Grow LA Victory Garden Classes Spring 2017

The University of California Cooperative Extension is organizing workshops in various communities throughout Los Angeles County to teach residents how to grow their own fruits and vegetables.

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

When: Sunday April 9, April 23, April 30, and May 14
Time: 12 Noon – 3:00PM

List of topics includes:

Week 1 (Sunday, April 9): planning, seed starting, raised beds, container gardening, plant selection (what to grow and when to grow it).

Week 2 (Sunday, April 23): tools, soil structure, soil preparation, plant nutrition, organic fertilizers, transplanting, irrigation, mulching

Week 3 (Sunday, April 30): integrated pest management (weeds, diseases, insects), organic pesticides, composting and worm composting

Week 4 (Sunday, May 14): pollination, seed saving, fruit trees, harvesting, review, and graduation

Registration must be completed through Beverly Hills Park and Recreation. See Catalog, page 28 (Note: 4 classes not 5, there’s a mistake in the catalog)

You will be confirmed registration once payment is made. See 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.

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

Escarole Recipes

Escarole is a winter green in the lettuce family and a close relative to endive and radicchio. Its leave are curly, slightly bitter and “meatier” than ordinary lettuce leaves.

It can be eaten raw as a part of a green salad or chopped into soups and stews.

Here are some sample recipes:

1. Straciatella with Escarole

2. Grilled Escarole with Fines Herbes Salsa Verde

3. White Bean and Escarole Soup – So many different variations of this well-known classic. This version starts with dried white beans. To save time you can also use canned.

Seed Saving and Selection

Happy New Year Gardeners!

When saving seed we first start with open pollinated varieties that when fertilized will produce offspring true-to-type meaning same as the parent. Hybrids do not produce offspring true-to-type which we why we don’t save seeds from hybrid plants.

When choosing which plants to save for seed select only the most vigorous plants; those that look healthy. Do not save seed from weak or diseased plants. Also look for characteristics that you want, it could be taste, size, or it could be color.

In the photo above the head of lettuce on the left is more deeply freckled than the head on the right. Since the colored freckles are a desired trait we will choose the head on left to save rather than the one on the right which is less colored. The name of the lettuce by the way is Forellenschluss aka Speckled Trout Back aka Freckles.

Which seeds are you going to be saving this year?

2017 UC Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program

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.

zoodles

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.

floatingrowcover

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