Patagonia Awards the Pesticide Free Project $12,000

I picked up a $12,000 check from Patagonia yesterday morning to support the Pesticide-Free School Project.

I’m honored the employees from the Ventura flagship store chose to stand behind this project designed to build soil, save water, sequester carbon, and improve the health of kids one playground at a time.

I was joined by local students Joel and Sarahí, The Encampment Youth. They both participated in the first Compost tea party held at Rio Lindo Elementary School in El Rio, California.

Compost Tea Party at Rio Lindo Elementary School, El Rio, California

Together we will organize the next compost-tea party in the Oxnard, California area in October.

We designed the Pesticide Free School Project to be implemented anywhere by anyone. Check back here for a link for a How to Host a Compost Tea Party next month.

There is power in the collective! 💦 

Be resplendent,



Click here to purchase tickets for the Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser to support this project on the evening of Wednesday, July 10. Can’t attend, consider making a donation.

Thirty youth from around the nation, community volunteers, local organizations will come together to build soil, save water, sequester carbon and eat plant-based tamales

EL RIO, Calif.- July 2, 2019 – On July 6, 2019 from 10-1 the playground at Rio Lindo Elementary School, with the help of community volunteers, local organizations, and thirty youth from around the nation participating in the The Encampment for Citizenship (EFC) will transform one school playground into a 100% ORGANIC landscaped, field, gardens, school forest, THE FIRST IN THE OXNARD PLAIN. “I would like Rio Lindo to lead the way towards becoming a 100% pesticide-free school and district. I hope in making this a school community initiative, we can learn about how the health of our soil affects our food, water, and air,” said Veronica Raushenburger, Principal of Rio Lindo Elementary School located in the rural unincorporated Ventura County community. 

School grounds, parks, and medians, including Rio Lindo Elementary, are treated with petroleum-based fertilizers to keep the grass green and Round-Up Ready (Glyphosate) to kill weeds. Round-Up Ready was concluded to “probably cause cancer in humans” in the 2015 International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization (WHO). Several area districts have banned Round-Up Ready, most recently Oxnard Elementary School District and the Oxnard Union High School District. 

“The goal of the compost tea party is to provide a template for other school and municipalities to follow in a post Glyophysate world. This is an opportunity to turn playgrounds, parks and landscapes bordering public owned property into water catchment systems since healthy soil untreated with chemicals or petroleum-based fertilizers can hold water up to a 1000 times more than treated soil. That’s great news for our water table levels and health of our rivers polluted with nitrate runoff,” said Florencia Ramirez local award-winning author of Eat Less Water and organizer of the event on behalf of EFC. Earlier this month, the state issued a “no drinking” order for 364 homes and businesses in El Rio due to unsafe nitrate levels.

Volunteers will learn how to make compost brew for their home garden from soil expert Dr. David White, Executive Director of the Center for Regenerative Agriculture. “Who thought it was a good idea to spray poison at our schools?” said Dr. White. “Improving soil health and doing something good for the planet by putting carbon back into the soil is good for everyone.”  World-renowned experts Ron Whitehurst and Jan Dietrick owners of Rincon-Vitova Insectaries will discuss the use of beneficial bugs as an alternative to pesticides and will have a microscope available to observe the difference between healthy and chemically treated soil. Adam Vega, a local organizer with Pesticide Reform, and catalyst to many local school-wide bans of Glypohsate will discuss the larger movement to ban harmful pesticides in California.

All volunteers will be treated to an Eat Less Water organic farm to playground tamale lunch made from scratch by EFC students during a book reading/cooking workshop on July 3. 

Rio Lindo School is located at 2131 Snow Ave, Oxnard, CA 93036.

Viva la Mujer!

The painting “Viva La Mujer,” by artist Chuy Rangel was leaning against the wall behind a door, forgotten for more than five months. Since moving to our new home I didn’t know where to hang her.

As I contemplated International Women’s Day and the women who inspire me I remembered the painting. I stopped what I was doing and went to get her with a mission to find her a place on one of my white walls. I held her against several. The first was in the hallway across from my office. It looked great but something told me to keep looking. I placed it on one of the blank walls in the stairwell. Something told me to keep searching. I walked into the main living room. All the walls with room for a painting that size were taken by other paintings. I persisted. A smaller photograph of a billboard in Cuba with the image of Che Guevara and the words Revolucion occupied a wall near the fireplace and directly across from the kitchen. I took the Che Guevara painting down and replaced it with the Virgin de Guadalupe.

I can’t imagine a better spot for this powerful image with the refelction of my kitchen off the glass. Now as I stand in the kitchen, or sit at the dining room table I see Rangel’s potrayal of La Virgen of Guadalupe as a fierce, bold activist. The kitchen is where my activism begins with my daily food choices, with my decision to cook from scratch so I can control the story my food tells, and with my organized pantry and refrigerator to reduce food waste. Every time I’m in my kitchen I “virtually” hold my fist in the air and shout words of change while I knead dough, or sauté vegetables from local organic farmers, and teach my children to cook.

Today and every day I send my love and gratitude to the women of the present, past & future who rise in millions of ways. Sometimes quietly other times loudly to improve the human condition and care for our MOTHER Earth. QUE VIVA LA MUJER! My painting shouts back, QUE VIVA!

Eat less water at the kitchen table!

There is power in the collective.

Be resplendent,


Write With Me in Ghost Ranch, New Mexico

Register Now

Maybe we are each born with a certain kind of soul.
A friend shared with me a confession: her mind never stops singing. From the moment she wakes in the morning, a jazz track plays in her head. “Like a broken record,” she said.
“Do you sing?” I asked her.
“Not anymore… I wish the songs would just stop.”
It hadn’t occurred to me that not everyone’s mind is filled with an unceasing flow of sentences, as mine is. Words float around in my head; long words, short words, words smooth and sharp. I spend my day plucking words from the sky. Some mornings I wake with a word like fecund or protuberant nudging me insistently. The word will repeat itself until I write it in my journal or look it up in the dictionary to find out if it really means what I think it means.
Other mornings I wake with complete stories in my head: setting, characters, themes…even the title. The story won’t leave me alone until I write it down. Even if the story turns out to be mediocre (and most do), it always leaves me with at least one good sentence or one word that’s just right.
Like my friend who was born with a soul that sings, I suppose others are born with souls that think in pictures or in dance movements or, for some, mathematical equations. Maybe our purpose in life is to discover what type of soul we have and then surrender to it.

View of the Pedernal Mesa from Ghost Ranch

Do you have the soul of a writer? Are you working on a creative project or hungry to start? Join me, poet and publisher, Kate Gale, and literary agent Elise Capron at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico this August 2019. Writers at all stages welcome.
What will the land inspire in you?  Come and discover.
Be resplendent,

Organic Valley’s Rootstock Radio interview with Florencia Ramirez available now​

EXCITED to be featured on Rootstock Radio, a podcast that highlights individuals and organizations who work to improve the food and farming system in our country.


The interview is now LIVE and available at the Organic Valley website and THIRTY stations on Public Radio around the nation. You can also listen on iTunesStitcherGoogle Play or wherever you get your podcasts.

During the interview, I discuss John DeRosier’s biodynamic With the Grain Farm located in Paso Robles, California and Cobblestone Valley Farm, holistic managed dairy and a member of the Organic Valley cooperative with host Theresa Marquez.


John DeRoseir, With the Grain Farm, Paso Robles, California

Paul and Maureen Knapp, Cobblestone Valley Farms, Prebble, New York

Past Rootstock Radio interviews include Frances Moore Lappé, Raj Patel, Wendell Berry, Temple Grandin, Carey Gillam, Simran Sethi… and now me. I’m honored and humbled.


Listen and SHARE widely.  Use hashtag #RootstockRadio and #EatLessWater

The circle of WATER SUSTAINABLE EATERS will grow wide circles in 2019!

There is power in the collective!

Eat less water at the kitchen table.

Be well,


Press Release: Oxnard High School Culinary Students Prove They Can Help Solve Our Water Crisis


Photo credit: Erick Daniel Gomez



December 13, 2018

Oxnard High School Culinary Students Prove They Can Help Solve Our Water Crisis

High school culinary students to host a school-to-fork luncheon for faculty members featuring an eco-friendly tamale recipe from award-winning local author

OHS Press Release

OXNARD, Calif.— December 13, 2018 Students of the Oxnard High School Career Technical Education Advanced Culinary Arts (CTEACA) have partnered with the author of Eat Less Water, Florencia Ramirez, to host a school-to-fork luncheon for Oxnard High School Union District (OUHSD) employees featuring tamales made by using less water.

“It’s a great hands-on experience for us not only to learn how to make and cook tamales but learn how to conserve water. And it’s always great to give back to those who provide us with an education and safe campus,” said Angel Orozco, student (senior) at Oxnard High School (OHS).

Together seventy teen chefs, the Culinary Arts Pathway teacher, Debra Gallagher, and author Ramirez are partnering to make tamales made from organic ingredients that use less water. The plant-based kale, swiss-chard, and cheese tamales, a recipe featured in Ramirez’s award-winning book are good for the planet and the body. “If it’s good for a river, it is good for our bodies,” said Ramirez, an OHS alumnus, as she explained to the student chefs the connection between our food choices and water systems around the world.

While the focus of the “Business of Tamales” unit is the luncheon, much of the class time prior to the event has been in the computer lab where students learned to design the invitation, write a press release and food blog. “The skills the students gain from the “Business of Tamales” unit can be applied in any job setting,” said Gallagher, the class instructor.

The eco-friendly tamales will be cooked by students in the OHS Garden Cafe, a million dollar, state-of-the-art, commercial kitchen/classroom and will be served to guests in the future home of an edible garden adjacent to the classroom. The luncheon is on Wednesday, December 19, from 11:30-1:00 pm.

“It’s awesome to learn how food can better our environment,” said Romeo Guido, OHS senior. OHS junior Paula Perez, said, “There can be giant change with one small act.”

The Oxnard High School Culinary Arts and Hospitality program follows the CA Dept. of Education Career Technical Education (CTE) Model Curriculum Standards. Students in the program follow the Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation Industry pathway taking a sequence of courses, gaining industry certification, and participate in work-based learning experiences to prepare for college and career.


Ms. Debra Gallagher, CE Instructor

(805) 278-1127,




Mouth Watering CYBER MONDAY Eat Less Water Organic Tamale Class Discount

Now here is a Cyber Monday special that gives to your health, to those lucky friends and family you serve these tamales to and the health of the planet. Sign up for the class by Tuesday, November 27 and receive HALF OFF for a companion and/or $5 off for a child.

Click here for more class details.

You're awesome, Dad.-3

I hope to see you.


There is power in the collective.


Eat Less Water at the kitchen table.


Be well,





Sign up for an Eat Less Water Holiday Tamale on Thursday, December 6 from 6-8:30 in Downtown Oxnard here

Last December I spread masa with over a hundred tamaleros (tamale makers) in three commercial kitchens. Each person came with varying levels of tamale experience, from never making tamales, to expert level. Regardless of the experience level, each cook left with a dozen handsomely wrapped tamales that were good for their health and the planet.

Join Chef Magda and me at Fresh & Fabulous to make what I like to call green water tamales. In other words, the ingredients for these tamales are from farmers and brands striving to use less water by turning there back on chemicals and petroleum-based fertilizers responsible for diminishing the soils ability to hold rain and moisture.

The recipe is from the “Produce and Water” chapter in my book Eat Less Water. Farmer Nelida from Pura Nelida gave me the recipe…sort of. She told me to cook spinach and kale and add to the masa with some cheese. When I set out to make her recipe I knew I wanted to make the masa from scratch. I didn’t want lard or GMO corn in my tamale recipe.

Cam's Waffles

Most people don’t make their cornmeal dough for tamales from scratch. Instead, the modern tamaleros purchase prepared dough (masa preperada), cornmeal dough found pre-made at all Mexican markets during the holiday season. This masa is made with manteca—lots and lots of lard from pigs raised in factory farms.

I succeeded in developing a recipe (with input from good friends and my mom) that is moist, flavorful, and made to save our planet’s most precious natural resource—water.

This holiday season I invite you to learn how to make masa from scratch with all organic, non-GMO ingredients for your holiday tamales in an Eat Less Water cooking class.


Sign up here.


Eat less water at the kitchen table.

There is power in the collective!

Be well,


5 Simple, Affordable, and Sustainable Recipes for Students (and non-students)

The simple act of cooking your meals using organic ingredients may not feel like a big deal, but it is a powerful silent activism. Global water scarcity impacts 1 billion people, and counting and boils down to two causes: supply and quality. Food, the largest user (70%) and polluter of water are where the solution to global water shortages is found predicted to worsen.

An extreme example of how food impacts water quality is the popular additive found in many savory prepackaged foods- MSG. MSG factories are one of the largest polluters of rivers in China, the largest producer of the popular additive in ramen noodles. If more of us choose to skip foods with the additive, collectively we can be a powerful force of positive change for the people who live downstream from the MSG factories. Check out this image of untreated wastewater from an MSG factory.

Central Valley, California exports food grown with groundwater around the world. A study released this year found the groundwater level is dropping as much as a foot and a half annually. Water is excavated from the ground at higher rates than replenished leading to dry wells and sink holes.


Organic Ramen Soup with vegetable (no MSG)

  • Servings: one big bowl
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

While the college campus experience has changed by leaps and bounds since my college days (high-speed internet, smartphones, and touchscreen tablets) one thing remains the same– a heavy ramen diet. But students can slurp those tasty ramen noodles outside the styrofoam cup container and skip the MSG seasoning packet.
With a a few more added ingredients you can turn your basic ramen soup into something even more flavor and healthier for you and the planet. The veggies below are only ideas. There are plenty more vegetables you can use to change things up (bok choy, Asian cabbage, snow peas, corn…).


  • 1  organic ramen package that includes a non-MSG seasoning pack
  • 1 tablespoon organic siracha
  • 3-4 ounces organic baby corn (about 4 corns)
  • 1 handful of shredded organic carrots
  • 1-2 green onions chopped
  • handful of peanuts or watercress for added crunch
  • juice from half an organic lime


  1. In a soup bowl add one package of ramen seasoning with organic siracha.
  2. Place the dried ramen noodles on top
  3. Chop and add your choice of fresh vegetable and/or shredded carrots
  4. Drain and add any canned vegetables
  5. Pour boiling water until all ingredients are fully submerged. After three minutes  mix the ingredients and sprinkle peanuts (or watercress) and the juice from half a lime

Pole and Line or Troll-Caught Tuna and Organic Gorgonzola Quesadillas

  • Servings: 4 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


This recipe was given to me by fisherman and owner of Sacred Sea Tuna, Rick Goeche and is printed at the end of the Seafood and Water chapter of Eat Less Water. Rick’s youngest daughter created this recipe and insisted her reluctant father try it. The tuna quesadillas were so tasty Rick’s son built two successful food carts in the Portland area selling them. What will make or break the flavor of these quesadillas is the quality of tuna. Look for “pole and line” or “troll caught” packed in its own fish oil. It will indicate on the label.


  • 4 organic flour tortillas (seek out a brand without palm oil)
  • 1 cup (1⁄4 cup for each quesadilla) shredded or sliced organic Gorgonzola cheese or your favorite organic cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, pepper jack)
  • A pat of organic butter or tablespoon of organic oil for the pan
  • 1 can of Sacred Sea tuna or similar brand
  • 2–3 tablespoons organic mayonnaise
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon organic cumin
  • Capers (optional)
  • A capful of organic hickory smoke sauce of your choice (optional)


  1. Mix together the tuna salad ingredients. Remember DO NOT drain the fish oil if using Sacred Sea or a brand packed in fish oil.
  2. On a medium flame, heat an oiled pan large enough to accommodate an open flour tortilla.
  3. Smear a generous helping of tuna salad on one-half of the tortilla and sprinkle cheese on the other half. Fold the tortilla in half.
  4. Fry the quesadilla slightly until the cheese melts and the tortilla gets a little crispy on both sides.


Plant-Based Tostadas

  • Servings: 3-4 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Bean tostadas are my default lunch or dinner because its simple, nutritious and satisfying. With a can of organic beans, some lettuce, tomato, avocado, shredded cheese, and salsa you can have a meal in minutes.  I always have a bag of tostada shells in the pantry because they last for weeks. Unfortunately, I have not found an organic, or even non-GMO labeled tostada shell on the market, for that you need to fry or bake your own. BUT because GMO corn is banned in Mexico corn products from Mexico are non-GMO by default, it’s not the best alternative but it’s better.

I was recently introduced to ceviche tostadas made from hearts of palm by Chef Jocelyn at Todo Verde based out of LA. Chef Jocelyn served the plant-based ceviche on blue corn tortilla chips. This recipe requires more ingredients and chopping than a bean tostada but it makes enough to eat over two or three meals.


  • 1 14 oz. can of organic hearts of palm
  • 21 medium organic tomatoes chopped
  • 1/2 of a small organic red onion
  • 21 organic jalepeños deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 orange or yellow bell pepper
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1/4 bunch of cilantro
  • 1 avocado (optional)
  • juice of 2 organic limes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • non-GMO tostadas or organic tortilla chips


  1. Drain the water from the hearts of palm and chop it into large chunks. In a medium bowl combine the hearts of palm with the chopped remaining ingredients.
  2. If using  avocados, deseed and slice into large chunks. Stir the avocado into the hearts of palm ceviche.
  3. Serve on a tostada shell or on tortilla chips.



No-Bake Organic Peanut Butter & Fair-Trade Chocolate Chip Bites

  • Servings: two dozen
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


These oat, flax, peanut butter, and chocolate bites are great for a breakfast-on-the-go, a between class snack, or dessert. One recipe makes about two dozen worth. If you think you won’t eat that many in a week, freeze a dozen or cut the recipe in half.

The recipe suggests you use fair-trade organic chocolate. It is pricier than the conventional bag by about .50 per ounce, put the impact is felt in rivers, forests, and the families of cacao farmers across the globe.


  • 1 cup (dry) organic oats
  • 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 cup organic nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew)
  • 1/2 cup ground organic ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup semisweet fair-trade chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup local honey or organic agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract


  1. Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl until combined
  2. Cover and chill for 30 minutes
  3. Roll into one inch balls once chilled and place in an airtight container.
  4. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week





A Bowl, a Tea Kettle, and 3 minutes: Organic Oatmeal with walnuts and dried berries

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


Breakfast has the most health benefits of our daily meals yet it’s skipped by 25% of Americans daily according to a recent study. This recipe is so easy, takes no time, requires only three ingredients (four if you count the water) and can be made without a kitchen if you have a plug-in tea kettle. No more excuses. Start the day off with fiber, protein, antioxidants, and skip the chemicals.


  • 1 packet organic oats (or 1/3 cup dry oats)
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 small handful organic walnuts (chopped or whole)
  • 1 small handful dried or fresh organic berries
  • Organic honey or agave to taste (optional)


  1. Turn the tea kettle on to boil water.
  2. Pour the contents of the oatmeal packet into a bowl.
  3. Add 1/2 cup water or as advised on the packet directions.
  4. After the water is absorbed into the oatmeal (about three minutes) toss the berries and walnuts on top. Drizzle organic honey or agave.


Every person deserves access to clean, freshwater. It is a fundamental right we can protect together in the kitchen.

There is power in the collective!

Eat less water at the kitchen table.

Be well,


Invite me to your kitchen via Desk Yogi

The most effective place to save water is in the kitchen. It is why you often find me in my kitchen or in nearby home kitchen as part of the Eat Less Water Kitchen Table Book Tour. Invite me into your kitchen now from the Desk Yogi site with a FREE three month trial.


Recently I cooked a steaming pot of Tempeh Chili in the Desk Yogi studio turned kitchen located in Ojai, California. The innovative internet company started by Jacqui Burge promotes Mind, Body, Spirit, and WELLNESS at the workplace.

Eat Less Water is eloquent, factual, and reading it left an aftertaste in my mouth that I long to stay forever. Savory food recipes, thoughtfully put together with a new lens so we can view with new eyes our relationship with life affirming water, a way to cleanse the soul and the heart.” – Jacqui Burge Founder of Desk Yogi, a wellness company.

Members of Desk Yogi choose from hundreds of short yoga sequences you can do at your home or office, guided meditations and healthy cooking videos.

In the cooking video I give step-by-step instruction of how to make Tempeh Chili with ingredients that promote a healthier planet and thereby a healthier body (if its good for a river its good for us too.) You can find the complete recipe at the end of the Beer and Water chapter in Eat Less Water or on the Desk Yogi website.

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If you are not a member of Desk Yogi you can sign up for a FREE TRIAL here. Use this coupon code for 3 months FREE.

Eat less water at the kitchen table starting now.

There is power in the collective!

Be well,





Plant Based Monday- Organic Berry and Greens Smoothie Recipe



Meat and dairy production is the largest users and polluter of water on the planet. If you make one change in your diet, EAT LESS MEAT AND DAIRY and SUPPORT DAIRY FARMERS AND RANCHERS who ROTATE their animals on ORGANIC pastures. In my book I describe what the very best in animal production looks like with farms like Coyote Creek Farm, Hunter Cattle, and Cobblestone Valley Farm.

Smoothies are my daily staple for breakfast or lunch. It provides my body with three servings of vegetables AND it helps me to waste less food. I turn vegetables or fruit that might be just past its prime into something delicious. For more nutrition add a tablespoon of ground flax seed and/or chia (soak the chia seeds first).

Eat less water at the kitchen table.

There is power in the collective!

Be well,


#meatlessmondays #meatlessmonday #organicfood #meatlessmondayrecipe #simplerecipes #organicfood #savewater

Eat Less Water in the NEWS

Three is a charm.

This week three interviews featured Eat Less Water. Just in case you missed any, here are the links:


CBS Morning News 8 Reporter Heather Myers, expertly interviewed me on San Diego’s highest rated news show. Here is the link to the program titled, How Much Water Does It Take to make Your Favorite Foods.


CBS featured a few of my favorite water-wise foods. Most available at your area grocery store or online.

Lotus Foods rice, (Organic/System of Rice Intensification), Taza Chocolate (Organic Direct-trade), Tequila Alquimia (Organic/Dry-Farmed almost Biodynamic), Organic Pastures butter (Organic Holistic-Managed)



Producer from the much loved NPR show, GOOD FOOD came across Eat Less Water on the shelf of a Santa Monica bookstore. She loved the cover (as much as we try not to, we judge a book by its cover) and purchased the book. Shortly after she invited me on the air to discuss the water footprints of food for the Water Show. Here is the link.


Find the recipe for Green* Eggs Quiche with Asparagus and Spinach on the Good Food Blog here.

Photo credit: Brittany Anzel App 

*Green is the color designation by water researchers for rain and moisture, versus blue water, water from the aquifers, reservoirs, and rivers. Purchasing food utilizing more green water is more water-sustainable because it doesn’t drain water from finite groundwater supplies or from stressed reservoirs. ORGANIC Agriculture methods that use more green water are the following:

  • Rain-fed
  • Dry-farmed
  • Holistic-managed (aka mob grazed, rotationally-grazed)
  • Biodynamic
  • System of Rice Intensification (SRI)
  • No-Till

These are all farming methods discussed in Eat Less Water. For an autographed copy, purchase Eat Less Water from independent bookstore, Book Catapult. Be sure to ask for an autographed copy (limited copies).


What do I and His Holiness, the Dalai Lama have in common? We both had the good fortune of being interviewed by Maureen Cavanaugh, host of KPBS Midday Edition. At one point in the interview, Maureen told me, “no more eggs” (that part was edited out of the interview), my favored example during the interview to explain every concept.

Sorry Maureen, I had eggs on the brain as I prepared for my Follow That Chef cooking class featuring my Green Eggs Quiche Recipe.

Below are the eggs I featured in the chapter Eggs and Water.

Listen to the interview with this link.

Find Green eggs at Coyote Creek Farm

Please share the interview(s) with your friends and family on social media.

There is power in the collective!

Be well,