Garden & Harvest party May, ’17

Adriana & Samantha train grape vine to arch over walkway.

Yolanda & Shaila tame shrubs along walkway.

We harvested garlic, onion flowers, greens,  basil, squash pumpkin, potatoes – rather early for several of these . Pumpkin began growing in December!

Hilarious veggies!

Sam models the pumpkin

Shaila demonstrate its dental application

We’re so hungry that we

trust Samantha with a dull knife

Consensus, finally! We’re going to eat.

 

 

Gardening with rain!

Water thrifty plants get

Water thrifty plants get “high” on 2017’s lusty rainfall.

img0638a  YAY! After thinning out banana suckers and composting, two trees promise bananas.

img0641a img0643a   img0640aWe’re trellising some thorny plants along the fence to deter fence-climbing.

img0631a  Pedestrians from many cultures stop to ask about plants and talk about the gardens they have or used to have in their native countries.  Along the fence I like to plant crops – like these peas – plus herbs and flowers that they can harvest from the sidewalk.

 

In the courtyard

Newly mulched path will help to conserve moisture - make the effects of this rain last longer - and eventually break down to feed the soil.

Newly mulched path will help to conserve moisture – make the effects of this rain last longer – and eventually break down to feed the soil.

Draught tolerant plants added to “small fruit” garden.   Experimenting with clover as a  living mulch

Jujube

Jujube

prickly pear

prickly pear

img0607a img0608a    Goji berries & weeping mulberry and their new signs.

img0616a img0618a Parsley and lettuce are easily accessible for community to harvest.

img0610a img0609a  Yolanda has planted papayas next to greywater outlets.

Lower level

potatoes & fava beans planted around olla to slowly water plants during dry season.

potatoes & fava beans planted around olla to slowly water plants during dry season.

img0620a img0629a Papaya, banana and new grape vine against south facing wall will also help shade this apartment.

I had the privilege of meeting with Mayor Garcetti this week

I was honored and delighted to have a personal meeting with the Mayor this week. The Mayor goes way back with LAEV to before he became our Councilman, and we only owned one property instead of four.  So it’s always a delight to see how far both he and LAEV have come in the past dozen years or so.  I asked if we could take a photo, so I could have bragging rights when he’s our President some day.

Here a few of the topics we got to talk about, each of which the Mayor was supportive of.  Still a ways to go on advocacy work.  But with the help of the “less cars” folks, the permaculture folks, Teresa  Baker and her LATCH Collective, Hans Johnson leading the Styrofoam ban, and LAUSD Superintendent Michelle King, and, of course, the passionate folks who live in/at the Los Angeles Eco-Village, it’s all within reach!

  • Return the original intent of AB 744 for car-free affordable housing
    Mayor Garcetti and Lois

    Mayor Garcetti and Lois

    developments near transit.   The City watered this bill down so that developers couldn’t go less than 0.5 spaces per unit.  LAEV could demonstrate this for our future developments.

  • Tiny House Villages, legalize them, even on wheels.
  • Hillside terracing, using permaculture techniques for catching rainwater.
  • Joint City/LAUSD use of playgrounds during off-school hours
  • Styrofoam ban.  Let’s do it.
  • Vision Zero.  A few additional ideas.
  • Potholes and buses.  Best cost/benefits.

Let me know if you want a copy of what I recommended about these items.

 

 

Garden Group Meeting and Work party, Aug 20

attending : shaila, sarah, samantha, carrie, dani, yolanda, bambi, jocelyn, lara, carol jessica, ely; cameo: bruce

succulent garden : samantha researched plants that might be suitable for the dry area next to loquat tree in front and possibly in the bulb-out raised bed. Contestants were: yucca, ornamental grass, indian mallow. we choose mallow which is perennial, blooms year round and has orange flowers. as a member of mallow family, may also be medicinal. samantha will check for sources.

clean chicken coop & prune adjacent lamb’s quarters & lemon verbena bambi & jocelyn overcame anxiety about not knowing what to do by expertly hauling bedding from chicken coop to compost and pruning around the coop entry path.

transplant goji berry from sandbox dani and yolanda located a good site for the goji berry & dug & prepared a hole for it’s new digs. Unfortunately, the goji berry had been cut down, but it’s roots were still in the sandbox, so they have been re-located to the bed with banana & papaya trees fed by greywater.

prune apple, pomegranate trees & wooly aphids shaila, sarah & carol pruned & carol and yolanda continued on sunday. Jessica researched the wooly white growths on the trees & diagnosed “wooly aphids”.
carol’s wooly aphids control plan spray with 1 TBSP dish soap dissolved in hot water. [1]

Pruning-at-large lara pruned plants surrounding entry to her apartment. Carrie pruned where needed.

After party sweet & juicy pomegranates from our pruning, and cold, sweet watermelon brought by bambi were our rewards while we chatted in the courtyard after working. Many of us went from there to sea dragon for supper & more lively conversations.

Next garden group planned for Sept. 17

Lasagna compost is ready for planting

The magic begins here

Even though I do this several times a week, setting the conditions for kitchen waste to become fertile soil is still the most amazing transformation.

Jonas finishes this compost pit with a  layer of soil.

Jonas finishes this compost pit with a layer of soil.

We planted nightshades: tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos here last year, and it was cover-cropped with clover during the winter.  After another round of cover crops, how about some corn?  Will we get enough light? Not the best exposure, but let’s experiment

compost cover-cropped with flax & buckwheat

compost cover-cropped with flax & buckwheat

Now that I think about growing corn, i think i’ll toss in some lentils to boast the nitrogen in this cover-crop mix. I’m using “seeds” that we stock in the food lobby bulk room.