Tag Archives: Best Practices
More than 30 members and friends of the Garden turned out for the April 13 class on Irrigation and New Norms for California Landscape. EBMUD’s Scott Sommerfeld did a great job and we did some hands on training while learning how to assemble drip systems.
Sign up now for the last class this spring:
May 11 1:30 – 3pm – Creating and Enjoying a Butterfly Garden
Join Pamela Winther, Landscape Architect and Adjunct Professor at DVC to learn all about butterfly gardens and the beauty and delight they bring. She’ll tell us the best plants to grow, what conditions they need to flourish, and which beauties you’ll find in your garden. We’ll explore the Community Garden’s new butterfly garden and maybe find some visitors.
Last weekend we got a good lesson on sheet mulching from Lori Caldwell in our first Outdoor Learning class of the year. Now we are putting that lesson to good use under the oak trees in our garden. First we laid down a layer of cardboard making sure not to leave any ground uncovered. Then we thoroughly soaked the cardboard and added mulch (wood chips). The transformation continues!
Even if you missed the annual plant sale at Moraga Garden Farms, you can learn a lot by watching this video with Deva Rajan. The video is by Clayton Roth.
Great event coming up, Thursday, Feb. 23 at the Moraga Library starting at 7:00 p.m. Deva Rajan of Moraga Farm and Julie Welch, St. Mary’s College Community Garden Coordinator talk about their respective gardens and how to start your own organic garden.
My favorite thing to forage is a green that kept the 49ers alive and healthy — not the football team, but the pioneers; Miner’s Lettuce. It’s a succulent green that has easily identifiable leaves (they’re round with a small cream colored flower in the center) and has a delightful crunch. The leaves make a first rate salad. This juicy plant grows in shady areas, usually near water and can be found in the cooler months of the year after it has rained a bit.
Around November my mouth starts watering as I contemplate the dishes I’ll make with our local gold: chanterelle mushrooms. Sold in local stores and available at the finest restaurants, golden chanterelles grow in our shaded, live oak forests only after we’ve received four inches of rain. This tender delicacy grows November to March. Sorry, I’m not going to give you specific spots where I’ve found them. That’s one secret I plan to keep. But if you own a north sloped property with live oaks or know someone who does, go out and look under the duff to see if any orange/yellow mushrooms that have no gills, have emerged. Chanterelles have false gills and no defined cap.
Mushrooms need extra caution. Two mushrooms grow in our hills that are documented as the most toxic things on earth, the Death Cap and the Destroying Angel. These are both white or cream colored with gills and look nothing at all like a chantrelle. They can both melt your liver in less than 24 hours. To survive you must get a liver transplant. Every year someone who recently migrated here from Southeast Asia dies because these mushrooms look identical to safe mushrooms that grow in their homeland.
Now where is that rain? Check out Kim’s other posts here.
Community Gardens Dispatch No. 52: The end
It’s transition time in the garden. For me, that means the end of my year in the community garden.
This series began after I graduated from the UC Cooperative Extension’s master gardener class in spring 2010. My education continued in community gardens from Ventura to Long Beach, from the foothills to the coast, from the inner city to the ex-urbs.
Microclimates, demographics and histories of the gardens may have differed, but one commonality stood out: No matter the ZIP Code, gardeners were generous with their time, expertise, seedlings and harvest. It sounds like a cliche (or a statement of the obvious) to say that community gardens build community, but after seeing how these gardens can be good neighbors, raising property values and welcoming newcomers with open arms (and full sun), the cliche just sounds like fact.
…And though just about everyone grew tomatoes and beets, spinach and cauliflower, I always found a surprise planted in there too: minari, a Korean herb used in kimchee; the diminutive dog’s tooth pepper, which packs a wallop; moringa, a fast-growing, drought-tolerant tree. And did you know you can grow coffee, tea and all types of mango and papaya here? I didn’t.
This vast variety of edibles, flowers and other flora from around the world will be the subject of my new series for L.A. at Home: the Global Garden, a trip down a cross-cultural path that winds through Southern California. In many ways the new series will be an extension of this one — a reflection of our community as seen through what we plant. Stay tuned.
Read it all here.
Lafayette Community Garden will also be an education center. Today, some of us traveled to Suison Valley to learn about and pick unbelievable heirloom tomatoes at Wild Boar Farms. Wouldn’t you like to help decide if our garden will be growing Berkeley Tie-Dyes, Black & Brown Boars, Cherokee Greens, Pink Brandywines or one of the other heirlooms bred and grown by this innovative farm? Get involved today! Help us turn a parking lot into a garden plot!
In the Contra Costa Times, you can read about:
Alameda County Master Gardeners, through an agreement with the East Bay Regional Park District, are developing a demonstration garden in the Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area in Fremont. We also work in cooperation with the Alameda County Water District.
Although the garden originally was conceived to introduce the community to the use of plants that tolerate our dry summers with little or no additional water, our approach necessarily broadened to creating an environmentally sustainable garden.
Can you say compacted soil? Read the whole thing here.