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Getting Grounded

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Long, long ago, in a time before time, the place where we now live was a deep sea. Beneath the waters, however, the earth stirred. A coast range was lifted up. Rains fell upon the bare slopes. Rivers and streams … Read more

Notes from Underground

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It is often the smallest things that get overlooked, and life in the soil is probably the most neglected habitat of all. Tilling the soil or weeding the garden puts us in touch with a few members of the soil … Read more

Resources for Healthy Soil

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General Information Sources and Websites Bio-Integral Resource Center www.birc.org (510)524-2567 Extensive information resources for least-toxic pest management. California Integrated Waste Management Board www.ciwmb.ca.gov/organics/gardening Information and resources for organic materials management and home gardening, including grasscycling, home composting, and worm composting. … Read more

Soil-Friendly Practices

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Organic matter is the most important part of the soil because it is fodder for the many organisms that keep soil alive and elastic. And because it is consumed by these organisms, soil organic matter needs to be replenished. The … Read more

Taking Refuge

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At this small, sandy National Wildlife Refuge on the industrial outskirts of Antioch, you’ll find great views of the San Joaquin River, and rare plants and insects that don’t exist anywhere else.

They Keep Coming Back

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In the early 1970s, when the Army Corps of Engineers built a weir across Alameda Creek to stabilize a railroad crossing and the new BART tracks, they also blocked steelhead from swimming to upstream spawning grounds. Given the numerous dams … Read more

Ascending Franklin Ridge

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Nearly 200 years of cattle ranching on the Franklin Ridge has left its mark in human history, altered vegetation, and now, the preservation of a critical open space corridor with sweeping views of the North Bay, Delta, and interior East Bay.

Book Review: The Trees of San Francisco

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The Trees of San Francisco, by Mike Sullivan, Pomegranate Communications, 2004, 160 pages, $19.95 (www.pomegranate.com). This is not a book about the native trees of San Francisco. In fact, there are very few trees native to San Francisco, which was … Read more