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Zimbazee Learning Center

Welcome to my page. Here you'll find opportunities to connect directly with me, take classes in San Diego, and view other resources that I have found helpful in pursuit of my passions, which are running, native gardening, and education.

I love to connect with others, learn their secrets, test them out, and help others succeed, whether it's completing your first marathon or building your native garden.

I formed Knoitall with a partner and a set of investors so that we could help others share what they know and sell their expertise. We support people from all walks of life...teachers, athletes, and even businesses that want to teach others more about their products and services. 

Educational Offerings

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Learn the types of native plants that form a foundation for a Southern California garden. These are my particular favorites. You may find others.
$0.00
1 session(s) 0.25 Hours
Free Resource (Video, Article, Pod Cast or Other)
Teen, Adult

When designing with California native plants, it is best to start with your foundational plants. These are the ones that will grow into large foundational structures over time. Other natives will maintain a tidy size, but these plants will continue to grow for years, overpowering your landscape if you are not careful in your site location.

These plants listed below happen to be my favorite natives, as they are sturdy and versatile. Some will have roots that extend 15-20 feet into the soil, stabilizing slopes and finding sources of moisture far below the surface. Once established, they need little watering unless we have a particularly dry year.

The challenge with most of these plants is patience. What you tend to start with in your one gallon pot is a twig...what you have a year later is usually still a twig. What you don't see is what is going on under the soil as the root structure begins to take shape. You won't really begin to see growth until year two...and then Watch Out! You may begin to see growth of three to four feet per year on some of these plants. Hidden in that little twig is the heart of a lion.

Here is a list of some of my favorite foundational natives and some potential uses for these plants.

1. Rhus Integrifolia (Lemonade berry): Named for a drink made by the Indians that supposedly tasted like lemonade (but that my neighbor said tastes extremely bitter) this is one of my all-time favorites. It's tough, hard to kill, and grows outward in a wild fashion. Give it plenty of room...this plant can grow to 15 feet in height and 30 feet wide! Most grow to about half that depending on the conditions. We have one that I planted that has grown to 20 feet high and only about 10 feet wide...we have others that are 20 feet side and 6 feet tall...just depends.

I use this plant in the back of my gardens, or as a wind break or hedge. I also planted this against a retaining wall and it has covered the wall, forming a thick wild hedge. I have killed a lot of natives...this one is the hard to kill. Plant in a location with some space...water deeply and wait. Then watch as this plant will grow 2-3 feet per year.

2. Toyon (Christmas Berry): known for its red berries in Winter, this is another great plant for the rear of the garden. Unlike lemonade berry, Toyon has a more upright habit, growing to 20 feet in height but only about 7 feet wide. Plant along the fence line for a beautiful wild hedge. Bees swarm this plant in spring when it opens it's small white flowers...quail and other native birds love the red berries in winter.

3. Ceanothus "Yankee Point": This is a great sprawling native, only growing to about 3 feet in height but 30 feet in width. This is my favorite spreading native with masses of blue flowers in spring that give the ceanothus it's reputation as California lilac. I have planted this on hillsides alongside dwarf Coyote Bush with excellent results.

Two things I should say as a warning, however. First, I have killed a lot of these plants by overwatering in the summer and having them just plain die on me before they take off. I have found that it is best to plant these right before a rain storm and cover around the roots with gorilla hair mulch. Second, ceanothus have a way of just dying on their own for no apparent reason. You'll see a single brown branch on the bush and then "bye bye"...with a few weeks the entire plant is gone.

4. Dwarf Coyote Bush: I put this stuff just about everywhere I want to fill in a large space with a mass of green. Dwarf Coyote Bush only grows to about 5 feet in height, but can spread up to 30 feet. I pair this quite a bit with the ceanothus Yankee Point for a nice effect.

Coyote Bush is another sturdy plant that is hard to kill once established, and grows quickly under the right conditions. One downside is that it doesn't do well with foot traffic, and can become gangly over time. However, I love the versatility of this plant. It does well in dry areas and moist. I have it planted under all types of trees including sycamores, Alders, and oak trees and it performs admirably. This is a great all purpose choice for hillsides and other large areas where it has room to spread. I purchase it in flats in the fall and plant before the first rains.

5. Native Buckwheat: if there ever was a plant that can't be killed, this is it. I plant this stuff where nothing else will grow...hot rocky outcroppings, in poor soil...you name it, this stuff just grows. Some people may not like the look of it, as it is truly wild looking...gangly with a somewhat dull look, including the flowers, which are not quite white. But a I love this plant, especially on hillsides where it can take over a large swath of dry earth and provide protection for roaming quail, lizards, and other small animals.

6. Salvia Clevandii (Cleveland Sage): When you plant this flowering native in the fall, forget everything I said about patience. This plant can grow to four feet in its first year with tufts of blue clusters that last from Spring through mid-summer. If you are looking for a sturdy native that provides profuse flowers, this is a great choice.

I scatter this plant throughout the garden, primarily as a feature plant. It looks particularly good on its own.

As with all natives, it's recommended that you provide ample mulch around each plant to help retain any moisture in the ground. I prefer gorilla hair, but there are other less expensive options.

Happy planting!

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<p>Learn my plan for achieving a marathon PR Understand how to manage your mileage and training load throughout the months leading up to your race Learn the importance of emulating race conditions as part of your training</p>
$1.00
Resource For Sale (Video, Article, Pod Cast or Other)
Teen, Adult

This covers the training plan that I put together and followed to lower my marathon PR time from a 2:53 to a 2:47 (at age 50). This training plan was specifically developed for the Boston Marathon, but could be used for any marathon. Purchase of this training plan inlcudes direct access to me through email to answer any questions you may have as you implement this training program.

It's not an easy plan. It's not for the faint of heart. It's for those who truly want to make the commitment to a marathon PR.

Once you purchase this item I will be notified and will emal you a .pdf of the training plan.

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Learn Chi running techniques Learn how to reduce running injuries through Chi running form
$0.00
Free Resource (Video, Article, Pod Cast or Other)
Teen, Adult

Learn about the Chi running form and how it helps save runners from injuries AND improve your speed.

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Learn different approaches to the marathon Different training strategies and plans Gear Hydration
$10.00
1 session(s) 1.5 Hours
Face-to-Face - Class or Seminar
Teen, Adult

This is a session for those who have done some running and want to move up to the marathon distance. we will cover various training techniques and schedules to make sure you are ready to line up and finish this challenging distance.

  1. Training plans and their different approaches
  2. Mileage versus speed work...when to switch from one to the other
  3. Proper hydration techniques

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    Learn where to buy native plants Learn how to use them in your landscape Irrigation and planting techniques Particular plant types for various applications
    $10.00
    1 session(s) 1.5 Hours
    Face-to-Face - Class or Seminar
    Teen, Adult

    This class will cover various options for including California Native plants in your landscape design.

    Specific topics covered will include:

    1. Irrigation design for natives
    2. Various native plant communities and what plants are appropriate for our local climate
    3. combining native plants with your existing landscape
    4. various hardscape options with California natives.

    We will spend some time walking a property where native plants have been integrated into the landscape.

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    Learn the differences between learning through online formats versus face-to-face formats
    $0.00
    Free Resource (Video, Article, Pod Cast or Other)
    Adult

    My thoughts on the early days of online education and its contributions to the hierarchy of learning outcomes.

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    $0.00
    Free Resource (Video, Article, Pod Cast or Other)
    Adult

    I get asked a lot what training program I use to get ready for the marathon. Well, this is the one. I must preface this with a few caveats:

    1. I started with a much simpler plan and built up to this one. I would only recommend this plan for serious runners who are looking for a PR
    2. I had a base mileage of between 60-70 miles per week before I jumped into this plan
    3. I did the vast majority of my training on trails, which I believe helped keep me from injury as I increased the intensity of my runs.
    4. I had the time to do two runs per day, a critical component to this training plan. Most people don't. If you aren't ready or willing to commit to two-a-day training, this is not the plan for you.

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    Learn where to purchase California native plants Learn how to grow California native plants Learn which plants fit in a native garden Learn California native gardening techniques
    $20.00
    1 session(s) 2 Hours
    Face-to-Face - Class or Seminar
    Teen, Adult

    This seminar will help to answer the following questions:

    1. What are native plants?
    2. Who sells them?
    3. What are the growth habits of California native plants?
    4. Which plants are appropriate for my garden.

    We will tour the garden of a home in Olivenhain where over 1000 native plants are in various stages of growth.

    This is a class for those who are thinking about starting a native garden.

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    Learn different approaches to the marathon Different training strategies and plans Gear Hydration
    $5.00
    1 session(s) 2 Hours
    Face-to-Face - Class or Seminar
    Teen, Adult
    This is a session for those who have done some running and want to move up to the marathon distance. we will cover various training techniques and schedules to make sure you are ready to line up and finish this challenging distance.
    1. Training plans and their different approaches
    2. Mileage versus speed work...when to switch from one to the other
    3. Proper hydration techniques

      Read More…

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      Learn key running techniques, form, and Chi running styles
      $10.00
      1 session(s) 1 Hours
      Face-to-Face - Class or Seminar
      Teen, Adult

      Learn the mid-foot strike that has improved the running of countless individuals while at the same time reducing the injuries related to running.  This is because this form of running focuses less pressure on the key muscle groups.  

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      Competencies

      • Education: Knoitall
      • Sports & Leisure: Running, Cross Country & Marathon Training
      • Home & Garden: Gardening
      • Education: Curriculum & Teaching
      • Health & Health Care: Wellness, Fitness, Nutrition & Weight Loss
      • Education: Degree Completion

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