How To Use This Blog

We have set up this blog as a way to share with the community what we are up to and so members can see what needs to be done in the garden week to week.

How to use this blog:
We will post the to-do's and you simply write in the comments what you will be taking care of so we know it's getting done.
  • After you have entered your comment, simply hit the arrow next to profile, select anonymous and make sure you write your name in the comments section so we know who you are!
  • To make sure you don't miss an update, please enter your email address in the "Get Alerts for New Posts" form on the right column of this blog.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Saturday is Bed Building Day

Please join Chanan Batra and Boy Scout Troop 33 this Saturday, November 3d, 8 a.m. until we're done. We will be installing our new set of raised beds.

Very exciting news!! The City of Beverly Hills is going to install a small fruit orchard a little ways up the hill towards the mansion, and they are asking for our input as to what trees to choose. So, come on Saturday prepared to discuss your choices. Steve Hough will be on hand to "take notes" for the City. We will help to maintain the orchard: it will be a great learning experience.

NOTICE: Do not come to the garden on Wednesday, November 7th:  the police canine unit will be holding a training session all over the park. We need to stay out of the way.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Please come to the garden on Saturday, October 27th!

Please come help us on Saturday October 27th between 8 and noon:  As you can see, we have some tomato hornworm visitors in beds 1 and 2: please bring some zip lock bags, deposit any and all worms and dispose...I know it's yucky but it's the only organic method of controlling them.

There may be ripe tomatoes: feel them to see if they give a little. If ripe, please pick them. If the girl scouts are up, give them to the girl scouts. Otherwise, someone please take them to the kitchen at All Saints on Sunday morning, or drop them off at my house (Barb Linder 278-2987).

Please bring a cultivating tool, and do some weeding on our back hill: Steve Hough will continue to provide additional irrigation for us there, and I think we will plant pumpkin seeds there in the spring!!  Steve will be there Saturday morning setting up irrigation for our new raised beds.  If you would like to donate a tool, put it in our little shed: the combination for the lock is 0070. Feel free to use anything in there, return tools and lock the shed when you're all done.


Our fall crops are starting to come in: below are the pea vines.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Worms Are In!!!

Wednesday, October 17. 

Today, due to a generous donation by Whole Foods Beverly Hills and Organic Control, more than 1000 earthworms were given a home in our garden. Volunteers Jeannie Cohen (intrepid nature photographer), Ilona Sherman (Chair of the Human Relations Commission), Helen MacDonald (Future horticulturist and Information Sciences Major), Kevin Artofer (engineer), Jessica Emmerson, Cindy Brynan (both City staffers) and Barbara Linder (always hanging around) dug holes all around the garden, filled them with water and gently lowered in the new inhabitants.

They will now go to work aerating our soil and adding valuable nutrients Go worms! We put some in the compost heap to help that project along. We also were privileged to witness a frightening encounter between a huge orange garden spider who has a web in the vegetable patch and a bug (bug lost).

Next Wednesday, October 24th, Barbara will be in the garden at around 10:30 checking on tomato ripeness. Please join me! 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Yesterday in the Garden (Oct. 11)

Wednesday, October 10th

Today we planted pea seeds in the 4th bed: First we went to the City compost heap and rescued some very attractive pruned tree branches. We then made the artistic arrangement you see here. When the pea vines start to grow, they will be supported by the dead branches. After harvesting our peas, we will cut off the roots, leaving them in our bed to add nitrogen to the soil (legumes have a symbiotic relationship with a bacteria that "fixes" nitrogen for use by future roots), then we can add the spent pea vines and the branches to our beautiful compost bin. 

We also assembled a very compact storage unit next to the fourth bed, donated to the garden by BHHS student Charlotte Frank, on behalf of the high school ecology club. Charlotte also donated 3 shovels, which are in the storage unit for all of you to use, and the collards, kale and lettuce seeds that we planted today in the 3d bed. Now, if you would like to loan or donate tools to the garden, we have a secure, locked area for them!!! There is a combination lock on the unit, the code is 0070, please feel free to use the tools, but return them to the shed and lock it when you're done.

I would like to welcome Helen and Kevin to our garden: two wonderful new volunteers I have met through my horticulture classes at UCLA. We are cooking up some great hopes for the future of the garden area.

 I wanted everyone to see the beautiful bench we have at the garden, designed, executed and donated by Tanya Latta.

 People want to know what this interesting mesh bag is:  It contains hair (either human or dog works), a dryer sheet and a bar of very strong soap(Zest is good). The smells are supposed to keep  vermin away from the produce (squirrels, raccoons, deer).

This week in the garden (Wed. Oct. 17th)

This week in the garden (Wednesday, October 17th)

On Wednesday Oct. 17th, at around 10 a.m. we will be having the "great worm release".  Organic Control, by way of Whole Foods B.H., will be shipping us containers of our best friends: the earthworms. Anyone who is interested in watching or participating should come up!!  Oh come on, don't be afraid of the worms. They are very cute.

Monday, October 8, 2012

This past Saturday - The fun you missed!

This past Saturday, October 6th, Wendy, Shirley, Tom and Martha and her Girl Scouts met at the garden to do a little maintenance before the fall planting starts.

We turned the compost pile, added some of the beautiful compost to the beds, added shredded newspaper, turned the soil and lastly, and thanks to a donation by the Girl Scouts (their favorite part), we added baby earth worms to the beds. When we were turning the earth, we were excited to see a bunch of large worms already making our beds their home!

Learn more about the benefits of newspaper and worms in your garden.

 Shirley turning the shredded newspaper into the soil.

 Checking out the new wiggly additions.

 "Are you sure we have to do this?!"

And just like that, the little guys were settling into their new home.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Seed Note

If you are coming up any time during this next 7 days, please bring a packet of sugar snap peas, or any kind of leafy green such as kale, collards, Swiss chard, spinach etc. We will plant the seeds next Wednesday Oct. 10th. Please put the packet in a closed zip lock bag and leave it on our tile bench. Thank you.

Saturday, October 6th and Wednesday, Oct. 10th

Please sign up in the comments if you would like to join Soozie Eastman and company on Saturday the 6th, around 10 a.m. They will be:

  • filling the butterfly bath and watering the butterfly garden (the roots are not yet fully established and it has been very hot)
  • checking irrigation levels in the 2 cleared beds (we were getting too much water and Steve Hough has turned down the volume) by digging down 6 inches: let me know if the soil is still soggy.
  • WORMS:  can someone bring up some earthworms, either from your own garden or you can buy a container at your local nursery, and please release them in all 4 beds. Also, we need 2 more bags of either cottonseed, bone or blood meal (all are available at Anawalt). Leave the bags in between the beds for now.
  • please bring up coffee grounds and egg shells to put in the compost heap.
  • we need some supports for peas: if you have any pruned tree branches, please bring them and leave them on the last bed. Tree branches are a great support system for peas.
  • Check the tomatoes; I suspect that they may not be quite ripe. Note that some are green zebras, press one gently to see if it gives. Soozie, let me know if you've harvested: we will need to get it over to All Saints for the Monday meal. 
Wednesday, October 10th:  meet me in the garden at 10 a.m. Jean R. and I will be seeding the 2 empty beds, and possibly harvesting tomatoes for the All Saints Monday Meal. Sign up in the comments and I'll see you in the garden!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Saturday in the garden: Look What We Did!

This past Saturday, the 29th, was very productive in our Greystone Garden. Volunteers Jean Rosenblatt, Lisa Davis, Barbara Linder, and Kevin and Vivian Schroder worked hard harvesting corn and clearing two of our beds to make way for fall crops.  Kevin learned how to turn the soil over with a pitchfork, he amended the soil with blood and bone meal and we even incorporated some ripe compost from our own little factory!! We also celebrated the addition of a couple of very handsome worms from the compost heap.

We added the detritus from the corn to our compost, thus completing our first sustainable season in the garden (from seed, to harvest, to compost, and then eventually back to the garden as that all important actor, Mr. Organic Matter).

Next up:  We should have many ripe tomatoes within the next week or so. I will let you know a harvest date. On Wednesday, October 10th, Barbara and Jean R. plan to seed the 2 cleared beds with peas and greens, starting at 10 a.m. If you would like to help, please join us.

Before the Clearing                                       Ready for Fall Crops!

 The Harvest

 Our Beautiful Compost Pile