2017 UC Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program

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Complete Online Application by January 9, 2017

If you enjoy gardening, and want to teach others how to garden sustainably, this may be the program for you! Please read below to learn more about the program and whether it may be a match for you.

UC Master Gardeners extend research-based information by conducting workshops and demonstrations, diagnosing plant and pest problems, speaking to community groups, educating teachers and parents at school gardens, and answering gardening questions at fairs and farmers markets as well as on our email and phone helplines. By training Master Gardener volunteers, we empower neighborhoods to create their own solutions and foster healthier gardens, communities and a sustainable environment.

Grow LA Victory Garden Classes Fall 2016

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This fall I will be teaching the beginning gardening classes again at Greystone Mansion. In case any of you missed a class or would like to recommend to friends or family please see info below.

Grow LA Victory Garden Classes Fall 2016

The Grow LA Victory Garden classes are organized and led by UC California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners and are meant to teach residents how to grow fruits and vegetables in their own backyard.

Where: Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills
905 Loma Vista Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(Entrance on Doheny Rd.)

When: September 25th, October 2nd, October 9th,
and October 16th (10:00 AM – 1:00 PM)

List of topics includes:

Week 1 (Sunday, September 25th): planning, seed starting, raised beds, container gardening, plant selection (what to grow and when to grow it).

Week 2 (Sunday, October 2nd): tools, soil structure, soil preparation, plant nutrition, organic fertilizers, transplanting, irrigation, mulching.

Week 3 (Sunday, October 9th): integrated pest management (weeds, diseases, insects), organic pesticides, composting and worm composting.

Week 4 (Sunday, October 16th): pollination, seed saving, fruit trees, harvesting, review, and graduation.

Registration must be completed through Beverly Hills Park and Recreation. See Catalog, page 17.

You will be confirmed registration once payment is made. See online registration page here.

The cost is $15 for each class ($12 for Beverly Hills residents) or $56 for the entire series ($45 for BH residents). Those who take all 4 classes will be given a certificate of completion from UC Cooperative Extension.

Any questions please contact:
George Pessin, Master Gardener Instructor
Email: gp305@yahoo.com
Tel: 310-779-8816

Zucchini Noodles aka Zoodles

Summertime means excess zucchini. If you’re looking for new recipes then try this- zoodles. Zoodles are strands of zucchini cut in the shape of pasta noodles. They are highly nutritious, gluten free, and much less caloric than regular spaghetti noodles.

zoodle spiralizer

To make your zoodles you will need a spiralizer (google it). These can range from $10.00 at Bed Bath and Beyond to $49.95 from Williams Sonoma. In the photo above I am using the $10 version.

Once the zoodles are made it is then important to salt it and let it drain all the excess moisture. You can place a plate on top and weigh it down to force all the moisture out. This will take approximately 30-45 minutes. This is key! Do not skip this step or you’ll zoodle dish will be a watery mess.

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Once that is completed you can then make your dish and add whatever you want. For my first attempt I added chopped tomatoes and freshly made basil pesto.

For ingredient amounts figure 1 medium sized zucchini per person, a half cup chopped tomatoes per person and about 1/4 cup pesto per person.

Add a little shaved parmesan cheese at the end and voila, you have a healthy meal for your kids or a show-stopper for company. It’s that good.

Zoodles with tomato and pesto

Grasshoppers in the Garden

Grasshoppers are a nuisance. They feed on the green leaves of young plants and can defoliate an entire plant if left unchecked.

Barriers can be used to keep grasshoppers aways from your plants. One remedy is a cage made from window screen. The holes are small enough not to allow the grasshoppers access, but large enough to allow sunlight and watering.

Another type of barrier and great for larger areas is floating row covers. Floating row covers are made from a very lightweight material that lays right on top of your  plants. Water and sunshine get through easily, insects are kept out, including birds who may try to eat your freshly planted seeds.

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Floating row covers can also extend a season by protecting plants from frost down to 28ºF.

For more info about floating row covers see info sheet from Washington St University Extension

Pickled Purple Cauliflower

A few months ago I wrote about the health benefits of purple cauliflower. Today I want to share with you one very tasty and visually beautiful way to enjoy it.

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This is Purple Pickled Cauliflower or Pickled Purple Cauliflower (which name do you like best?). It is extremely easy to make with no special equipment needed. The finished product looks more magenta than purple. Fun for the kids!

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Simply cut the cauliflower into pieces. Place them in a clean jar and cover with a vinegar brine. In 3-5 days you’ll have pickled cauliflower. This is the recipe I used for the brine. Feel free to experiment with your own recipe.

Introducing Beanstalk Seeds

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Are you looking for a fun way to get your kids outside? Do you want to engage them with nature? Teach them how to love fresh vegetables?

Beanstalk Seeds is a new seed company specializing in seeds for children’s gardening!

With exciting seeds, including those in our Plant a Rainbow kit, and resources such as our Garden Guidesheets, Beanstalk Seeds makes it easy and fun for you to engage your kids in the growing process.

What Are Beanstalk Seeds?
Previously only available at our office in KC, Kansas City Community Gardens’ specialty seeds are now available to families, youth groups and schools throughout the country at www.beanstalkseeds.com.

Skinny Plants

Why plants are so skinny

Please share.