in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling.

Glaze

Combine Juices and Sugar in a small saucepan. Over medium-high heat, heat and stir the sugar until it is dissolved. Taste, and adjust sweet-sour balance if necessary. I find that 3 tbsp of juice produces a well balanced syrup.

Brush Pound Cake on all sides with glaze.

A Note from the Author: “Pound cake freezes well, and if you know you are going to have a lot of guests, this is something you could make one at a time, every day or every few days, and freeze until needed. A way to cut down on some stress for a big party. At serving time, all you need is some whipped cream and sweet sauces, and people can serve themselves exactly what they want.”

Chatting Climate Change & Biodiversity with a Molecular Biologist

The Landerholmstead cares passionately about climate change and human impact on the earth. Sustainable ecosystems are essential for our success in helping people and the environment, as our Mission & Vision mandate.

Last week, I interviewed a friend and peer to get his take -as a molecular biologist – on climate change, biodiversity, and mitigating potential threats to sustainability.

Matt Martello graduated from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania in 2013 with a B.S. in Biology (Molecular/Micro/Cell) and Minors in Mathematics and Biochemistry. He has experience in environmental workings and the importance of biodiversity, including previous employment with the Institute for Environmental Health/Molecular Epidemiology Inc. He has worked to reduce his carbon-footprint in the last year by making small but effective lifestyle changes. Matt says, “I look forward to helping the Landerholmstead make a change in our local environments and around the world.”

Understanding Climate Change

Climate change analysis is both an art and a science: one of patience, observation, and statistical investigation. According to Matt, climate change can be defined as weather patterns and temperature changes caused by human interaction including fossil fuels, CO2, and replacing trees with impermeable surfaces like buildings and roads. He characterizes humans as the greatest threat to our climate: through road/industry development, destruction or disruption of ecosystems, and pollution. Our reliance on our current waste-model (landfills, etc.) is unsustainable because of how long unassisted waste takes to break down. And all the while it’s breaking down, it is releasing CO2 and methane, among other wasted gases.

The Necessity of Biodiversity

Biodiversity is what makes functioning ecosystems possible. It increases productivity and stability. Each element in a biodiverse system fills a niche and plays an essential role. Biodiverse systems “support a greater variety of crops, protect freshwater resources,” and promote the formation and protection of soil structures, Matt urges. Nutrients are recycled into the system instead of being wasted. Think of a basic example with animals, says Matt: “Animal feces breaks down into soil, soil makes plant growth possible, the animals feed on those plants, and so it goes on.” Nutrient breakdown can speed decomposition of potential pollutants and contributes to “climate stability.”

Interestingly, Matt also pointed out that biodiverse systems, because they are more resilient, recover more quickly from natural disasters.

A hot subject in (and out of) the science community, according to Matt, is the potential extinction of bees. Pollinators – like bees – make human life possible. Their potential extinction is a threat to our food source: humans would have to hand-pollinate plants in order to sustain our need to eat. Further, the same plants pollinated by bees feed our livestock for meat production, meaning all parts of our food system would be disrupted by their disappearance.

Biodiversity doesn’t only support our food systems, but also our energy production, medicinal research (including pharmaceutical resources), and contributes “environments for recreation and tourism,” Matt says.

Adapting to Change

Extreme weather patterns are seen increasingly and globally. Matt referenced the dramatic seasons Pennsylvania has experienced in recent years – harsher-than-average winters and extremely hot summers. The lack of tree coverage on monoculture farms creates less shade, meaning the surface of the earth warms and heat comes from both above and below. Further, trees are our best method of carbon sequestration, and less trees = more CO2 released, perpetuating the heat problem.

Being a huge agricultural state, these changes dramatically affect food production, requiring farmers to adapt by using more water (or other cooling measures), changing the crops they rely on to be ones better adapted for extreme temperatures, and adjusting planting dates to save crops from late/early frosts or heat waves. This unpredictability makes an already tricky career far riskier.

Plants and animals are adapting to the changing climate, just as humans are. Matt mentions that plants are adjusting their growing conditions in order to survive, including becoming more/less shade tolerant and more drought resistant or flexible to temperature fluctuations. Similarly, animals evidence their adaptations to changing climate through reactionary life cycle and lifestyle adjustments: including shortened hibernations and migrating to new habitats in search of food.

How to Mitigate the Threat

One of Matt’s first recommendations for adapting is increasing our use of solar, wind, and hydroelectric power sources. These stable, renewable  sources of energy can passively collect power without disrupting ecosystems or threatening human lives.

He then referenced international fast food chains that use unsustainable and unnatural food practices. “Stop eating there,” he said, “or eat there less.” Buy local, sustainably produced foods when you can. “Alcohol and other processed foods often have a huge carbon footprint from production to transportation,” he went on, encouraging people to minimize their use of such products.

Next, he urged, “Stop spewing greenhouse gases. Don’t drive long distances if you don’t have to. Use public transport. Avoid flying when possible.”

He also encouraged using less paper. “Apps can do so much these days.” Electronic communications can often do the same work, and they create less waste.

We recognized together that our impacts often feel small, but small influences from many people can have a huge outcome.

My final question for Matt was what message he would pass on to deniers of climate change. He sighed, as it’s a dilemma plaguing the science community. “Climate change is a fact,” he said. “Look at the predicted 2 degree celsius increase and its effect; wild weather patterns worldwide – of massive systems, some the worst we’ve ever experienced and they’re increasing in frequency and intensity; and the melting ice caps.” Alone, they might seem like natural occurrences in an unpredictable world, but when we consider all of these together, in combination with the elements influencing climate – including humans, the facts are undeniable. And that is the duty of scientists: to look at the whole picture (not a single, lab-bound subject) for a comprehensive analysis.


Written by Rebeccah landerholm, © The Landerholmstead, 2018

Vegan Citrus Chia No-Bake Cheesecake

I’m not vegan, but many of my friends are. And I do love vegan desserts. My favorite desserts aren’t overly sweet and have contrasting flavors like savory or acidic. This recipe has a little bit of all of that! In addition to being vegan, this cheesecake is gluten-free and refined-sugar-free.

Adapted from the Unconventional Baker’s “Raw Lemon Ginger Chia Cheesecake”.
This post contains Affiliate Links.

Ingredients:

Crust
Cheesecake

Instructions

  1. Finely chop crust ingredients – except maple syrup – in a food processor until crumbly. Add syrup and pulse to combine. Remove a small amount and roll into ½ inch balls for garnish (I put mine in a bowl in the freezer to help them set).
  2. Press the rest of the crust into a greased 9″ springform pan. Cover the bottom and ½-1″ up the sides. Put pan in the freezer.
  3. Blend all filling ingredients – except chia seeds – in a high power blender until creamy. Stir in chia seeds.
  4. Pour filling into crust and smooth the top with a spatula. Freeze 5 hours (minimum). Once set, top with reserved balls of frozen crust and other pretty decorations (citrus slices, rosemary).

To Cut: fill a glass with warm water and dip chef’s knife into it before making each cut.

Enjoy!

By Rebeccah Landerholm

Chef’s Notes:

  • You can substitute in any nut for the crust, and you can also substitute other dried fruits like 2 apricots or ⅛ cup raisins.
  • You can sub in any nuts you prefer for the filling, however cashews are ideal for a cheese-like creaminess.
  • If you want to be extra-sure no lumps or grittiness remains from the nuts, use a sieve in Step 4.

Please comment below if you have additional questions or to let us know if you’ve tried this recipe and what you think of it! We love hearing from you.


© THE LANDERHOLMSTEAD, 2018

Landerholmstead Landscape Design Services

Now that we have acquired our WA State Business License, we are proud to launch our Landscape Design Services for the greater Seattle area!

We specialize in sustainable, permaculture designs that take advantage of your property’s existing elements and challenges. Our designers are unpaid volunteers, allowing us to maintain inexpensive rates. We are Licensed, Insured, and qualified.

We are offering discounted rates to our first 10 customers,
and we would love to work with you!

Please Contact Us today to schedule a Consultation. You can view Rates and Packages for more information.


© THE LANDERHOLMSTEAD, 2018

 

Last Chance – 2018 Board Applications

We are accepting Board of Director applications for one more day! 

The Board of Directors are volunteers who provide leadership to The Landerholmstead as it transitions from a newly formed organization into a sustainable nationwide entity. Currently, our Board is run by the Three Founders. We are adding 5-6 new volunteers, and have already made 2 offers. The 2018 Board will be announced in April.

You can Apply Online. Please Contact Us if you have any questions regarding the application or would like to know about other volunteer opportunities.

It is especially helpful to have volunteers with skills in the following areas:

  • Finance/Accounting
  • Administration/Management
  • Marketing
  • Community Service
  • Program Evaluation
  • Education/Instruction
  • Grant Writing
  • Outreach/Advocacy
  • Personnel/Human Resources
  • Nonprofit Experience
  • Permaculture
  • Policy Development
  • Public Relations/Communication
  • Special Events
  • Fundraising
  • Homesteading

Thank you for considering! Please share with your friends.  If you miss the deadline, don’t fret! We will continue to accept applications on a rolling basis so that we can fill vacant seats as they arise.


© The Landerholmstead, 2018.