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Chelsea Robinson's Blog

By Chelsea Robinson | Agent in Encino, CA
  • Infographic: Water Crisis

    Posted Under: Going Green in Encino, In My Neighborhood in Encino, Home Ownership in Encino  |  July 21, 2014 7:40 AM  |  63 views  |  4 comments
    California is amidst a water crisis.  Perhaps you've seen the bus ads about days to water your lawn.  Perhaps you've checked into low flow fixtures.  Many people have begun to ask questions and educate themselves on ways to help reduce their water footprint.  Recently the California Association of REALTORS released an infographic entitled "The Water Crisis" with locations that water is spent and ways to reduce the water people use.
    Here in LA, it is a requirement to have low flush toilets prior to a sale as part of the retrofitting. As great of a start as that is, many people want to do more.  Not too long ago this was actually a topic of conversation in one of the local Facebook groups I'm in.  Ladies were asking what ways they too could help out.  One of the many great suggestions that came up was to keep a bucket in the bathrooms and kitchen.  Instead of letting water just run down the drain while letting it warm up, they would put it in the bucket instead and reuse that water in their gardens or to wash dishes.  What a great idea!

    For more information, check out my full blog at Chelsea Robinson Real Estate.
  • A Little Patch of Dirt - Urban Gardening vs Manicured Lawns

    Posted Under: Curb Appeal in Encino, Going Green in Encino, Home Ownership in Encino  |  August 21, 2013 7:51 AM  |  870 views  |  No comments
    After a full day of running around at the office, all you want to do is get into your bumming around clothes, make a healthy chicken salad for dinner, plop down on the couch and catch up on the Bridezilla (don't judge me...) marathon on the DVR. You finally get home, shed your work clothes and walk into the kitchen only to realize you are out of lettuce, onion and tomato – otherwise known as the “salad” part of the chicken salad dinner. The thought of putting back on normal clothes (ugh) and heading out to the grocery store sounds like a hassle. Not to mention, once you're at the store to buy those healthy vegetables it's not that unusual to see a candy bar find it's way into the cart (again with the judging...).

    Most of us would sigh, break out the Ramen noodles and enjoy our bowl of sodium; however, you've embraced one of the newest trends in home ownership: urban gardens instead of lawns. Instead of a trip to the local store, it's a stroll to your garden. The chocolate bar free Bridezilla marathon can continue!

    The nationwide “gardens not lawns” movement is an interesting prospect for home (and hoe) owners. Not long ago, a lush green lawn was seen as the symbol for idyllic suburban living; but these days some are starting to eye grass as a problem. 
    Advocates of gardens over lawns see the tiny parcels of emerald veldt as nothing more then resource leeches that do nothing more then waste valuable land, add carbon emissions into the air through mowing and waste water. Instead of an outdoor carpet, you can bring a little bit of the country to the 'burbs and provide your family with fresh, healthy vegetables on a daily basis.

    1/3rd of Americans have embraced at least some form of vegetable gardening (not surprisingly, the number jumped tremendously after 2008). Cities are now embracing “parkway gardens” as well--Los Angeles just passed a bill last week to allow gardens on sidewalk easements and road medians. More and more companies providing “gardenscaping” services have popped up. The classic American turf lawn is still prevalent in most neighborhoods—and will continue to be for some time—but with eco-friendly, self sufficient lifestyles becoming trendy, are traditional lawns on the ropes?

    As a realtor and a gardener I find this to be an interesting situation. As a gardener, I cherish my little patch. My garden – five raised beds – is a lovely addition to my yard but does not dominate it. It has provided my husband and I with numerous tomatoes, collards, peas, peppers and squash (oh my goodness the squash!) to enjoy with our dinners. It has saved us money at the store and makes the yard look nice.

    As a realtor, I like the smooth clean look of a lawn. How it can be a centerpiece to a beautifully plot of land. We all know a well manicured patch of grass – with strategically planted shrubs and flowers – can add to the curb appeal and drive a price up. With 2/3rds of Americans not doing ANY gardening, I have to wonder if the sight of a small working farm in the suburbs would be a selling point or a knock against a potential property.

    What do you think? Is this gardenscaping, urban gardening trend a revolution or the latest fad? Would you consider a front yard garden oasis a plus or minus?  
  • Our First Harvest

    Posted Under: Quality of Life, Going Green, In My Neighborhood  |  June 8, 2013 8:41 PM  |  387 views  |  No comments
    I just wanted to share a picture of the first harvest from our garden!  Kris and I wanted to have a vegetable garden, but we really didn't have much yard space to plant a large area.  So, we took the flower beds around the house and a few flower pots and used them to plant a few plants.  

    This year we have: 
    3 squash
    cherry tomatoes & regular tomatoes
    sweet peas
    bell peppers & anaheim peppers
    collard greens

    The miniature fiji apple tree still looks like it's a stick with a few flower buds on it, but some day!

    For more pictures, check out my blog at:

  • A Moveable Feast

    Posted Under: General Area in Encino, Quality of Life in Encino, Going Green in Encino  |  June 3, 2013 11:22 PM  |  466 views  |  No comments

    Here in Los Angeles, going green is all the rage.  Health isn't just considered a fad: people are eating healthier with various organic diets, utilizing solar panels, and driving their Prius' (Side note: is there an plural for Prius? Priui?).  Even the homeless recycle. So when my dear friend Linelle posted an article on Facebook about having sustainable potlucks, I must admit that I found myself feeling really inspired.   

    The only rule for the meal - according to the article - is to use locally grown in-season foods (pantry items like flour & olive oil are okay.).   In Southern California we're lucky to have a long growing season that produces a great variety of foods.  There are so many types of fruits and vegetables that we grow in great abundance.  Think of the creative dishes you could make!  Grilled artichokes, stuffed bell peppers, fresh coleslaw!  I mean, how many barbecues will you attend this year that has the same staples? It might be a great opportunity to challenge your family & friends to try something new.

    You could even take it one step further... meet a few of your friends at the farmers market to pick up the groceries together!  Or turn it into a progressive dinner, with appetizers at one stop, main course at another, and dessert at a third.  I can just taste how delicious a fresh strawberry pie or blueberry pound cake would be.   Another idea: arrive at the potluck with enough copies of your recipes to exchange with the fellow guests.  Maybe even turn it into a contest and blind vote a winner.

    At the end of the day, not only are you having a great time with your friends, but you're helping the local economy, getting a great nutrient-rich meal, and maybe even learning a new recipe or two.  Turn neighbhorhoods into real communities, and neighbors into friends.  Sounds like everyone wins all around.

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