Saving Lettuce Seeds

Various Loose-Leaf Lettuce Varieties Bolting

Lettuce has been around for centuries. According to Wikipedia, the Egyptians first cultivated lettuce as edible leaves as early as 2680BC. It then made its way to Greece and Italy where it flourished.

Today, we see four main varieties of the species, Lactuca sativa, in our backyard or school garden. These include:
Crisphead or Iceberg
Butterhead, Boston or Bibb (which is also a heading lettuce)
Romaine or Cos
and Looseleaf or Leaf Lettuce

Grow LA Victory Garden Classes Fall 2018

 Greystone Demonstration Garden

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 September 16, September 23, September 30, and October 7

Time: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

List of topics includes:

Week 1 (Sunday, September 16): planning, seed starting, raised beds, container gardening, plant selection (what to grow and when to grow it).

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

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

Week 4 (Sunday, October 7): pollination, seed saving, fruit trees, harvesting, review, and graduation

Registration must be completed through Beverly Hills Park and Recreation. You will be confirmed registration once payment is made.

Please see catalog page 11.

To sign up, use registration page here, http://www.beverlyhills.org/onlineservices/recandparksclassregistration/

The cost is $20 for each class ($16 for Beverly Hills residents) or $70 for the entire series ($56 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

Jr. Master Gardener Classes at Greystone Mansion Summer 2018

New gardening class for children ages 6-12. Everyone knows kids who grow broccoli eat broccoli. You don’t want to miss this.

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

When: Sunday, July 15th and July 22nd

Time: 10:00 AM – 12 Noon

Cost: General Public $20. BH Residents $16.00

List of topics includes:

Week 1 (Sunday, July 15th): How to Start a Garden
Tool Safety, Intro to Soil (adding amendments and preparing the garden bed), Seed Starting (plant seeds in garden bed, make paper pots- everyone takes home a starter plant), Plant Selection: Winter Crops v. Summer Crops (make drawing of your home garden).

Week 2 (Sunday, July 22nd): How to Maintain a Garden
Irrigation, Transplanting, Intro to Plant Nutrition and Fertilizers, Mulching, Composting and Worm Composting, Intro to Integrated Pest Management (how to deal with bugs & insects). Seed tape (make seed tape to take home).

Registration must be completed through Beverly Hills Park and Recreation. See catalog here (page 9),

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

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

Gardening Makes You “Happy”

hand in soil

If you need another reason to get motivated for gardening, consider this, gardening makes you happy. It has now been scientifically proven that certain bacterium in the soil may stimulate serotonin production, which makes you relaxed and happier.

Please review this fascinating article, Antidepressant Microbes In Soil: How Dirt Makes You Happy.

We always knew that gardening was beneficial for our our mental well being. Now we have proof!

The Edible Backyard Vegetable Garden

My long awaited gardening book, The Edible Backyard Vegetable Garden (including 35 Recipes), has finally been published. As a special discount for all of you, I am offering the e-book free of charge for five days beginning April 4th. Simply use the link above between April 4th and April 8th and you can download the book for free. In return, if you could write a nice review on Amazon I would be most appreciative.

Garden Book Cover

Grow LA Victory Garden Classes Spring 2018

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.

Romanesco Broccoli and the Fibonacci fractal

Romanesco Broccoli is a variety of the species Brassica oleracea. It is a cool weather crop that enjoys a steady diet of nutrients. We fertilized with fish emulsion every other week.

The beauty of Romanesco lies in its unique flower structure. When we consume Romanesco, other than the stems we are eating flower buds.

These flower buds are very well known in science circles for being a natural example of the Fibonacci fractal. In mathamatics a Fibonacci fractal will go on forever, ad infinitum. A broccoli plant obviously does not go on forever, but the pattern does repeats itself in every bud.

This article explains it well, Fibonacci-Shaped Romanesco Broccoli Is the World’s Most Visually Stunning Vegetable

See other natural fractals in this Wired gallery.

Other than being really healthy for you, Romanesco broccoli is a cool way to bring math into the classroom.

Here’s one place to purchase seeds, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.