As we gear up for our first-ever online plant sale, we will take a few minutes before our speaker on Saturday to discuss what’s on offer and the nuts and bolts of this new format sale. The sale will go live AFTER the meeting, promptly at noon but you can see the currently listed items at wla.crfg.org/shop.
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!
- Biochar 101: Living Soil at https://youtu.be/UcEi3YMPaJQ (15 minutes)
- Food Forest: Small Beginnings at https://youtu.be/1ToeSBXI7DA — 7 minutes
- We’ll tour the same garden at the beginning of our Zoom meeting, so you can compare the “Before and after.”
- Biochar 101: Bamboo Vinegar at https://youtu.be/SFhWpQw7juA (15 minutes)
After two highly successful Zoom meetings — with Dr. Matt Daughtery on Invasive Insects and Jorge Ochoa on Botanical Blunders –, the chapter is going to attempt a video tour of a member’s garden. If you are a chapter member, you should have received a newsletter with the Zoom links. If not, please let us know.
Our host moved into his house in Cheviot Hills in early 2011. After removing several overgrown trees on the property, he started his collection with a few citrus and stone fruit trees. Growing fruit trees for the first time, he found that there was a lot to learn and over time it became a serious part of his life. For nine years now, he has been adding trees and learning more about the best practices for fruit tree gardening. Many of his trees are grafted or started from rooted cuttings. The garden is watered with drip irrigation.
Our host is a member of both the West LA and the LA chapters. Holding degrees in economics, business, finance, and IT, he began gardening as an amateur, like most of us. Another of his hobbies is as a volunteer scuba instructor for LA County Department of Parks and Recreation.
Topic: Botanical Blunders
Plants have a reputation for being misrepresented in advertisement, movies, and media. Come and learn the truth behind the many errors that people make about plants, fruits, and veggies!
Jorge has academic credentials from both Cal Poly Pomona and Long Beach City College. He is currently the Horticulture Department Chair of Long Beach City College and a frequent guest lecturer throughout Southern California. Jorge is that rare instructor – one with the uncanny ability to make any subject interesting and easily understood.
Jorge last spoke to us about passionfruit, one of his favorite topics. Many of you probably have a vine from his cuttings.
If you are a chapter member, you will receive an email reminder about the meeting on June 12. In that reminder, you will receive a duplicate of the Zoom invitation that went out with your newsletter.
If you are not yet a member but are interested in attending, please let us know and we will give you the login info.
The window is 12 to 3 pm, May 20th. Check your newsletter or the forum for details.
If you haven’t seen this, it is a fantastic way to spend Earth Day. Members of the LA Chapter were heavily involved in helping this farm get off the ground, so you may well see some familiar faces.
Thanks to the City of Santa Monica, a free online screening will take place on April 22nd. Sign up here
Please note the different date and early start time from our normal field trips.
Program: The Tony Stewart Memorial Tree Symposium at Sylmar High School
Panel of Experts: Steve List of Sylmar High School, Dan Nelson of La Verne Nursery in Piru, Elliott Kuhn of Cottonwood Urban Farm.
Moderator: Jim Schopper
We will be joining the Los Angeles Chapter for what we hope will be an annual event.
There will be tours of Sylmar High School’s agricultural gardens and hothouse, followed by a Fruit Tree Symposium. The event will conclude with a tree auction, with plants provided by the school and by local nurseries.
The Symposium will include a panel of three experts in unique fields of interest to answer your gardening questions: Steve List, head of the Sylmar High School Agriculture Department and leader of the Urban Gardening Workshop; Dan Nelson, Director of Operations at La Verne Nursery in Piru; and Elliott Kuhn, educator and owner/cultivator of Cottonwood Urban Farm in Panorama City. Questions will be moderated by Jim Schopper, member of the LA Chapter.
A potluck will follow. All members, please bring a dish that serves 8-10 people. Sylmar High School Students studying gardening, planting, and fruit trees will be joining us.
The quarantine area has now been expanded to include Corona, Norco and parts of Chino. You can read details here: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/egov/Press_Releases/Press_Release.asp?PRnum=19-135
Members Only will meet at Jane’s in Cheviot Hills for a winter field trip. We will see pruning, mulching, composting and composting equipment. We will have a question-and-answer session among the members, which we didn’t have time for at our December Holiday Party. Jane has a Mission fig that could use pruning, and she would be happy to share the cuttings with members. Several mulberry varieties and Wonderful and Fleishman pomegranates, all of which are easily rooted, will be pruned and shared. Winter means that Jane has an abundance of self-seeding annuals including Cerinthe and Nigella, which she will share with us. She notes that these are pollinator magnets!
Jane’s front yard is flat, but the back has three levels and is not as easily accessible, so wear garden shoes. Weather and other factors permitting, we may walk around the neighborhood to observe other fruit trees. There will be coffee and tea; Jane requests that you please bring your reusable cup if you can. Light rain will not cancel the field trip, but saturated ground from heavy rain will cancel it as walking on saturated clay compacts it.
Jane notes that there is plenty of unrestricted parking.
Another non-CRFG activity but I attended the last HoneyLove conference a couple of years ago and if you are keeping bees or are interested in the girls pollinating your trees, it should definitely NOT be missed.
• Michael Bush
• Les Crowder
• Dr. May Berenbaum
• Robin Jones
• Michael Thiele
• Sam Comfort
• Laura Bee Ferguson
• Kate Franzman
• Solomon Parker
• Sarah Red-Laird
• Amanda Shaw
• Jacqueline Freeman
• Anna Marie Despiris
• Fonta Molyneauxis
• Matt Reed
• Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen
• Rob and Chelsea McFarland
…plus a stellar lineup of your local favorites in our Breakout Room!
Stay tuned… new speakers are being added daily!!