About site

Most of the information provided here uses a simple ecosystem model to explain how various aspects of agroecology work. By learning this simple model and seeing how its concepts apply over and over again in growing, preserving and consuming food, I hope you will see both the interrelatedness of all living things and their underlying beauty. In short, I hope I can inspire you to become a good urban agroecologist…and to grow your own! Because of the vast size of the two topics addressed here (agroecology and urban agriculture), this site is intended only to provide an overview. Where appropriate, links to other resources are provided to enable you to learn more about specific topics that may interest you. There are many experts in the topics covered here and they are better qualified to provide detailed information.

About me

I am (was) an urban gardener in the San Francisco Bay Area, blessed with a little patch of dirt (my “back 40 x 40) and a warm climate. A Master Composter and a Master Gardener, I use only natural practices to grow my food. Because of the practices I use for landscaping and growing food, my yard is registered with Alameda County’s stopwaste.org as a Bay-Friendly Garden. In 2010, my yard was part of the Bay Friendly Garden Tour.


My mom’s mom and my dad’s dad were great gardeners with large gardens. Their produce was some of the first fresh-picked food I tasted and it clearly had it’s effect. I remember watching them work in their respective gardens, sensing the pleasure they seemed to get from that work. That was an important lesson, too. So, this site is dedicated to them.

I also have fond memories of working in my yard and garden with the world’s best dog, Pepper, next to me. (Appropriate for a gardening website, I suppose, her full name was Belle Pepper.) She was, by nature, curious. She loved to explore when we went to the park, taking off to wherever her eyes and nose led her. At home, she often just sat and watched quietly as I dug a hole to plant something. I often wondered what she was thinking. That’s one of the mysteries of life that I’ll never know. She now rests peacefully in my garden, where every year I plant a flower on her grave. This site is dedicated to her, too.

Read on if you’d like to know a little more about her. Below is the note, a sort of tribute, I sent to her friends and mine when she died.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Dear Friends of Pepper:

Yesterday at noon, under a warm spring sun and a light breeze, with bagpipes playing Amazing Grace in the background, Pepper was laid to her final rest in our backyard. She now lies at a spot by the fence where she often lay to enjoy the afternoon sun. She was sent on her way with a handful of kibble, her favorite chew toy (a pine cone) and surrounded by leaves and flowers from the front yard she watched me plant last year.

I look back on over fourteen years in which she graced me with her exuberance for life. I know she graced your lives, too, as she was my almost constant companion. She joyfully shared adventures as we visited, hiked, camped and, yes, even kayaked with you. She grew up with some of you who are now in high school and college. She enjoyed as much as I did making our annual tour of friends in Sacramento at Christmas time. She enjoyed road trips to Death Valley and to Victoria, B.C.

Most of all, she loved to run. Among many other places, we made more than two thousand visits to Redwood Park, where she made many friends and ran to her heart’s content. Tuesday evening, we made a final visit to the park, where her heart wanted to run, but her body no longer would let her. More times than I can count, driving home from the park, I looked in my rear-view mirror to see her panting away, with a big grin on her face. I’ve attached my favorite photograph of her, one taken while hiking a few years ago at Mission Peak. She is, of course, running and has that same big grin on her face.

When she was a young dog, I began using email and started a tradition of putting a monthly quote in the signature line. The very first quote was from Paolo Coehlo’s The Alchemist: “When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.” Such was my decision to get Pepper. Little did I know where she would take my soul.

I hope you’ll take a moment and say your own farewells to Belle Pepper, aka, Peppy, Pepsi, Poopsy, Poopers, Poops, You Little Fart, Miss P, Wonder Dog and, most recently, Bright Eyes. Little alchemist that she was, her golden eyes turned my heart to gold.


3 Responses to “About”

  1. Gail Says:

    I’m sorry to read about Pepper’s passing, Bob. She really does sound like the best dog in the world.

  2. Gloria Says:

    Sorry to read of your Peppy’s passing. Clearly you enriched eachother and all those that knew her — as well as her appreciative Dad. Lovely.

  3. Sofia Tselentis Says:

    Bob, I have enjoyed reading about your dog Pepper. It is difficult when someone you love must go to the other side. I know you feel her with you. It’s amazing the relationships we can have with our pet’s.

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