Report on great meeting April 9th

Boy, what an amazing meeting we had this past Saturday.   Andrew Schiavone and Jeff Micka  of Bartlett Tree Service gave us a jam-packed, info-filled survey of tree care from correct planting  (not too high and especially not too low);  through best irrigation practices (watering newly planted trees right at the root ball so the water doesn’t run around it and pool underneath;  then making sure to expand the watering radius as the tree grows);   and pruning (the rule of thirds, the hormonal importance of the branch collar) while making  fascinating detours through  the underground world  of  roots and soil  plus the cultural sources of most   insect problems and disease.  (not to ignore a recommended treatment for scale!)

Even those of us who have been growing fruit for years learned a lot. They highly recommended soil samplers to give us an accurate idea of our soil’s structure and moisture; and provided business cards and soil sample bags for anyone who wants to get their soil analyzed by their lab in North Carolina, especially for suspected root rots (this would be about $50).  And of course, they are available for consultations and remedial work in your orchards.  They can be reached via

BARTLETT TREE EXPERTS
2369 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90034
phone (
310) 454-2033
email aschiavone@Bartlett.com

For those of you who couldn’t make it to Culver City, I apologize for the poor quality of the Zoom.  Our dedicated and selfless facilities chair was home sick as was our Zoom host; while our fearless and innovative program chair had Master Gardener duties to fulfill. This left your humble ottoman trying to juggle all their duties while simultaneously setting up the tripod and attempting to video with low bandwidth.  If we are going to continue to Zoom live meetings, we need someone to take over the video job.  As it happens, the next two meetings will solely be via Zoom because our speakers are from out of the area.  May’s field trip, however, will also be a hybrid.  After that, if we cannot find anyone to take on the Zooming responsibilities, we will have to return to live meetings only. Barring another surge, it is so much more fun and informative to come to meetings than sit home in your jammies.  Plus, we had cookies!

Garden Tour & Lecture in One! August 8th at 10 a.m.

via Zoom – You will receive an email reminder      

  (and a duplicate Zoom invitation) to join    

   the meeting on August 7.                           

 

Speaker: Michael Wittman

Attention CRFGers!  You have some fun “homework” to do before August 8th.  Please see the details below.

Want to learn more about permaculture?  Permaculture improves your garden’s soil and reduces greenhouse gas emissions at the same time.  Our presenter on August 8th will be Michael Wittman, CEO of Blue Sky Biochar (www.blueskybiochar.com).  You might call him the “Char-man of the Board.”  Michael is a passionate and knowledgeable speaker.  He has extensive knowledge of and experience with permaculture, using biochar and bamboo vinegar.  Don’t know what these are?  Check out the videos below before our Zoom session on August 8th.

Our meeting will include:

  • a live tour of Michael’s amazing food farm (which he also uses as a permaculture laboratory),
  • a presentation on what Michael did to get the food farm to its current state,
  • Q & A time, and
  • Michael will give us a special discount code that we can use on the Blue Sky Biochar web site.

Please watch these short videos before our meeting, so we can learn more together, and go into more depth in the Zoom meeting.  If your time is limited, please watch at least the first two videos.  You’ll be glad you did!

  1. Biochar 101: Living Soil at https://youtu.be/UcEi3YMPaJQ (15 minutes)
  2. Food Forest: Small Beginnings at https://youtu.be/1ToeSBXI7DA — 7 minutes
  3. We’ll tour the same garden at the beginning of our Zoom meeting, so you can compare the “Before and after.”
  4. Biochar 101: Bamboo Vinegar at https://youtu.be/SFhWpQw7juA (15 minutes)